Complaints: Drinking too much can ruin any relationship. It ruined this one. The Environmental Protection Agency says Denali gets 12 miles per gallon in the city and 15 mpg on the highway -- without carrying cargo or pulling a heavy trailer. Add a load and it gets much less.
Praise: The GMC 1500 Sierra Denali will find a happy home on Texas ranches and other estates, where trucks with lots of muscle and other capabilities are valued more than high-mileage vehicles. To its credit, the Denali also comes with lots of panache. That Quadrasteer system is a winner.
Engine: You want muscle? Try the Sierra Denali's 6-liter OHV V-8. It develops a whopping 325 horsepower at 5,000 revolutions per minute and 370 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm.
Transmission: A four-speed automatic is standard.
Body style/layout: Four-door, short-box, front-engine, full-time all-wheel-drive pickup with viscous-center differential, rear locking differential and center limited-slip differential.
Seating capacity: Five people.
Line position: The Denali sits at the top of the GMC 1500 Sierra line, which consists of 33 models.
Price: The eagle flies higher at the top. The base price of the tested 2002 GMC Sierra 1500 Sierra Denali is $43,395. Dealer's invoice price on that model is $37,962. Price as tested is $44,105, including a $720 destination charge. Price does not include applicable taxes and fees. The options list for this one is short.
Purse-strings note: The Sierra Denali sits above all other pickups with its Quadrasteer system. But the other 32 Sierra models have competitors among the Ford F-150, Dodge Ram 1500 and the Toyota Tundra.