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Pickup Truck of the Year Walk-Around: 2016 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali

Ultra Lux

Dec 16, 2015
Photographers: Truck Trend Editors
From the start of the 2016 Pickup Truck of the Year test we were immediately impressed with the 2016 GMC Sierra Denali, which is focused on comfort, safety, and innovation. For 2016 the Sierra Denali received a styling update by way of an all-new front fascia featuring advanced LED lighting, which includes GMC’s signature daytime running lamps, headlamps, and fog lamps. Premium accents and features are found throughout. A new body-colored front bumper leads the way while chrome-clad mirrors, door handles, and trim add a light touch of class. Unique 20-inch ultra-bright machined aluminum wheels round out the exterior décor.
Premium features abound in the cabin, starting with perforated leather seating, soft touch materials on the instrument and door panels, and real brushed-aluminum trim. Triple sealed doors, hydraulic body mounts, and active noise cancelation technology all work together to ensure that Sierra Denali has the quietest cabin in the industry. Magnetic Ride Control suspension provided a smooth and comfortable ride no matter the road conditions. These features lead our judges to score the Sierra Denali highly in the Interior, Exterior, and Highway categories.
Tucked under the skin was a 6.2L V-8 engine that churned out 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque and was mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. This combination propelled the Sierra Denali down the track with impressive force during our instrumented testing. With an unladen 0-60-mph time of just 6.60 seconds and an elapsed quarter-mile time of 15.03 seconds at an astonishing 97.83 mph, the Sierra Denali was one of the quickest production pickups our experts have ever tested. The Sierra Denali backed this up with a payload and trailer in tow as well. Even with so much power on tap, the Sierra Denali returned an impressive best tank of over 19 mpg.
Will its luxurious styling and powerful track presence transform the Sierra Denali into a winner? We’ll find out December 22.
2016 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali
Engine: 6.2L/420hp/450-lb-ft V-8
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Axle Ratio: 3.23:1
Curb Weight: 5,753 pounds
GVWR: 7,200 lbs
Total Payload: 1,447 lbs
Tested Payload: 1,400 pounds
GCVWR: 15,000 pounds
Trailer Weight: 9,100 pounds
Tested Trailer Weight (75% Max Rating): 6,845 pounds
EPA City/Highway/Combined Fuel Economy: 15/21/17 mpg

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