Danielle Villeneuve

Making Waves: 2019 GMC Sierra Denali

There are a few moments in life that you never forget. A word of warning, this review is going to be slightly different than what you typically read here. This is going to be a fairly personal one.

2019 GMC Sierra Denali 1

I had been planning this long-weekend trip to the New Hampshire coast for some time. With that came the need for a vehicle that could see me through whatever December in New England could offer. Of course weather is questionable, so I required the assistance of something that is going to be great for whatever weather is in store for us, thankfully GMC obliged and gave me the all new Sierra Denali.

On December 7th, 2018 I decided that I was going to take the next step in my life. Obviously there had been some prior planning, but at 7am my girlfriend and I packed up and hit the road for Boston. The navigation in the truck said it was going to be about 3 hours, and we typically stop once. Our early Friday departure meant we piled up miles without delay, arriving in Boston around 10:20am. The Sierra Denali was comfortable and quiet, but not fuel efficient. Even with the all-new 10 speed automatic attached to the optional 6.2L V8, we were still struggling to get out of the mid-teens per gallon.

2019 GMC Sierra Denali 3

Boston and the all-new 2019 GMC Sierra Denali are not a match made in heaven. At just over 19 feet long, navigating the cobblestone streets and finding surface parking is not the best idea. Thankfully, a friend just happened to know every garage in downtown Boston capable of fitting a full-size truck, so we made our way to the Boston Common lot underneath the park. Capable is a stretch, for sure. The sheer height of the Sierra Denali meant that we had about 2 inches of clearance from the roof at any given time. My girlfriend could hardly watch and I crawled over every single bump, but we made it.

The weather was sunny, but brisk. A blustery wind came off Massachusetts Bay and temperatures were in the low 20s, but that wasn’t going to stop us from walking to our favorite places. Our first stop was the New England Aquarium since we both share a passion for aquatic life, and even have some of our own fish tanks at home. Next was the ever-popular Legal Seafood, and then off to some of the historic sites which we enjoy. Looking back on the great history of this country, the hardships our forefathers endured, and the legacy that has stood the test of time really puts our lives in perspective. From there, it was back to the truck, which happened to be manufactured in Michigan, and we set off for another old city, Portsmouth NH.

This leg of the journey should have taken about an hour, but we hit prime Friday-night rush hour in one of the United States most car-unfriendly cities. The hefty $68,235 truck did not have adaptive cruise control. I don’t typically go for all the technology in a car, but I do enjoy adaptive cruise control and it does come in handy in heavy traffic situations. It seems like a strange omission considering the lane keep assist, forward collision warning and blind spot monitoring available in this truck. The interior of the Sierra claims to be all new, but it disappointingly feels like more of a refresh. It does arrive outfitted with premium leather and real wood accents, but you’ll still find some hard plastic trim which cheapens the overall feel of the interior.

Although we didn’t make use of the bed during our time with the Sierra Denali, we do have to mention a clever new feature; the tailgate. The MultiPro tailgate provides you with six different configurations include a load-stop for longer items, a work station, and a drop-down step. It’s made from solid material to ensure it holds up to abuse. The only downside to this nifty tailgate is that it’s only available on the SLT trim level or higher. It also requires quite a lot of practice to master, like one of those Transformers toys from our childhood.

2019 GMC Sierra Denali 2

We arrived in Portsmouth around 5pm and decided to check into the hotel before heading out for dinner. The founders of Portsmouth also weren’t thinking about 19-foot trucks in 1623, meaning the town is rather unfriendly to larger vehicles. Again, we decided to park the Sierra and walk. After dinner, I decided that it was time. They say when you know, you know. And I knew exactly how I was going to propose to my girlfriend. So we headed back to the truck, turned on the heated seats and steering wheel, and went to the beach.

It was almost 8:30pm and rapidly approaching single digit temperatures when we pulled into Odiorne Point State Park. With the weather threatening to ruin the mood, I decided for once we weren’t going to walk and drove the truck straight out onto the beach. The bright LED headlights lit our pathway out on the sand. I looked up and there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky. She was looking up at the sky, so right there with the tide coming in, the skies clear, and lit solely by headlights, I took the opportune moment to ask her to marry me.

2019 GMC Sierra Denali 5

Years of dating and a couple of months of planning don’t prepare you for the moment. It’s a rush, a sensory overload, a once-in-a-lifetime memory that we both won’t forget. By the end of the day, our weekend had just begun and we had a lifetime of memories to make. But the moment that started it all will be forever etched into our minds.

-Scott Villeneuve

Special thanks to GMC and Eric at FMI for helping make sure we had a vehicle that could make it to the beach!

2019 GMC Sierra Denali 1500 4WD Crew Cab $58,000
Denali Ultimate Package $5,850
6.2L Ecotec3 V8 $2,495
Dark Sky Metallic $395
Destination Charges $1,495
As Tested MSRP $68,235

[Editors note: Congratulations Scott & Danielle, I wish you all the best! It’s been wonderful to watch you two grow together and, as your friend, I’m honored that you’ve asked me to participate in your special day. Just know that I expect you to review all the minivans from here on out! Much love, Chris.]


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