GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Wins TRUCK TREND’s 2016 Pickup Truck of the Year Award

First-Class Amenities, 21st Century Technology, and
Best-in-Class Power Lead GMC Sierra 1500 Denali to Best Field of Seven

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–TRUCK TREND, the nation’s premier light-truck authority, has selected
the GMC Sierra 1500 Denali as the winner of its second annual Pickup
Truck of the Year Award.

TRUCK TREND’s Pickup Truck of the Year award program is an
invitation-only shootout that is only open to all-new or significantly
revised pickup trucks for the upcoming model year. For 2016, the field
of vehicles included seven entries from five companies and consisted of
one variant from each company’s eligible product line. This year’s
contenders included:

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country
Chevrolet Colorado Z71
Canyon SLT
GMC Sierra 1500 Denali
Nissan Titan XD Pro4X
1500 Rebel
Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road

TRUCK TREND’s experts were immediately impressed with the Sierra Denali,
which is focused on comfort, safety, and innovation. For 2016 the Sierra
Denali received a styling update by way of an all-new front fascia
featuring advanced LED lighting that includes GMC’s signature daytime
running lamps, headlamps, and foglamps. Premium accents and features are
found throughout. A new body-colored front bumper leads the way, while
chrome-clad mirrors, door handles, and trim add a light touch of class.
Unique 20-inch, ultra-bright, machined aluminum wheels round out the
exterior décor and add to the upscale Denali’s presence.

First-rate features abound in the cabin, starting with perforated
leather seating, soft-touch materials on the instrument and door panels,
and real brushed-aluminum trim. Triple-sealed doors, hydraulic body
mounts, and active noise-cancellation technology all work together to
ensure that Sierra Denali has the quietest cabin in the class. Magnetic
Ride Control suspension provided a smooth and comfortable ride in all
road conditions.

Tucked under the skin was a 6.2L V-8 engine that churned out 420 hp and
460 lb-ft of torque, which was mated to an all-new, eight-speed
automatic transmission. This combination propelled the Sierra Denali to
the top of our leaderboard when it came to instrumented testing. With an
unladen 0-60-mph time of just 6.60 seconds and an elapsed quarter-mile
time of 15.03 seconds at an astonishing 97.83 mph, the Sierra Denali was
one of the quickest production pickups our experts have ever tested. The
Sierra Denali backed this up by besting our field on the track with a
payload and trailer in tow as well. Even with so much power on tap, the
Sierra Denali returned an impressive best tank of more than 19 mpg.

“GMC has set out to produce the definition of a luxury pickup, and its
Sierra Denali has certainly hit that mark,” says TRUCK TREND Editor
Jason Gonderman. “By combining a finely appointed interior with a
world-class drivetrain and 21st-century technology, GMC has
taken the fullsize truck to the next level. Our test is hard on both man
and machine, and the fact that the Sierra Denali took on each grueling
challenge with relative ease consistently impressed our panel of

The GMC Sierra 1500 Denali won TRUCK TREND’s 2016 Pickup Truck of the
Year award only after completing a demanding weeklong test comprised of
more than 1,100 miles of performance testing, hauling, towing, fuel
economy calculation, and off-roading—all important disciplines in which
truck owners expect their vehicle to be competent.

To thoroughly test each truck, the competition began with a day of
instrumented testing at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.
The field was subjected to 0-60-mph and quarter-mile acceleration
testing as well as 60-0-mph braking while unladen. Each truck was then
loaded up with its maximum payload and retested from 0-60 and for
quarter-mile elapsed time. The final instrumented test involved each
truck accelerating to 60 mph while towing 75 percent of its rated
trailer capacity.

Using the same parameters as the instrumented testing, the trucks were
again loaded up and driven on a 15-mile loop through Southern
California. Throughout the day, experts, payloads, and trailers rotated
through the group, allowing each judge to drive every vehicle with a
payload and a trailer. This also allowed testers to experience how easy
each truck was to load or hook a trailer to, effectiveness of tie-down
positions and integrated trailer brake controllers, how well the trucks
were designed with outward visibility in mind, and chassis performance,
among other features important to truck buyers.

With load testing complete, the vehicles were pointed toward
California’s Owens Valley, where the field completed extensive
off-highway testing over 50 miles of diverse desert trail. Through
rough, graded roads, muddy basins, rocky climbs, and sandy washes,
judges were able to evaluate tires, gearing, traction aids, electronic
traction controls, ground clearance, suspension tuning, four-wheel-drive
systems, thermal management, and overall vehicle dynamics.

Finally, over the course of the 1,100-mile test the experts had ample
time on the highway with each vehicle to form qualified opinions
regarding important factors such as interior ergonomics, seat comfort,
technology usability, build quality, and features and benefits of each
truck, while also logging fuel usage to gauge real-world economy.

With testing completed, the staff at TRUCK TREND crunched the data and
found that the Sierra 1500 Denali led in three out of seven scoring
categories: Interior (10%), Functionality (15%) and Empirical (20%),
while coming in Second Place in the Highway (15%) and Exterior (15%)
portion of the test. The remaining two categories were Off-Road (15%)
and Towing and Hauling (15%). In the end, it was the Sierra 1500 Denali
that scored the highest number of points and earned the nod from TRUCK
TRENDs jurors.

“TRUCK TREND’s Pickup Truck of the Year award is not a popularity
contest,” says Sean P. Holman, content director for TEN: The Enthusiast
Network’s Truck and Off-Road Group. “ It is a data-driven test by truck
enthusiasts who drive and evaluate trucks every day, bringing to the
test expertise in different truck disciplines. TRUCK TREND prides itself
as being the credible go-to authority for light-truck reviews and
information for the industry.”


®, a media brand of TEN: The Enthusiast Network, was founded in
1998 as an offshoot of MOTOR
, an internationally recognized automotive brand. TRUCK TREND,
the authority on light trucks, is an industry leader in the truck
category and currently has a total audience of 2.1 million. The brand
tests and reports on sport-utility vehicles and crossovers, with an
emphasis on pickup trucks, providing vital information to new-model
shoppers and avid truck enthusiasts alike. Please visit

About GMC

GMC has manufactured trucks since 1902, with innovation and engineering
excellence built into all GMC vehicles. The brand is evolving to offer
more fuel-efficient trucks and crossovers, including the Terrain small
SUV and Acadia crossover. GMC’s highest-volume vehicle, the Sierra
pickup, is the most powerful light-duty pickup on the market, and the
first fullsize pickup to receive the highest-possible five-star Overall
Vehicle Score for safety since the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration changed its New Car Assessment Program for the 2011 model
year. Details on all GMC models are available at

About TEN: The Enthusiast Network

TEN: The
Enthusiast Network
is the world’s premier network of
enthusiast brands, such as MOTOR TREND, AUTOMOBILE, HOT ROD, SURFER,
TRANSWORLD SKATEBOARDING, and GRINDTV. With more than 50 publications,
60 websites, 50 events, 1,000 branded products,
TREND OnDemand
subscription video on-demand service, and the
world’s largest action/adventure sports media platform, TEN inspires
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Truck Trend Network
Sean P. Holman
Content Director
The Enthusiast Network
Rob Quigley
PR & Social Media Manager,