First Look: 2011 GMC Sierra 3500 HD Denali

Gmcdenali1ton
Here's a first look at the 1-ton GMC Sierra HD Denali. It's the dual-rear-wheel version of the HD Denali three-quarter-ton shown at the NTEA Work Truck Show earlier this year, and it’s being positioned by GM to take on Ford’s F-350 King Ranch. Expect to see 1-ton Sierras at a ranch near you by the end of the year. 

Comments

Looks so much different from the 2007 Sierra! I will instantly spot that on the street! hehe

A question for Mike ........... If I'm not mistaken the fully boxed frame is a first in the HD segment and I'm curious how the new frame affects the chassis cabs and the folks that build stuff for them.

I believe that Ford has been fully boxing the frame in their HD's since 2008??? Not 100% sure on that

What I don't get is why everybody and their brother bags on ford for not "changing" over the years with the superduty. However the gm counterpart really has not changed much. Dodge seems to be the only one that has really revamped it's body design much. It is awfully nice looking truck. GM did however did focus it's changes to some really needed improvements. So did Ford. So did RAM (or Dodge whatever you want to call it.) So why do people target Ford? Now to some important stuff. As my next truck will be a luxury model (I am willing to give up the diesel for a toasty butt on cold winter mornings!) and it will be a HD truck. So now GM is adding one more thing to look at. I will say that if I was looking for a middle of the road interior it would be the RAM Big Horn edition. But For right now I am leaning towards the superduty with the lariat package. But I will look at the GMC denali when the time comes.

Nice truck, glad to see that the King Ranch has some competition...

I'm sure this Truck looks bad-ass in person! Can't wait till the Diesel shootout.

A $60K pickup, I don't see GM's logic, but I'm just a consumer. I do need a new 3500, and I'm certain it won't be a Denali.

@ Ben - I think Dodge was first with a boxed frame. They then came out with a c-channel chassis cab because the boxed frame killed their commercial business.
I bet GM will offer a c-channel frame in 3500 - 5500 soon due to commercial applications.

@Gabe Logan, I don't know how to word this exactly, but Ford's Super Duty is the only heavy duty truck that is still trucking along with the same body style since the late 90s. Ford may have made changes and improvements to the SD over the years, making it more capable and stronger, redesigning the frontend and the interior every couple years, but the overall cab/bed design is the only thing that hasn't changed. GM on the other hand, has had two major redesigns (even if it doesn't look like it though) for the half-ton and heavy duty trucks ('99 to classic '07) and the current truck, and Dodge (sorry the Ram) has had two major redesigns as well ('02 to '08) and the current truck.

Looks nice, wonder if it will help their sales.

"GM on the other hand, has had two major redesigns (even if it doesn't look like it though) for the half-ton and heavy duty trucks ('99 to classic '07) and the current truck..." - Steven

The new GM truck has a new frame and grille change. You were slagging the Super Duty for not changing body styles, so the new grille on the current 2011 GM should not count as a major change. So basically GM has only had one change since 1999 which you have noted as not looking like anything has changed.

"What I don't get is why everybody and their brother bags on ford for not "changing" over the years with the superduty. However the gm counterpart really has not changed much. Dodge seems to be the only one that has really revamped it's body design much."

This is true. Look at the designs of the GM they are very similar to the 1999 yet they are supposed to be "all new" designs. Ford has made similar changes to the body over the years but because it isn't "all new" and because the Super Duty is the truck leader they get bagged on.

Truck guys are generally a conservative bunch.
Evolution rather than revolution is the design mantra.
"All new" is the most abused/misused term in the automotive PR world.
The only truck out there than was "All New" was the Toyota Tundra when it came out in 1997.
We all know how well that turned out.

The F-150 has a boxed frame and has done so for quite some time. Range Rover had it back in the 1970s.

@ Steven... Ummm bud. You basically said the same thing I did in 180 degree way. It boils down to the same difference. Dodge/RAM are the only one to make major changes to the body. Both Ford and GM have simple yet consistent changes through the years. To say one has been completely redone, you just can't tell the difference... Please just think that thought through a little. I will not argue which is better at this point it comes down to personnel preference. They are all great trucks.

@ Lou and all the rest that don't fall into the "fanboy" group. I will more then likely get booed at for this but thanks for not being well a fanboy. They are annoying whatever their preference of brand is...

gm and ram..look nice and clean,not like ford try to look over size front end.

Booooooooooooooooooooooo!!! ahahaha

@Gabe Logan - you'll get flamed for saying I'm not a fanboy;) LOL

@ Ron - GM is just trying to compete with Dodge and Ford in the luxury truck class. These trucks push the $80,000 dollar envelope in the HD diesel ranks, and $60, 000 in the 1/2 ton ranks. Look at the story "Ford Sees Truck Sales Climbing". The mid to high end trucks are selling the best. Why? The theory is that the wealthy consumer is the one with the money to buy in these tougher times.

Lou the problem with you is you like facts....

"The new GM truck has a new frame and grille change. You were slagging the Super Duty for not changing body styles, so the new grille on the current 2011 GM should not count as a major change. So basically GM has only had one change since 1999 which you have noted as not looking like anything has changed" - John

Not once did I claim that the new grille on the 2011 HD as a major change.

Lou,
$80k? The most you can possibly spend on the most expensive heavy duty with every option will be in the $60k's. Let's not exaggerate.

@Jon, So how do you claim that GM has had one redesign for the trucks since 1999? The current GM truck was redesigned in late '07.

Not once did I claim that the new grille on the 2011 HD as a major change. - Steve

Ok, Steve, Since you are not claiming the 2011 GM model as a major change, there was only one change in 2007 and according to you it "didn't look like" a change. Let's recap: 1 change since 1999 and it didn't look like anything had changed. You just contradicted yourself.

Lou, A hit to deep right. It is high!!!!! It is far!!! It is gone!!!! Right in Gem's bull pen. Another home run post by Lou.

i think this truck looks sexy. i drive a 2001 f150 extended cab with the 5.4l v8 and i will never be able to afford a truck like this.

@Jon, So how do you claim that GM has had one redesign for the trucks since 1999? The current GM truck was redesigned in late '07.
Posted by: Steven

-----

Steve, If the current GM truck was redesigned in late 2007 that is only (1) ONE redesign since 1999. Plus you did state that the redesign didn't look like one.

"Ok, Steve, Since you are not claiming the 2011 GM model as a major change, there was only one change in 2007 and according to you it "didn't look like" a change. Let's recap: 1 change since 1999 and it didn't look like anything had changed. You just contradicted yourself" -Donnie

@Donnie, The reason I said what I said about the GM trucks not looking too much different is b/c I remember reading in automotive magainzes about critics slamming GM about the '99 trucks not looking any different from the old C/K series trucks they were replacing. GM may have redesigned the trucks in '99 and again in '07, but if you think about it (and while it is a good bodystyle, don't get me wrong) the bodystyle hasn't changed much over the years expect that they have just improved on it and made it more sleek and modern.

"Steve, If the current GM truck was redesigned in late 2007 that is only (1) ONE redesign since 1999. Plus you did state that the redesign didn't look like one." - Donnie

I don't know where I'm confusing you, but between '99 and up to now, there have been two redesigns on the GM trucks. The first redesign being in '99 and the most recent being in late '07, the would be two redesigns in the last 11 years.

@Steveo - your right. I was looking at the Canadian Ford site by mistake.

Mike, I understand you went for a drive today. How was it? Don't need to know what you went for a drive in, as that might breach some embargo... but generally speaking, how was your little drive? :)

Ever since 99 I have prefered the look of the GMC's over the Chevys. These new GMC's are very nice looking. The 07-current Chevys just look awkward.

"Mike Levine of PickupTrucks.com tows over 10,000 pounds. (Did we mention he's been updating his Facebook and Twitter using the in-truck wifi hotspot?)"

GM is already all over the advertising on this one.

Mike, I want to know the fuel mileage of that truck you drove with the 10,000+ lbs. mini skid steer loader behind it GM was advertising you in when you do the write-up. Apparently those PSDs are only getting 10 MPGs with that weight, I pray the chevy is better cause I'm on the fence about the two and mileage might make a difference when I buy. Thanks

For anyone who is confused, were are talking abot HD trucks, so Ford had a major redesign in 1999, first face lift in 05 then 08 and 2011. now GM had a redesign in 2001 (HD only) then a face lift in 03, redesign in 07 and nose refresh and major chassis redesign in 2011. There....

This Denali truck looks sweet, except I wish they would of have alloy wheels.

This is for the people who think there haven't been any body or mechanical changes since 1999 for the Super Duty. Every part has been touched except the door handles and roof.

History of the Ford Super Duty

1999: first redesign

2003: new engine, new transmission, new King Ranch and FX4 models

2004: new Harley Davidson model, new power sliding rear window

2005: restyled in 2005 after the Tonka truck, the design changes includes, a new front end, new tailgate, new interior, and the segment’s only 18- and 20-inch wheels

major strength improvements include:
* Increased tow ratings across the board, with best-in-class maximum tow rating
* Class-leading payload.
* TowCommand System – a combination of standard and optional features that makes towing easier, including an industry-first factory-installed trailer brake controller
* New V10, the segment’s most powerful gasoline engine, the diesel increases to 570 pound-feet of torque, and the 5.4 is upgraded
* A new front suspension
* new brakes
* New stronger, tougher frame, etc.
* Amarillo package

2008 to 2010: second generation Super Duty
Upped best in class payload and towing again, all new diesel, new F-450, upgraded frame, longer leaf springs, redesigned F-450 frame, new tailgate step, new bed extender, industry’s first power extending and folding mirrors. new interior with Sirius Satellite Radio, dual-zone climate control, quiet steel laminated dash panel, more insulation and thicker window glass, new leather, new Rapid Cab heater. New software for TowCommand

Exterior
Super Duty designers have delivered a truck that makes a bold design statement by emphasizing Super Duty’s increased capability. The larger, more prominent grille, sharply sculpted fender flares and fender-mounted air vents are just a few of the new design cues that announce that Super Duty is all about working hard. Super Duty’s impressive, larger grille not only makes a bold statement, but also helps improve cooling, which in turn improves, among other things, trailer towing capability.
The grille sits on a horizontal cut line that defines the top of the bumper and also serves as a base for the stacked headlamps, delivering a clean, tight and more refined look. The step pad on the front bumper is specifically textured and designed for the customers who use the bumper while servicing the truck. The distinctive dropped beltline, a Ford truck design cue, improves visibility and carries the eye rearward to the revised tailgate, with the Lift-Assist System now standard across the model range, and the Ford oval mounted front-and-center, flanked by redesigned tail lamps. A deeper rear bumper helps to balance the design while providing easier access to the bed. Cabellas package.


2011:
Ford Super Duty
third version in the last 4 years!, new diesel, new 6.2, new transmission, updated interior, new seats, new lcd dash, factory 5th wheel setup, new F-450 chassis, new E-locker, hill descent, new shocks, Exterior: Inspired by the Super Dhief, new front end, new sculpted fenders, new emblems, removed side vents, new decals, wheels

Let’s recap:
Front end: new
Interior: new
Engine: new
Transmission: new
Pickup box: new fenders, new water mark, new tail lights, new tailgate, new tailgate step, new bed extender, new rear bumper
Glass: new
Emblems and decals: new
Frame: new
Wheels: new
Trim levels: new

Everything has been touched over the years except possibly the exterior door handles and the shape of the roof.

PS:

Mirrors: new

That about covers the entire Super Truck.

@Mark,
You are so full of BS. The Super Duty has the same body since 1999. The GM trucks are ALL NEW. People have told you this a million times. That is final!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"The only truck out there than was "All New" was the Toyota Tundra when it came out in 1997." - Lou

Lou, That is a load of crap and you know it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mark, Do some more research before you post.

Frame: old (but lightly modified since 05 model year)
Glass: old (just has a "superduty" writing on winshield since 05)
Cab: old
Beb: old
doors: old
axles: old

I did all of the research right on this site.

Frame: major changes in 2005, 2008 and 2011 with the F-450 CHECK
Glass (didn't think you try to challenge me on this since I included it right above, but ok): new thicker glass CHECK
Cab: New Interior CHECK
beb? Pickup box: new fenders, new beltline, new tail lights, new tailgate, new tailgate step, new bed extender, new rear bumper CHECK
Doors: New Door Interiors CHECK, New beltline outside CHECK
AXLES: changes (see below) CHECK
The solid axle Dana 50 was used in the Ford F-250 and selectively in the F-350 from 1998 to 2004.

A Dana 60 is used on the F-450 and F-550's until the 2005. The 2005-2007 models use a Dana Super 60.

2005-2010 F-450/F-550 (Dana Super 60)

2011 F-550 (Currently the only truck running a Dana Super 60.)

The new 2011 F-450 swaps its old Dana S110 rear axle for a new Dana M80 and replaces the old widetrack Dana Super 60 front axle for a standard widetrack Dana 60.

Another item I forgot to add for 2011: trailer sway control.

From dictionary.com

change
   /tʃeɪndʒ/ Show Spelled [cheynj] Show IPA verb, changed, chang·ing, noun
–verb (used with object)
1.
to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone

The body all around, front sides, rear, and the frame is different from what is would be if it was left alone. You may not agree with the changes, but there are changes and hence the body was changed. I could point out the same with the GM product that I don't feel the changes went far enough.


same
   /seɪm/ Show Spelled[seym] Show IPA
–adjective
1.
identical with what is about to be or has just been mentioned

For the people who keep saying they are the same, the 1999 and 2011 are not identical, therefore they are not the same bodies, not the same frames.

I can't keep posting like this. I just let you steal another 15 minutes of my life replying to you. Totally my fault and I take 100 percent responsibility.

GM - somehow it manages to be new enough for their fans, so it is exciting. Yet somehow it's not too new so that any part of it remains "unproven." It's "new and proven" at the same time. But it gets out of being "old and unproven" in the other areas. Gotta love fanboys!

What is up with these Ford fans, they cant admit that the super duty is the same truck since 1999. When i say "same truck" i mean it hasnt gone through a complete redisign. GM went through a completely redisign in 2007, Dodge has recently gone through a redisign in 2009, while ford has added upgrades to the SD. Im not a Ford fan but you have to give it to them, they have the oldest truck (HD) out there and its beating the competition in terms of sales. I just cant wait for the 2010 shootout and finally see which truck is king. Enough with which truck sales more, its about which truck brings more to the table. GM all the way.

I know that there were alot minor changes around the body, but the body itself is vertually idenical, means you can actually swap doors and many other parts from 99 model year up to 2011+ without modification. Bottom line, outdated body.

I find where the design of the Ford trucks fail is at the bed. The sides of the bed do not come up high enough to match the height of the hood. It makes the truck seem to be not proportioned right. As for Dodge, anyone who buys a dodge has to be out of their mind. The dodge hd's don't perform anywhere close to Ford or GM where it counts: Towing and payload. The new Dodge HD can't even perform up to the current GM HD. I don't know what the folk over at Dodge were thinking, but they weren't thinking smart enough.

Everyone seems to be bagging on Ford becaue Ford is the top seller!!! Yes, the basic part of the body of the Super Duty appears to be the same as the original 99 model, but there have been improvements as Mark mentioned. The other manufacturers have made huge changes to their trucks, but they still can't overcome Ford's lead in sales. Sales are the bottom line. You can do all you want to improve the trucks, and put all the "bling" on them, but it doesn't matter if they don't sell. On the other hand, let's look at another vehicle, the Volkswagen Beetle. It was sold in the US from the late 40's until the mid to late 70's (prior to the current New Beetle), and basically appeared to be the same car for all those years. However, while the body was not changed very much (except for possbily fenders and headlights/taillights), the powertrain did have improvements as well as changes in the interior. Also, the Ford Crown Victoria/Mercury Grand Marquis haven't had major body style changes since 1992, but underneath they're a lot different than '92.

I love the Super Duty, but I agree with Cole, the bed rails do not sit high enough, it is lower then the base of the rear and side windows.
GM needs a new body and engine with CGI block
Ford needs a new body and chassis
Dodge needs a new engine to match the power, torque and economy of Ford and GM. I know the low end grunt is there, but when your hauling a 5th wheel up an incline on the interstate, you need power and torque in the mid to upper rev range also.

Everyone who's going to bat for Ford on here has probably never driven both GM and Ford trucks in a practical manner. Plowing with a GM is so much easier I feel do to that fact the truck has a downward slope to the front allowing you to actually see the blade and what you're doing. The ford is a square box and i have no clue where the blade is while plowing. You clearly cannot see the blade. Another thing is the GM seats and interior are so much more comfortable and visually pleasing. The Ford's panels have a harsh, hard, plasticy feel to them and they are just plain in general. The new Ram and GM panels are comfortable and inviting. They don't feel cheap. Also, the ride in a Ford is horrid! It's like riding a chopper motorcycle with no suspension. Your back hurts from the seats and the lousy suspension. Not the same case in the GM and Ram. Both ride much nicer in both HD and 1500 series. Get your facts straight and do your homework on these things before you go blabbing about how great ford is. They really aren't. They sell alot of trucks because they're the cheapest, least expensive on the market. There's a saying out there that couldn't be more true....You get what you pay for. Period.

@22, I couldn't disagree more - and I am being honest with you. You get inside any Chevy and the dash feels exactly the same (except for the Camaro). The Silverado, Malibu, Impala, HHR, they all have that cheap look to the dash in my opinion. Unless the faux wood applique in the LTZ is drawing your undivided attention. But I look at the whole package. The seats are bigger in the Ford, especially the rear bench. In the Silverado, the rear passengers will have their knees higher, and the back rest and headrests are not as big. As far as plowing, I don't plow, so don't have that experience, but you sit up higher in the Ford (unlike the Chevy where you feel like you sink down more), so I would have thought you would be able to see better for plowing in the Ford. Although, the Chevy's IFS probably points the nose down more with a heavy plow on it.
The Dodge's interior is pretty! It certainly looks nice, but I don't think the seats are as comfortable as the Ford's. You have to get in the Mega Cab Laramie to get similar comfort.

As far as your claims that people buy more Fords because they are cheaper, and GM is more expensive because it is better quality. Get real! They are different brands of the same thing for about the same price. They are direct competitors. Just like everything, there are stronger points and weaker points on each one. Stop posting such nonsense!

@ Mark

Some parts you mention have been slightly altered, but its obvious to anyone with 2 eyes that the basic body rear of the A Pillar is the same. The 2011 tailgate still fits in the 99 box for example. Sure they moved the reverse lights from the bottom to the top etc, but basically the same.

By new we mean 03 F150 vs 04 F150. No two parts the same. Same as 06 Gm vs 07 Gm. or 01 Ram 1500 vs. 02 Ram 1500. You get the point.


"Stop posting such nonsense" - Alex


I agree. Good Gawd!!



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