The 2020 GMC Sierra 3500 is all-new as General Motors' truck specialist brand looks to establish itself as a leader in the heavy-duty pickup segment.
Along with its bold styling, the 2020 GMC Sierra 3500 boasts towing capability of well over 13,000 kg. Some of the credit goes to a new 10-speed automatic transmission paired with a Duramax diesel carried over from 2019 with its 445 hp and 910 lb-ft of torque.
If GMC had revealed the 2020 Sierra HD on April 1, we would have thought its over-the-top styling was a comedic comment on how ridiculous heavy duty truck styling has become. But GMC presented this new design completely unironically: ?We took every opportunity to visually express the strength and capability that lies beneath the surface,? says Matt Noone, director of GMC exterior design.
Indeed, the 2020 Sierra 3500 is taller overall, sports a taller hood line and rides on a longer wheelbase. A hood scoop above the huge grille is functional on diesel models, feeding extra air to the engine's cooling system. Meanwhile, the cargo bed's lift-in height is one inch lower, which GMC eases cargo loading and gooseneck trailer hitching.
The thing is, GMC has apparently made a real effort to boost the Sierra HD's capability. The 10-speed transmission allowed for a big bump in towing ability over the six-speed that came with last year's diesel. Meanwhile, the Sierra 3500's new standard gas engine -- a 6.6L V8 making 401 hp and 464 lb-ft -- can tow more than the 2019 model's gasser.
While those mechanical changes let the Sierra 3500 tow more, new high-tech options make trailering easier for the driver. There's an optional 360-degree camera system with 15 settings that include a "transparent" trailer view to enhance visibility to the rear. The Sierra 3500 also uses an electric parking brake to hold the truck steady while hitching up and a hill hold feature engages the brakes at all four wheels. Sierra 3500's latest trailer brake controller will remember what gain setting you used last time you towed, and the transmission's tow/haul setting remains engaged for up to four hours even if you turn the truck off and on again.
GMC also offers the Sierra 3500 with the brand's new six-function tailgate as an option on entry-level models. It's standard in SLT, AT4 and Denali trims.
Other standard and available tech features include hill start assist, hill descent control, trailer sway control, automatic grade braking and diesel exhaust braking. A new variable power steering system tailors its performance based on driving scenarios, and includes a road pull compensation function.
GMC also offers the 2020 Sierra 3500 with the brand's AT4 off-road package on single-rear-wheel models. That option brings an upgraded suspension, skid plates, locking rear differential, all-terrain tires, an off-road mode for the traction select system, surround vision cameras to better show what you're about to drive over and a huge 15-inch head up display with an inclinometer.