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Zane & Josh Merva


March 12th - 16th, 2018


As attention starts to shift from the current generation of K2XX based Silverado and Sierra to the all new 2019 T1XX based trucks, it's all too easy to forget just how far we've come and how much General Motors has "perfected" these tools over their last generation. Case in point, the 2018 GMC Sierra Denali. It's the company's most luxurious pickup ever. (Well, at least for a few more months). 


When the opportunity to take this generation Sierra for one last spin presented itself we jumped at the chance. A week behind the wheel of a 2018 right before the 2019 models started to hit the ground sounded like a perfect refresher.  Each day this week we'll share our time, photos, and thoughts about this range topping model. 


Being that it's a Denali, it has... well.. everything. From the high-powered 6.2L V8 to the rail-like magnetic ride control and the plush heated/ventilated seats, this Denali has all the goodies to compete with pure luxury sedans from the likes of BMW, Lexus, and Audi. Stay tuned all this week as we add our thoughts and a slew of images to this thread. 


The Truck We're Reviewing

2018 GMC Sierra Denali 1500 Crew Cab

Starting Price: $55,755

Total Options: $8,045
Destination: $1,250

Discount: -$750


Total Vehicle Price: $64,345


The Window Sticker



First Photos 







Master Review Photo Gallery



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Update One
This week we put the Sierra Denali to the test during a classic Nor’Easter. For those not from New England, that means, one heck of a snow storm. 

With howling winds and over a foot of snow, we knew we had the perfect test for this top of the line pickup truck. We couldn’t think of a better way see just how capable a truck is then to drive it during the height of the storm. We also couldn’t think of a better destination then our local Ski Area, Crotched Mountain


As the snow began to fall we loaded up our boots, skis, and snowboard equipment. The Denali swallowed it whole and asked for more. With our soft gear inside the cabin and our hard stuff in the bed, we put the Denali in four-wheel drive and headed out. 

On the road, the 22-inch wheel/tire combo started to show its weaknesses. With a deep dish and wide open design, snow was easy to stick inside the rim. The added weight of the larger wheels also gave the Sierra a decidedly floaty feeling over cracked and frost-heaved roads. Magnetic Ride Control does an excellent job of preserving a controlled suspension feel but can’t hide the extra unsprung weight of the huge, but stylish, 22’s. -


With that said,  the Sierra Denali was very capable with the equipped Bridgestone Dueller tires. Our 2011 Sierra with KO2 tires is still our favorite winter tank but the four wheel drive system in the 2018 Denali was predictable, bullet proof and in the end, confidently got us to our destination. 


At the mountain, we really enjoyed the massive crew cab space to put on our snow pants and boots. The factory liner made stepping in and out of the snow filled bed easy and slip free. The soft open tailgate made accessing the bed with poles in hand easy. 

A lot more photos and a final update to come. 


Update Two

I wanted to take a closer look at the interior of the 2018 Denali, as this is where the owner will spend most of his or her time. 





The driver has the best view in the house. A full digital IP gives the driver access to a full complement of information, while still looking and acting like the traditional gauges we all know and love.  The Denali's wood and leather trim is warm and rich. You want to spend time in this pickup!





Passengers have a comfortable, luxurious seat as well. Our biggest gripe with the large crew cab is that the rear seats don't have their own air vents. This flaw has thankfully been fixed on the next generation 2019 Sierra. 







Touch points on the Sierra Denali are premium but still lack a true "top class" feel. Case in point, the large cheap feeling interior door handles lack weight. 

The switch bank under the MyLink infotainment system is useful and gives access to some key features. The power running board switch didn't work like we expected (to turn the power running boards on/off you have to hold the button for around 5 seconds) and there's no aux power options for those who want easy accessory wiring without having to add additional interior switching. 


The MyLink system works extremely well. We enjoyed that Android Auto is fully supported. The most recent generation of this infotainment system seems lag and bug free. Paired with the Bose Audio system, we found the Sierra Denali appealing to those who appreciate well designed and sounding audio. 


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  • Zane unlocked this topic

Ho do you like the ride with the 22s and MRC? Some say you can feel every tiny crack and imperfection.  Some say it's great. Your thoughts? What all terrain tires came with the truck?

Edited by smit303
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37 minutes ago, smit303 said:

Ho do you like the ride with the 22s and MRC? Some say you can feel every tiny crack and imperfection.  Some say it's great. Your thoughts? What all terrain tires came with the truck?

I'm in the "it's great" camp. Sure you can feel the extra weight of the wheels but the MRC keeps everything sooooo smooth. I'll check and get back to you on the exact tires. 

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Hi everyone, we we had a great opportunity to drive the Denali in some pretty awful weather this week. I've updated my second post above and added 18 more images to the gallery. 








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All the trucks are soooonice now. I have had 3 Denali's in the last five years; two 1500  4wd and one 2500 HD. Mixed into them was a 2015 New style F150 EcoBoost, and I currently have a '17 Ram 1500 with everything, including their 4 corner air suspension. They have all been super reliable and competent. 

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As a K2 owner, who cares about the 2018 Denali. It is old and outdated. Bring on the new 2019 GM stuff. The current Ford F-150 XL base model has cooler and more advanced options you can't get on a current 2018 Denali. Time to kill off the K2 Denali and move on to something much better... The 2019 Denali!!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/26/2018 at 12:22 PM, 2017SierraSLT said:

Some of us like this "outdated" model, and absolutely detest the new for 2019 body style, even with it's "new and improved" features.

 Then this is a PERFECT time to buy one. This generation has most of the quirks worked out and the deals will only get better as the months go on. Once the new models hit the lot, all bets are off. Dealers will be looking to move the old models, so some steals may be had. 


Also, wanted to mention to everyone we added some interior photography to this review. 

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  • Zane unfeatured this topic
  • 4 weeks later...

I am in the market for a new truck & am trying to decide between an '18 Sierra Denali (6.2L, 22" wheels, power step bar), or  an '18 Sierra SLT Premium Plus (5.3L, 20" wheels), both 4WD, standard bed, crew cab.  With discounts & rebates I can get the Denali for $5k more than the SLT.  I am having a hard time deciding between the two.  What is comparison of mileage between the 6.2 & 5.3?  Is all the bells & whistles on the Denali worth it or with my pessimistic attitude, is all that just stuff to break down & cost alot to be fixed?  If I am planning on leveling the front and/or adding a light lift (2-3"), will I have problems with the magnaride?  And how do you all like the 8 speed vs the 6 speed trans?  The Denali is Mineral Metallic while the SLT is REd Quartz tricoat.  Help me decide.





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I am a big fan of the 6.2 and the Denali features but if I were on a budget and looking to do a lift I would go with the SLT.  Looks like around 39k for a CC short bed 2018 SLT Prem Plus 5.3 pretty decent little grocery getter.   

  • MSRP$52,335
  • Retail$52,335
  • Sale Price$39,941
  • Savings$12,394



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Good look the Cocoa Dune/Dark Slate Met. combo.  Those 22" come it at 88lbs wheel and tire.  Standard Denali wheel tire/package (20x9, P275/55/20) for comparison are 75lbs per corner. 


On ‎3‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 3:14 PM, smit303 said:

Ho do you like the ride with the 22s and MRC? Some say you can feel every tiny crack and imperfection.  Some say it's great. Your thoughts? What all terrain tires came with the truck?


Bridgestone Dueler AT RHS.  GM use to use that tire as an OE tire on 18" wheels from 2007-2013. 


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  • 6 months later...

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