Is the GMC Denali Ultimate Worth It?

GMC previously offered a Denali Ultimate package for the GMC Yukon and the GMC Sierra 1500. Now, the Denali Ultimate package is an all-new trim level.
Written by Jaya Anandjit
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
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For approximately $30,000 to $40,000 more than the base starting price, you can select the GMC Denali Ultimate trim level for a new Yukon, Yukon XL, or GMC Sierra 1500 regular or crew cab. The Denali Ultimate adds bigger wheels, a carbon-fiber bed, heads-up display, and more.
The Denali Ultimate package was a beloved option for GMC owners in the past. Now, the Denali Ultimate is featured as the top trim level for the
GMC Yukon
,
GMC Yukon XL
, GMC Sierra 1500 regular cab, and
GMC Sierra 1500
crew cab.
Here’s what you should know about the Denali Ultimate trim before you head to the dealership. 
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What is the GMC Denali Ultimate package?

The GMC Denali Ultimate option is now an all-new trim level for the 2022 and 2023 model years. Although the Denali Ultimate was previously offered as a package, drivers can now opt for this high-level trim for a starting price of approximately $90,000 to $100,000.
You can secure the Denali Ultimate special features when you opt for a 2023 GMC Yukon, GMC Yukon XL, GMC Sierra 1500 regular cab, or GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab.

What’s included

The Denali Ultimate trim builds on the other trim levels for the GMC Yukon, Yukon XL, Sierra 1500 regular cab and Sierra 1500 crew cab. Here’s what you’ll get with the Denali Ultimate trim for each vehicle: 
GMC vehicle
Denali Ultimate
2023 Yukon
  • 22-inch wheels
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Power-retractable side steps
  • Trailer brake controller
  • heavy-duty cooling system
  • Two-speed active transfer case (4WD only) 
  • Rear-seat entertainment system with dual 12.6-inch display screens 
  • Air suspension (RWD models only) 
  • Massaging front seats 
  • Upgraded interior trim 
  • Upgraded leather upholstery 
  • 18-speaker Bose audio system 
2023 Yukon XL
  • 22-inch wheels
  • Unique exterior trim
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Upgraded leather upholstery
  • 16-way power-adjustable front seats with massage
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • 18-speaker Bose audio system
  • Super Cruise semi-automated driving system
  • Automated parking system
  • Automatic braking while in reverse
  • Digital rearview mirror (can display an image from the rearview camera in the mirror)
  • Advanced security system
  • Trailer brake controller (helps you adjust the brakes on your trailer)
  • Heavy-duty cooling system
  • Two-speed active transfer case (4WD models only)
  • Premium Capability with Active Response 4WD
2023 GMC Sierra regular cab
  • 22-inch wheels
  • Carbon-fiber composite bed
  • Power-deploying side steps
  • Sunroof
  • Head-up display
  • Tailgate-mounted speakers
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • 12-speaker Bose premium audio
  • Virtual mirror camera
  • Super Cruise semi-automated driving system
2023 GMC Sierra crew cab
  • 22-inch wheels
  • Carbon-fiber composite bed
  • Power-deploying side steps
  • Sunroof
  • Head-up display
  • Tailgate-mounted speakers
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • 12-speaker Bose premium audio
  • Virtual mirror camera
  • Super Cruise semi-automated driving system

What it does

The Denali Ultimate includes some upstanding features that make the Yukon and Sierra 1500 stand out, both on the inside and the outside. With GMC’s
Super Cruise
technology and other driving, safety, and tech features, the Denali Ultimate adds innovation and luxury to GMC’s highly capable vehicles. 
In fact, the Denali Ultimate was transformed into a trim level due to the high demand for its handy and flashy features. The sunroof, tailgate-mounted side steps, 22-inch wheels, and unique exterior trimmings add a sleek vibe to both the Yukon and the Sierra 1500, and you can’t go wrong with the leather interior finishes to complete the look on the inside. 
When it comes to technology, the Denali Ultimate adds massage front seats, an 18 or 12-speaker Bose audio system, virtual mirror cameras, and even a head-up display for maximum comfort while driving. 
Adaptive cruise control and the semi-automated driving system make it easy to ride without worries, and the automated parking and braking systems add a touch of extra safety. 
Plus, if you were interested in the Denali trim alongside any additional packages offered by GMC, the Denali Ultimate will cover all your bases! In short, the Denali Ultimate package adds everything you’ll need to safely drive in style, with convenience of use, and amongst the most luxurious features from GMC.
MORE: The best mud tires for your car

How much is a 2023 Denali Ultimate?

The Denali Ultimate gives it all, but at what cost?
For starters, it’s expensive. If you’re interested in a Denali Ultimate trim level, you’re looking at approximately $30,000 to $40,000 on top of the base starting prices for each vehicle. Here’s a breakdown of the base and Denali Ultimate prices across all four GMCs:
GMC vehicle
Base MSRP
Denali Ultimate MSRP
2023 GMC Yukon
$59,295
$96,450
2023 GMC Yukon XL
$61,995
$99,150
2023 GMC Sierra 1500 regular cab
$44,695
$83,995
2023 GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab
$44,695
$83,995
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Is the Denali Ultimate worth it?

If you want the luxury of a
GMC Denali
, you might as well opt for the Denali Ultimate. The Denali Ultimate includes the features of the Denali trim with inclusions from packages like the Advanced Technology package, the Denali Premium package, and the Max Trailering package. Additionally, it offers most of the features from lower trim levels and builds on the most desirable aspects of GMC’s fan-favorite vehicles.
For example, if you opt for a lower trim level, like the GMC Yukon AT4, you’ll get some pretty great upgrades, but you’ll have to add the Technology package and the Premium Capability package to meet the standards of the Denali or Denali Ultimate trim. 
With that said, GMC does a great job of including multiple options across trim levels for all their vehicles, so you’ll likely get a ton of practical, luxurious, and capable aspects out of lower trims. Be sure to take a look at all your options before you head to the dealership.

Denali Ultimate vs. other GMC Yukon Packages

From the base SLE trim all the way to the Denali trim, GMC offers a number of package options for the Yukon. Here’s a rundown of some of the optional packages for each 2023 Yukon trim level:
GMC Yukon trim level
Package & features
2023 Yukon SLE
GMC Pro Safety Plus package
  • Blind-spot monitor
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
2023 Yukon SLT
SLT Luxury package
  • Driver’s seat memory settings
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Surround-view camera system
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Power-folding third-row seating with 60/40 split
  • Heated outboard second-row seats
2023 Yukon SLT
SLT Premium package
  • SLT Luxury package
  • Panoramic power sunroof
  • HD surround vision
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Enhanced automatic emergency braking
  • Power tilt and telescoping steering column
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Heated second-row seating
  • Auto-dimming side and rearview mirrors
  • Power-adjustable second and third-row seats with 60/40 split
  • Driver’s seat memory settings
2023 Yukon AT4
Technology package 
  • Surround-view camera
  • Head-up display
2023 Yukon AT4
Premium Capability with Active Response 4WD package
  • Air suspension
  • Electronic limited-slip differential
2023 Yukon AT4
Premium Plus package
  • Max Trailering package
  • Technology package content
  • Premium Capability Package with Active Response 4WD content
  • Panoramic power sunroof
  • Power-retractable assist steps with illuminated perimeter lighting
2023 Yukon Denali
Advanced Technology package
  • Digital rearview mirror
  • Advanced security system
  • Super Cruise driver assistance system
  • Rear automatic emergency braking
2023 Yukon Denali
Denali Premium package
  • Advanced Technology package
  • 22-inch wheels
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Power-retractable side steps
2023 Yukon
Max Trailering package
  • Trailer brake controller
  • Heavy-duty cooling system
  • Two-speed active transfer case
2023 Yukon 2WD or 4WD
Enhanced Trailering package
  • Additional exterior cameras
  • Max Trailering package
The cost to add these packages varies, but the most expensive SLT Premium package costs around $4,000 while the SLT Luxury package costs approximately $2,500. 
Adding the Advanced technology package to a Yukon Denali will run you about $1,000, while the Premium Plus package in the AT4 can go for around $7,000. Check with your local GMC dealership for more information!

Denali Ultimate vs. GMC Sierra 1500 Denali

The Denali Ultimate is a sick pick for the Sierra 1500, but what about the Denali? The Denali used to be the top trim level for the Sierra, and it still includes some pretty great features.
You can enjoy front and rear parking sensors, and a virtual rearview camera in the 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali, plus adaptive suspensions and a bed-view camera. The 2023 Sierra 1500 Denali also includes a two-speed transfer case for 4WD models, an integrated trailer brake controller, side steps, and 20-inch wheels. 
Technology in the 2023 Sierra 1500 dials up with a Bose audio system, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power-sliding rear windows, heated second-row seats, and ventilated front seats. The Denali even offers wireless charging and a spray-in bedliner.
Safe to say the GMC Sierra 1500 Denali puts up a pretty good fight against the Denali Ultimate, but your choice will really have to come down to whether or not you need a fully-loaded truck.

The bottom line

If you want one trim level that does it all for your brand-new GMC Yukon or GMC Sierra 1500, the Denali Ultimate is the best way to get the job done. You’ll enjoy a number of high-end features as this trim level pulls the best inclusions from other trims, and you won’t have to worry about adding multiple packages to your vehicle for the full experience. Be sure to check with your dealership for pricing before you take the Denali Ultimate plunge!
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