The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Driving Notes

2016 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali

July 5, 2016, by Amy Winter-Hercher - Also by this author

Photo by Vince Taroc.
Photo by Vince Taroc.

The 2016 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali's driver-focused interior features storage space and several compartments for keeping notebooks, electronics, or other essential on-the-job items. This mobile workstation includes a Wi-Fi hotspot with multiple USB connections and even a power outlet for a regular plug. A wireless charging pad sits near the center console providing easy access when needing to charge phones, tablets, or other mobile devices.

The interior also focuses on the comfort for the driver. Spending long days in a car can be hard on the back and body. The Denali features a 12-way power-adjustable bucket seat. The dual density foam seats provide comfort and support for the driver. And the truck’s magnetic ride control helps maintain a smooth ride – no matter what type of road you are driving on.

I had the chance to test drive the Sierra Denali crew cab on city streets as well as the highway. As I opened the door, I was happy to see the power-articulating assist steps appear. At my 5’5’’ stance, it was going to require a high jump for me to get into the front seat.

I immediately noticed the quietness in the cabin. GMC reduces noise in the cabin by using triple door seals to block outside noise, shear and hydraulic body mounts to reduce vibrations, aerodynamic exterior mirrors that reduce wind noise, and a valved exhaust system that reduces engine noise.

Photo by Vince Taroc.
Photo by Vince Taroc.

The Hydra-Matic 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission is now available with the 5.3L V-8 engine which is the most powerful engine in the GMC truck lineup.

I could feel the power of the truck as I drove on any type of incline. The four-wheel-drive version that I drove has EPA ratings of 15 mpg city/21 mpg highway, with a combined fuel economy rating of 17 mpg. To improve fuel efficiency when driving with a lighter load, the engine will switch to four cylinders in certain conditions.

New exterior features for 2016 include a new grille design, chrome door handles, mirrors, and moldings as well as 20-inch aluminum wheels. The exterior also includes new lighting features such as LED headlamps, fog lamps, and tail lamps.

Although I didn’t take advantage of the Denali’s towing and hauling abilities, the truck’s cargo box features two-tier loading capability, tie-downs, and accessibility with the CornerStep rear bumper and EZ lift-and-lower tailgate. To create a safer hauling and towing experience, the truck offers additional features through its Max Trailering Package, including trailer sway control, hill start assist, and hill descent control.

The Denali is up to speed on all the latest technologies for safety and convenience.

For safety, the truck has six air bags, a rear-vision camera system, and the StabiliTrack stability control system with rollover mitigation technology. The Driver Alert Package offers lane keep assist, lane departure warning, and safety alert seat. As I was driving, I found the safety alert seat to be helpful; it gently vibrates on the seat to warn me when I was drifting into the next lane.

The dashboard includes an 8-inch touch-screen with Apple CarPlay capabilities that lets drivers sync their iPhones to the truck. Using GMC’s IntelliLink, drivers can customize their favorites by saving songs, albums, destinations, and contacts. Bluetooth connectivity and smartphone integration helps promote hands-free calling for fleet drivers.

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Author Bio

Amy Winter-Hercher

Senior Editor

Amy is an associate editor for Auto Rental News and Business Fleet.

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Chris Brown

Executive Editor

Chris is the executive editor of Business Fleet Magazine and Auto Rental News. He covers all aspects of the fleet world.

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Chris Wolski

Managing Editor

Chris works on Automotive Fleet, Fleet Financials, Work Truck, and Green Fleet. He edits the Global Fleet Management eNewsletter.

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Mike Antich

Editor and Associate Publisher

Mike has covered fleet management and remarketing for more than 20 years and entered the Fleet Hall of Fame in 2010.

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Paul Clinton

Senior Web Editor

Paul is the senior web editor for Automotive Fleet, Fleet Financials, Government Fleet, Green Fleet, and Work Truck.

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Thi Dao

Executive Editor

Thi is the executive editor of Government Fleet magazine. She is interested in maintenance management and alternative fuels.

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