2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab

MSRP $56,295 - $62,785

Ranked #6 in Midsize Pickup-truck

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: July 7, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


Denali trim in the GMC line of trucks simply means the absolute best and most luxurious version of the vehicle. The 2021 GMC Sierra comes in six trims namely, base, SLE, Elevation, SLT, AT4, and the top of the line Denali that we will be reviewing today. The Denali is exclusively equipped with an array of luxury features while offering a plethora of customization options. There are many changes, additions, and special touches all around as well as inside the Denali trim that makes it truly unique. 

More from 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab

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Pros

Strong engines and performance 

Spacious and luxurious interior 

Intuitive infotainment unit

Cons

Interior looks outdated

The ride quality of the rougher side

Interior build quality not up to the mark

What's New?

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Remains mostly unchanged for 2021


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$56295

bodystyle

3dr Crew Cab

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

rear wheel drive

engine type

displacement

325 cu.in.

horsepower

355 hp @ 5600 rpm

torque

383 lb.-ft.. @ 4100 rpm

transmission

8 speed shiftable automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

13.5/13.6 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

147.43 in.

length

231.72 in.

width

81.24 in.

height

75.49 in.

curb weight

4820 lbs.

ground clearance

7.9 in.

capacity

passenger volume

39.3 cu ft.

cargo volume

89.1 cu ft.

towing capacity

9600 lbs.

payload capacity

2040 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6.5 sec.

zero to 100 mph

14.6 sec.

rolling start 5-60 mph

7.5

standing 1/4-mile

15 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

210 ft.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

corrosion warranty

6 yr./ 100000 mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$56,295 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab in Black Onyx color
Black Onyx

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Engine and Performace

7.0

Pricing and Features

9.0

Fuel Economy

6.0

Interior

7.0

Exterior

6.0

Safety

9.0

Competition

8.0

7.4

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.4

Overall Rating


For 2021 the GMC Sierra 1500 Denali comes with not many new features except for wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. The Denali trim comes with two engine options which include a 5.3 L Ecotec V8 and a stronger 6.2 L EcoTec V8 engine along with two different transmission options. The Denali Crew Cab is available in both 2WD as well as 4WD configurations. It competes with the top-end trims of the Ford F-150 SuperCrew, RAM 1500 Crew Cab, and the Nissan Titan Crew Cab.

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab front angle view
2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab rear angle view

6.0/10
Fuel Economy

7.0/10
Interior

6.0/10
Exterior

9.0/10
Safety

8.0/10
Competition


2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab Features

The 2021 GMC Sierra is a standalone trim with many available configurations possible. The Denali is a Crew Cab exclusive trim that comes with two engine options, two transmission options, and two-bed lengths available. The Denali trim comes standard with a 5.3-liter V8 whereas the 6.2 L V8 is optional. The 5.3 L engine is available with both 2WD as well as 4WD drivetrain options and in the 2WD configuration, it comes mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission whereas the 4WD model gets a 10-speed auto. The 6.2 L engine however is exclusively 4WD and comes with the 10-speed transmission as standard. 

There are also different packages available with the Denali trim which include Denali Ultimate Package costing $5,885, Denali Premium Package, Technology Package costing $1,875, and the Driver Alert Package II priced at $1,045. All of these packages add exclusive features to the Denali trim which is already the most equipped trim in the Sierra 1500 lineup of trucks. The following table shows the detailed list of features and starting prices of the Denali trim models.

Trims

Denali

MSRP

$55,800 (2WD)

$59,300 (4WD)

Key Features

Standard Continuous Damping Adaptive Ride Control

 

15" diagonal Head-Up Display and Rear Camera

 

Adaptive Cruise Control

 

22" high-gloss black or bright chrome wheels

 

GMC MultiPro Power Steps

 

MultiPro Audio System by Kicker

 

8-inch diagonal, digital Driver Information Center

 

Bose Premium Sound System

We Recommend

The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab is a standalone trim that is available in different powertrain configurations. The Denali with the stronger 6.2 L engine which is exclusive in the 4WD drivetrain with the 10-speed automatic transmission would be the ideal choice. The Denali is the highest-end option in the Sierra 1500 lineup and there are also various packages available with it. 

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab Engine and Performance

The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab comes with two engine options. The standard one is a 5.3-liter V8 that produces 355 hp, 383 lb-ft of maximum power and torque. It is available in both 2WD as well as 4WD configurations. The 2WD models are mated to an 8-speed automatic, while the 4WD models come equipped with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The 4WD models could also be opted with a bigger 6.2-liter V8 engine making 420 hp and 460 lb-ft and comes mated to the 10-speed automatic as standard.

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab driving view

The power outputs are high even with the smaller and the 6.2 L engine is a bit more powerful although the difference is not drastic. However, the optional 6.2 L engine is an impressive performer, it reaches 60mph in 5.5 seconds while the 5.3 L engine takes 6.2 seconds. The Denali trim with the 6.2 L stronger engine can also cross the quarter-mile in 14.0 seconds which is again super impressive for a truck of its size. Both the engine options happen to be strong and deliver great speed and it is actually among the fastest in the segment.

Models

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab

2021 Ford F-150 SuperCrew King Ranch

2021 RAM 1500 Crew Cab Limited

2021 Nissan Titan Crew Cab Platinum Reserve

MSRP

$55,800 (2WD)

$59,300 (4WD)

$56,330 (2WD)

$59,755 (4WD)

$56,050 (2WD)

$59,550 (4WD)

$56,040 (2WD)

$59,280 (4WD)

Engine

5.3 L V8

5.0 L V8

5.7 L V8

5.6 L V8

Drivetrain

RWD/AWD

RWD/AWD

RWD/AWD

RWD/AWD

Transmission

8-speed shiftable automatic (2WD)

10-speed shiftable automatic (4WD)

10-speed shiftable automatic

8-speed shiftable automatic

9-speed shiftable automatic

Power (hp @ rpm)

355 hp @ 5600 rpm

400 hp @ 6000 rpm

395 hp @ 5600 rpm

400 hp @ 5800 rpm

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)

383 ft-lbs. @ 4100 rpm

410 ft-lbs. @ 4250 rpm

410 ft-lbs. @ 3950 rpm

413 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm

0-60 mph (sec)

5.5

5.4

7.7

5.7

Quarter Mile (sec)

14.0

13.9

15.9

14.4

Top Speed (mph)

108

107

108

110

The Ford F-150 SuperCrew King Ranch and the Nissan Titan Crew Cab Platinum Reserve are the strongest in terms of power output while the former is the fastest. The Sierra 1500 Denali follows the Ford in terms of outright acceleration. The Ford and the GMC with their 10-speed transmission deliver better and timely shifts. Overall the Ford F-150 SuperCrew King Ranch and the Sierra Denali deliver the most impressive and powerful performance.

How well does the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab Drive and Handle?

The 2021 GMC Sierra is definitely not the best-handling truck in the segment. It is after all a huge and hefty machine with aerodynamics playing a very small role in the design language. The Denali feels numb and lifeless around corners and twists even though it is a great performer in straight lines. The steering is also not very responsive and doesn’t deliver an engaging driving experience. Overall the handling and driving dynamics are not the best in the segment.

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab ride and handling

The Ford however is the best handling machine in the segment followed by the RAM and the Sierra. The Nissan is the least maneuverable in low-speed situations. The Ford maintains an optimum performance at all speeds and is easy to drive at low speeds and in city traffic as well. The GMC Sierra 1500 Denali is not the best performer in terms of handling. But the thing is none of the machines here are exceptionally well when looked at from a handling perspective. However, the Ford F-150 is the better handling one compared to all of these trucks. 

How efficient is the braking performance of the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab? 

The 2021 GMC Sierra Denali Crew Cab performs pretty well in terms of braking performance. The Denali is equipped with 13.5-inch rotors in the front and 136-inch ones in the rear. The braking performance delivered by these brakes is adequate and the huge truck stops at a distance of 127ft. from a speed of 60mph. The braking performance is not the absolute best but the figures and braking efficiency are still respectable. 

Model

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab

2021 Ford F-150 SuperCrew King Ranch

2021 RAM 1500 Crew Cab Limited

2021 Nissan Titan Crew Cab Platinum Reserve

Brake Rotors Front

13.5

13.8

14.9

13.8

Brake Rotors Rear

13.6

13.2

14.8

13.6

Curb Weight

4,820

4,661

4,964

5,752

Braking Distance 60-0 (ft.)

127

117

121

129

The 2021 Ford F-150 SuperCrew is the best performer in terms of braking also. It comes with brake rotors of size 13.8-inches in the front and 13.2-inch ones in the rear. These are actually the smallest sized ones among the competitors, but still, the Ford stops in the shortest distance of 117ft from 60mph. The RAM 1500 actually has the largest brake calipers but still, however, stays just below the Ford, but the difference is marginal. The GMC also delivers a respectable braking distance but the difference is pretty significant.

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab Fuel Economy

6.0/10

This is definitely not the turf of not just the Denali but the segment itself actually performs on the very lower end in the automotive world. The 2021 GMC Sierra Crew Cab Denali outputs a fuel economy of 17mpg in the city, 232 on the highway, and a combined efficiency of 19mpg. The Sierra also comes with a 24-gallon fuel tank providing a range of 408 miles in the city, 552 miles on the highway, and a combined range of 456 miles. The fuel economy numbers are actually good considering the size and segment of the vehicle. 

Models

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab

2021 Ford F-150 SuperCrew King Ranch

2021 RAM 1500 Crew Cab Limited

2021 Nissan Titan Crew Cab Platinum Reserve

MPG (City)

17

17

17

15

MPG (Highway)

23

24

23

21

MPG (Combined)

19

20

19

18

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

24.0

26.0

26.0

26.0

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

408/552/456

442/624/520

442/598/494

390/546/468

The Ford in this comparison again dominates under one more section. The F-150 SuperCrew King Ranch delivers the best-combined fuel economy of 20mpg. It also comes with a large 26.0-gallon fuel capacity resulting in delivering the best range in all road and traffic conditions. The RAM and the GMC are just behind the Ford in terms of fuel economy but the RAM with the larger fuel tank delivers the higher range. The Nissan is the thirstiest fuel guzzler among these trucks.

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab Interior

7.0/10

This is the area where Denali dominates and impresses everyone with its high range of customization options and exclusivity. The Sierra Crew Cab Denali features a luxurious interior with different interior seating trim options. The upholstery can opt-in either Jet Black, or Dark Walnut/­Dark Ash Grey Forge perforated leather seat trim. The seats are plush and supportive with lots of adjustments possible and can seat up to five people comfortably. The ride quality is nice but can be a little bumpy over uneven road surfaces. 

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab dashboard image

The cabin also comes with dual-zone automatic climate control that functions very well and keeps the occupants comfortable. The interior is spacious and all of the occupants would be comfortable without being congested or cramped even in the rear row. The Sierra also comes with some noise isolating features including acoustic glass on the windshields as well in the sides providing a better and more comfortable travel experience. The Sierra Denali is available with two different bed lengths available which include a 5.3 ft short bed model and a 6.6 ft long bed option. 

Models

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab

2021 Ford F-150 SuperCrew King Ranch

2021 RAM 1500 Crew Cab Limited

2021 Nissan Titan Crew Cab Platinum Reserve

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

43.0/66.0/44.5

40.8/66.7/43.9

40.9/66.0/40.9

41.0/63.3/41.8

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

40.1/65.2/43.4

40.4/66.0/43.6

39.8/65.7/45.2

40.4/63.6/38.5

Cargo Bed Length (ft.)

5.3/6.6

5.5/6.5

5.6/6.3

5.6

The Denali is definitely one of the most luxurious models in this comparison. The Ford also provides a luxurious interior, but the Denali name does hold up well and offers a more luxurious one. The RAM and the Nissan come with great quality interiors but don’t actually match the Denali. In terms of space, the GMC again is one of the most spacious options along with the Ford. Both of these are definitely the overall more spacious ones but the RAM provides the best second-row space. The following are some of the best interior features in the 2021 GMC Sierra Denali-

  • 10-way power driver seat with power lumbar
  • 10-way power front passenger seat
  • Denali Illuminated door sills
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Heated driver and front outboard passenger seats
  • Heated leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Front bucket seats

How intuitive is the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab’s infotainment unit?

The 2021 GMC Sierra Denali comes with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment unit that is intuitive and user-friendly. The Sierra now gets wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as a standard feature. The Denali trim also comes with a 7-speaker Bose audio system with a Richbass woofer. The infotainment unit also comes with voice command and recognition technology which works well with basic commands.

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab infotainment screen

The following are some of the most important infotainment features-

  • 8-inch diagonal Premium GMC Infotainment System with Navigation
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability for compatible phones
  • Voice-activated technology for phone
  • USB port(s) to play stored audio files through your vehicle's audio system
  • 7-speakers with Richbass woofer

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab Exterior

6.0/10

The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab can be painted in 8 color options and the thing is that all of these are paid options and you can’t get a Denali in a free-of-cost color option. As for looks from the outside, the Denali does look pretty good even though it is obviously a huge truck and the looks don’t change the basic design of the mammoth. The front end features an exclusive grille design in the Denali trim and it looks good, even though it is not the most rhapsody-designed Sierra in the 2021 lineup. 

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab 

The Sierra 1500 Denali comes with 20-inch alloy wheels as standard whereas it is available with a total of 11 wheel options of various sizes including chrome, polished, carbon flash metallic, chrome, or low gloss black machined accents. The Denali trim also gets an exclusive premium suspension with adaptive ride control which does enhance the ride quality, but it’s still not the best even while being much better than the normal, lower Sierra trims. The Denali and the Sierra in general are some of the good-looking vehicles in the segment.

Models

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab

2021 Ford F-150 SuperCrew King Ranch

2021 RAM 1500 Crew Cab Limited

2021 Nissan Titan Crew Cab Platinum Reserve

Curb Weight (lbs)

4,820

4,661

4,964

5,752

Length (inches)

231.7

231.7

232.9

228.2

Width (inches)

81.2

79.9

82.1

79.5

Height (inches)

75.5

75.6

77.5

75.6

Ground Clearance (inches)

7.9

8.5

8.2

8.6

Wheelbase (inches)

147.4

145.4

144.5

139.8

The GMC Sierra Denali is placed on the lower side of the spectrum in terms of weight. The Ford again comes as a tight competition for the GMC being the lightest in the segment, which also shows how weight management is also a major factor in making it the fastest one in the competition while also providing the best braking performance. The Denali’s exclusive suspension setup does take a toll on its ground clearance while the Nissan delivers the most of the same. The RAM is the largest in terms of all exterior dimensions and the GMC and Ford stay just below it in terms of size. The following are some of the most important exterior features-

  • Denali Premium Suspension with Adaptive Ride Control
  • Dual-outlet exhaust
  • 20" multi-dimensional polished aluminum wheels
  • Available 22" 5-spoke Dark Silver aluminum wheels with machined accents
  • 6" chrome rectangular full length assist steps
  • Full chrome surround window moldings
  • LED reflector (high intensity) headlamps with LED turn signals and LED signature Daytime Running Lamps
  • Available power sunroof

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab Safety

9.0/10

The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab has been safety tested and rated by both agencies which are NHTSA and IIHS. NHTSA has awarded the Sierra 1500 with an overall safety rating of 4-stars with further 4-star ratings in all of the front crash tests as well as rollover test while it gets a super-impressive 5-star rating in all of the side crash tests. IIHS has also rated the Sierra 1500 with a rating of ‘Good’ under almost all parameters. The 2021 GMC Sierra Denali comes with a lot of safety features including the following-

  • Front and Rear Park Assist
  • HD Rear Vision Camera
  • Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert
  • Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • StabiliTrak, electronic stability control system with traction control

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab Competition

8.0/10

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab vs 2021 Ford F-150 SuperCrew King Ranch

This is where the competition really happens, the Ford is the best competition for the Sierra Denali. The F-150 is the fastest and is the better-handling option. The Denali however, is the more luxurious and premium-looking one on the interior. Based on interior space and exterior beauty, both of the models are equally impressive and the choice has to be made based on your needs and likes. The Ford is the more sporty option while also delivering better fuel economy and whereas the Sierra Denali is the more luxurious option. 

2021 Ford F-150 SuperCrew King Ranch

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab vs 2021 RAM 1500 Crew Cab Limited

The GMC Sierra Denali is overall a better choice than the RAM 1500. The Denali is obviously the more luxurious and premium model while also providing a lot more customization options. The RAM, however, is easier to drive in overall all types of driving conditions. The interior space is where the RAM also struggles to keep up with the Sierra even while being the largest from the outside.

2021 RAM 1500 Crew Cab Limited

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab vs 2021 Nissan Titan Crew Cab Platinum Reserve

The Sierra is the better choice here also. It comes with better performance and fuel economy while also providing more luxury and a better quality cabin. The Nissan feels a bit on the lower side in terms of quality when compared with the Denali. The Nissan Titan, however, is the better option for offroading, but in all other terms and overall, the Sierra Denali is the better option.

2021 Nissan Titan Crew Cab Platinum Reserve

 

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab Final Verdict

The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Crew Cab is one of the most luxurious options in the segment providing a quality interior along with capable performance. The two engine and powertrain options are both impressive and also deliver a pretty good fuel economy. The Denali lacks ride quality considering the fact that it is a highly luxurious trim placed on top of the Sierra 1500 lineup. Overall it is a great option to choose among the high-end luxury pickup trucks but still, the Ford F-150 would be the ideal option if you prefer handling and driving dynamics also over just sheer luxury.