Army Testing The GMC Denali 3500 HD: How Does It Stack Up?

You know the drill, a new year means new rigs. I am doing my best to get ahold of every new big truck from each of the big manufacturers and stacking them against one another.I’m breaking down how each truck performs and will fill you in on all of the details you want to know prior to making such a big purchase. Up first, this beautiful Summit White 2020 GMC Denali 3500 HD.

For starters, I just want to cover my initial thoughts upon arrival. When the guys at GMC delivered this unit, I was sort of shocked. This truck is an absolute monster. I feel like we’re almost pushing the limits on the size of trucks because it seemed as if there was a boat coming down my road, you know? But hey, if you’ve got big jobs to do, you need big help.

The 2020 3500 dually that we acquired was a Denali Ultimate package and came with basically every gizmo and gadget you can imagine. If you like buttons, you’d be in heaven. Based on the package, color, and size, you’re looking at just north of $75,000 for this exact truck. So what do you get for this amount of money?

Configuration And Trim

You’re looking at a 98.27-inch Crew Cab Long Bed dually. It offers an unbelievable amount of head, leg, shoulder, and hip room on the front captain’s chairs and will seat up to six passengers. With the offered power numbers and a total wheelbase of 172-inches, this truck can not only work hard, but it can also make for a nice cruiser.

Work, pleasure, or just to cruise, this truck is ready.

Underneath the hood is the coveted 6.6-Liter Duramax Turbo-Diesel V8 engine backed by the legendary 10-speed Allison transmission. You’re wheeling 445-horsepower and 910-lb/ft of torque. Although these numbers are shy of some other options on the road, this power level mixed with a 3.42 rear axle ratio makes for a smooth but powerful ride.

Other features on this truck include a built-in exhaust brake, engine block heater, 220-amp alternator, capped fuel fill with Diesel Exhaust Fluid behind the door with the fuel lid, and engine after-run feature for cooling performance. As for the driveline, the Allison 10-speed is full of great features too.

It is 100-percent electronically controlled with overdrive for smooth shifting performance, a tow/haul mode that reduces shift cycling for better control and improved cooling when towing or hauling heavy loads. An Auto Grade Braking feature that automatically downshifts when needed to enable engine braking helps slow the vehicle on downhill grades and reduce brake wear. So far, this truck is a nice package.

Color Options

Like mentioned before, our truck was coated with the standard Summit White color but there are a ton of different options for those of you who aren’t a fan of white. Onyx Black, Quicksilver Metallic, Pacific Blue Metallic, Dark Sky Metallic, Carbon Black Metallic, Red Quartz Tincoat, and White Frost Tricoat. As for the interior, you have plenty of options too.

The package we received was the Jet Black Forge Perforated, leather-appointed seat trim. Other colors include the same luxurious leather but in a Dark Walnut / Dark Ash color. I’m betting that depending on your package, you probably will have other color options but for our Denali, these are your choices.

Other interior features were the 8-inch Diagonal Premium GMC Infotainment System with Navigation. The Multi-Touch display offered AM/FM/SiriusXM stereo, HD Radio capability, Bluetooth streaming, Apple CarPlay, AndroidAuto, Voice-Activation for phone, USB ports to connect electronics, and the option to control and manage smartphones via the Infotainment system.

Our Package

Like mentioned before, we got the Denali Ultimate package. This option offered multiple different things which include HD Surround Vision with Two Trailer View Camera Provisions, Rear Camera mirror, Multi-Color 15-inch diagonal Head-Up Display, and Bed View Camera and a Power Sunroof up on top.

On the exterior of the truck, we had the standard 17-inch forged, polished-aluminum wheels that came wrapped in a set of LT235/80R17E All-Season, Highway-Rated Blackwall tires. On top of this, the suspension package that is on here is designed to help maintain handling and ride quality while towing a trailer or carrying a load. When properly equipped, which means the weight of passengers, the vehicle, and cargo/equipment, this has a 14,000-pound GVWR.

Now that we’ve listed out the options and features about our truck, let’s hit the road and see what the driving impressions are. Right off the bat, I can tell you I loved that this truck was so quiet. I mean, most of these new trucks are pretty quiet when compared to the older, rumbling trucks we’re probably used to.

I was pleased upon arrival of this truck to see that it was equipped with the Multi-Pro tailgate. This option offers a multi-foldable tailgate which makes for a nice work surface, a way to get into the bed, and more. But I found an issue with this. Imagine you’re just returning home from the lake or the track or anywhere but you’ve left the receiver hitch in the truck.

You forget about it and hit that Multi-Pro tailgate button that allows the center to flip down and guess what happens. I am no expert but personally I see this as a potential problem. I know that there are some of us out there that would see this and make sure it wouldn’t happen but accidents happen, am I right? What do you think about this?

On The Road Again

I liked that the power was right at the end of your feet. What I mean by that is the “power curve” is always available. They did a great job in configuring this 10-speed transmission and this V8 Duramax engine. I was really hoping to get ahold of a trailer and some equipment during this window but due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it just wasn’t in the cards.

On the highway, the truck had no problem keeping up with the flow of traffic, even as speeds neared 80 mph. Getting around slow drivers was not an issue. The ride quality and the comfort in the cab was enjoyable for all the passengers. The size of the truck gave everyone plenty of room.

We can’t thank the entire group at GMC enough for allowing us to come out to the initial Ride & Drive event in Wyoming and certainly for allowing us to have one of these trucks and pilot it for a few days to really get close and personal with it. If you’re ready to get your order in on one of these 2020 Denali HD trucks, be sure and check out the GMC website here. For more truck reviews, parts installs and event coverage, stay tuned right here at Diesel Army.

 

Article Sources

About the author

Artie Maupin

Artie Maupin is from Southeast Missouri and has an extreme passion for anything diesel. He loves drag racing of all kinds, as well as sled pulling competitions.
Read My Articles

Everything Off Road in your inbox.

Build your own custom newsletter with the content you love from Off Road Xtreme, directly to your inbox, absolutely FREE!

Free WordPress Themes
Off Road Xtreme NEWSLETTER - SIGN UP FREE!

We will safeguard your e-mail and only send content you request.

Off Road Xtreme - The Off Road Magazine

We'll send you the most exciting Off Road articles, news, truck features, and videos every week.

Off Road Xtreme - The Off Road Magazine

Off Road Xtreme NEWSLETTER - SIGN UP FREE!

We will safeguard your e-mail and only send content you request.

Off Road Xtreme - The Off Road Magazine

Thank you for your subscription.

Subscribe to more FREE Online Magazines!

We think you might like...



Diesel Army

Hot Rods & Muscle Cars

Engine Tech

Off Road Xtreme - The Off Road Magazine

Thank you for your subscription.

Subscribe to more FREE Online Magazines!

We think you might like...

  • Diesel Army
  • Hot Rods & Muscle Cars
  • Engine Tech

Off Road Xtreme - The Off Road Magazine

Thank you for your subscription.

Thank you for your subscription.

Off Road Xtreme - The Off Road Magazine

Thank you for your subscription.

Thank you for your subscription.

Loading