GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate vs. Ford F-150 Limited: Is the Denali Worth $80,000?

When the fifth generation of GMC Sierra 1500 was launched in 2019, it was a big step forward for the Sierra. But many were disappointed with the truck’s interior which looked like a basic work truck and was disappointing for the money in Denali trim. Now, for 2022 GMC refreshed the truck, significantly updated the interior, and then added the Denali Ultimate package. Is that enough for it to take on the top Ford F-150 Limited?

How much is a GMC Denali Ultimate? A lot

2022 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate
2022 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

The GMC Denali Ultimate starts at $82,795 with the 3.0-liter Duramax turbo-diesel engine, while the mighty 6.2-liter V8 is $83,695. Sure, there are some options packages, but they’re limited to different storage options because the truck has everything else. The Ford F-150 Limited starts at $78,000, with the 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost. However for $1,900 the optional 3.5-liter PowerBoost hybrid suits this truck’s mission better, especially because it has more power.

These trucks are all about interior comfort

Forget about three-across bench seats and column shifters in these two trucks. Instead, these are both five-seat luxury trucks that cover everything in leather or suede, have heated and cooled seats, giant touchscreens, and more. But they both have some special, cool, features that make them stand out.

The refreshed Sierra Denali Ultimate’s cabin now gets a giant horizontal screen, beautiful wood and leather trim, and a lot more to earn its $81,000 price tag. In the GMC you also get a 12.3-inch diagonal digital instrument cluster, as well as a standard 13.4-inch infotainment screen, and a 15-inch heads-up display that all add a tech-savvy feet to the traditional leather seating. Overall, the new design seems to meet the goals of a luxury truck more than the previous version, which had a small screen that looked tacked on and two chunky plastic gloveboxes that looked like they came out of a 1990s Blazer.

The Ford Limited has a few nifty tricks, including a fold-flat shifter in the console. You can flop the center console over it, and use it as a flat table or work surface. The seats can be adjusted from the touchscreen in ways you probably never thought of before: the four panels, two on the bottom and two on the back, can be pushed or pulled in and out automatically. Of course, they offer massage, and can even fold completely flat. The B&O sound in the Ford has 18 speakers, include speakers in the headliner and in the headrests.

Is the Ford PowerBoost a better option?

Gray Ford F-150 Limited Parked in front of a farm
Ford F-150 Limited | Ford

Neither of these trucks hurt for power. You can order a 2022 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate with the diesel, for towing, or the 6.2-liter V8 that has 420 horsepower.

Ford, though, for 2022 started offering the new PowerBoost engine, which is a hybridized twin turbo V6. The PowerBoost is now the most powerful engine you can order in the F-150 (except the Raptor version). Sure, the instant torque is nice, but the truck will automatically shut the engine off and use battery power to save gas when it can, like when coasting off the highway or cruisng through a parking lot. And, when you order the Pro Power Onboard system, it can provide gobs of juice for power tools or tailgating supplies.

These trucks are both tech titans

2022 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate interior
2022 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate interior | GMC

Both the GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate and the Ford F-150 Limited offer hands-free driving in the form of Super Cruise or BlueCruise. These trucks can travel hands-free on thousands of miles of mapped roads and make road trips a breeze. But, they each offer more that just that. The Denali, for example, offers multiple camera views that let you look around your trailer and spot for obstacles in your blindspot.

The 2023 Ford F-150 Limited can park itself, for example. The F-150 also offers several clever features, like exterior lighting that you can toggle from the screen and several drive modes. But, where the GMC offers assistance for helping you hook up to your trailer, Ford has Pro Trailer Backup Assist. In the Ford, you can back up and with a knob on the dash, rather than by using the steering wheel. Then, the system can use its onboard scales to help you level the trailer. The truck will even save the trailer settings so you can swap between different trailers with ease.

No matter which one you pick, the GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate or the Ford F-150 Limited, you’ll be coddled. The Sierra is more old-school, with a big V8 and straightforward options. But, if you like hybrid power and need the trailering assistance, the Ford may be the one to buy.  

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