Used 2017 Sierra Denali 2500: How it Won Me Over

2017 Sierra Denali Front View Feature

Turns out I look pretty good in a truck.

I’ve never considered myself a “truck girl.” I’ve always looked at buying a vehicle through two lenses: functionality for my family and noticeably good looks.

Typical trucks, in my opinion, often lack in the area of designer style but they make up for these fashion shortcomings in rugged functionality. I guess that’s what makes this type of style so popular as a “work” vehicle or for people who have large items they need to frequently haul.

Who the GMC Sierra Denali Is For

  • Singles or couples or smaller families
  • Buyers whose passengers can easily get in and out of this full-size truck
  • Buyers who need a truck and also want luxury details
  • Truck buyers who spend a lot of time in their truck, either driving or working
  • Buyers who need 4 wheel drive
  • Executives who need a truck’s capability but want the functionality and luxury that the Denali offers
  • Drivers who are not afraid to park a large vehicle
  • Buyers who need a truck for work, towing or just looking a bit more bad ass
  • Truck buyers who will to heavy equipment or carry heavy objects in the truck bed should consider the 2500 Duramax diesel

What It Costs

(prices may have changed)

  • 2017 Sierra Denali 2500 4WD Crew Cab Standard Price: $58,495.00
  • Same vehicle with upgraded Duramax Plus Package (and additional add ons as shown): $70,540.00

Because my functionality needs tend to slide more towards hauling around kids instead of lumber or a trailer, buying a truck with my lifestyle never really made sense. Although with all of this said, if I’m being completely honest, my number one reason for shying away from truck ownership is that they can be incredibly hard to park!

2017 Sierra Denali 2500 4Wd Crew Cab

2017 Sierra Denali 2500 4WD Crew Cab. ?Mary Moore

2017 Sierra Denali 2500 4WD Crew Cab.

After driving around in the 2017 Sierra Denali 2500 4WD Crew Cab for a week with my family, I started to wonder if my generalizations about trucks were all wrong. This luxury truck did have surprisingly beautiful style, it provided stellar function and comfort to my family, and parking wasn’t as big of an issue as I made it out to be. Plus, I suddenly realized how practical and useful the truck bed could be – even in my non-industry lifestyle.

Related: Not sure a truck is right for you? Check out the GMC Yukon SUV.

2017 Sierra Denali 2500 Driver Display

Driver display on the 2017 Sierra Denali 2500. ?Mary Moore

The Modish Design

True to truck design, it’s a larger vehicle but in this case, it’s not the size of the vehicle but the voluptuous character about it that makes it hard to ignore. Seriously, if this luxury truck were a woman, I would stand in applause for its ability to nail that highly sought after chic styled charisma that demands attention when entering a room.

This Diesel Truck Is A Workhorse, But Do You Really Need This Much Power? 

The ‘2500 Duramax’ in Sierra’s name indicates that this truck has a big diesel engine. It’s a 6.6L V8 turbo diesel with a 6-speed transmission and a 36 gallon tank. If I were regularly towing horses or a large boat, the large diesel might make sense for me.

Here’s how it differs from the standard gas engine Sierra: the gas model gets 16 MPG city/22 highway and can tow up to 9,400 lbs. The 2500 Duramax has towing capacity of 18,000 lbs, is said to average about 15 MPG city/18 MPG highway (GMC did not provide fuel efficiency estimates). Diesels tend to have larger fuel tanks and go further on a tank; the 2500 Duramax is estimated to get about 650 miles on a tank.

In the past, diesel trucks were known for being loud and slow, but the power was necessary for the job they were doing. GMC addresses that in the Sierra 2500 Duramax by adding the turbo, which makes the truck smooth and quick, not lagging at all in traffic, and by quieting the engine noise. If I hadn’t known this was a diesel, I wouldn’t have known it was a diesel.

2017 Sierra Denali 2500 Interior

Inside the 2017 Sierra Denali 2500. ?Mary Moore

The sleek design of the front grill and hood scoop lift this truck to a higher standard of design over typical work trucks. These features make it a point to say that the 2017 Sierra Denali is powerful as well as stylish. Additionally, the 20″ chrome wheels accessorize nicely to the overall alluring poise.

Related: 2019 GMC Terrain: the Compact SUV is the New Classic Family Car

2017 Sierra Denali 2500 Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel

2017 Sierra Denali – leather wrapped steering.? Mary Moore

The interior is no different! With a leather-wrapped steering wheel and leather-appointed seating, the inside is also dressed to impress. Plus, it comes with all of the standard accessories that make design meet functionality – such as an 8″ diagonal color touch navigation, HD radio with Android Auto by Google or Apple Carplay by Apple.

2017 Sierra Denali 2500 Infotainment Center

8″ Diagonal Color Touch Navigation, HD Radio, Android Auto, and Apple Carplay. ?Mary Moore

Family Functionality

While the 2017 Sierra Denali 2500 definitely surprised me in terms of looks, I couldn’t wait to find out how it held up to my family dynamic of two kids who are both within that young tween age. Meaning I have two kids with pretty big opinions on the comfort levels of vehicles and how many plugs they have accessible to the rear seating.

Rear Seating Space In 2017 Sierra Denali 2500

Good space in the rear seats of the 2017 Sierra Denali 2500. ? Mary Moore

Surprise! Even though I thought the kids would feel cramped and uncomfortable in a truck, the crew cab of the Sierra Denali actually gave them adequate space. There was even a large cupholder that folded down between them, allowing them to conveniently mark their territory.

2017 Sierra Denali 2500 Rear Seating

Rear seating in the 2017 Sierra Denali. ? Mary Moore

As for technology needs, we found a household power outlet and two USB ports in the front near the command center. Plus, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities available for purchase through Onstar.

Luxury Truck

Utility plugs in the 2017 Sierra Denali 2500 ?Mary Moore

One final aspect that I really enjoyed about this vehicle was the power sliding rear window and the upgraded power sunroof addition. These two, often unnoticed accessories, allowed me to get fresh air in the vehicle without aggravating myself or my passengers with the uncomfortable wind that comes with rolling down windows on the highway. Yes, there is air-conditioning, but for me, nothing beats fresh smelling air (especially with two active tweens in the vehicle – sorry, I love you)!

The Truck Bed Can Have Everyday Use

That brings me to another great point. Having two active tweens means sports bags, equipment, and other sometimes large or stinky things to haul around. Giving me a once unrealized good reason to appreciate the use of a truck bed.

And it’s not only that! With the EZ lift and lower tailgate, plus the corner step on the rear bumper and spray on bedliner, using the truck bed was easier than I imagined. I also loved having the empowerment to be able to buy anything I like regardless of size. That antique dresser I found at a yard sale? I can totally get it home if I want to buy it! Feels good to have that sense of freedom.

Parking Doesn’t Have To Be a Deal Breaker

Now that the Sierra Denali has contrarily opened my mind to new vehicle options due to its fashionable design and family functionality, the only obstacle left is parking. Yes, that dreaded task of parking a truck in a full lot! Can it be overcome?

I’m sad to say no – at least not for me. Trying to squeeze a large truck into a tight space is still frustrating. However, I did notice that the Sierra did come equipped with a few features to help ease the pain.

Luxury Truck

?Mary Moore

For instance, the truck comes equipped with a safety alert seat which vibrates to let me know if I’m coming too close to another vehicle. Plus, it has a rear view camera, which helps me see what’s behind me when it can often be hard to see over the truck bed. To top it all off, the Sierra has standard with front and rear park assist. This is the overall feature that alerts you to the distance of objects around your vehicle.

While parking can still be a concern, it’s nice to know that the Sierra has the style, comfort, and technology to help me feel more well-placed in the driver seat of a truck. I can now say that I can be a “truck girl” when I want to be. The choice is not made for me but by me.

What We Loved

  • Safety Features: Lane Departure Warning, Safety Alert Seat, Forward Collision Alert
  • Standard 20″ chrome wheels
  • Rear bumper corner step
  • Heated and vented seats; both driver and passenger
  • Power sliding rear window
  • Standard leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Bose Audio System

What You Need to Know

  • Diesel fuel required (never make the mistake of putting regular gas in a diesel tank!)
  • Roomy and comfortable for 5, but seats 5
  • 5 YR/ 60,000-mile Powertrain limited warranty
  • 5 YR/100,000 mile HD Duramax warranty
  • 5 YR/100,000 mile 24-HR roadside assistance included
  • 5 YR basic OnStar subscription included

A Girls Guide To Cars | Used 2017 Sierra Denali 2500: How It Won Me Over - 2017 Sierra Denali

GMC provided the 2017 Sierra Denali for my review. All opinions are my own.

Mary Moore is a frequent road tripper, vintage car collector, and quirky travel enthusiast. One might say that her... More about Mary Moore