If price is no object, the 2007 GMC Sierra Denali is probably the best pickup truck on the market. Comfort, utility, luxury, styling -- I'm not sure it has ever been packaged this well.
If price is an object, well, it was nice knowing you, Denali.
Even so, when you think of how many masters this Sierra Denali Crew Cab is prepared to serve, the list price -- $48,645, loaded -- may not be that exorbitant. It can tow up to 8,500 pounds, carry five adults in leather-clad luxury, go most anywhere you want with its full-time all-wheel-drive so long as the trail isn't too treacherous, and do it all safely: Standard equipment includes Stabilitrak stability control, anti-lock brakes, side air bags, rear parking assist, OnStar emergency-communications system, and that margin of safety that comes only with all-wheel-drive.
And you won't be lacking in creature comforts. The test truck had a wonderful Bose stereo system, a rear-seat entertainment system, heated seats and steering wheel, a power sunroof and power adjustable pedals -- clearly, there weren't many option boxes on the order sheet that went unchecked.
Though any GM V-8 truck engine is more than adequate, the Sierra Denali has a big 6.2-liter, 403-horsepower V-8, mated to a perceptive six-speed automatic transmission. The all-wheel-drive system is transparent -- there is no low-range gearing, and ground clearance is really too low to attempt serious off-roading, but the truck did come equipped with an underbelly skid-plate package.
Wheels are big chromed aluminum 20-inchers, which added a sobering $1,995 to the price tag, but they helped the taut suspension make this one of the best-handling big trucks I've driven. Steering is spot-on precise; brakes are strong and linear. The styling of the Sierra Denali, painted "Onyx Black," was just this side of flashy. For a pickup, it drew plenty of admiring looks.
As good as the Sierra Denali is, it helps, of course, to start with a competent platform, and these GMC/Chevrolet full-sized trucks are nearly viceless. Add to that the commendably good build quality on this truck, which was assembled in Ontario, Canada.
If there's a downside apart from the price, it's the Denali's expectedly grim fuel mileage: EPA rating is 13 miles per gallon city, 19 mpg on the highway, and the trip computer pegged our overall mileage at just less than 15 mpg.
If you can make do with less truck for substantially less money, you can work your way through the GMC Sierra lineup and get a pickup that might not have the Denali's power and flash but still has plenty of muscle and lots of luxury features.
But if you want the ultimate -- well, here it is. Financing is available.