The 2021 GMC Sierra 2500 Denali Is a Luxury Truck That Isn’t Actually Luxurious

There are a host of heavy-duty pickups out there that harness the best of both worlds – power and luxury. Truck enthusiasts need the performance, towing, and hauling capabilities, but they don’t want to forgo the upscale touchpoints and luxurious experience either. When it comes to the 2021 GMC Sierra 2500, the top-of-the-line plush-level trim is, of course, the Denali. And you may assume, based on your experience with Denali trims in the past, that you’ll have a pretty comfortable ride with the Denali version of this heavy-duty truck. But you might be disappointed in the level of luxury with this new Denali. The 2021 GMC Sierra 2500 Denali may still be a rugged truck, but it isn’t really that luxurious at all.

The 2021 GMC Sierra 2500 is a worthy heavy-duty contender

The 2021 GMC Sierra 2500 is a worthwhile pickup to consider. It boasts a super-powerful V8 engine and a robust menu of tech features. You’ll also get the Multipro tailgate, and new for this year, a few additional towing-assistance features. But for those of you who may be considering a luxury version of the capable heavy-duty truck, you might be disappointed with what the Denali trim brings to the table.

The 2021 GMC Sierra 2500 Denali is not all it’s cracked up to be

Luxury is in the eye, or the driver’s seat, of the beholder. But most people expect luxury to translate to an extra comfortable ride and the interior materials to be top-quality. Most look for supple leathers, spacious cabin interiors, and smooth lines for a complete luxury experience.

The CarFax reviews point out immediately that the Denali falls short of upscale in a big way. There are hard plastic surfaces, imposing seams, and fake-looking leathers. The Car and Driver critics share the same opinion of the Denali and go a step further to suggest this Denali is nowhere near competing with the likes of the plushiest Ford or Ram rivals.

When you spend luxury prices, you expect luxury features

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If you’re going to pay the high-end trim MSRPs, you certainly expect to have the best of the best features and amenities. But the Denali level of the Sierra 2500 might be the chink in its armor. The Denali starts at $64,900, a significant investment for marginal luxury.

The CarFax reviews point out that even the drive is noisy, a characteristic you rarely see with an upscale trim. The critics wonder why noise-canceling materials weren’t implemented, especially for a high-end truck. You may decide that having the Denali badge, which apparently is all over the truck and more so than the GMC badge, isn’t worth the luxury price tag.

The better buy may lie elsewhere in the GMC lineup

If you’re willing to forgo the luxury, you may find a great new pickup in one of the other trim levels of the 2021 GMC Sierra 2500. Avoid the Denali and the AT4 if you’re not really off-roading and try the SLT trim level. You’ll have the Duramax diesel V8 engine and four-wheel drive. You’ll even have that versatile MultiPro tailgate, remote start, and heated seats. The driver assistance features are abundant, as well. And you’ll spend nearly $20,000 less than the Denali since the 2021 GMC Sierra 2500 SLT starts at $51,000.

The 2021 GMC Sierra 2500 is indeed a quality truck. But if you had luxury amenities in your new-truck plans, you might be disappointed in the Denali. And you may decide that the features at the SLT trim level bring enough features to meet your needs and for way less. Usually, the Denali badge signifies the best of the best in terms of upscale and high-quality comfort. But for this 2021 model, luxury may not be its strong suit.