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savaytse66

Optioning LTZ/SLT vs HC/Denali

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Hey guys,

 

I am in the market for a new truck after very briefly jumping ship from GM.  I used to drive a 2016 Denali, and now I am regretting the trade-in, after having irreconcilable issues with the new truck.  I am at the point in my life where I want all the bells and whistles, but it seems like I am limited in choices of both interior and exterior colors by going straight to the High Country or Denali.  Am I losing anything, features-wise, by optioning out an LTZ or SLT to be equivalent to the HC or Denali?  In other words, is there anything that comes with the Denali or HC that is not available on the lower trims?  I am trying to do the proper research, but after 6 moths of research that i though was behind me, I'm finding myself confused.

 

Thanks

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If you like chrome and leather you would be happy with LTZ. There are some things you loose with the LT such as fog lights. 

 

I love my RST Crew Cab with standard bed, z71, bucket seats, Bose, fog lights, wheel well liners, spray in bed liner, etc.

 

Not sure what else you need in a truck unless you have to have the 6.2 and 10 speed which can be debated for years.

 

My favorite mod are the AMP steps and GMC bed grab handle that I added.

 

My 5.3 and 8 speed has been great for 4,000 miles and have averaged 19.2 mpg so far.

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I believe the Denali and maybe the HC have an electronic cluster instead of needles.

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I looked at both as well and ended up with a well optioned SLT.  As far as i can remember, the only things the Denali has that you cant get on the SLT are adaptive ride control & all digital guages.  Of course the Denali also has a different grille, slightly different exterior body styling.  Stuff like the camera packages, Head up display, trailer camera etc.. you can get in the SLT.  Thats what i ended up doing!

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The LTZ and High Country can be optioned up nearly identical to one another, and both can be loaded up higher than the SLT.

 

The High Country comes standard with the digital cluster but it is available in the LTZ with the tech package as is the HUD, camera mirror, 360 surround view. The only High Country specific items are the “high intensity” LED headlights and LED turn signals (instead of the standard LED headlights, and incandescent turn signals on LTZ), available 22” wheels and the interior trimmings.

 

My LTZ cost more and was better equipped than the HCs the dealer had, but the top end for the HC is a bit higher due to the things I mentioned above.

 

On the GMC side, the disparity between the SLT and the Denali is much greater. Adaptive Ride Control, HUD, Digital Cluster, 360 Surround View, and rear view camera mirror are not available on SLT, at least not for 19. The Denali also gets a nicer leather seat material and real aluminum interior trim.

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43 minutes ago, OnTheReel said:

The LTZ and High Country can be optioned up nearly identical to one another, and both can be loaded up higher than the SLT.

 

The High Country comes standard with the digital cluster but it is available in the LTZ with the tech package as is the HUD, camera mirror, 360 surround view. The only High Country specific items are the “high intensity” LED headlights and LED turn signals (instead of the standard LED headlights, and incandescent turn signals on LTZ), available 22” wheels and the interior trimmings.

 

My LTZ cost more and was better equipped than the HCs the dealer had, but the top end for the HC is a bit higher due to the things I mentioned above.

 

On the GMC side, the disparity between the SLT and the Denali is much greater. Adaptive Ride Control, HUD, Digital Cluster, 360 Surround View, and rear view camera mirror are not available on SLT, at least not for 19. The Denali also gets a nicer leather seat material and real aluminum interior trim.

Thanks for posting that.  All things I didn't know.

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50 minutes ago, OnTheReel said:

The Denali also gets a nicer leather seat material and real aluminum interior trim.

What's supposed to be real aluminum on the interior?  The chrome trim pieces or the "brushed" bezels around the radio & on steering wheel spokes?

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1 hour ago, OnTheReel said:

The LTZ and High Country can be optioned up nearly identical to one another, and both can be loaded up higher than the SLT.

 

The High Country comes standard with the digital cluster but it is available in the LTZ with the tech package as is the HUD, camera mirror, 360 surround view. The only High Country specific items are the “high intensity” LED headlights and LED turn signals (instead of the standard LED headlights, and incandescent turn signals on LTZ), available 22” wheels and the interior trimmings.

 

My LTZ cost more and was better equipped than the HCs the dealer had, but the top end for the HC is a bit higher due to the things I mentioned above.

 

On the GMC side, the disparity between the SLT and the Denali is much greater. Adaptive Ride Control, HUD, Digital Cluster, 360 Surround View, and rear view camera mirror are not available on SLT, at least not for 19. The Denali also gets a nicer leather seat material and real aluminum interior trim.

I have a LTZ with every option except the power running boards.  As stated the HC will get you the better LED headlights and a different grille  but my LEDs are great and I will convet my turn signals to LED.  Just my preference, the incandecent bulds are plenty bright.  In general at all trim levels GMC will cost more $$$ but they seam to also have a higher residual value.  

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47 minutes ago, Wheelguy said:

What's supposed to be real aluminum on the interior?  The chrome trim pieces or the "brushed" bezels around the radio & on steering wheel spokes?

The brushed stuff. At least I thought/ hope it’s real on the Denali. It’s phony as a 3 dollar bill on the SLT, has a weird feel and a strange hexagonal pattern printed on it if you look up close at it. Funny because my 2016 SLE even had real brushed aluminum trim.

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16 minutes ago, OnTheReel said:

The brushed stuff. At least I thought/ hope it’s real on the Denali. It’s phony as a 3 dollar bill on the SLT, has a weird feel and a strange hexagonal pattern printed on it if you look up close at it. Funny because my 2016 SLE even had real brushed aluminum trim.

I don't believe that's not real aluminum in my Denali Ultimate - but I would describe it just as you did above.  As a matter of fact, the trim plates/bezels (whatever you wish to call them) across the dash of the uplevel GMT900 trims (they had brushed & woodgrain with clearcoat over it, depending on brand & trim levels) looked more like brushed aluminum to me than the T1's "brushed aluminum".  The T1's bezels look to me like the "finish" is molded in & it doesn't have any resonance like you'd expect from a metal if one tapped on it.  No clue how they've colored them - if that's in the plastic or what.  I'm fairly certain the GMT900 pieces were hydro dipped & cleared.

 

I do believe the wood trim on doors & center console leg areas are supposed to be real wood though - they don't have a plastic feel to them IMO.

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Interesting. I know the aluminum on K2’s was real because I would freeze my hands on it in winter and you could also tell by tapping on it. You could even feel the grooves in the “brushing”. It did not have the weird coating over it like the T1s.

 

But maybe the SLT’s is real too then, and just has a vinyl overlay to protect it or something? Very odd, and I certainly thought it was plastic like my Chevy’s when I was fussing with it.

 

I know the Denali has real wood, and the SLT’s also looked and felt real to me. However the fake stuff looks a lot more convincing these days than when it was slathered all over the GMT900...

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13 minutes ago, OnTheReel said:

Interesting. I know the aluminum on K2’s was real because I would freeze my hands on it in winter and you could also tell by tapping on it. You could even feel the grooves in the “brushing”. It did not have the weird coating over it like the T1s.

 

But maybe the SLT’s is real too then, and just has a vinyl overlay to protect it or something? Very odd, and I certainly thought it was plastic like my Chevy’s when I was fussing with it.

 

I know the Denali has real wood, and the SLT’s also looked and felt real to me. However the fake stuff looks a lot more convincing these days than when it was slathered all over the GMT900...

I don't know for sure - K2 could have been an overlay of aluminum with a plastic substrate (backbone).  That's more or less what the GMT900 was with the hydro dipped film being the graphic & possibly a paint base coat for any coloring not present in the graphic.  I don't feel any weird coating on my pieces (or one of us is just misunderstanding) but I feel all texture & I feel that is from a plastic injection mold, like the exterior black plastic trim has.  I could be mistaken, wouldn't be the first time.  I would think if there was a coating it would be smooth (like the GMT900 was) however, if applied thin enough, I suppose the texture would still come true.  Probably the only way to take a really good educated guess is to have the piece(s) in hand and examine around the edges to see any layering, etc.

 

I know the GMT900 were dipped because I was going to have some spare pieces I bought dipped to match the Denali's quilted maple look & the paint shop knew which film to order & the samples they dipped (substrate was a thin plastic like the old halloween masks with rubber bands that only covered your face) came out just like a stock piece other than they were thinner.

 

Much nicer to discuss like this rather than passionately debate or argue, btw.👍

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I suppose instead of weird coating I could say the textured / plasticky feeling. Just struck me like something fake was going on because the 16’s aluminum trim was smooth save for the slight groves in the brushing, and actually looked and felt like metal too.

 

The Chevy has smooth, glossy painted plastic trim in those places, so not sure why the GMC has a texture on those parts unless it’s part of the coating or molding. If there is any aluminum in those parts, it’s definitely not on the direct surface you touch and see, like it used to be.

 

Not that it matters, it looks good either way. Just the nerd in me noticed something different about it in the T1s.

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Wow, I didn't expect so many responses, so quickly.  Thanks for that; there is a lot of good info here.  I've ordered my last couple trucks, and would not do it any other way.  I want what I want, so I get frustrated sometimes if an obvious feature is stripped from the high end trims.  For example, i was looking at F-150s and one point and realized there was no 6-1/2 foot bed for their highest trim!  That was a deal breaker.  I love the high end comfort, but it's still a truck, and I use it as such.

 

After driving a Denali for 4 years, I know what I'm getting with that trim.  At the same time, I think I'd be willing to sacrifice the Adaptive Ride, as long as I can option everything else.  I'll be doing some more research as I pave the way for a buyback or other settlement on my current rig.  I drove a, '02 Silverado, base model, 4.8,  LS for 15 years, and that's still my favorite truck, so maybe I'll jump back to the Chevy side.  We'll see...

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1 hour ago, savaytse66 said:

Wow, I didn't expect so many responses, so quickly.  Thanks for that; there is a lot of good info here.  I've ordered my last couple trucks, and would not do it any other way.  I want what I want, so I get frustrated sometimes if an obvious feature is stripped from the high end trims.  For example, i was looking at F-150s and one point and realized there was no 6-1/2 foot bed for their highest trim!  That was a deal breaker.  I love the high end comfort, but it's still a truck, and I use it as such.

 

After driving a Denali for 4 years, I know what I'm getting with that trim.  At the same time, I think I'd be willing to sacrifice the Adaptive Ride, as long as I can option everything else.  I'll be doing some more research as I pave the way for a buyback or other settlement on my current rig.  I drove a, '02 Silverado, base model, 4.8,  LS for 15 years, and that's still my favorite truck, so maybe I'll jump back to the Chevy side.  We'll see...

Well, yeah, everyone's got an opinion that needs expression 🤣

 

FWIW, from my understanding the adaptive ride has changed to an electronically controlled mechanism versus the magnetic system with the special fluid - whether there's a noticeable difference or not, couldn't tell you (first time Denali owner - but have owned a 2012 LTZ CC & 2016 SLT CC prior).

 

I wasn't a fan of the 8-speed transmission (5.3L) in the 2016 just due to the weirdness of it (mine was clunky sounding, would on occasion downshift hard & lurch fwd & had to have fluid flushed @ ~35-45k miles for a "fish biting" issue - felt like it was going over worn rumble strips or missing out).  Didn't have the fish bite again through the point it was traded - but I'd have to say I don't feel I owned it long enough to be certain it was fixed permanently.  Went with a 6.2L & 10 speed in the 2019 & so far, no regrets.  I'm not 100% sure though someone will probably confirm/deny but I believe the 5.3L is being paired with the 10 speed transmission for 2020 - not sure if it's on all trims or not but maybe something to consider if you're pondering which powertrain combo.  Stepping back & trying to be unbiased, my opinion (which probably isn't worth much) is the 8 speed has been hit & miss as far as issues/concerns/what did I just hear or feel type of things.  Some owners haven't had a problem and as expected are in love, others seem to have seemingly serious problems and then maybe a more middle of the road crowd with concerns/questions, and some just refuse to deal with it & get out of it ASAP.

 

My advice?  Take it or leave it, you're a big person with a mind of your own - do your research before you go to dealer (maybe make a checklist of what you want to confirm is available if & when you test drive) and just take your time.  I feel there are some buyers that may have rushed the process, thought they were getting this or that and ended up with a bit of buyer's remorse or similar feelings - not 100% happy when they realized this or that was left off for $XXk.  Also might benefit to know what can/can't be upgraded on your own versus paying up into a higher trim.  If you test drive (please, do) confirm what you think should be there before settling.  Maybe some of the above is obvious, but apparently not to everyone.

 

I'm a fairly happy customer - 2019 was the first year of a new platform for the T1 so it has its share of bugs/issues that need some attention and there are noticeable improvements.  At the same time, there might be some things you notice that are head scratchers.  GM could have made me a bit happier with a bit more effort or included/not deleted features, but that's not going to be what I focus on most, it is what it is & I think I'm happier in this truck than I would have been had I jumped to a different brand.

 

If you have more questions, keep firing them away - there's some very knowledgeable folks around here & like I said, many aren't too shy to give their take on things.

 

Good luck & hope it's all an enjoyment from the time it starts until you're driving it home.👍

 

Edit - Denali & HC should both come with digital cluster except for the larger RPM & speedo gages - those are still old school.  Speed is displayed in, I believe, 3 different areas in total across the HUD, Home DIC & dial speedo.

Edited by Wheelguy

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