During the postwar economic boom of the 1950s, owning a Cadillac was believed to be the ultimate symbol of status and prestige. At one point, tail fins and whitewall tires were the accessories consumers thought of when the term “high-end” entered any conversation. Times have changed in terms of what people think about when it comes to objects that symbolize luxury and status. That said, there are still vehicles that manage to turn heads and display status.
While GM still makes Cadillac, the GMC brand has come to reflect social standing with its upper trim levels of trucks that have redefined the entire class. Unlike luxury sedans, GMC vehicles haven’t lost their ability to be as practical and versatile on the job as they are on a night out on the town. The 2023 GMC Sierra 2500 HD is the ideal embodiment of this way of thinking. With the skill that GM has always displayed with the refinement and sophistication that exceeds expectations, this merging of two worlds can be found in the AT4 and Denali trims of the vehicle in question.
Two details that offer unmatched strength and comfort
So far, the 2023 model year has been exciting for GMC fans. The Sierra’s younger sibling, the GMC Canyon, the equivalent of the Chevy Colorado, received an AT4X trim level. GMC may be known for creating pickups with a sense of sophistication, but the AT4X trim—their version of Chevy’s ZR2 off-road package—has proven GMC’s ability to get its hands dirty when the situation calls for it. The world of off-roading, although sometimes considered a niche demographic, is a way of life for many, and having a vehicle that takes the road less traveled is always sought after by enthusiasts of the activity. For those who crave earth-shattering performance and believe that roads only hinder adventure, the AT4 trim of the Sierra HD is made with them in mind.
Likewise, GMC has brought sophistication and versatility to the forefront of its highly revered Denali trim. If the entire spectrum of pickup trucks were a Hollywood premiere, the Denali would be A-listers who always have the red carpet rolled out just for them. As we’ll see, the Denali provides drivers with the advanced performance that allows the toughest tasks to be accomplished effortlessly, yet an interior that takes comfort and style to limits unmatched by the competition.
2023 Sierra 2500 HD AT4
The AT4 (all-terrain all-wheel drive) concept was first introduced for the 2019 model year and illustrated a newfound focus by GMC on offering new options for its customers who enjoy off-road driving. For the 2023 model year, this shows no signs of slowing down at all. Two distinct engines are offered on the AT4 and Denali trim levels, allowing it to deliver the performance that many have come to expect from the brand.
Standard on both models is a 6.6-liter gasoline-powered V8 with a six-speed automatic transmission. With a horsepower of 401 and the ability to generate 464 lb-ft of torque, even the base offering packs a considerable amount of power. Of course, the AT4 and Denali can be upgraded with formidable diesel power for those who just want a little more in the performance realm. This can be found in the 6.6L Duramax Turbo-Diesel engine. The diesel-powered V8 produces 445 hp and an astounding 910 lb-ft of torque and is mated to GM’s ten-speed Allison automatic transmission.
The AT4 has several features that make it the perfect vehicle for off-road adventures. The most notable of these is its elevated ground clearance, which measures over eleven inches. With barely a foot off the ground, drivers will find that roadblocks are less of a concern. Of course, its high ground clearance is just the beginning. The X31 off-road package is what delivers the goods when traveling off-pavement. Specially designed for adventurers, the suspension on the AT4 features undercarriage skid plates and a suspension equipped with Rancho dual-tube shocks. This ensures your ride is straight as an arrow, even when the dunes and desert aren’t.
If you’re the type who’s keen on towing and trailers, there’s some excellent news on that front. With the available ProGrade trailer system, you have complete oversight of all the loads you hook up and take with you. Best of all, you’ll be able to do it right from your phone. It is right; there’s an app for that. With the additional fifteen camera positions also available, you’ll have no difficulty ensuring that lane changes and turns are executed flawlessly and, most importantly, safely.
2023 Sierra 2500 HD Denali
If sophistication is elevated to the off-road world with the AT4, the Denali takes it to a level that exceeds all industry expectations. We assure you, this is the furthest thing from a couch on wheels with a pickup bed attached. No, the Denali has all the prowess and versatility associated with GMC. While still offering the same engine options as the AT4, the Denali has an exceptional towing capacity of 18,500 lbs when properly equipped.
Of course, some of the most compelling aspects of GMC’s Denali trim can be found in its interior, which takes comfort to its absolute limit. With the most headroom and legroom in its class, Denali trim gives you all the room you could ever ask for. Heated and ventilated seats and dual-zone climate control provide a comfortable ride wherever life takes you.
Denali comes in two available packages that remind us why the trim is considered the best by so many for those who only want the finer things in life. The Black Diamond Edition puts a sharp eye on performance, making use of the 6.6L Duramax Turbo-Diesel engine and ten-speed automatic transmission. An additional trailer camera and trailer tire pressure sensors make towing life comfortable. All this sits on a pair of 20-inch high-gloss black-painted aluminum wheels. The Denali Ultimate package takes things further with a multi-color 15-inch head-up display, rear camera mirror and power sunroof. With so much to offer, it’s no wonder why awe and admiration have always been associated with the garment.
A new era in heavy duty tasks
With so many new announcements about the upcoming model year, it seems that GMC has entered the market for exceptional performance in the world of HD trucks. The AT4 and Denali trim showcase a brand of exceptional talent that continues to improve upon its previous designs and change the paradigm of what the term “heavy duty” means. With unmatched luxury and performance united in a single package, GMC has taken a vehicle normally associated with all work and no play and elevated it to the realm of becoming a status symbol for the elite. Not only is this thinking outside the box, but it is also an innovation that breaks the mold. Whether it’s life away from civilization, off the pavement, or the ability to maintain all the comfort and convenience while tackling a heavy workload, GMC has you covered.