We drove the 2020 GMC Sierra HD last month, we’re now giving you the pros and cons of this heavy-duty pickup.
Last month, we travelled to the city of Jackson in the state of Wyoming to drive a few products from GMC’s all-truck family. Amongst these vehicles was the new 2020 GMC Sierra HD, a workhorse with increased power and torque, leading towing capacity and a new rugged AT4 variant.
If you’re in the market for a heavy-duty truck, it usually means you have something large to haul. And GMC takes towing very seriously, in part because focus groups and studies conducted internally showed that towing causes anxiety (what doesn’t these days…) So the manufacturer went ahead and geared the Sierra HD with a fair amount of tech and gizmos to make the operation easier for the driver.
So the 2020 GMC Sierra is smarter. But heavy-duty trucks also have to be powerful enough to tow what they are required to, comfortable enough to spend a day’s work in and domesticated enough to drive around when the hitch is free.
Here’s why you should, or why you shouldn’t buy a 2020 GMC Sierra HD.
Why you should buy a 2020 GMC Sierra HD
- The 2020 GMC Sierra HD currently has the best towing capacity in the segment. Yes, Ram, Ford and GM steal this title form each other’s hands now and then. But although the Ram HD has the highest torque from its 1,000 pound-foot diesel engine, the GMC Sierra HD claims the highest tow rating in the category, with 35,500 pounds. That’s in part thanks to the 6.6-litre Duramax turbo diesel powerplant with an output of 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque paired, for the first time, with a 10-Speed Allison transmission.
- There’s a pretty cool AT4 variant this year. GMC is spreading the off-road-oriented AT4 sub-brand across the lineup. And the Sierra HD AT4 benefits not only from a few key mechanical bits that make it more capable, like an off-road suspension with Rancho Shocks, skid plates, Eaton locking rear differential, an off-Road mode, Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist, but it also gets darkened exterior accents that make it looks classy, yet very subtly chic truck.
- It has the proper trailering technology to relieve your towing anxiety. The 2020 GMC Sierra HD family has an available 15 camera system designed to monitor every possible spot around your load. One of them is a segment-exclusive “transparent trailer“ system that stitches together views from tailgate camera and rear trailer-mounted camera in order to make the trailer invisible and give you the full view of what’s going on back there.
Why you shouldn’t buy a 2020 GMC Sierra HD
- The cabin needs a bit of polishing. If you’re looking for high-end plush interiors to fit your 75 000$ fifth-wheel trailer, perhaps the GMC Sierra HD’s cabin could disappoint. It does provide functionality and is very technologically advanced. But the build quality, surface materials used and overall finishing are under what the competition offers.
Let it be noted, though, that representatives at GMC explicitly mentioned that the interiors would be upgraded on that front in the very near future.
- If you don’t need it. In many instances, bigger doesn’t mean better. So check your trailer weight and application and see if you can’t get away with a smaller truck. GMC says that only 50% of HD truck owners tow more than 8,000 pounds.
Hence, the rest could probably consider a Sierra 1500 with the 3.0-litre Duramax turbocharged engine that can tow up to 9,100 pounds or even an EcoBoost-equipped Ford F-150 with a tow rating of 13,200 pounds (but please carefully consider the GCWR rating versus what you are planning to tow before downsizing). Needless to say, savings in terms of fuel consumption, space and, of course, money, can be made by evaluating all your options and if you really need a heavy-duty hauler.
There’s no doubt about it, a heavy-duty truck is a big expense, and every angle has to be examined and well thought out in order to get the best machine possible for your application. The 2020 GMC Sierra sure has the technology and the guts for the job – whatever the job might be.