2020 GMC Sierra 1500: More Diesel, More Speeds

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

GMC’s new-for-2019 Sierra 1500 took a less controversial styling route than its Chevy Silverado sibling while retaining the numerous upgrades foisted upon the next-generation pickup twins. For 2020, GMC tweaked the light-duty Sierra’s offerings just a bit, hoping to lure more finicky buyers into the model.

For starters, GM’s 10-speed automatic transmission has a new engine to mate with, hopefully boosting fuel economy ratings that fell for the 2019 model year.

The move to a brasher front end for the next-generation design led to an MPG downgrade for models equipped with the 5.3-liter V8 engine, despite the fact that the new trucks shed weight compared to their predecessors. GMC now says the 10-speed will be available with the 5.3L equipped with Dynamic Fuel Management, GM’s fancy new cylinder deactivation system. The previous transmission pairing was an eight-speed auto.

For 2020, GMC makes the 5.3L/10-speed combo “standard on the Sierra Denali and Sierra AT4 and available on all four-wheel drive Sierras with the SLE trim level and above.” It’s worth noting that the SLE and Elevation trims carry a standard 2.7-liter turbo four-cylinder, mated to the eight-speed auto.

That engine earned praise for its power, but not for its fuel economy.

While the addition of the smooth 10-speed to the smaller V8 engine is a welcome upgrade, higher-end buyers will probably remain tempted by the optional 6.2-liter, a favorite among TTAC staff.

If less displacement and greater torque is what turns your metaphorical crank, the 3.0-liter Duramax inline-six turbo-diesel, which appeared in the Sierra lineup as a late-2019 addition, continues onward. The 277 horsepower, 460 lb-ft mill can be ordered in Denali, AT4, SLT, Elevation and SLE trims. For 2020, however, buyers can pair it with GMC’s pricey, prestigious, and seemingly indestructible CarbonPro bed — another late addition to the lineup. Only the top-flight Denali and runner-up AT4 see this build configuration.

Also new for 2020? The brand’s Adaptive Cruise Control – Camera system becomes available on SLT, AT4 and Denali trim levels, allowing the truck to come to a full stop with the cruise control set. The ProGrade Trailering System, a trick camera setup that turns your trailer invisible for easy rearward viewing, also appears on the 2020 Sierra options list. The system debuted on the redesigned 2020 Sierra HD.

[Images: General Motors]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Tassos Jong-iL The Peninsula of One Korea.
  • Eric No, I just share my opinions. I have no use nor time for rhetoric from any side.
  • Redapple2 Jeez. This is simple. I 75 and 696 area. 1 nobody -NOBODY wants to work in downtown Detritus. 2 close to the tech ctr. Design and Engineering HQ. 20 miles closer to Milford.3 lower taxes for the employees. Lower taxes for Evil GM Vampire.4 2 major expressways give users more options to suburbs. Faster transport.Jeez.
  • Clark The Ring (Nürburgring) is the only race track I've driven on. That was 1985 or 1986 with my '73 Fiat Spider (and my not-so-happy girlfriend). So I made the Karussell (today: Caracciola Karussell, which I believe the author meant; there is another one: Kleines Karussell).
  • AZFelix This article takes me back to racing electric slot cars with friends on tracks laid out in the basement. Periodically your car would stop due to lost connections or from flying off the track and you would have to dash over to it and set it right. In the mean time your competitor would race ahead until faced with a similar problem. It seemed like you were struggling harder to keep from losing than trying to win. Fun times.“History never repeats itself, but it does often rhyme.” Mark Twain