Defy Convention with the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD
Are you in the market for a new heavy-duty truck? GMC has you covered from top to bottom with the new Sierra 2500HD. At first glance, the 2020 Sierra 2500HD—which is in its first year of a new body structure—is as impressive as they come. And once you get into the details of its capabilities and features, it doesn’t disappoint. In short, it’s powerful yet refined—sophisticated yet practical. This article will discuss the 2020 Sierra 2500HD’s remarkable towing performance, its beautiful and functional exterior and interior features, and the various trim levels and their pricing.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the new Sierra 2500 HD is its towing capabilities. Let’s dive into the details:
The Sierra 2500HD can tow up to 30,000 pounds, which is quite a jump from the 2019 models of 23,300 lbs. It’s clear that GMC focused on attracting customers who are looking to pull a trailer. This is the first year that the automobile manufacturer has assigned the Sierra HD models its own chief engineer and development program; in times past, their development was seen simply as an extension of the Sierra 1500. Jaclyn McQuaid, the chief engineer, noted that trailering was the focal point in the Sierra HD’s design process, pointing out that the 2020 models have “a beefier driveline and suspension, a stiffer frame, larger axles and propshafts, and an enhanced cooling system.” In other words, it’s built to be a towing juggernaut.
Of course, no features will allow for impressive towing capacity like a truck’s powertrain, and the Sierra HD has it going on in that department. The available 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel V8 produces 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque. While these are the same numbers as previous models, this engine has been designed for higher efficiency in the 2020 Sierra 2500HD. For instance, there is a bigger radiator and fan for extra cooling capacity, as well as, enhanced air induction. One of the most impressive aspects of the powertrain is the new Allison 10-speed automatic transmission, which is being offered for the first time in this line up of HD pickups. With closer gear spacing than ever before, the engine is able to consistently run at the perfect level, no matter the towing load or terrain.
This is also the first year that GMC is offering a 6.6-liter engine that runs on gasoline in their HD trucks. The 6.6-liter gasoline direct-injected V8 engine is exclusive to GMC, and it delivers 401 hp and 464 ft-lb of torque. This is an 11% and 22% increase in hp and torque, respectively, from the 6.0-liter gasoline engine of previous models. Customers who opt for the 6.6-liter gasoline V8 will get the 6L90 six-speed automatic transmission.
Finally, the powertrain improvements for the 2020 Sierra 2500HD include bigger and stronger rear axles, which helps to provide maximum torque to the ground, as well as, better gross axle weight ratings (GAWR). The front axles are also bigger and stronger in general, and an 11.5-inch ring gear comes standard on all 2500HD models.
Transparent Trailer View
Along with more power to pull a trailer, the new Sierra HD features one of the most exciting new technologies in the industry today: transparent trailer view. GMC calls it the ProGrade Trailering System, and it essentially renders the trailer invisible behind the truck. This has obvious advantages for trailer haulers from experts to novices.
By using various combinations of 15 cameras, the trailering system is designed to simplify every aspect of trailering. Seeing through the trailer allows for easier and safer maneuvering in traffic, backing up and parking. The system even offers a close-up of the hitch, making coupling a breeze. Furthermore, the ProGrade Trailering System includes:
- Lights for the hitch area
- Automatic parking brake assistance
- Integrated trailer brake controller
- A mobile app with a departure checklist, tire pressure monitoring, theft notifications and many other features
GMC also worked to improve the 2020 Sierra HD’s hauling capabilities and to make loading and unloading cargo as practical as possible for customers. For one, it now leads its class in cargo- bed volume and offers 12 corner tie-downs, and you have the option of adding a 120-volt power outlet in the bed. The cargo bed railings are an inch lower than the 2019 Sierra HD models, which lends to an easier liftover.
Additionally, the truck has steps on the sides of the bed and on the corners of the rear bumper—roughly the size of a work boot—so that customers can have better access to objects inside the bed. Moreover, higher trim levels of the Sierra HD showcase the new MultiPro six-function tailgate that was introduced by GMC on the 1500 models this year; however, the version of the tailgate found on the 2500 is designed specifically for the HD models.
Now that you know the gist of the towing capabilities, let’s take a look at the exterior characteristics:
2020 marks the beginning of a new era of body style for GMC pickups; overall, it’s larger and more aggressive than ever before. The contrast between the Sierra 1500 and 2500HD is more apparent than in previous years, as the latter now stands 2 inches taller and stretches 10 inches longer than its 2019 version.
Additionally, the hood line is elevated, and the grill is an entirely different thing altogether. While GMC has received some criticism for the redesigned grill on the Sierra (as with the Chevrolet Silverado), there’s no question that it makes a statement: a bold, unapologetic statement with lots of chrome and character. The grill is massive, and it’s capped by a hood scoop that adds to the overall appeal of the truck. The hood scoop is also designed to assist the new cooling system that comes with the Duramax turbo-diesel engine.
Another component that adds to the Sierra HD’s aggressive look is the LED lighting, which is everywhere. This includes headlights, taillights, roof marker lights and fog lights (available through upgrade). Moreover, the roof has four yellow running lights, and each wheel-well flare has an orange side marker at the top.
There are eight primary colors to choose from for the Sierra HD models:
- Summit White
- White Frost Tricoat
- Quicksilver Metallic
- Onyx Black
- Carbon Black Metallic
- Pacific Blue Metallic
- Dark Sky Metallic
- Red Quartz Tricoat
There’s more to the 2020 Sierra HD than it’s attractive and functional exterior; it’s also built to impress on the inside:
Driver and passenger comfort is a big part of the Sierra HD’s appeal. GMC has stepped up their game in creating more room in the cabin. In fact, the 2500 crew cab models are now top of the class for front head and legroom. Also, there are three more inches of legroom in the rear-seat than there were in previous models. If you’re one of the 90% of GMC customers who choose a crew cab body style, this extra room could prove critical in your riding experience—particularly on longer trips.
Seats and Trim
The cabin in the Sierra HD models is built on the same construction as the Silverado. However, that’s where the similarities end. As with many other specs, GMC puts their unique touch on their cabin features, and the new Sierra HD is no exception. For starters, the seating profile is higher than in recent years, which provides increased visibility on the road and, perhaps, a greater sense of safety. While the base model is satisfyingly upscale, the most elaborate interior comes in the Denali edition, which sports large pebbled grain leather upholstery with contrasting stitching, and no truck will have identical-looking seats. Also, the trim on the Sierra HD Denali comes in authentic open-pore wood with dark aluminum decor.
You’ve read about the ProGrade Trailering System, which is intelligently integrated into the Sierra 2500HD’s computers. But that’s not all the impressive technology the truck offers. There are 15 cameras in total, which come in handy even when you’re not hauling a trailer. For instance, you can see an overview of the truck, inspect the cargo in the bed, and see along the wheels as you parallel park.
Additionally, a coinciding mobile app called MyGMC offers several functions that assist with pulling a trailer and keeping the trailer in good condition (e.g., controlling temperature, monitoring tire pressure, checking trailer lights, controlling the integrated brake system, etc.). Furthermore, you can opt for a 15-inch head-up screen that displays important functions such as an odometer, an inclinometer, trailer info, and navigation instructions, among others. And let’s not forget about the optional Rear Camera Mirror and HD Surround Vision camera system.
THE TRIMS AND PRICING
The 2020 Sierra 2500HD comes in five trim levels: The base model, SLE, SLT, AT4 and Denali. Prices for these trims, along with a plethora of configurations, differ as much as $30,000.
Base Model, SLE, and SLT
The base model Sierra 2500HD starts at $37,195 MSRP, which is the least expensive option we’ve seen for a GMC Heavy Duty truck in years. The Sierra 2500HD comes as a regular cab/long bed model, and it is basically GMC’s version of the Silverado Work Truck. The price goes up to $41,595 if you opt for a crew cab with standard bed, and you can add a long bed for $200.
The SLE is one step above, meaning it has a few niceties not included in the base model. Starting at $41,595 (regular cab/long bed), you can get a crew cab with standard bed for $45,395. Again, adding a long bed to the crew cab model is just $200. The SLT is the Sierra 2500HD’s middle trim level, and it reflects both in price and features. It comes stocked with a double cab and standard bed for $52,195, and you can upgrade to a crew cab/standard bed for $53,995.
This trim is all new to the GMC lineup of trucks. The AT4 was designed with off-roaders in mind. It comes with unique exterior and interior features (e.g., exclusive paint colors, dark chrome grill and trim, jet black upholstery, etc.), as well as some practical upgrades that make it worthy of its all-terrain title. For instance, the AT4 is stocked with an off-road suspension, locking rear differential and skid plates. It also comes with an off-road mode you can select for the traction control system. Furthermore, it boasts a hill start assist and hill descent control. The AT4 comes only in the crew cab model, which starts at $59,295; it’s $200 to add a long bed.
The Denali is the Sierra’s luxury trim, and has been since 2001. Along with some of the interior perks mentioned previously, the Denali comes with an enlarged chrome grill and 20-inch chrome wheels, among other features. Limited to crew cab form, it starts at $65,295, with the option of adding the $200 long bed.
If you’re looking for muscle and appeal in a truck, don’t settle for anything less than the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD. It has towing and hauling capabilities to compete with any pickup in its class, and its innovative trailering technology is second to none. And let’s not forget its bold, attractive and functional exterior and interior. Be sure to come out to Liberty for a test drive, and find the trim level that works best for you!