DRIVING ME CRAZY: 2021 Sierra 1500 4WD Crew Cab Denali

John and Laurie Wiles Archives, Automotive, Pinehurst, NC, Yonkers, NY Leave a Comment

Driving Me Crazy automotive review Columnists Laurie and John Wiles.

Listen to John and Laurie Wiles’ review of the 2021 Sierra 1500 4WD Crew Cab Denali on their Driving Me Crazy radio broadcast that airs this Thursday, January 28, 2021, after at 10am EST and every Thursday throughout the year at the same time. The broadcast is heard “Live” or “On Demand” by clicking onto this specific hyperlink — http://tobtr.com/s/11884652 Please note that the hyperlink is specific to this review. It changes every week. Listeners are welcome to call the broadcast at 347-205-9201 and are asked to stay on topic.

JOHNWe have another beast of a truck this week, the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 4WD Crew Cab Denali in Cayenne Red. How lucky can one guy be? Two brand new red trucks back-to-back.

Since Chevrolet is in the GMC family of vehicles, the 2021 Sierra 1500 4WD Crew Cab Denali we drove this week had many similarities to the 2021 Chevy Silverado 2500 4WD LTZ Crew Cab we had last week.  Do a comparison on the internet to see what I mean.

The Chevy 2500 is considered the Heavy-Duty model, while the GMC Denali designation makes this week’s truck the luxury model.

The Sierra line of GMC trucks start with the Canyon, more of a midsize truck, starting at $26,400. Next in line is the Sierra 1500, starting at $30,000. And then there is the Sierra Heavy Duty, starting at $36,100. All of those numbers are pretty reasonable for a good truck, BUT if you want to scale UP, GMC has certainly made it possible. Because our truck was a 4WD Crew Cab, its base price was $58,700. The Denali package, the 22” High Gloss Black Wheels upgrade, the 6.2L Ecotec3 V8 with Dynamic Fuel Management, the Denali Carbonpro Edition, the Cayenne Red Tintcoat, and the Destination Charge added $13,710 to the cost of the truck, almost 24% above the base price. So, our truck was priced at $71,910. I wanted to point out that you can start low and stay low – price wise, or you can add, and add, and add to get what you want, but you will pay for it. If you need it and can afford it, why not?

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali

The base 1500 4WD Crew Cab comes with plenty of bells and whistles. Safety and Security are always big with me, and standard were Front and Rear Park Assist, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert (got acquainted with that first hand), Safety Alert Seat, and Tire Pressure Monitoring. I never think about tire pressure as a safety issue, but a slow leak can lead to an unstable vehicle – one can cause a spin or loss of control. Knowing the pressures are changing let’s you do something about them before there is a problem. Good thinking.

Our Denali was powered by the 6.2L Ecotec3 V8 married to a 10-speed transmission. The engine generates 420 HP and 460 ft. lb. torque – thus the Beast. It’s an extra $2495 so you decide if you need it. Pulling out in traffic, the truck responded beautifully and with no hesitation. Considering all that power, 20 mpg highway and 16 mpg city, with a 17-mpg average, is pretty darn good, so maybe we are talking beauty and the beast. It’s a big truck too, so plan on needing some space to turn around and to park.

I have always been a fan of Heads-Up Display. I like knowing my speed, location, lots of little things, without having to take my eyes off the road. The technologically advanced 15″ diagonal multicolor Head-Up Display shows key information that sits low on the windshield, allowing the driver to stay informed while seeing clearly ahead. One small aspect of the $4910 Denali Ultimate Package is this wonderful heads-up display. The package also includes High Definition (HD) Surround Vision with two trailer camera provisions, Rear Camera Mirror, Bed View Camera, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Front Pedestrian Braking, Auto Dimming (another small feature that I have come to really like), Adaptive Cruise Control, Following Distance Indication, Power Sunroof, and GMC Multipro Power Steps. The ‘steps’ are the running boards that come out when you open the doors of the cab, and retract under the vehicle when the door is closed, creating more ground clearance than if they stayed down. Both Laurie and I like this feature – there when you needed it, out of sight when you didn’t, and the ‘running boards’ were just the right height to help you in and out of the truck.

Because the Denali is considered a ‘Luxury Truck’, it has some of what GMC calls “Sophisticated Accents”, like Jet Black and exclusive Denali Dark Walnut/Dark Ash Grey interiors, Unique premium carpet floor mats with available premium front/rear floor liners with removable carpet inserts, Premium leather headrests with Denali embroidered logo, Authentic open-pore real ash wood trim, Premium Forge perforated leather seating surfaces, and 10-way power-adjustable front seats that are heated and ventilated.

Our Denali was also the CarbonPro Edition, which had its own “Key Features” for this luxury truck, like Industry-first use of carbon-fiber composite in a pickup bed, World’s First Six-Function GMC MultiPro Tailgate, MultiPro Audio System by Kicker® ,  an Available 3.0L Duramax® Turbo-Diesel engine with 10-speed automatic transmission or available 6.2L V8 Engine (which we had), First-in-class 15″ diagonal Head-Up Display, First-in-class Rear Camera Mirror, First-in-class 15″ diagonal Head-Up Display, First-in-class Rear Camera Mirror , 22″ high-gloss black or bright chrome wheels, and GMC MultiPro Power Steps. Is it me are do you also see there is some overlap in the ‘key features’ in the different ‘packages’?

GMC has spent a lot of money on the “WORLD’S FIRST SIX-FUNCTION MULTIPRO TAILGATE”. GMC has designed an innovative tailgate with six distinct functions to improve loading, unloading and accessing the cargo bed. Both the tailgate and the insert that becomes a step are controlled by a push button on the tailgate itself.

If you are looking for a quality, upscale, possible luxury truck or just a good not so expensive work truck, check out the Sierra 1500 line by going to https://www.gmc.com/trucks/sierra/1500and looking around. If you want more information on the Denali we had, just go to  https://www.gmc.com/trucks/sierra/1500/denali .

At this point, the question for me is, for whom is this truck designed. Our 2021 Sierra 1500 4WD Crew Cab Denali was, in my opinion, designed for someone who needs ‘high end’ ‘work’ truck, but really is more interested in filling the bed with things that don’t create much of a mess, and hauling things that show his or her status, so probably not a front-end loader and more likely a sailboat. They themselves wanted to ride in style and comfort and take their friends who also want to ride in style and comfort. It’s a great truck to take the family or a couple of friends to the beach for a long weekend with tubes, boat, camping gear, picnic baskets, coolers and the like, or to the mountains for a vacation with lots of suitcases, skis, snowshoes, and the like, towing a couple of skimobiles.


Johnny, you’ve done a great job describing this truck and I’m pitching in from the distaff side.  I love trucks, have owned trucks, and the one thing I love about this one is it doesn’t drive like a truck.  Big, yes—it surely is.  And when you go to the grocery store, or park downtown, it takes a lot of negotiating, mainly because it is so long.  Whether it’s driving on the open road or in-town, however, it is a dream; in fact, I’ve been driving this truck all week long and never once considered taking our own personal car, a Ford Edge, because of the considerations I mentioned.

Comfort?  You bet.  It’s been cold here in Pinehurst, North Carolina and the heated driver’s and front passenger seats have been marvelous.  The cab is quiet with very little road noise and the handling is responsive and dependable.  There’s no “give” in the steering wheel and the braking system is not sensitive, like in some vehicles.

So, who’s going to buy this truck?  This is a workman’s (or workwoman’s) truck.  It is designed for towing for long hauls, getting into tough places, yet supremely comfortable for the driver plus four passengers with plenty of room.  Is this a suburbanite’s dream—dream, yes but practical, no.  For city driving?  Forgetaboutit.  Any and everything else—you bet.  The truck we drove, fully loaded, is a chunk of change but the base price gives you a lot of bang for your buck.  Fully loaded is an investment, for sure.  But then again, you’re talking about GMC, one of America’s Big Three, founded in 1908 in Detroit and, at it’s zenith, owning 50% market share in the U.S. and the world’s largest automaker from 1931 to 2007.  There’s a reason for that—and a reason why America loves GMC and its brands, Buick, Chevrolet, and Cadillac.  Why?  Because they are dependable for a long time, have brand loyalty that crosses over the generations, and most important of all, is returning to its core values—or, as my Grandfather Bogart would say, “Buy American or bye-bye, America.”

# # #

Chevrolet Dealership in Pinehurst, NC

                             Clark Chevrolet Cadillac – https://www.pinehurstcadillac.com/

Clark Chevrolet Cadillac, 35 Dundee Rd, Pinehurst, NC 28374

Phone: +1 910 364 9979

# # #

Chevrolet Dealership in Yonkers, NY

Beck Chevrolet Co, Inc., 561 Central Park Ave, Yonkers, NY 10704

Phone: +1 914 595 1463

John and Laurie WilesDRIVING ME CRAZY: 2021 Sierra 1500 4WD Crew Cab Denali

Leave a Reply

This comment will be displayed anonymously. Your name and email address will not be published.

Comments that are off topic will be removed. If you want a topic to be covered, email me at: ehezi@hush.com

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.