Denali, GMC’s premium line of SUVs, is now available in five new models for 2017 so far: the Sierra 1500, a full-size pick-up truck, the Terrain, a compact SUV that gets 32 mpg, the mid-size Acadia, and the Yukon, GMC’s full-size SUV. All four are equipped with GMC’s new EcoTec3 engines that provide more torque and horsepower with increased fuel efficiency. The fifth, Sierra HD, is a heavy-duty truck built for towing with a 6.6L V-8 DURAMAX turbo diesel engine.
Luxurious accents like French stitching on the plush leather seats, Java Burl Poplar Wood inlays, and burnished aluminum create a distinct look and feel throughout the entire Denali line. Additional features include LED headlights, a thumping BOSE sound system, and enhanced connectivity via GMC’s IntelliLink system with flat screens and Apple CarPlay. The inlaid doors and mirrors, acoustic laminated windshield, triple-sealed doors, and active noise cancellation make the cabin outrageously quiet. Magnetic ride control, hydraulic engine mounts, and shear-style body mounts all contribute to one of the smoothest rides available in any SUV.
We recently drove most of the Denali line, and the first thing we noticed was its power. The Sierra and Yukon come equipped with a 6.2L V-8, and the Terrain offers 301 horsepower with a 3.6L V-6 engine. They adapted easily to a wide range of road and driving conditions including steep dirt roads, stop-and-go traffic, long distances at high speeds, and soft sand. The Denalis handled it all with just a few touches of the 4WD button on the sand and rough dirt roads over 300 miles on a single tank of gas. The new Hill Start Assist technology, which holds the breaks until the gas pedal is engaged on steep hills, makes tricky turnarounds and maneuvering up and down inclines easy despite the hefty size of the Yukon. The three rows of seating make them great people movers as six adults fit very comfortably. The only downside to the Yukon’s interior is that the back seats can’t be totally removed, decreasing the cargo space more than it should.
The bottom line is these models are versatile. Perfect for the family adventure wagon, they’re also great work trucks and 4×4 machines. They can tackle the roughest, most rugged terrain, all while keeping the driver and passengers comfortable, whether you’re riding around town, deep in the backcountry, at the trailhead, or on the beach.
[Terrain Denali, $34,175; Acadia Denali, $44,920; Sierra 1500 Denali, $51,090; Sierra HD, $54,575; Yukon Denali, $65,326; gmc.com]