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2021 SLT vs. Denali? Worth the trade from a 2016 SLT?


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Hi all,

 

I have a 2016 SLT Crew Cab 4x4 Z71 5.3L that I purchased new five years ago.  I went into the local dealer to see what they'd give me for it, and they're actually willing to give me $500 more than I paid for it five years ago (not including tax, fees, etc.).

 

I have two choices I'm considering:

-2021 Sierra SLT Crew 4x4 5.3L w/ 10 Speed

-2021 Sierra Denali Ultimate 4x4 3.0 diesel w/ 10 Speed

 

Curious if any of you have made a similar jump and what your feedback would be?  I'm anxious to get away from the 8-speed, but also wasn't totally impressed with the overall ride quality in my 2016.  I've driven the 2021 on a test, but am curious to hear about ride quality from anyone who has actually bought these trucks compared to the older generation.

 

Anyway - anything you can give me would be appreciated.  Thanks!

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I traded my 2018 SLT Premium Plus 6.2 for a 2021 SLT Premium Plus 6.2 in late April.  Same situation got more than what I paid for my 2018 (less a few accessories that went with the old truck).

The main reason I traded was to get the value out of my old truck, drove it for 3 years for free.  The trick is finding the new truck you want, I had to travel 375 miles to get mine.

The ride on the new truck is fine, better than the 2018, not as floaty on the front end, and corners flatter.

 

 

NEW OPTIONS MY 2018 DID NOT HAVE

 

HEATED REAR SEATS
PUSH BUTTON START
MULTI PRO TAILGATE
ADAPTIVE CRUISE
DUAL EXHAUST
X31
BLIND ZONE ALERT
BED MOUNTED 120V OUTLET
REAR AIR VENTS
10 SPEED
REMOTE TAILGATE RELEASE
BODY COLOR XM ANTENNA

DRIVER ASSIST HANDLE

 

 

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I went from a 2016 Silverado LTZ to a 2019 SLT w/Premium Plus, both 5.3. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I've had the '19 for almost 2.5 years now and it has been rock solid with the exception of a dealer reflash. My '19 does ride a little harsher than my '16, but I attribute that to the '19 being an X31, whereas my '16 was a regular 4x4 w/o Z71. I haven't had any issues with the 8-speed aside from the harsh 1-2 shift it does every single morning. As a whole, it shifts smoother than the 6-speed in the old truck.

 

I prefer the SLT exterior over the Denali. Only thing I wish I had was HUD and Adaptive Cruise, neither of which were available on the SLT for 2019. I have had the pleasure of driving one of the new diesels, that's probably what I'd get if I did it all over again. 

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Thanks.  I'm a little nervous about going Diesel as I don't have much of a commute (about 8 miles round-trip each day) and we typically take my wife's SUV if we go on a family trip.  However, being it's such a daily driver I'm looking for something that rides smooth, and I know the Denali has Adaptive Ride Control that I hope would give a better ride than my '16 or even the '21 SLT.

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On 7/19/2021 at 11:02 AM, rjkratzig said:

Hi all,

 

I have a 2016 SLT Crew Cab 4x4 Z71 5.3L that I purchased new five years ago.  I went into the local dealer to see what they'd give me for it, and they're actually willing to give me $500 more than I paid for it five years ago (not including tax, fees, etc.).

 

I have two choices I'm considering:

-2021 Sierra SLT Crew 4x4 5.3L w/ 10 Speed

-2021 Sierra Denali Ultimate 4x4 3.0 diesel w/ 10 Speed

 

Curious if any of you have made a similar jump and what your feedback would be?  I'm anxious to get away from the 8-speed, but also wasn't totally impressed with the overall ride quality in my 2016.  I've driven the 2021 on a test, but am curious to hear about ride quality from anyone who has actually bought these trucks compared to the older generation.

 

Anyway - anything you can give me would be appreciated.  Thanks!

I just traded my 2017 SLT for a Denali ultimate package with the diesel. Worth every penny. Enjoy your new diesel 😁

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I would get the 5.3L with 10 speed combo.  Step dad has it on his 2020 SLT and I drove it for a week and still am greatly impressed how well the 5.3L performed. Light years better than the K2 trucks. Good luck with your decision. 

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My 2015 Silverado LT Z71, 5.3, 6 speed was totaled. I purchased a 2021 LT Z71, 5.3, 8 speed. The 8 speed has issues and my dealer does not know how to fix it. I would not recommend spending the money for the newer one. Accept for the transmission problems, I think the two trucks are equal in performance. The DFM on the 2021 gets slightly better fuel economy, but I am going to disable it because of the fear of lifter failure. I used a Range on the 2015 and I have sent it to the manufacturer to program it for the 2021. I hope this info helps you with your decision.

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Thanks all for your input!  I ended up testing out three trucks:

  • 2020 (used) Denali Ultimate with 5.3 + 10-speed
  • 2021 AT4 with 3.0 Diesel + 10-speed
  • 2021 SLT with 5.3 + 10-speed

The Denali didn't seem like it rode that much smoother with the ARC than the SLT did, and ride quality was a big look-for in this purchase; the AT4 was a bit rougher, which was to be expected.  I didn't think the 3.0 Diesel was a smooth as the 5.3, though it definitely did have more snap under acceleration.  I didn't find the diesel to lack power at passing speed on the highway as some here have noted, but it felt a bit sluggish under light acceleration at low speeds.  In the end, because of my short commute I decided against the diesel, and on a feature-to-feature basis I couldn't justify the additional $10k for the Denali.  I have a 2021 SLT in my driveway now, same color and mostly the same features as my 2016 SLT, however I can solidly say this new truck drives so calmly and easily, where the 2016 with the 8-speed was clunky and jumpy from the start.  VERY pleased!

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