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2014 GMC Sierra Denali 1500 4WD Crew Cab Update 2

Getting Dirty and Keeping Clean

Frank Markus
Jul 15, 2014
Photographers: Motor Trend Staff
I've made peace with the fact that this is primarily a city and highway truck. Its bed has been used way more often for moving households (three and counting), shooting photos out of, and toting road-trip luggage (northern Michigan, Memphis, the Hot Rod Power Tour, etc.) than hauling dirt, mulch, or anything grimy (only one mulch run so far). So I'm convinced the padded BedRug was the smartest liner option. And this month I augmented it with an Extang eMAX Tonno to protect nice, clean cargo in foul weather. This vinyl tonneau secures the bed with the tailgate locked, folding open in three panels. It can be secured either with two-thirds open, or with the entire bed exposed, using prop rods and nylon straps to stow vertically behind the cab. It clamps to the truck bed easily in about 20 minutes with simple tools (no drilling), and sells for around $500 if you shop around.
Photo 2/12   |   2014 GMC Sierra 1500 4WD Crew Cab Rear Three Quarter
With the Tonno snuggly installed, we piled the dog and cage in the back seat, with luggage in the bed, and headed 800 miles south to Memphis for Memorial Day. This truck excels at gliding down an expressway, but I was bummed to notice that a new iPhone 5 refused to play through the USB port. It worked fine via Bluetooth, but still... More troubling on the infotainment front is a very occasional (three times) blacking out of the screen upon restarting the truck. Steering wheel controls still control the system if you can figure it out without seeing it. Nothing restores it but another cold restart. Or two. I asked about it during the first service stop, but of course it was working fine then, and the tech noted that they'd need to keep the car for a day to troubleshoot that problem. Because the dealer is so close by, I figured I'd wait for it to happen again and try to drive it right over.
While in Memphis, my dad suggested we check out "the bottoms," an off-roading paradise along the Wolf River. Our tuxedoed Jim looked a wee bit overdressed among the quad-runners and inveterate mudpuppies, but we strode over and through some moderately rough stuff and validated the hardware's warm-weather raison d'etre. Ultimately its width, not ground clearance, prompted us to turn back.
Speaking of that first service stop, the maintenance minder suggested it about 100 miles into the Memphis jaunt, so I used the MyGMC app to schedule a visit the day after our return at 9004 miles. Regular customers get free maintenance for 2 years/24,000 miles, after which you'll pay $69 just for the 8.8 quarts of fancy 0w20 oil. Today Jim's headed to the Big Apple, appropriately attired for a theater weekend.
More on our long-term GMC Sierra Denali 1500 4WD Crew Cab:
Photo 6/12   |   2014 GMC Sierra Denali 1500 4WD Crew Cab Front Three Quarter Downhill

Our Car
Service life 10,563 mi
Average fuel economy 15.5 mpg
CO2 emissions 1.55 lb/mi
EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ 16/22/18 (gas) 12/16/13 (E85) mpg
Energy consumption 217 kW-hr/100mi
Unresolved problems None
Maintenance cost $0
Normal-wear cost $0



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