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2019 GMC Sierra Denali Crew Cab 4WD

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By John Heilig
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Mid-Atantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

REVIEWED MODEL: 2019 GMC Sierra Denali Crew Cab 4WD
ENGINE: 6.2-liter Ecotec3 V8
TRANSMISSION: 10-speed automatic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 420 hp @ 5,600 rpm/460 lb.-ft. @ 4,100 rpm
WHEELBASE: 167.0 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 241.7 x 81.2 x 75.4 in.
TIRES: P275/50R22
CARGO CAPACITY: 1,540 lbs. payload
ECONOMY: 15 mpg city/20 mpg highway/12.7 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 24.0 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 7,100 lbs.
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Ford F-150, Dodge Ram, Toyota Tundra
STICKER: $67,735 (includes $1,495 delivery, $8,740 options)
BOTTOM LINE: The GMC Sierra Denali is big and comfortable, sometimes too big, but ultimately practical.

Then GMC Sierra Denali is big, oh is it big. Granted, I had a few issues with its size. First, despite the usual assortment of mirrors, a backup camera and a 360-degree “overhead” view, I still managed to knock down my mailbox and post. Later, I brushed up against a utility pole while parking at church. At least the pole survived. As did the Sierra.

Side mirrors fold easily, which made getting to an ATM and my favorite drive-up coffee shop a lot easier.

Under the hood is a powerful 6.2-liter V8 rated at 400 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque. All this power is necessary to move the heavy Sierra, and move it it does. There’s no lack of performance, but really, do you expect performance from a full size pickup? The power enables you to carry almost any load that will fit in the 6-foot bed.

The other advantage is that the engine is low-revving and quiet under normal operation. Ride quality is very good and smooth. And there’s a lot to be said for the high riding position as you gaze out over all the little guys.

Start-stop for the engine enhances economy, which was a decent 12.7 mpg in our test, and an estimated 20 mpg over the highway.

Despite its size, the Sierra is relatively easy to enter, thanks to a running board that slides out with you open the doors and assist handles on the A- and B-pillars.

Seats are comfortable for long rides. For most of our shopping excursions we put our “treasures” in the full back seat. Since we opened the rear doors, we were reminded to check back there every time we shut the engine off. This is a nice touch. Not only does it help remind the driver of packages that might be there, but also small children.

The driver faces a full instrument panel with octagonal gauges, a different touch. A heads up display keeps you within legal speed limits.

On the road, we had blind spot monitor and lane assist to keep us out of trouble. When parking, the seat would vibrate whenever we got close to another vehicle. I guess my mailbox was too small, or I didn’t respond.

Rear seats offer excellent legroom thanks to a 2019 redesign that lengthened the wheelbase and added three inches of rear legroom. Rear seat backs fold for additional interior storage and there is under seat storage as well.

The rear bumper has a step molded into the corners for easier access to the cargo bed. In addition, the tailgate has an easy lift feature that is an huge advantage if you’re constantly raising and lowering it on the job.

Even the 5-6 bed offers 63 cubic feet of cargo volume, much of which was created by widening the width of the bed by seven inches.

Even though I had some issues due to careless driving, the GMC Sierra Denali is a great truck, with substantial power and very good road manners.

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