This is the 2024 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate and it’s GMCs most expensive and most luxurious offering but is it a recipe that people are going to want to buy? Today I’m going to test it and find out.

The Denali badge has always been sufficient to distinguish GMC’s fanciest versions of its pickups and SUVs, apparently not because GMC has raised the game further with its Ultimate trim. What’s next the Denali, Ultimate Pinnacle?

Let’s work backward for a change and start with the price. This one will cost you $85,690, which is a lot for a truck that doesn’t have 700 hp.It does include Super Cruise for $2,200 and it’s a system that I think works very well. Standard hardware includes a full safety suite, Denali premium suspension with adaptive ride control, a two-speed transfer case, a trailering package, and a trailer brake controller.


At the front, there’s a dark chrome grille, which seems to be the new way of saying black plastic or as GMC calls it “Vader Chrome,”. It comes with 22-inch seven-spoke machined aluminum wheels, the type you are never likely to ever take offroad. Tires are Bridgestone Alenza 275/50-R22s.

The regular Denali can be had with either the short or standard box, along with its Crew Cab, the Denali Ultimate only gets the smaller of the two. You get the clever MultiPro tailgate as standard and power-retracting side steps.With the Duramx 3.0, it can tow up to 13,300 lbs. 

Under the hood

My tester had the excellent 3.0-liter Duramax turbo-diesel which has more power for 2024, 305 hp with 495 ft-lbs @ 2,750 rpm driven through a 10-speed automatic transmission. 0-60 takes around 7.1 seconds which is somewhat slower than the 6.2 liter V8, however, with the Duramax, you can expect to get 27 mpg on the highway.


The Ultimate has a selection of offroad options, 4HI and 4 Low, an Auto setting, and Rear Wheel drive mode only. I spent most of the time in Auto mode and just let the system figure it out but I think I may have saved some gas had I used 2 Wheel Hi instead

Once settled behind the wheel you have a commanding view of the road ahead and a comfortable backside since the front seats are very comfortable. With all that low-end grunt, it’s no surprise that the Sierra gets along quite nicely and you wonder if the V8 is even worth considering. Gone are the days when diesel engines sounded like a Massey Fergusen tractor, these days the Duramax’s level of general refinement will no doubt change your mind.

Having adaptive suspension helps but I can’t help but think that the Ram still does this better, the GMC  still gets bouncy over uneven pavement. On smoother roads it excels the body controls is great, the steering and brakes work well to keep the beast planted and you can hustle this truck if you are in a hurry, all the time while saying under 3,000 rpm.

We did, of course, venture off-road but with limitations, this truck doesn’t have skid plates and only has 8 inches or so of ground clearance. With that in mind, we chose a fairly mild truck trail to test the suspension,  a place where it’s unlikely any owner of this truck will ever go.

For the most part, the Denali Ultimate prefers pavement but it will go off-road if you ask it and it does have a low ranger and hill descent control should you wish to be adventurous, but you should bear in mind it’s wearing 22-inch rims on 50-section tires.

Super Cruising

I last tried Super Cruise ($2,200) in the Bolt EUV a few years ago and despite it not having change lane functionality, I came away impressed.  Super Cruise is a Level 2 system which means it requires the attention of the driver at all times by utilizing a camera on the steering column that watches your face. Look away for too long and it gets mad and demands you take the wheel.

Lane changes can be activated by the driver or the system can auto change lanes when it’s safe to do so and I think it is one of the best systems on the market today.


GM has doubled down on creating a genuinely lavish cabin for its upper trims, leather and wood abound and there’s tons of tech too.

Ahead of the driver is a 12.3-inch driver display and in the center console a 13.4-inch infotainment touchscreen that runs GMC’s latest software. It has built-in Google Maps, Google Assistant, and Play Store access, plus wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support.

Menus are logical, the system is smooth, responsive, and intuitive to use and there are physical buttons for most used functions like climate control.

The front seats, which are covered in rich tan Alpine Umber leather have multi-way power and massage functions for both driver and passenger and are complimented by open-pore wood, with Denali and Ultimate etchings and badges including on the glove box.

There’s a wireless charging pad in the center console and several USB-C and USB-A ports for both the front and the rear. Cubby space is plentiful, with two glove compartments, and storage space under the rear seats, which by the way have a ton of legroom.

A couple of misses

There are a couple of areas that show obvious cost-cutting. the grab handles in the front are made from hard plastic and have been leather-wrapped but not completely so the hard plastic shows. On the doors, the material is of a nice quality but it stops towards the door mirror and becomes hard brittle plastic. This is GMs best ever interior but these misses should be easy to fix to make it great.


One downside is the Ultimate trim doesn’t get the biggest cargo capacity available. The regular Denali can be had with either the short or standard box with a Crew Cab, the Denali Ultimate only gets the short bed which has 63 cubic feet cu-ft of available space. The upside is you get GMC’s clever MultiPro tailgate as standard.



I just can’t imagine anyone hauling anything dirty in the cabin of a Denali Ultimate, the interior is just too luxurious for that. It’s becoming a trend these days that pickups are now luxury vehicles and carmakers are cashing in on this, creating rolling living rooms for well-heeled buyers. I must say though the Denali Ultimate is a really nice place to hang out. 

2024 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate Numbers

BASE PRICE: $82,5000
VEHICLE LAYOUT: Front-engine, 4 wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door pickup
ENGINE: 3.0L DOHC I-6 Turbo-Diesel

POWER: 305 hp @ 3,750 rpm
 495 lb-ft @ 1,500 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 10-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT: 5,350 lb
0-60 MPH: 7.1 sec
TOWING RATING: Up to $13,300 lbs

OUR OBSERVED: 21.9 mpg
PROS: High Tech Cabin, Super Cruise excels, Excellent on and off-road manners
CONS:  Some cost-cutting inside