By on January 23, 2019

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 HD SLT

Fans of heavy duty trucks with grilles the size of Texas have a lot to celebrate this year. Ram dropped its new HD in Detroit and GM previewed its alarmingly styled Heavy Chevy late last year. All signs point to Ford unfurling a new Super Duty very soon, possibly at the Chicago show next month.

Now, GMC’s into the game. The not-a-Chevy brand revealed its 2020 Heavy Duty pickups online last night. The new Sierra HD makes like Daft Punk: harder, better, faster, stronger.

Answering the question asked by all hands who clicked the jump: no, it doesn’t out-torque the new Ram HD. For now, FCA’s brute is the only commercially available consumer-grade pickup to make four-figure twist. The Duramax turbo-diesel residing under the hood of this GMC HD displaces a familiar 6.6 liters, cranking out 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque. Despite it failing to top the Ram, it is hardly a number at which to scoff.

2020 GMC Sierra 3500 HD Denali Dual Rear Wheel

More notably, the new Sierra HD marks the introduction of a 10-speed Allison automatic – the first of its kind offered in the heavy-duty pickup segment. The ten-cogger allows closer gear spacing which allegedly lets the engine operate in an optimal range of power at all times given a specific load and terrain conditions. That massive grille and enlarged hood scoop is said to improve cooling. Makes sense, and we look forward to putting it to the test in a First Drive.

A gasoline-fuelled mill will also be available, but GMC is mum on those details for now. Perhaps they’re waiting to see what Ford offers in its new V8, a truck engine rumoured to displace 7.0 or 7.3 liters, depending to whom you listen.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 HD Denali

Hauling a trailer should be easier than ever with the 2020 Sierra HD, given that the driver can avail themselves of up to fifteen different camera views. This includes an industry-first transparent trailer view, merging an amalgam of data to display objects astern as if the trailer wasn’t there. This trick Cloak of Invisibility will do wonders for hauling on the highway, allowing that tailgater to be seen before they pop out from behind your 37.5-ft travel trailer just as you’re entering a tight traffic circle. This may or may not be a real-world example from your author’s summer travels.

2020 GMC Sierra HD Transparent Trailer Rear Camera View

Further playing to the towing and hauling crowd is tech which allows the monitoring of trailer functions through the GMC app or the infotainment system. Depending on how a compatibly equipped trailer is configured, owners of the 2020 Sierra HD may be able to turn on the trailer’s air conditioning or water heater, check water and holding tank levels, or monitor fuel levels on trailers equipped with generators. Sierra’s maximum towing weight is given as “over 30,000 lbs”.

And I thought I was fancy with my remote-controlled levelling jacks and slide outs. Pfft.


Those trailer mirrors are new, as well, if a bit odd looking. Current units are mounted on twin posts sticking horizontally from the door, while these new single-posters look like a 90-degree plumbing elbow. An automatic parking brake keeps the truck right where you want it while hitching to a trailer solo and the transmission’s tow/haul mode remains engaged for the next key cycle. Don’t discount how handy of a feature that is for frequent haulers.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 HD AT4

In terms of design, GMC ladles on the chrome for Denali models but tones it down a bit on mid-level SLT trim. New for 2020 is an AT4 model, a trim which first appeared on the half-ton and has enjoyed immediate success. Dark chrome exterior finishes abound, while the front & rear bumpers and grille surround are nattily finished in body color. AT4’s interior is appropriately sombre, as well.

Underneath, the AT4 earns Rancho-branded shocks, skid plates, and an Eaton locking rear diff. Michelin all-terrains are sized a sensible 18-inches, while the traction system is configured with a specific off-road mode.

2020 GMC Sierra HD Denali Interior

For better or worse, the interior looks a great deal like the one found in its half-ton brother. Complaints have been made from many corners of the web that these quarters aren’t sufficiently high-zoot enough, especially when compared with the dandy new Ram.

2020 GMC Sierra 3500 HD Denali

The MultiPro tailgate is found on this new HD, too. If you’ve missed that memo, MultiPro is a six-function unit that allows for easier bed access by creating an alcove into which a person can step and reach into the bed. Just watch the thing doesn’t smack into your trailer hitch. It’ll be available on all trim levels and standard on SLT, AT4, and Denali.

The 2020 Sierra HD goes on sale later this year in 2500HD and 3500HD dual rear wheel and single rear wheel configurations. Pricing and complete specs will be announced later. It’ll be built in Flint, Michigan.

[Images: General Motors]

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24 Comments on “The Grille Next Door: 2020 GMC Sierra Heavy Duty...”

  • avatar

    I was right; the chrome surround makes it look worse.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    It looks better than the Chevrolet version. However, it’s not nearly as clean as the Ram and Ford HD trucks.

    As far as the invisible trailer, you guys ran an article about another company debuting that technology at CES. I wonder if GM partnered up with them.

    • 0 avatar

      The ‘see through’ camera technology is odd to me. It seems that the addition of a camera on the rear of the trailer (which already exists) would be a superior solution. Knowing if someone is tailgating you (which is about all this camera is good for) is nice I guess. Taking the trailer out of the view when backing with a camera position that ignores the 30 feet behind you doesn’t seem like it would help much?

      The camera on the back of the trailer gives real info on where your trailer sits in relation to the world AND shows the people behind you.

    • 0 avatar


      That other supplier was ‘Valeo’ I believe.

  • avatar

    Well, it’s better than the Bowtie’s grill…but still my least favorite of the Detroit 3, er 4.

    I’m not very brand loyal, but GM’s recent truck stumbles are moving me more towards my current Oval and Ram leanings.

    • 0 avatar

      In the 3/4 and 1-ton class there is only one truck: FORD F-Series! If I ever need one in that class, it’s a Ford for me.

      But RAM has made some giant strides in ride and handling, and quality of interiors. RAM is a contender.

      GM HDs? Not a player for me. It remains to be seen if enough GM-fans will choose GM’s new HDs in the future.

      • 0 avatar

        We bought a ’17 Ram 2500 after first driving all three majors a couple of years ago. The air suspension, interior comfort, 6MT, and the Cummins power delivery were the deciding factors that narrowly tipped it in Ram’s favor over Ford. The Ford is a very good truck that we would have been happy with if Ram didn’t get a slight nudge.

        I should add that the vehicle traded was a ’99 F350. Also, our dealer has a commercial department that sells both brands so the playing field was pretty level.

        • 0 avatar

          My son bought a 2015 (new) F350 DRW SuperCrew Longbed 4×4 and it has been the star of his cattle operation ever since. He considered the other brands.

          His F350 is often used to haul a trailer loaded with bales of hay, bags of feed, and blocks of salt-lick from Santa Teresa, NM up to the ranch, with the bed equally loaded down with stuff. Amazing hauler! Good ride.

          And members of my Traveling Elks club have also overwhelmingly chosen a Ford, although as of late there have been a few RAM 3500 trucks that were seen pulling out of the parking lot.

          Sometime in February my wife and I hope to make the rounds of the Quartszite, Picacho Peak and Winterhaven Snowbird sites to see old friends and renew acquaintances.

          Always like to see what those travelers are using as tow vehicles. Some are pretty darn fancy, like Kenworth Conversions or 1-ton Van/Chassis Conversions.

          Goes to show, there’s a lot more out there that we never hear or read about unless we see it for ourselves.

          I’m sure that diehard GM fans will embrace this new GM HD, but I won’t be one of them. It remains to be seen if sales are sufficient to be profitable.

          Truly amazing what’s out there. Why would anyone bother with GM?

          • 0 avatar

            Personally, I’m pro Ram, would consider GM, and dislike Ford. Sort of the marry, ‘screw’, murder game I guess.

            Opinions in this area are kind of meaningless, but my opinion is that I don’t trust the Ford diesel as much as I trust the current GM diesel. So I’d bother with GM if a Ram dealer pissed me off, because I won’t touch a Ford diesel.

            My experience talking to people at RV parks and such is that they almost everyone sees HD trucks in that marry, screw, murder sort of light. And it’s WAY more intense than on the 1500 front. GM will sell plenty.

  • avatar

    Pickup trucks used to look clean and handsome, especially the Sierra. Now (with the exception of Ram and Ranger) they all look absurd. These grilles are all stupider than a pair of testicles dangling from the hitch. It’s what we deserve, I guess.

    • 0 avatar


    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      “Pickup trucks used to look clean and handsome, especially the Sierra.”

      Agree – I like the technology in the new trucks but give me the styling of my ’04 Sierra HD, which would be totally dwarfed by this truck if parked along side of it. This thing is just too busy & over the top. Definitely a prime example of where less is more!

      • 0 avatar

        The latest F-150 grills actually seem to be getting away from the Tonka look, and back to something closer to my favorite Ford generation, the 2004-2008s (11th, per Wikipedia).

        The Ford practice of halting production of replacement parts five years after the model year is what would give me pause.

  • avatar

    I’m curious if there will be any liability limitations on the use of that see-through camera on the highway. For comparison, Ford has an option both the high mount camera over the bed and the customer placed camera on the trailer for backing up, but neither view can be shown on the touchscreen when going over 5 mph in a forward gear. I wonder if that is an actual regulation, or just Ford’s policy against video in the front seat when driving. If the latter, it’s interesting that GM would feel so different.

    • 0 avatar

      The “See Through” system is gimmicky anyway. You still have to use your side-view mirrors, and the “system” mostly solves a problem it creates by mounting the main camera on the truck’s tailgate.

      Then the system is of little, or no help backing around a corner. You have no view of the sides/fenders of the trailer, even backing straight back. Forget about seeing the far blind-side of the trailer, as obstacles disappear from the rear-most camera.

      Cameras on the sides of the trailer would be the most helpful, mounted high on the front corners.

  • avatar

    Cue faint praise: it looks better than the Chevy.

  • avatar

    Your Honor. I present Exhibit D (2020 GMC Sierra HD) in addition to previously presented Exhibit A (2019 Chevy Camaro), Exhibit B (2019 Chevy Silverado) and Exhibit C (2020 Cadillac XT6) as conclusive proof that GM Design has lost all semblence of ability to deal with reality. I ask the Court to appoint a Guardianship for GM Design until such time that long term professional care can verify that GM Design has, in fact, fully regained its faculties. I rest my case.

    • 0 avatar

      I rented a Camaro once.
      The poor visibility made it impossible to predict where the corners were. So, when i turned the corner at the WEDNDYS drive thru, I went wide.Food was a long stretch. I put the car in park. Stretched to put my head out the window for longer reach….. NO DICE. The freakin window in the POS is shorter than my head.

      Thats how much they ve chopped the windows down in the gun site bunker mobile. POS !!!! I cant see out of the dam thing.

      RE CADDY: I ll say it again. The art % science theme was the wrong road to go down. AND they ve stayed in it too long. Way too long.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    I like the lights on the front of the roof. I guess those are to keep aircraft from flying into this behemoth.

  • avatar

    One ugly mug.

  • avatar

    Let Reuss (the lucky sperm) drive it as a pace vehicle. We will then see how robust it is….

  • avatar



    *Good luck to General Motors re-animator Roger Smith v2.0 during the next serious downturn! That Cadillac XT6 would positively tickle Roger Smith’s ballsack, and GM’s exterior designs and interior designs and materials are beyond abhorrent. GM is managing to fack up even their pickup trucks and SUVs now.

  • avatar

    Daft Punk is playing at my house.

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