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2016 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate: The Luxurious Pickup Gets an Upgrade

While luxurious SUV and Crossover models have been gaining in popularity, the luxury pickup has had a hard time achieving the same success. Brands such as Cadillac and Lincoln have tried their hand at it over the years, but sacked the idea when consumers never really “got it”. Then, there’s the Sierra Denali.

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Maybe GMC cracked the code to making the perfect luxury pickup. Customers in the market for supersize luxury are much more likely to buy an SUV, so instead of making a whole model devoted to offering high-end amenities to customers with a big budget, GMC just made a more comfortable, more chrome version of their standard work truck. Like the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Except in this instance, it’s more like; if it ain’t broke, add more chrome.

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Now young folks buying a GMC Sierra can work their way up the line, should they stay loyal to GMC, upgrading just a little bit every time they trade in their old truck. Good news for them, because GMC has announced new version of the Sierra Denali that sets the bar just a little bit higher.

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The 2016 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate offers customers even more than the normal Sierra Denali. The Ultimate version is only available in a Crew Cab configuration with a 68″ bed as standard and an optional 78″ bed available. Of course, being a Denali model, the Ultimate needed a lot of flashy trim in the flattering shade of chrome. GMC did not disappoint in that category, giving the Sierra Denali Ultimate 22″ alloy wheels, chrome trim, the signature chrome grille, and even chrome tow hooks. Maybe, in this instance, practicality has taken a backseat to overall “wow” factor, but for customers looking for a practical-enough truck that can hold them and their passengers comfortably, the Ultimate is a very good option. So how about performance?

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The starting price for the standard Sierra Denali is just over $50k, so somewhere north of that gets you the most luxurious pickup on the market and 355 horsepower standard. You can also upgrade to the 420 horsepower V8 borrowed from the C7 Corvette. The 450 lb-ft. of torque could be pretty useful as well, I imagine. Some fancy electronics are able to help keep the Sierra Denali Ultimate between the lines and can automatically switch the high-beams on and off. The running boards that GMC has dubbed the “Tri-Mode Power Steps” can be adjusted to assist in accessing the bed when needed.

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All and all, the 2016 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate is just a step further into the realm of luxury than the Sierra Denali. For most GMC truck owners, who manage to get by with their stationary running boards and pedestrian non-chrome tow hooks, the Denali models offer something to aspire to. A big, chrome pat on the back (with the engine out of a Corvette) for a job well done.

Categories: Production Cars

Chris Riley
About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. GearHeads.org gives me a chance to give something back to the automobile community.