A black 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate is shown parked in a field.

Unexpected Luxury Rides: The 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali and Denali Ultimate Trims

Everyone has a mental image of what they consider the ultimate “status symbol” vehicle. In some cases, there are multiple models. For example, the vintage Corvette is what you take for a night on the town, but when you need to make an appearance at the office, you take the Bentley. For many drivers, these dreams seem unattainable. After all, one status symbol car can take a lifetime to afford. But don’t write your dreams off yet; many automakers who don’t traditionally sell luxury vehicles are taking their top trims up a few high-end notches. One notable example that might take you by surprise is the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500.

The concept of a luxury pickup truck is still settling in with the American truck-driving public. Until recently, pickup trucks have been considered more of a work-oriented vehicle. As a result, they historically didn’t receive the same updates and standard technology as an SUV or sedan. But times have changed, and features that were once considered an upgrade, like power operating locks and windows, are now standard equipment. Innovation and technology make it possible for pickup trucks to offer luxury features, and automakers are quick to adapt these ideas to make even an everyday driver a top-shelf vehicle. The GMC Sierra 1500 is a well-equipped truck at any trim level, but the Denali and Denali Ultimate trims take things to an entirely new level for the 2023 model year. Take a look at how these two trims will change how we think about pickup trucks forever.

The black and brown interior of a 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali shows two rows of seating.

Powerful Capability and Ample Passenger Space

To be fair, there’s no wrong answer when it comes to choosing a 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 model. The full lineup includes the Pro, SLE, Elevation, SLT, AT4, and AT4X, in addition to the Denali and Denali Ultimate trims. Given that the base engine provides 310 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque, it’s clear that the Sierra 1500 understands its assignment and has arrived ready to perform. That being said, the Denali Ultimate comes equipped with a standard 6.2L V8 gasoline-powered engine, though drivers can swap that out with an available enhanced 3.0L Duramax Turbo-Diesel option. The V8 provides an impressive 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, while the diesel offers 305 hp and 495 lb-ft of torque.

All Denali Ultimate models include four-wheel drive and the crew cab/short bed configuration. That means plenty of legroom all around, with a best-in-class 44.5 inches of space for the folks in the front seat and nearly three feet in the back. Drivers can opt to have the 6.2L V8 or the turbodiesel included with the Denali trim; however, this model comes standard with a 5.3L V8 engine, offering 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, promising plenty of power. While the Denali Ultimate is offered in only one configuration, drivers can select between rear and four-wheel drive in the Denali. Both include a crew cab, but rear-wheel drive models have a short bed, while four-wheel drive models may have a short or standard bed.

What’s Included in the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Trim?

Previously, the Denali trim was the top dog. Then, in 2022, GMC made the Sierra 1500 available in a Denali Ultimate trim, taking things to an entirely different level. Thankfully, this is not one of those instances in which the previous title holder loses their gleam. The 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali is an outstanding vehicle that sets the bar for luxury pickup trucks impressively high.

The interior is decked out in chrome, open-pore wood, aluminum trim, and perforated leather upholstery, giving it a slew of executive touches. Though these finishes exude old-school warmth, they only highlight the state-of-the-art technology found in the cab, including a 13.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a 12.3-inch digital driver information center, and an available 15-inch head-up display.

Comfort is also key in the 2023 Sierra 1500 Denali. Not only is it equipped with a finely tuned premium suspension system and adaptive ride control, but the seats are designed with comfort in mind. The driver and front passenger seats offer 10-way power adjustment, including two-way lumbar adjustment. The cabin is designed to keep noise to a minimum, as well, so you can enjoy your favorite tunes or have an actual conversation with the passengers in the rear seats instead of shouting over road noise.

The black interior of a 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate shows the steering wheel and infotainment screen.

What’s Included in the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate Trim?

When looking at the features offered in the Denali Ultimate, it might be hard to pick just one favorite. Sure, it’s got an amazing standard engine, a roomy cabin, and 40 inches of digital display adorning its Ultimate Alpine Umber-themed interior. These are all great things. It also has full-grain leather seating and a signature Denali Vader Chrome grille and rides on exclusive 22-inch black aluminum wheels.

You’ll really enjoy those tunes when they’re blasted through your 12-speaker Bose premium audio system with Centerpoint surround sound, too. In fact, a Kicker audio system is built into the six-function MultiPro tailgate, so you never have to stop jamming. Maybe you’re the sort of person who may never look back once you’ve experienced the 16-way power adjustable front seats with massage function. A truck that rubs your shoulders on the drive home? This is luxury on a whole other level.

You can enjoy the drive home even more when you take away some of the driving and allow yourself a breather while the truck takes over. The Denali and Denali Ultimate trims of the Sierra 1500 offer available Super Cruise hands-free driving technology. This feature combines sensors, radars, and over 200,000 miles of mapped roads throughout the United States and Canada to allow drivers to remove their hands from the wheel while keeping their attention on the road.

Taking Luxury Trucks to a New Level

The 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 is designed with the hard-working driver in mind. Each vehicle in the lineup is engineered to provide the power and performance needed from a pickup truck, with a group of engines designed to help drivers get the job done. But those looking for a little more luxury in their daily commute might consider the top Denali and Denali Ultimate trims. Not only are these vehicles engineered to be smoother, quieter, and more responsive, but they’re brimming with top-shelf features that aid in driver comfort and convenience.

So while it’s certainly not a bad thing to dream about having a different car for every day of the week, the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 proves that you can have just about everything you ever wanted from a car all in one luxurious, powerful package. From the bold exterior to the svelte interior to the fact that it’s a pickup truck that can stow and tow with the best of them, the Sierra Denali and Denali Ultimate don’t just hit it out of the park; they change the ballgame. When behind the wheel of a Sierra Denali or Denali Ultimate, pickup truck drivers don’t just say they have more fun; the proof is right there in the truck itself. For those looking for a truck that is as luxurious as it is powerful, the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali and Denali Ultimate trims are two models worth looking into.