GMC Sierra 2500 Denali Duramax Review – Knox County VillageSoup

When the navigator and I meet the delivery driver Tom, a man comes up to us and wants to get involved. We leave the new Acura Integra, while Tom has been waiting for us in an ebony twilight Sierra Denali that we are about to receive, the total blackness of the massive truck almost threatening.

The visitor is struck by the GMC, craving it for his work and young family. But when Acura parks between him and Sierra, his desire for personal satisfaction changes. He knows right away that Integra is brand new and he just needs to inspect the details. Telling him that it’s just a more expensive Civic does not dampen his enthusiasm. Such are the frequent meetings when you meet at the Shell station.

After visiting all the principles, we point the great Sierra south on the Maine Turnpike, and iron up the diesel to speed up the fastest vehicles. This is an easy task; The 445-hp, 6.7-liter Duramax V8 turbodiesel quickly settles into a high-speed rhythm that barely moves the tachometer needle. Two medium-sized citizens is not much of a burden for this 4-ton luxury workhorse.

GMC has quickly become GM’s luxury truck division, and is trying to distance itself from its sibling brand Chevrolet. The age of electronic driving aids and great entertainment options – all pieces that devour computer chips – has really helped. However, the prayer counter still has a role at GM, as the designer efforts revealed in the latest Cadillac cars and the new Corvette have not been expressed in the powerful Sierra, as Denali’s interior lacks the panache of the latest Ford and Ram heavy truck interiors.

GMC Sierra 2500 Denali Duramax interior. Photo by Tim Plouff.

The plastic surfaces dominate, where others have leather, wood or suede. The touch screen is also much smaller, but there are benefits to be found. The screen works as intended, because rivals have problems (those chips?) And Sierra’s physical controls are conveniently located and very user-friendly – not stored in menus that are difficult to access while driving. Plus, GMC has several towing modes and brake assist – our test was equipped for turning wheels – as well as solid double-sided side mirrors.

Those mirrors presented a mystery. They have marker lamps, spot-lamps, plus blind spot detection, but the giant plastic casing around the mirrors was a constant spectacle in my peripheral vision, like a small car was always next to me. The mirrors also hide what is behind them – like a small child.

GMC Sierra 2500 Denali Duramax interior. Photo by Tim Plouff.

Denali trim provides a variety of accessories, from heated / cooled memory seats to a powerless tailgate, but a new problem is facing diesel truck buyers who need this power for serious towing – a problem with the DEF supply. Never mind the price of diesel fuel – which is causing concern among millions of diesel truck owners. If infant formula turned out to be a supply problem, the absence of DEF fluid on the market will have much more far-reaching consequences as diesel trucks built since 2012 need the exhaust fluid to function.

By pressing up and down 495 / Route 128, Duramax slides into the fast lane and pushes the traffic on – the large grille fills the Tesla and Prius mirrors to move along. Fender-bender accidents on the journey back north block traffic several times and stop progress like people’s rubber necks. It becomes clear that too many drivers on the road today are not very good. And far too many are distracted by devices or screens in the car.

It is easy to determine that the recent increase in fatalities in motorway traffic does not accurately reflect the incompetence of too many of today’s drivers – despite many recent safety improvements.

The great Sierra glides on newly paved surfaces in New Hampshire and past the new toll booth in York – toll now $ 4. Poorly executed bridge expansion joints – are not all of them? – result in a big kick from the stiff solid rear suspension.

After a detour in scenic rural Cumberland, another sighting is obvious. The traffic in Massachusetts was predominantly cars, including many electric cars. The traffic in Maine is mostly crossovers and pickup trucks like our Sierra, which often pulls a load.

As dusk approaches, traffic outside Newport has decreased to a few cars in front of us – a big difference from earlier in the day. In Holden, we stop for fuel, over 380 miles on Denali so far – well over 500 miles of driving for the day. I stop the pump at 16-liter, and subconsciously do not want to see three-digit numbers yet for refueling at a diesel pump that charges $ 5,999 per gallon.

Denali’s price reflects another point: $ 65,500 for a charged Sierra; add the Duramax engine and 10-speed Allison gearbox, plus special wheels, paint and other features, pushing the price to almost $ 83,000. $ 80,000+ pickup trucks – gas, diesel or electric?

Tim Plouff has been reviewing cars for more than 20 years.

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