While most news concerning America’s full-size pick-up segment is largely irrelevant to New Zealand eyes, with the Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado now available locally it’s curious to keep tabs on the market and its players.
Following recent updates to the Silverado (and the launch of the all-new Toyota Tundra), General Motors has now given the bowtie’s premium brother, the GMC Sierra 1500, an update of its own.
With the American ute game being something of a big-grille Olympics, it’s no surprise that the GMC’s snout features a huge cascade of chrome and LEDs. New, somewhat toned down headlights, a new front bumper, and new fog lights also feature.
A revised, refined 2.7-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, a 3.0-litre Duramax diesel, and a 5.3-litre V8 are among the available mills. The former is arguably the most impressive of the bunch, cranking out 231kW/569Nm.
That’s more power than the diesel (which is rated at 207kW/623Nm), and just about equal to the 5.3-litre’s 265kW/519Nm. There’s also a 6.2-litre V8 available, producing a credible 309kW/624Nm.
The 6.2-litre is exclusively paired to the GMC Sierra flagship model; the Denali Ultimate. For years, the Sierra 1500 has been criticised for not really representing much of a luxury step-up relative to the improved offerings from cheaper rivals. The Denali Ultimate is GMC’s comeback to the knockers.
On the outside it gets its own grille, 22-inch wheels, and ‘Vader chrome’ accenting. Power sidesteps and a MultiPro tailgate with a CarbonPro bed make it plenty practical, but the real attraction is what GMC’s done inside.
The Denali Ultimate scores full-grain leather on almost every interior panel and touch surface, and the dash gets a neat hunk of open-pore Paldao wood trim. These wood trim pieces feature laser-etched topographical illustrations of Mount Denali.
The front seats are heated, ventilated, and capable of massaging. A digital rear-view mirror, 12-speaker Bose sound system, a 15-inch head-up display, and adaptive ride control are also present. It also gets GM’s much lauded Supercruise semi-autonomous hands-free driving tech which, among other things, can function while towing.
It’s not just about the Denali Ultimate of course. GMC has revealed several trim levels, ranging from the Pro, SLE, SLT and the standard Denali, to the adventure-focused AT4 and AT4 X.
Made with a more rugged brief, the AT4 X cops a set of DSSV spool-valve dampers and bespoke springs for added suspension travel. Front and rear e-lockers, Goodyear Wrangler muddies, and an off-road ‘one pedal driving’ mode are also included.
The new Sierra 1500 lands in the US in early 2022, with an entry price of US$32,495 ranging all the way up to the Denali Ultimate’s US$80,395 sticker.