2016 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Offers Ultimate Refinement

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Just when you thought premium trim packages couldn't get any more, well, premium, in the full-size half-ton pickup truck segment, along comes GMC. Already pushing the envelope with its popular Denali trim levels in crossovers, SUVs and pickups, now GMC is introducing the all-new Denali Ultimate trim package.

The new package debuted at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show and, although it was not announced, it will likely have a starting price close to $60,000. The new package will be offered only on 4x4 crew-cab models with the 6.2-liter V-8, but buyers will have their choice of short (5 feet 8 inches) or long (6 feet 6 inches) beds. All Denali Ultimate models will feature new front-end styling and have a standard sunroof, tow hooks, new tri-mode power steps, lane keeping assist, IntelliBeam headlamp controls and collision avoidance technology as well as an integrated trailer brake controller. Additionally, the Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate will offer segment-exclusive magnetic-ride shocks that are said to provide one of the best overall — empty or loaded — rides in the industry.

On the technology front, the Denali Ultimate will have all the same features the regular Denali offers: OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hot spot, a Bose sound system, wireless phone charging, remote tailgate lock, power pedals, sliding rear window, a backup camera with guidelines, soft-touch leather, unique sill plaques, a programmable instrument cluster, 22-inch aluminum wheels and special stitching on the seats.

The package is meant to better compete with other half-ton trucks in the segment like the Ford F-150 Limited and Ram 1500 Laramie Limited, all of which play in the high $50,000 to low $60,000 price range.

Cars.com image by Stephen Pham and Manufacturer


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Magnetic ride shocks have been around for at least ten years. I can't understand why the big 3 have not chosen that technology as an upgrade before now.

The Sierra Denali is GM's way of NOT offering a Cadillac pickup to replace the no longer produced Escalade (Avalanche) pickup.

I really don't think the Cadillac dealers wanted it. Given the choice of having competitive sedans in the $30-50k price range, or having a pickup for the 1 percenters, it was an easy choice.

Unless there is something included in this package that is not mentioned here, this is nothing more than a 2016 Denali with all currently available options (short of rear entertainment) packaged together. Is there a savings in price compared to ordering everything separately?

This Denali is actually appealing to me.

It seems to be the pickup of pickups to buy if you have the cash.

The only problem is it should come with a V8 diesel, even that Cummins fitted to the Titan.

Now that would make it a nice pickup.

looks like a silverdo, oh wait it is. Although it is a nice pickup, it still falls short IMO, of the high end Ford and Ram, once the square wheel wells go away, it would really look good on the outside

What if we took a bunch of our available options...and we threw those on say...a Sierra Denali...we could call it the Sierra Denali Ultimate! Think of the profits!

Who's got that kind of money. That would be a freaking house payment.

Who's got that kind of money. That would be a freaking house payment.

Posted by: Rob | Nov 18, 2015 7:29:07 AM

That's why there are a huge number of people that lease. GM is offering lease payment for under $300.00 a month with very little down. And it does not look like a stripped down truck either. And they are offering a 7 year loan term. Payment on that truck is $1100.00 a month. That is a huge chunk of change for many people. Me personally I will not finance a car for more than 5 years. And now I'm saving to just pay for a newer vehicle next year in cash. I will look at vehicles less than 3 years old. I still like new but hate payments. So it's a compromise.

@papa jim--Sedans are not selling so well. Trucks, SUVs, and crossovers are selling like hotcakes. If you read TTAC they cover all the automotive industry and car sales have steadily decreased at the expense of trucks and truck like vehicles. Cadillac has SUVs and crossovers so they probably do not need another pickup.

@papa jim it was GM owned Delphi that developed magnetic shocks. It was first ever offered on the Cadillac STS and is currently offered on all GM performance models, and most luxury models including trucks.

This truck looks as beautiful as y'all.


So it is a Denali loaded with all the options? Ok, well, at least it fits it's moniker. I was wondering when GM was going to take a leap to catch up to Ford and Ram with their top of the line trucks. The regular Denali seemed like a quarter step below the top offerings from Ford and Ram in terms of options and luxury, not anymore.

The suspension sounds like it is a good leap forward. The wireless charging is cool but have to question how well it will work. I use wireless charging at home and my phone is specific to location on the charger.

Rob - as long as there is low interest rates with long term loans or low lease rates these will sell.

Very good looking truck. Would touch GM junk with a stick though.


Actually its not expensive at all...And no house can be had for $1100 per month, at least here..I pay $9500 per month for my house .. My truck cost $68,000 tax in...

You are correct in saying that GM developed magnetic ride control. I remember working as a GM technician back in early 2000 and watched a training video of up and coming suspension technology. The video showed 2 corvettes, one equipped with MR, traveling over the same series of bumps. The non-MR Vette would actually get air born while the MR equipped Vette soaked up the bumps. That video was a testimony to how good that MR system is. That system is what makes the Camaro ZL1 such a good track car.

Sedans are not selling so well. Trucks, SUVs, and crossovers are selling like hotcakes.


Cadillac is a sedan/coupe lineup, always has been. Their SUV/CUV models are lame--except the Escalade.

The Escalade SUV is really a Suburban with lipstick. Their dedicated SUVs have been a disappointment.

Cadillac as a brand was almost toes-up fifteen years ago but that division did some amazing things to turn the company around, and they succeeded. Killed Chrysler, and damn near killed Lincoln/Mercury. Key to understanding the discussion is the fact that we're talking about a specific kind of customer.

During the last 30 years the old retired white guy who bought a Mercury Marquis or a Continental was the face of a very coveted demographic for GM, Chrysler and Ford. Most of them are gone now, but they paid cash, were brand-loyal to a fault and their tastes were very well understood. Guys kinda like our dads.

Cadillac walked away from them when they started playing LOUD Led Zepplin music on Cadillac TV ads. The CTS came out and they killed off the old-fat-white image that Cadillac had become famous for and started competing with BMW and Benz.

They've done very well. One of the few bright spots for the bankrupt GM of the year 2000--2008 period. Has nothing to do with pickups or SUVs.

@andrew would you care to guess how many GM cars have been sold to-date with MR ride technology?

Back when I worked for Mercedes they offered it on their upscale cars. http://techcenter.mercedes-benz.com/en_CA/airmatic_dc/detail.html

My comment holds up.

If GM had that technology ten years ago why don't more of their models have it now? Hats off to Delphi for the initial work but why didn't GM do more with it?

Using Caddy as an example is stretching it a little.

Jeff S is correct. Large cars are on the way out, actually cars overall.

The popularity of the CUV has been astounding not just in the US but in most major markets, and not so major.

Pickups globally are also picking up. The reality is the size of the US pickup market isn't the largest it's been proportionally, but the rest of the world are embracing the pickup.

Most people just don't want to move themselves around, they want the added utility offered in CUVs, SUVs and pickups.

This is why I really laugh at those who consider load and tow a significant aspect of a pickup purchase.

They are confused with the potential to load and tow, because most people who are after a "car" don't consider load and tow.

The magnetic shocks could very well provide best ride. I love my 2015 F150 but magnetic shocks in trucks is a wonderful idea. Sticking with load characteristics of leafs and the superb dampening of magnetic shocks could just be the ticket for pickup trucks. Now it just needs to hit all models. These magnetic shocks could significantly reduce after shock of leafs over varying road conditions.

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