Denali package upgrades new GMC heavy-duty pickups - Video

April 2011 News

Flat-screen TVs and pickup trucks prompt owners to play the same game: Mine's bigger. And they trigger the same anxious second-guessing: I shoulda bought the bigger one.

Easy to see with TVs, because bigger has meant better - more bells, whistles, features, picture. But among pickups, bigger has meant heavier-duty, able to tow and haul more, make the owner look more like a serious truck person. Not necessarily nicer, or more pleasant, or more livable - usually less livable, in fact.

Lately, though, truck makers have been shoveling the fancy trim from their half-ton, standard-duty pickups into their heavier-duty models, the so-called three-quarter-ton and one-ton versions.

And that's what General Motors' trucks-only brand, GMC, has done. When it overhauled its heavy-duty Sierra pickups for 2011 - only a front stabilizer part is carried over from 2010, even though the new ones don't look much different - it added the successful Denali luxury package as an option.

Despite the stiff price premium and more expensive fuel, diesel's the choice of most heavy-duty buyers. Diesels have more power to pull heavy trailers while using less fuel than a gas engine would. Diesels also have a reputation for lasting longer.

We wanted to see how such a hefty rig served in ordinary duty. For specifics on how the new GMC and corporate sibling Chevrolet models fared in tougher duty, check with our pals at



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