Talk about workplace perks. Last Sunday, September 16, I was onsite as GMC celebrated the upcoming release of its 2019 Sierra Denali with a Premium Tailgate and Polo Experience at Saratoga Polo Association in Greenfield Center. Not only did I represent saratoga living at the exclusive event, but also I was lent one of the massive four-door, full-size (an understatement) Denali trucks, compliments of GMC, to test drive over the weekend. You read that correctly: For the entire weekend, I got to feel like a celebrity as I cruised through Saratoga Springs and its environs in a truly eye-catching, black and chrome truck (my driveway looks so sadly empty without it now).
I’m not much of a car person, but this truck really did come with all the bells and whistles to make me into one. Not only has the 2019 model been totally redesigned from the tires up, but it also has a slew of incredible technological features such as a digital head-up display (HUD), basically, a hologram that displays your speed and other data directly on the windshield; a ProGrade Trailering System with trailering app (i.e. top tech for hauling your favorite speedboat around); and perhaps best of all, built-in 4G WiFi with a 50-foot range, so you never have to stray too far from your truck if work (or a football tailgating opportunity) comes calling. “We added a lot of little technologies and things not just for the heck of it, but so that customers and owners would actually use them and benefit from them,” says Mikhael Farah, Assistant Manager for Buick-GMC East Coast Communications.
I learned a whole lot more about the truck at the GMC Denali Premium Tailgate experience, which was an outdoor, grilled luncheon at the Saratoga Polo Association attended by a handful of journalists, some of whom drove their on-loan Denalis from as far away as Warwick, RI and Woodstock, VT (not to mention a few who braved New York City traffic to get up here). After lunch, there were demonstrations of the new Denali’s many new features including its industry-first, Multi-Pro Tailgate, which offers six functions and positions for enhanced second-tier loading and load-stop solutions, also perfect for adapting to all of your tailgating needs. “Saratoga’s a huge equestrian and horse area, so trucks are perfect for that market,” says Farah. “Whether it’s for working hard or playing hard, we really think our customers, especially those here, would feel right at home in this truck.”
To this point, Farah emphasized the Denali’s power and trailering abilities by hooking up a horse trailer, weighted down with approximately 5000 pounds, and letting us, the journalists, haul it down the polo field with ease (the 2019 Denali can actually pull up to 7000 pounds of weight). And for those Saratogians who prefer to hike or camp, the Denali is a perfect choice for weekend excursions or off-road camping, because there are specially designed tents and air mattresses that allow you to camp directly in the bed of the pickup (these accessories are not yet available for the 2019 model, but will be soon).
The afternoon of filling food and tailgating ended with a polo demonstration, with commentary by a professional trainer, while two Skidmore College polo players whacked balls up and down historic Whitney Field. The juxtaposition of the players atop their sleek horses with the shiny trucks in the foreground made me feel conflicted as to which was more graceful: the Thoroughbreds or the 2019 Denali? It’s a tough call to make. But I’ll tell you this much: There’s no horse with built-in 4G WiFi.