2014 GMC Sierra Denali 1500 Test Drive

“GMC Sierra 1500 offers several refined choices”

GMC’s 2014 full size truck lineup is all new

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For the 2014 model year, the all-new GMC Sierra full-size pickup delivers the most powerful, most advanced and most refined truck in the 111-year history of the brand. The GMC bloodline stretches back more than a century – 111 years to be exact. GMC’s predecessor was a commercial truck from Max Grabowsky’s Rapid Motor Vehicle Co. first operated in the City of Detroit in 1902. The first truck to wear a GMC badge debuted in 1912. Now the 2014 GMC Sierra Denali marks the top of the line.

The latest examples of the GMC Sierra lineup deliver new advancements in design, segment-best standard V-6 torque and trailering capability, along with the best V-8 fuel economy, enhanced new double cab design with improved rear seat entry and exit and next-generation IntelliLink connectivity.

The GMC Sierra 1500 light duty pickup is available in a variety of forms to better satisfy a broad range of customers. There are three new EcoTec3 engines to choose from, three cab configurations and a variety of bed sizes, depending upon the model chosen.

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GMC Sierra cab configurations will include: 1500 Regular Cab; 1500 Double Cab; and 1500 Crew Cab. Engine sizes include: a 4.3-liter, 285 horsepower LV3 V6; and a 5.3-liter, 355 horsepower L83 V8 available in Regular Cab Sierras. Both engines are flex fuel (E85 compatible) with Direct Injection and Active Fuel Management. Both engines mate with a Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission. Available bed sizes for the Regular Cab Sierras are a 6’ 6” box or an 8’ box.

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The third new EcoTec3 engine is a 6.2-liter, 420 horsepower L86 V8 that also develops 460 pound feet of torque, and features Direct Injection and Active Fuel Management. The 6.2-liter motor also hooks up to the same 6-speed automatic transmission and is available in Sierra and Sierra Denali Double Cab models along with the other two new engines. Bed size for Double Cab models is 6’ 6”. Crew Cab GMC Sierra and Sierra Denali models offer all three engine variants with 5’ 8” and 6’ 6” bed sizes.

All GMC Sierra 1500 and Sierra Denali models are available in either Rear-wheel drive or Four-Wheel Drive configurations. Non-Denali Sierra trim levels include the base Sierra, SLE and SLT. There are several optional equipment and feature packages available throughout the GMC Sierra 15600 lineup. The Denali model GMC Sierra returns as the top-of-the-line truck for 2014 with unique and specific design cues and exclusive features.

The Denali’s exterior delivers a signature Denali chrome grille, unique 20-inch chrome wheels, unique interior decorative trim, a polished stainless steel exhaust outlet and body-color front and rear bumpers.

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The Denali’s interior details include script on the bright doorsills and embossed into the front seats and genuine aluminum trim. Also featured is an exclusive eight-inch Customizable Driver Display that can show relevant settings, as well as audio and navigation information in the instrument panel. Sierra Denali’s standard eight-inch Color Touch navigation radio with Intellilink, located above the center console, serves as the main hub for Bluetooth-connected phones and portable devices connected through five standard USB ports.

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Other significant features standard on Sierra Denali include projector-style headlamps with LED signature daytime running lights, a Bose audio system, heated and cooled leather front bucket seats, a heated steering wheel, front and rear park assist and a power sliding rear window with defogger.

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My test 2014 GMC Sierra Denali 1500 Crew Cab was powered by the 6.2-liter engine, and came in the 4WD configuration. The exterior sported an Irridium metallic finish, which was complemented by a Jet Black interior. The base price was set at $ 49,965. while the options, which included the Driver Alert Package, the 6.2-liter V8, Power sunroof, Off-Road suspension Package, Trailer Brake Controller, All-Terrain Tires and Destination charge, increased the final tally to $55,185.
SUMMARY: The 2014 GMC Sierra Denali 1500 looms large, but drives smaller, behaving more like a luxury sedan on the road, even when unladen. GMC has long been referencing themselves as ‘Professional Grade’ and trust us here; it’s much more than marketing hype. The Sierra Denali is a premium full size truck that is capable of doing duty as a professional work truck, serving as a remote site office with hookups for computers, iPads, phones, and room for hanging folders and other files.
The 6.2-liter V8 is not only powerful, it is efficient as well. Road manners are quite civilized and handling characteristics are crisp rather than cumbersome. The ride quality is quite comfortable with or without a payload, and the bed now provides an EZ lower/lift locking tailgate with an integrated torsion bar and damper.
Seats use dual-density foam designed to provide comfort over long hours, while continuing to look great after years of use. Both leather and cloth are offered, and Sierra’s new high-wear cloth is designed to last longer and resist staining. A spilled drink will not soak in, but bead up on the fabric, making for easy cleanup. Heated front seats are available with cloth seats and standard with leather.

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The GMC Sierra’s rear bumper features standard corner steps that make climbing into the bed easy, regardless of whether the tailgate is up or down. The steps are paired with grips formed into the top of each bed side. Four movable upper tie downs are also standard, and they can be placed in nine different locations and are capable of bearing a 250-pound load. Available LED cargo lights integrated beneath the bed rails, providing illumination in the bed even when a tonneau cover is in place.

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Safety equipment and features abound in this latest GMC Sierra Denali 1500, not to mention state-of-the-art- connectivity, telematics and infotainment.

In the final analysis, The 2014 GMC Sierra Denali is one fine Pickemup truck that’s hard to top.

 


 

SPECIFICATIONS: 2014 GMC Sierra Denali 1500 4WD Crew Cab


  

Base Price: $49,965.
Price as Tested: $55,185.
Engine Type and Size: 6.2-liter (L86) Ecotec3 OHV, 16-valve V8 with Direct Injection, CVVT and Active Fuel Management.
Horsepower (bhp): 420 @ 5,600 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 460 @ 4,100 rpm
Transmission: Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic
Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / 4WD with 2-speed AutoTrac transfer case and auto locking rear differential.
Suspension: Front – independent coil-over-shock; twin-tube shock absorbers; monotube shocks with All Terrain system.
Rear – Solid axle with semi-elliptic, variable-rate, two-stage multileaf springs; splayed shock absorbers; twin-tube shock absorbers; monotube shocks with All Terrain
Brakes: Power-assisted, four-wheel disc, four-wheel ABS, with Duralife® rotors; vented front and rear rotors
Tires: Goodyear Wrangler SR-A P275/55R20 111S mounted on 5-V-spoke, chrome alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 143.5 inches
Length Overall: 229.5 inches
Width: 80.0 inches
Height: Height: 73.8 inches
Curb Weight: 5,156 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 26.0 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 14 mpg city / 20 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed.
0 – 60 mph: Not tested.

  



 

Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well. 

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