The majestic Saguaro cactus is one of the defining species of the Sonoran Desert. It stands tall in a barren desert where temperatures can reach 112 degrees. By its nature, the desert is dry, but when it does rain, flash flooding can occur that will drag anything in its path.
For off-roading enthusiasts like me, the Arizona desert is our playground. The harsh environment makes challenging terrain tougher still. We had a chance to test the plush full-size 2022 GMC Sierra Denali. It’s certainly luxurious, but is it an off-roader?
On the highway, we had a chance to test GM’s Super Cruise hands-free driver-assist semi-autonomous drive technology. We also had an opportunity to test its “off-road capabilities.” Super Cruise is great on a three-lane road. We went up a small rocky hill to photograph the Sierra. We think it’s a good-looking truck. Unfortunately, the small hill may have caused the Sierra to struggle during its hillclimb. As big and brutish as the GMC Sierra is, we think it should be considered more of a toy hauler for weekend adventures and a quick drive thru a forest service road. Instead, let it help transport your off-roader to where the paved roads end.
Power for our Sierra Denali tester comes from a standard 6.2-liter V8 engine making 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. That’s essentially the same engine powering the new C8 Corvette. An available 3.0-liter turbodiesel six-cylinder producing 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque is on offer for those needing the extra pulling power a Diesel engine brings. Both are mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Thanks to its beefy 6.2-liter V8 engine, this pickup has a towing capacity of up to 8,900 pounds and a max payload capacity of 2,010 pounds. The Diesel can tow up to 9,100 lbs when properly equipped.
As feature ladened as it is, the GMC Sierra shines with its Super Cruise technology. This hands-free system allows automatic lane changes and even works while towing a trailer.