"Denali" is actually an Athabascan (Eskimo) word for "the High One," and the original name of Mt. McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America. It's also the "tallest" price point for GMC models like the 2011 GMC Acadia Denali.
Never mind that Mt. McKinley is in Alaska, and "Acadia" was the French name for what is now New England and Canada's Maritime Provinces. Denali means "trim package" now, and an expensive one at that. Such is the case of the new 2011 GMC Acadia Denali that recently rolled into Motor Trend HQ with a $50,125 price tag, a pricey sum considering the Acadia starts at $32,615, and there were still options boxes left unchecked. Sure, ours was good and optioned-up, but the base price for an Acadia Denali is still an eyebrow-raising $43,995.
While the Denali package is typically considered a luxury package, on the Acadia it works out to more of a dress-up kit than anything else. Denali models get a unique front fascia that looks like a tame aftermarket addition, and body-color cladding, fascias, fender flares, and rockers. They're simple changes, but they help make the rig look classier than the black plastic-clad regular Acadias.
In addition to the extra paint, Acadia Denalis also get chrome, and lots of it. Twenty-inch chrome wheels are standard, though there are other optional designs if you don't like the six spokes. Drilled chrome grilles are right up front per Denali rules, but that's just the beginning. There's chrome on the doors, on the window sills, on the bumpers, on the trunk, on the exhaust tips, and even the badges. Wear sunglasses.
Once you're inside, you'll notice extra accent lighting, new chrome door sills with lighted Denali logos (front doors only, rears are sans logo) and wood grain that doesn't look like wood. You'll also notice how quiet it is, thanks to laminated glass, triple door seals, and extra sound deadening, all borrowed from the Buick Enclave
. Standard leather seats with heaters and coolers for the front row, a leather and wood steering wheel, double sunroof, navigation, tri-zone climate control, and a heads-up display are all present as well.