2021 GMC Sierra 2500 Denali 4WD Crew Cab: Heavy Metal

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

GMC is making headways with the Sierra lineup once again as they installed new trailering innovation and comfort features in the Heavy Duty (HD) 2021 Sierra 2500 Denali 4WD Crew Cab. The current Sierra pickup features a longer wheelbase and a more domineering hood line than past models and is emboldened by the 6.6-liter V8 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission. My Carbon Black Metallic exterior and Dark Walnut / Dark Ash Gray rig arrived right on time for holiday shopping and a few runs at Lowe’s to finish out fall yard cleanup.

Some of the latest trailering technology include Trailer Length Indicator, Jack-Knife Alert, Rear Side View enhancement, Cargo Bed View enhancement, and Rear Trailer View, which now features guidelines and Trailer-Angle Indicator. “Trailering is essential for pickup truck customers. More than half of our Sierra customers use their trucks to primarily tow equipment for outdoor adventures,” said GMC Marketing Director Rich Latek. “We continually listen to customer feedback, which tells us they want class-leading safety, technology and comfort to tow what they need, whether it is a boat, an RV or a trailer hauling off-road toys.”

Pickup brands continue to duel in every category from hauling to tailgate technology, but none have better solutions than GMC and Chevy. Their 6-function MultiPro Tailgate flips out just the top portion of the gate to create a landing pad for more extended hauling materials or tailgating items. The HD’s box versatility is enhanced by a 120-volt power outlet, 12 corner tie-downs, LED cargo lighting, spray-in bedliner, power rear sliding window, bed view camera, gooseneck trailer hitching, cargo bed side steps, and bumper-embedded CornerSteps.

To go along with the truck’s brawn, the body is as chiseled as linebackers in uniform. The face of aggression comes through the massive Denali chrome grille that sets the tone for the power dome hood and flaring wheel wells to highlight its muscular profile. Polished exhaust tips, capless fuel filler, collapsible mirrors with chrome caps, LED headlights, LED taillamps, chrome handles, and chrome body-side moldings round out the rest of the 2021 Sierra 2500 Denali 4WD Crew Cab exterior features.

Opt for the $9,750 all-mighty Duramax 6.6-liter V8 turbo diesel engine and Allison 10-speed automatic transmission pairing for ultimate power. During a 2020 Sierra HD test, I was enamored by its 445-horsepower and 910 massive lb-ft of torque. This particular powerplant is even efficient due to better cooling from improved air induction techniques such as functional hood scoops and a larger grille. I was amazed that I did not have to fill up after a week of steady driving. Of course, with a rig this big, I want it to sound like a school bus and tow a house or 36,000 pounds.

GMC outfitted the HD with 275/65R20 Goodyear Wranglers, an on/off-road light truck commercial traction tire. This rubber is specifically designed to venture through dirt, gravel, and mud while also concentrating on stability in dry, wet, and wintry environments. Moreover, the tread compound is rugged enough to help offset tread block chipping and tearing during long-term towing and loading usage.

Climb up using the wide chrome assist steps and enter an interior world similar to that of the Yukon Denali experience. The well-thought-out cabin is ultra-comfortable and pretty savvy. I loved the big and easy-to-adjust buttons and tabs for everything from the HVAC operation to Exhaust Brake actuation for towing. It is frigid here in Maryland, so the heated 10-way power seats, heated rear seats, and heated steering wheel were lifesavers. Dual glove compartments and storage areas, such as in the rear seatbacks, allow you to tuck away tools and gadgets while wireless charging and multiple USB-c ports keep passengers powered up. An 8” GMC touchscreen infotainment system (could be more prominent for the cabin size) was simple to use and not too distracting, and the colored Head-up Display shows details like AWD status, for example. Also, expect a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot and Bose premium audio.

I love it when authoritative trucks roll into the Automotive Rhythms driveway for a weekly evaluation. Suddenly your entire schedule and demeanor change to mesh with the newfangled call to duty. On the other hand, this model is not cheap! The pickup came in at $69,305. With the $2,270 Denali Ultimate Package, GMC adds an array of bells and whistles that make it enjoyable riding in comfort and semi-luxury while hauling a yard of wood chips. Denali essentials include quality leather seating, genuine open-pore wood trim, and dark-finish aluminum touches.

The Detroit-born 2021 Sierra 2500 Denali 4WD Crew Cab is a unique truck that incessantly inserts its unique spin within the segment. Moreover, trucks are big business with a 15% stake in the consumer market. To a greater extent, they are necessary for everyday jobs, from construction to landscaping. Inevitably, how could we progress structurally without them? Keep the professional grades coming, GMC!

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