A close up of the headlight on a black 2024 GMC Sierra 2500 HD Denali Ultimate is shown.

Treading Where Other Heavy-Duty Trucks Won’t: The 2024 GMC Sierra 2500 HD

One of the more common traits of a heavy-duty pickup is to strip away a lot of the finesse and panache and focus almost entirely on being a utilitarian vehicle. This makes a lot of sense for people who want a no-frills pickup that can tow heavy loads, trailer large cargo, and carry thousands of pounds of payload in the rear bed. The idea is that if you want things done, you get a heavy-duty pickup truck. However, if you want more out of a truck, you generally then have to find a second truck for other purposes, such as being a daily driver, or being a family vehicle, or being a luxury vehicle. Well, that’s not necessarily the case with the 2024 GMC Sierra 2500 HD.

Where most three-quarter-ton pickup trucks will give you the basics, and maybe a few bells and whistles here and there, GMC continues to tread where other heavy-duty pickups dare not go: the realm of luxury. Sure, you can find some three-quarter-ton trucks that offer off-roading capabilities, or maybe some additional amenities or utilities here and there, but none of them have ventured to take things as far as GMC has with the Sierra heavy-duty brand when it comes to luxury.

Evolving Past the Denali

So initially, you could get the GMC Sierra 2500 HD in a variety of trims, which includes the Denali. This has been the go-to trim for anyone looking for a luxury-oriented GMC vehicle. It’s a widely recognized trim available across the GMC lineup, and it’s basically to GMC what the Avenir trim is to the Buick brand. It dictates that you’re buying into luxury—the highest quality available trim for that model year vehicle.

It’s been a long-running entry in the GMC trim line, especially for the GMC Sierra, where it has garnered some of its most recognized praise. This trim elevates the Sierra beyond the expectations of a basic work truck and into the rare realm of being a luxury pickup. Such has been the case for many light-duty and heavy-duty variants over the years. However, things began to change…

GMC decided to elevate the expectations of the Denali when they introduced the Denali Ultimate for the GMC Sierra 1500 back when the 2022 model year was released. This opened up a wealth of new higher-end luxury components for the Sierra while also introducing some brand new tech to the model year lineup, including the introduction of the semi-autonomous, hands-free driving suite known as Super Cruise. GMC wasn’t content with letting the half-ton variant of the Sierra get all the fun, though, and now all heavy-duty trucks get to bask in the glory of the Denali Ultimate.

A white 2024 GMC Sierra HD AT4 is shown from a rear angle on a sandy desert area.

The 2024 Sierra HD’s Denali Ultimate Upgrade

While most truck shoppers expect three-quarter-ton pickups to be “all function” with “little frills,” the 2024 GMC Sierra 2500 HD is actually “all function” with “a lot of frills.” This is thanks in part to the inclusion of the Denali Ultimate trim being part of the heavy-duty lineup of the Sierra for the first time. It was a bold decision to move the light-duty trim over to the heavy-duty outing—but in many ways, it makes total sense.

The 2023 GMC Sierra 2500 HD was already pushing boundaries with its Denali trim, incorporating a high-life luxury appeal with its cabin and exterior amenities, all while still being able to tow heavy loads. In fact, the 2023 Sierra 2500 HD still tops out at 18,500 lbs worth of trailering capacity when equipped with the proper configuration and packaging. It’s the ultimate combination of luxury and functionality, which isn’t something you can get from just any other truck on the market.

That level of luxury is raised even further with the 2024 GMC Sierra 2500 HD, thanks to the inclusion of the Denali Ultimate, which brings with it a number of high-end features both inside and out. There are the 20-inch ultra-bright machined aluminum alloy wheels with high-gloss black accents, unique badging, and the MultiPro Tailgate. In fact, the MultiPro Tailgate adds tons of value to the truck on its own, with six different functionalities—so combining that with the luxury appeal of the Denali Ultimate makes for a very illustrious pickup. These kinds of features ensure you’re not just getting a luxury-oriented truck all on its own but a highly functional three-quarter-ton pickup that can still handle all of the rough-and-tumble, nitty-gritty utility that heavy-duty pickups are known for.

Pushing Interior Luxury to Its Limits

There’s more to the Denali Ultimate that goes beyond basic leather upholstery and fine inner-cabin trimming. The Denali Ultimate also comes with full-grain leather-wrapped door panels that feature etched stainless-steel speaker grilles. There are also full-grain leather seats in both the front and rear of the cabin and badging that signifies you’re riding in the presence of luxury with the Denali Ultimate logo on the front seatbacks.

The luxury continues with 16-way power-adjustable front seats, and if that wasn’t enough, you can tow, trailer, and haul in complete comfort with the option of making use of massaging seats. How many other three-quarter-ton pickups offer massaging seats? It just takes all of the basic concepts of a luxury vehicle but then extends them to a heavy-duty pickup truck, making it a truly standout automobile among its market peers.

With added features like a power sunroof, 12-speaker Bose premium surround sound system, multiple HD cameras, and a full infotainment suite, nothing is lacking in the 2024 GMC Sierra 2500 HD from an amenity and convenience standpoint. In fact, it’s hard to imagine that this is actually a heavy-duty pickup truck where you’re supposed to haul, tow, and trailer things in it. All of the cabin features are the kind of striking elements of quality you would expect from an executive luxury sedan of the full-size variety. And yet, all of these features are readily made available in this three-quarter-ton pickup.

A black 2024 GMC Sierra 2500 HD Denali Ultimate is shown towing a camper trailer.

More Than Competitive as a Heavy Pickup

One would expect a truck that features all sorts of high-end interior styling and over-the-top luxury appeal to be correspondingly lacking in the functionality and utility department. It’s not uncommon for heavy-duty trucks to have to cut some corners short in some departments in order to maximize their efficiency, but GMC went in the complete opposite direction with the 2024 Sierra HD series. Instead of settling with just doing enough, they actually improved the truck’s functionality.

That’s right, in addition to having the ultimate luxury trim made available for the 2024 model year, they also improved the overall performance capabilities, increasing the Duramax V8’s performance. This includes a 25% upgrade in low-end torque access, compared to the previous model year outing, and the ability to tow up to 22,500 lbs when configured with the Max Tow Package. It’s basically all the features anyone would want if they were shopping for a high-end, reliable three-quarter-ton pickup.

It’s pretty impressive, however, to have a truck as prestigious as the GMC Sierra 2500 HD and still find ways to make it a stronger competitor in the heavy-duty market. This truck stands out from the crowd with its uncompromising luxury—the kind you would typically find from a boutique car dealer, but with the dependable, no-frills utility that any typical diesel-powered pickup is known for. It is the best of both worlds, and it accomplishes this while offering something the competition can’t.