2020 GMC Sierra 2500/3500 Get Bigger, Stronger, Smarter

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With all the attention the all-new 2019 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks have been getting since their debut at the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and Chevrolet providing looks at the next-generation 2020 Silverado 2500/3500 (in both LT and High Country trims), it now seems it's GMC's turn.

Related: So It Begins: GMC Teases the 2020 Sierra 2500/3500

During a media drive event in San Diego for another GMC product, journalists got an up-close, early look at the upgraded and redesigned 2020 Sierra 2500/3500s. The new trucks look bigger and are loaded with more tech; 2020 Sierra 2500 and 3500 models will arrive at dealerships in late summer, with pricing and more detailed specification information coming after we get our first drive in them later this year. Here's what we know at this point.

GMC's overall redesign strategy should be familiar to everyone; many of the changes seen on the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 carry over to the heavy-duty lineup. Just about every aspect of the new HDs has been touched by engineers and designers, including an all-new, longer, stronger and lighter frame; a retuned suspension for every cab and wheel configuration; and a new cabin design providing more room and more distinction between each trim level.

Powertrain Upgrades

All Sierra HDs — all photos here are of the new off-road-oriented AT4 and Denali trims — benefit from a more rugged and massive stance with the taller, wider grille and bulging hood features. The headlights have been re-sculpted to give the trucks the appearance of more height. AT4 grilles will be dark gray, while the more upscale Denali will get a new, barred chrome grille. All Sierra HD hoods have a pronounced horizontal air intake slot to provide the extra cold air (cooling as it runs through the hood channels) necessary to feed the new gas engine and carryover turbo-diesel 6.6-liter Duramax (445 horsepower and 910 pounds-feet of torque, the latter of which falls short of the new diesel Ram 3500's 1,000 pounds-feet of torque).

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We've been hearing reports that the GM HD lineup will get a new gas engine — the stalwart 6.0-liter V-8 is long overdue for replacement — but we have not gotten official confirmation. However, we do know all new turbo-diesel HDs will be offered with a stronger, more technically savvy 10-speed Allison transmission that is likely to make the HDs stronger pullers and faster off the line than ever before. And just in case you don't remember, a Chevrolet Silverado 3500 powered by the current 6.6-liter Duramax V-8 and six-speed Allison won our 2018 One-Ton Heavy-Duty Truck Challenge

Interior Improvements

All three cab configurations for Sierra's three-quarter and one-ton pickups — regular, double and crew — are bigger and have been thoroughly redesigned, just as with the GM light-duty pickups. Some will say these new pickups could be more luxurious inside and offer larger touchscreens, but we would add that the HD market is different from the light-duty market and in less need of experimentation when it comes to high-end materials and Tesla-like features. On the other-hand, for a vehicle that is likely to be towing pricey toys, livestock trailers or recreational vehicles, maybe it makes sense to pour as much luxury into an HD pickup as possible. We'll be able to better judge overall value when we get pricing information for the new pickups in several months.

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Better Beds and Towing

New GMC Sierra HDs also will have the Sierra 1500's new bed design and shapes with three tough tie-down points at each corner of the widened bed. We're also told the bed floor has been reinforced. To more easily use the bed, the new Sierra 2500 and 3500 will sport side steps integrated into the front of the pickup bed like those on the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500/3500. The side step makes it easier to reach the front of the bed from outside the truck. Not surprisingly, GMC also will offer its exclusive and versatile six-position MultiPro Tailgate, which provides better bed access and storage options, on all trim levels. At this point, however, the HD lineup will not have a carbon-fiber bed option like the Sierra 1500 does.

Of special note, the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500 will offer a massive 15-inch diagonal head-up display to keep the driver informed about vehicle data, especially when off-roading or towing; the system offers dedicated screens for both. Likewise, a new ProGrade Trailering System offers up to 15 different camera views as well as a new class-first "ghosting" feature that allows you to see through and all around your trailer when equipped properly. The new trailering system provides engine diagnostics, light checks and even a trip checklist. The 2020 GMC Sierra HDs also get larger door-mounted, extendable and retractable towing mirrors, auto electronic parking brakes, hill hold, a more sensitive trailer-sway control, more aggressive auto grade braking, digital steering assist and a trailering information label on the driver's doorjamb that provides the gross vehicle weight rating and other trailering information specific to that vehicle, making it much easier to tow safely.

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Trim Levels

Two trim levels stand out in from the new HD trim lineup: the Denali, which accounts for about half of all GMC HD pickup sales, and the new off-road-centric AT4, a first for any GM HD pickup.

The top-of-the-line Denali offers unique large-pebble-grained leather seats, open-pore wood trim and dark-finished aluminum; it also gets a unique front grille and headlight design along with extra badging.

The new AT4 will have unusual dark chrome accents with body-colored grille surrounds and bumpers, and what's becoming GMC's signature red vertical front tow hooks. The AT4 will offer a Jet Black interior with dark trim and textured aluminum finishes on the steering wheel and throughout. Underneath, the AT4 will sport Rancho monotube shocks, extra skid plating and an Eaton locking rear differential. The new Traction Select System will have an Off-Road mode, and the HD surround-view cameras will allow the cameras to stay on while crawling at low speeds.

Look for more details and specifications when we get a chance to hook a 2020 GMC Sierra 2500 or 3500 to a trailer and take it up and down some steep grades. GMC says maximum tow ratings for the HDs will be in excess of 30,000 pounds, which we guess means gooseneck max-trailer ratings on the 3500. We'll be sure to pass more information as we get it.

Manufacturer images

 

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Comments

Much better looking than the Chevrolet. Wonder how the new transmission will help against the 1000 pound feet of Ram torque

That it is nice looking truck!

I wonder if this will get better MPGs than the 2.7 T4? Yeah. It's possible.

Now that's a bad@$$ looking truck. WOW!!!

Those super poopies will have fun staring at the multi-pro tailgate!

GM knocked it out of ball park with this truck.

A 15 inch HUD finally. IMO This has been the one no-brainer option missing from the truck market. I would gladly take the HUD option over a 12 inch nav screen any day.

This does look much better than the Silverado too. I'm selling my 99 Ranger 5 speed.

Interior looks like it has Downs Syndrome and those front bed steps!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! Just when you think GM can't build an uglier truck. They say "Hold my beer and watch this!" HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!

Going to sell alot of these trucks, that at4 is gorgeous.

HAHAHAHA!!!!!.........................HAHAHA!!!!!!!!

Truck looks great but I'm gonna wait until the second year of production so they can work the bugs out before I buy like I did on my 2015 Sierra.

I'm proud to see this beast, the designers knew they couldn't f... this up, other than the Mild Looking Interior, it's the predicted Tow Ratings along with all the other available features that impresses me the most. There were early Spy Shots last year of a Denali or AT4 Regular Cab version of this truck running around for testing, that would be awesome to see in the coming months if that's true.

I like the high end Chevy model better, front end looks like a box on GMC.

I like the high end Chevy model better, front end looks like a box on GMC.

Best looking truck period!!

At least the Sierra HD looks better than the Silverado HD. I am kind of a GM guy, but the Ram interior is dramatically better, and I think the Ram exterior looks maybe a little better as well. Now for GM the Allison transmission is gone and replaced with an Allison in name only. At least there is still the Duramax, but the Ram has the new Cummins with 1,000 foot-pounds of torque. The Ford super duty has in my mind a little bit nicer interior and exterior, and also has a really good diesel. My next truck will be an HD, and at this point it will not be the Silverado or Sierra.

I personally like the looks for the most part. Would love to see one in person. Wonder when the full details about the gas power trains will be released.

That is one u-g-l-y truck. Yuck.

Have I told you lately how beautiful you are? I can see why China is jealous.

WTF IS THAT? That’s is the ugliest thing I have ever seen. Ford is the best.

FCA Ram HD and the Ford Super Duty are the big league.

This truck, still playing girls T Ball. The GM trucks will be a distant 3rd, like always

FAKE papa. You know who you are

I know who I am. Do you know who you are?

With its weak and old fashioned greyiron engine the Duramax falls 14 % below in tow rating and 9 % lower in torque if you compare with the new Cummins diesel in RAM HD. WEAK. GM has to put the trigger for CGI in the Duramax. Ford already has it.

@texas1836--Agree this GMC is much nicer than the Silverado. I have owned Chevies most of my life but the new Silverado is just ugly. I also like the Ram and agree it has the nicest interior. If Ram could get consistent quality and reliability it could take the Number 2 spot from Silverado. I am rooting for Ram because that is the only way that the Silverado will change. Chevy has lost its way.

the FAKE Jeff S

Everyone is FAKE

No the real Jeff s. Just because I don't like the new Silverado doesn't mean this is the fake Jeff. It might be a good truck but it is ugly. GMC has become more of a premium truck. Sure GMC will never overtake Chevrolet but it just is a nicer looking truck with nicer features. The only Chevy truck I like is the Colorado. Maybe the Silverado should have borrowed the front of the Colorado. Maybe Chevy in a couple of years can refresh the front of the Silverado and make it less polarizing. This should be an easy fix. I like that the new GM trucks have more cab room and I like the side steps on the bed. A little more work on the interior and a refresh of the front is all that is needed.

the FAKE Jeff S

Well it certainly doesn't display the poor decisions in styling demonstrated by the Chevy HD.

The side bed step is genius.

The tailgate is hilariously overcomplicated.

The interior has to at least be a step up from the Chevy.

The price being an arm and a leg as well as the limited dealer network, and advertising will still mean limited sales of this luxo truck. So no talk of this thing moving the needle on segment sales/places or market share.

Like all the GMC's before it... A chevy boys dream way to spend his way into a slightly nicer truck only this time the chevy is more than slightly less nice than this.

GMC doesn't have to be No. 1 or No 2 to make money. GMC is a money maker for GM. My problem is not with the mechanics of the new Silverado, it is making your No. 1 selling vehicle as appealing as an Aztec or 1958 Edsel. Sure looks don't determine longevity but when you are spending as much for a new truck as what use to be a house you expect more. I am not a fan of the HD F series Fords as well but Silverado HDs have managed to out ugly the Tonka truck looks of the HD Fords. The half ton Silverado has taken a few design cues from the F-150 with the bars across the lights not a big fan of that. If Chevy is going to get any design cues for the Silverado then look no further than the Ram.

who ever is using my name quit, I have had this name for the past 6 months. If you had this name you will need to find a new name.

@Jeff s

I just read an excerpt from an article from autoextremist, that talked about how GM has lost it's way on interior design and is now a second tier automaker. They also think they are losing it on exterior design as well, but not as bad as interior design. While GM is saving lots of $$ on interiors, they are spending lots of $$ on 23 different electric vehicles. Is GM going to make any $ on those 23 different electric vehicles? I realize that we are likely headed towards mandates on electric vehicles, but if that doesn't pan out in the US, then we are probably no where close to enough market demand for GM to actually make $ on electric vehicles. Maybe most of those electric vehicles are for China, where the electric vehicle mandates are already being implemented?

@ fake papajim

This is why you screw up this site!

I have been coming here for 3 years and the original papajim has had this name for longer. What gives you the right to taint his name and the site

Be a man and choose your own name. It's really not that hard. A 3 year old could do it, and I'd hope your smarter than that.

Grow up, so we can all have debates and conversations without speculating who is who

If u want to bust my b@!!s or anyone else's, do it with your own name

Have a great day and make a difference

Boy, you Ford guys have been bashing the GM twins.

Check out how disappointed Motor trend is with the Ranger!

https://www.motortrend.com/cars/ford/ranger/2019/2019-ford-ranger-first-test-review/

Not good, and I called it. Performance can't match the Colorado.

Frank, I bet your even angrier now than before! LOL

@texas1836--Cadillac plans to add more electric vehicles to its lineup so it is not just China. I have been critical of the new Silverado because it is too important a product to screw up on the design and they need to offer a more premium interior at the very least on their High Country. Also they have left Buick to languish and Cadillac has lost its way. I do agree with papajim about selling off Opel and Vauxhall to PSA and about some of the cars that are being discontinued but GM has much deeper problems that they fail to address. GM has to grow their existing brands and not let them just languish. Below is a link that includes information about Cadillac's plan for electric cars.

https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2019/01/this-is-pretty-much-it-new-gm-president-acknowledges-cadillacs-last-chance-for-glory/

I realize that we are likely headed towards mandates on electric vehicles, but if that doesn't pan out in the US, then we are probably no where close to enough market demand for GM to actually make $ on electric vehicles...Posted by: Texas1836 | Jan 23, 2019

Properly configured, electric cars can be a huge hit. There are cities all over North America and Europe that were built before the invention of the automobile and are absolute murder to drive around in. This applies to most American cities outside the Sunbelt. Anything that is easy to park and recharge should be popular. If the new designs appeal to the same people who seem to buy a new smart phone every five minutes, it may be a bigger hit than anyone can imagine.

For people who live outside congested urban areas it's hard to see the value of going electric UNLESS expanded use of nuclear, coal and natural gas drive down the price of electricity.

Taxes add another layer to electricity prices. Eliminate the tax, or at least give new owners of electric cars a tax credit. Hmmm.

I hope there's going to be a trim level where the hood portion of the massive grill is body colored. A little subtlety and tad bit conservative would be my preference.

@average joe--Agree.

Now that's a bad@$$ looking truck. WOW!!!

Those super poopies will have fun staring at the multi-pro tailgate!

GM knocked it out of ball park with this truck.


Posted by: TNTGMC | Jan 22, 2019 7:02:59 PM

Your age and immaturity show. I agree it's a nice looking truck. Much, much nicer than the hideous C H E V R O L E T fisher price inspired HD truck. However, you're the guy who always talks about "wait until they're tested......" until it's a GM, then you're all "knocked it out of the park, game changer (remember that blunder?) etc." biased.

@Joe

Agree. The new styling is polarizing to say the least.

We could say the same thing about great Chevy styles from the past however.

Even though the Trailblazers and Envoys were mechanically troublesome they sold millions of 'em. I never saw one that I liked style-wise but somebody must have.

@papajim--The drivetrains are solid. It wouldn't take much tweaking to the design to make the Silverado more appealing. I have had 3 Chevrolets and I have overall been very pleased with them. My parents had Chevies when I was growing up and they were overall good.

As long as you're not referring to those Trailblazer and Envoy SUVs I agree, Jeff (those models were legendary for turning lifetime Chevy owners into Toyota fans). Horrible Q/A and they came along at a time when Ford really outclassed them with the IRS V8 six speed Explorer.

My brother and his wife had a white V8 Explorer they hung on to while their daughters were in college---which went on for about 10 years! Being from a family that owned a Ford dealership they got hassled a lot to buy a new one but they soldiered-on with the white Explorer till it had WAY over 100k miles on the odometer. Then the girls had it till they got married off.

You could not have done that with a Trailblazer.

@ RamRod

Bc i said its bad @$$?? So that makes me immature?

Your funny. And the past comparisons done here at PUTC, the duramax has won almost all the performance categories. With it being lighter, stronger, and more capable, I expect nothing less.

Cheer up and relax a bit. I just think u are alittle grumpy...u friends qith Frank?

They FINALLY nailed it. Now, all they have to di is get rid of that
torsion bar suspension. Even the trapezoidal wheel wells look
good. CONGRATS, GM

@papjim

I have had this name for 2 weeks. You need to find yourself a different name.

@TNTGMC

You tell people to grow up. That's laughable. You are the ignorance post child.

Not bad. Looks much better than the Chevy.

@ fake papajim

Ingorance "post" child.....I believe u meant "poster"....but hey everyone messes up. I've mistyped a few times....not going to preach a grammar lesson to you like the wizard Brick does.

Now Look at your parents they first had you and messed up big time.

Then they didn't raise you properly to teach u respect, bc u falsely use others names.

There's always time to start. By all means, start by using your own name and stop tainting site.

It's pretty simple. 👌👍

Stop the madness. Shure will be glad when the boxy Leggo look is gone.

I like the design language for the body sides, but the front end is a weird mix of alien-looking elements that contradict the cleanliness of the rest of the truck.

The time is now to get back to simpler designs in the truck industry.

@TNTGAY

You are an immature, ignorant man child. Posting about the Ranger in an article on HD GMC supports that accesment.

The Ranger has nothing to do with the topic. So why do you resort to such childish demeanour?

The half ton Silverado has taken a few design cues from the F-150 with the bars across the lights not a big fan of that.
Posted by: Jeff S

What choice did they have? Ford just ripped off the Silverado's stacked headlights with a horizontal bar splitting the grille and headlight stack in 2017/18. Kind of like how Ford stole the Ram's big rig look when they first came out with the Super Duty. Total Ram knockoff.

-

If Chevy is going to get any design cues for the Silverado then look no further than the Ram.
Posted by: Jeff S

Design cues? Ram? The 2019/2020 Ram has no design cues. It's like a bowl of freezer burnt generic-branded vanilla ice cream with vanilla toppings sprinkled on top, only the ice cream is half-melted. Ram has gotten rid of any character their trucks had in the past few years.



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