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Article Comments - 2007 GMC Sierra Denali Full Test

Karen@EdmundsKaren@Edmunds Posts: 5,024
Take a look at our full test of this "luxury pickup". Tell us what you think.

Full Test: 2007 GMC Sierra Denali

Karen-Edmunds Community Manager



  • skytop1skytop1 Posts: 106
    Very comprehensive and readible test. Also, loved the accompanying video! Learned a lot. Thanks.
  • jbstxjbstx Posts: 2
    Did I read that the 2007 demali was only offered in AWD and that the 2008 model will be either 2wd or 4wd ??
    no more AWD ??
  • snapdavesnapdave Posts: 2
    You compare the 2wd Denali to a 4wd Tundra and wonder why it accelerates a little slower? It’s a matter of traction. Come on guys, you should know this already.

    Speaking of things you should know, last time I checked the Denali had an available power rear window opening. It’s not nearly as nice as Tundra Crew Max’s vertically sliding window though.
  • hondacura4hondacura4 Posts: 6
    Snapdave, I agree with you to a point. The 4WD will help with traction from a stop but once going its just extra baggage. Look at the trap speeds, nearly a 3 mph hour difference which is significant in a drag race, and on top of all that the Toyota is still HEAVIER by a great margin. Its hard to believe but even the 6.2 liter variant of GM's excellent LS series cant match the Toyota 5.7. Maybe Toyota is using closer gear ratios? Both are great trucks in the end.
  • gmcbobgmcbob Posts: 27
    Actually, I always found it pretty interesting that gear ratios aren't scrutinized in road tests more often, especially during vehicle comparisons. In this instance, keep in mind that the GMC uses a 3.42 axle ratio, while the Tundra comes with a 4.10 exle ratio. That will make quite a difference in acceleration times. The data is readily available, and often made available at the end of the tests, but rarely talked about when comparisons are made in acceleration. The Toyota is short on horsepower, but big on gears when compared to the GMC. My guess, if GMC offered a 4.10 gear (or someone put one in themselves) in the Denali, it would probably out accelerate the Tundra based on horsepower and torque, but probably get worse gas mileage. Overall, smart move on GM's part to keep the gears somewhat low (or high??).
  • 1offroader1offroader Posts: 208
    Keep in mind that rear axle ratio does not tell the whole story. The final drive ratio is what really matters. This is obtained by multiplying the rear axle ratio by the transmission gear ratio of whatever gear you're interested in comparing. For example, let's say the you want to know what the final drive ratio is for first gear, to compare the ability of two vehicles to get off the starting line. You would multiply first gear by 3.42 or 4.10 (or whatever). This gives an indication of how quick the vehicle could accelerate. If you want to get a feel for possible fuel mileage, you would multiply the tallest gear (6th, for a 6-speed trans) by the rear axle ratio (3.42 or 4.10, etc.)

    For offroad performance, you would multiply trans first gear X transfer case low gear X rear axle ratio, giving you the "compound low" final drive ratio. This would give an indication of how competent the vehicle might be in rough offroad conditions (but there are many other factors also).

    Is that clear?

  • markislievmarkisliev Posts: 35
    I would like to see the Tundra and Denali tested on the same day. Check out the article below it shows the AWD Sierra Denali having a higher trap speed than the Tundra. If the AWD can run 14.8's all day long then the 2wd flavor should be good for 14.5-14.6 1/4's if you are graceful with your launches(200lbs lighter than AWD)...I would like to see a re-test on the 2wd or a head to head comparison...This doesn't add up..

    In the edmunds test they didn't even run her to 6k rpm...from the review...

    "It feels as if it could keep pulling beyond the 5,500-rpm shift point. Shifts are quick and clean. FYI: you can get an extra 500 rpm out of the engine in manual-shift mode before the 6,000-rpm rev limiter kicks in. We tried to utilize this, but timing an electronically requested upshift proved too difficult, and with a 6.5-sec run to 60 mph, why bother?"

    They should have played with the manual shift more...This motor makes peak HP after 5500rpm...I'm sure the diablo tuner thats already out will get rid of the shift points and Tq management....Toyota will not be able to hang in the aftermarket support..

  • markislievmarkisliev Posts: 35
    The Tundra was also tested in January and the Denali in May...big diff in temps i'm sure that alone is worth 3/10ths...
  • Actually I think the Tundra will be more than able to hang in aftermarket parts. Considering the $10,000 you save in buying a Tundra as compared to a Denali you could put twin superchargers on the 5.7 L and push the HP near 600. I would argue that the Denal won't be able to hang with the Tundra because after you fork out $45,000 you won't be able to afford to do anything to it until your 6 years of financing are over.
  • markislievmarkisliev Posts: 35
    This powertrain will be available on all the 08-09' 1500 models I hear.

    The Denali comes with all the bells and whistles. A 4x4 Limited double cab Tundra with all the bells whistles will cost you well over 40k so I don't see the 10k in savings. You will be able to buy a 45k GM product for around 39k after you talk down the dealer..The Denali I want will cost me 36k after it's all said and done (2wd) much more room to move on a domestic vehicle sales price. There is no such config as twin must mean twin turbo. Just like the Titan I own, Toyota will never have the aftermarket and tuning support like GM. Import ECU code is so tough to crack. I would have a 12 second truck by now if I would have bought a GM vs a Titan. Modding an import cost serious money! All the Titan performance parts cost between double and triple, no competition due to small number of import. After 3 years they still don't even make a programmer for my Titan, you can already tune the GM 6.2's...I went [non-permissible content removed] now i'm going back. In my opinion the tundra's are great performers and look great on paper... just so damn ugly inside and out!

    It you are interested here is a link to my Titan page and my never ending quest for speed...Mark's Titan
  • Well I wasn't talking about bells and whistles, I was talking about performance. The only way you can get the 6.2 L with the 6 speed transmission in by purchasing a Denali which is listed at $45,000 with options. You can get the Tundra with the 5.7 Liter for under $30,000 for the Regular Cab and around $35,000 list price for the DoubleCab. There is your $10,000 difference. Also, the Tundra DC can tow more, haul more and is faster than the Denali. Doesn't seem like you are getting very much for your money. The TRD supercharger is $5,000 although I don't believe it is available yet. That still puts the Tundra DC about $4,000 under the price of the Denali after labor when considering list prices. With that you get a truck with around 80 more HP probably 50 more lb ft of torque, better gas mileage, almost 2,000lbs more towing and around 300lbs more hauling capacity. My take is the Denali is most definetly not worth the money.
  • titancrewtitancrew Posts: 14
    These were the conditions for testing according to Edmunds.

    Conditions for Testing: 2007 GMC Sierra Denali
    Temperature (Fahrenheit): 68.5
    Humidity: 51%
    Elevation (ft): 421
    Wind: 3

    Conditions for Testing: 2007 Toyota Tundra
    Temperature (Fahrenheit): 60
    Humidity: 26%
    Elevation (ft): 1121
    Wind: 1

    Conditions for Testing: 2007 Chevrolet Silverado
    Temperature (Fahrenheit): 61
    Humidity: 30%
    Elevation (ft): 1121
    Wind: 0

    Conditions for Testing: 2007 Nissan Titan
    Temperature (Fahrenheit): 62.2
    Humidity: 22%
    Elevation (ft): 1121
    Wind: 0

    Not a huge temp difference. The Tundra, Silverado and Titan were tested at a higher elevation than the Denali. That probably made up for the temp difference. But, I agree that a head-to-head match up on the same day is needed. Hook up a 7k or 8k trailer for a second run just for grins.
  • markislievmarkisliev Posts: 35
    You are correct... I didn't notice the data for test conditions..
  • guysykesguysykes Posts: 9
    First off, I have test driven 2 Denalis, and have ordered one. I will have it in my driveway in the last week of June. Second, I paid $38,750 out the door TT&L and everything incuded in that price. Third, idriveasunbird, are you seriously comparing a work truck to a luxury truck? Who is going to "hookup" a Denali? Who is going to drag race a Denali? Do you have any idea what an equally equiped Toyota would cost? Wait, they don't make one. If Lexus made a version of the Tundra, then you would have a matchup. Less than $30,000? Yeah, with cloth seats and an A.M. F.M. radio. Don't compare the price of a base model work truck to a truck with wood and leather interior, heated seats, 6 disc in dash CD, 9 speaker Bose sound, remote start, 20s, tire pressure monitoring system, OnStar, ect. In addition to all of that, the new Tundra looks like a 6 year old with down syndrome designed it. So, you are right. You can get a base model truck and put a "twin supercharger" on it (HAHAHA) and spend the same amount as me. But, since my Denali will look so much better than any Toyota product, and, street racing is illegal, it looks like the Denali wins.
  • markislievmarkisliev Posts: 35
    Congrats on your new Denali man. What's the turn around time on a special order? What was the sticker on your truck? I'm trying to get a feel for how much they are discounting this new fine piece of machinery. I plan on racing! Not on the street so much but I will mod her out some (tune,intake,ehxuast)still keeping it under warranty an see what she can do at the 1/4 mile track. Show them Tundras what's really going! I gotta change those shift points to 6k rpm for sure. Yes, my name is Mark and I'm a modaholic!
  • guysykesguysykes Posts: 9
    Thanks. It's hard to sleep at night. Lots af anxiety. Haha. This truck drives like a dream, and you should see the looks of envy you get at a stop light. Well, I ordered mine May the 5th, and my dealer e-mailed me today and told me that my order had been scheduled for the assembly line this morning. He said it would be 7-14 days before it's built, and an additional 14-16 days for shipping, so 40-55 days from order to delivery. There was no sticker, because it didn't exist yet. I e-mailed two dealerships and listed the options I wanted and asked for an out the door price. One tried to get me to come look at a fully loaded one for 50,000, and the other gave me what I asked for. Mine was 38,750 TOTAL, but the only option I had was 20s. for an all wheel with navigation, sunroof, power rear window, back seat dvd, and heated steering wheel it's 47,500. I'm not paying 10,000 for two TVs and a sunroof. Bad news for you though. The deadline for ordering 2007 Denalis was the 16th of May. You will now have to find one on the lot, or wait for 08. If you race it, let me know how it does. Toyotas are the ugliest trucks I've ever seen. Inside and outside. In all, a horrible truck design. If I worked at Toyota, and a designer showed me that crap, I would punch him right in the mouth, and fire him. But, I would drive one.............if it was free...........and then I would drive it straight to a dealer and sell it, and put the money towards my REAL truck. A Sierra Denali.
  • markislievmarkisliev Posts: 35
    You just can't compare the Denali and a Tundra. The Tundra is just so damn ugly. What the hell were they thinking? Fisher price looking interior and a wanna be dodge least my Nissan was kinda handsome!
  • shujatshujat Posts: 2
    Hey Everyone, New to the forum here. I just picked up my new Denali Sierra AWD, black on black on Friday. First of all, in my opinion, I really think this truck is built solid, and the powertrain is very smooth unlike earlier models, possibly because of the 6-spd, smoother revs. I agree this truck has no comparison, since it leads the market in power, and luxury appointments. I hope this truck will last me for the next 6 years because thats how long im financed in for.

  • markislievmarkisliev Posts: 35
    Congrats Sammy, Well atleast they have 5 yr. / 100,000 mi. powertrain warranty now. Seems like it would last 6! What kind of gas milage do you get at hwy speeds?
  • shujatshujat Posts: 2
    Hey Mark, Thanks! Well we went furniture shopping, and on the freeway it averages according to the trip computer 17-18mpg if youre going in the 55-65mph range. I usually leave the computer to miles to empty mode to see the difference and when I left the house it was 251 miles to empty, and after a day end it was 230 to empty. I am absolutely happy with it so far, and love the remote start feature, because it turns on the A/C by the time we walk to the truck its nice and cool on a hot day like today. :)

    I considered other brands, but I had GM supplier through my company and I couldnt pass it up. Oh and if it adds any brownie points, I got glaring head turns by people today. I have unfortunately not seen another Sierra Denali on the road. I hope they are popular over time.

    Thats my two cents....

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