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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@ fake papajim

Your a very sad and lonely individual

@ fake papajim

Your a very sad and lonely individual


Your a very sad and lonely individual

Posted by: TNTGMC | Jan 23, 2019 12:52:22 PM

So says the clown that resorts to bashing a vehicle that has no barring on the article topic.

@ Fake papa

Says the IT that can't use her own name on this site.

And I posted it bc The Ford guys have been bashing GM for a while. What's wrong with posting a link stating the Ranger is a huge disappointment? Because you don't like it...poor baby.

Stop whining and grow up!

@beebe--I disagree. The new Ram is not as bold or in your face big rig truck design as the prior one but it is among the nicest looking trucks out there and it has better interiors and good drivetrains. People must like them because I see more 2019 Rams on the road than Chevys and Fords. Ram is doing something right


The problem is you’re deflecting and going off topic.

Why do you resort to such child like antics?

@ fake papajim

Child like antics? LMFAO! This coming from the person who can't use his/her username......wow, way to funny and ironic!

Please you hurt yourself everytime you post

And having a conversation about the Ranger on here is free range. You ford guys add GM stuff all time, but, when its negative press against your brand you get all upset.

Please move along 🤡

I am the REAL papajim. Whether a Ford fan, GM fan, FCA fan etc etc is irrelevant. I am sick of is people like you that go off topic.

WOW. GMC is by far the best looking HD to date. This new truck is amazing, makes the others look dull and boring.
I laugh at you all talking about the Cummins and 100 ft lbs of torque, you do know that is available in the 3500 dually only, and 99% of the Rams will be the regular 940 ft lb engine. Impressive no matter how you look at it, but the Duramax will be no 1 again for the last 19 years in the real world towing tests.

wow this is a real truck good job ,,

GMSRGREAT says he like islam and it’s adherents.

So you like the scourge of the earth huh?


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.

Posted by: average joe | Jan 23, 2019 8:29:43 AM

I think you are spot on average joe, I actually REALLY like the front end on the GMC, except for the chrome on the hood tip area, that part just doesn't look quite right.

Get on topic TNTGAY

I could almost live with the interior, specifically the dash, if they would just replace the 1990's looking, uglier than slug vomit, all plastic stacked glove boxes with 1-inch panel gaps, with something like what Ram has done. It still would not be as nice looking as the Ram inside, but then maybe in my mind it could catch up with the Ford interior wise. Too bad for GM, that Ford is coming out with a redesign next year that will almost certainly include a new dashboard/interior...and I'll bet their diesel goes up to at least 1,010 foot-pounds of torque. It still BAFFLES me why GM didn't even bother to make their interior look as good as the 2018 Ford, or even the 2018 Ram...why??? Even GM's best interiors, i.e., Cadillac, still are not as nice as the new Ram...and with GM's hierarchical system, the pickup's have to be below the Yukon/Suburbans as well as the Cadillac's (not a winning formula in my mind).

@ Texas 1836

Just curious have you sat inside a new 2019 GM truck to actually look at the interior?

I have a 2018 and had oil changed few weeks ago and sat in a RST 5.3L Crew Cab. Bright Red with same ebony interior as mine. It's very similar to mine but very different and it is filled with a ton of soft touched materials. I love the double glove box. I guess I don't know what you mean by a gap?? I don't have one and didn't notice one of that RST.
I really think GMC did a fantastic job with this truck. I'll save my judgment for the Silverado HD for an in-person look bc its (1500) a beautiful truck when you see it.


I am generally a GM fan, my current truck is a 2015 Suburban, and previous truck was a 2007 Silverado HD. I have not sat in the new truck, but I have looked at them. Soft touch plastics are great, but in GM's case there is just too much plastic for my taste, needs more trim pieces of different materials such as wood, brushed aluminum etc., particularly in the dash itself (just my opinion). As far as panel gaps, I was referring to how much open space you see around perimeter of glove box doors, why the big gaps?...looks like something out of a 1990's GM dashboard. Compare Ram's and even Ford's dashboards to GM, and you will see less plastic, more trim pieces of different materials, and noticeably smaller panel gaps. For me, the worst part of GM's new dash, is on the passenger side, or everything right of the center stack...it is all plastic...on the Ram and the Ford it is not all plastic and the upper glovebox can barely be seen. My point of all of this negative commentary towards GM is that I want them to be successful, but I think they have blown it here and may end up losing additional market share.

@ Texas 1836

Ram's interior is very nice. Heads above everyone else, but that screen is already causing fits! Plus, I prefer to change my settings through a knob/dial, instead of searching through the tablet/screen! I can tell you have never been in a Ford's interior very much. They are filled with plastic materials everywhere. My dad's 09, step-dad's 13, father in laws 16 and brother in laws 18 are all filled with cheap plastic bits. Not many soft touch materials at all. And the gaps the center stacks have in the all their trucks are terrible. Even TFL has complained about this.

As for the passenger side, its not hard plastic. Its all soft touch materials, except for the lower glove box. the upper glove box is soft touch. . I will definitely look the next time at a 19's passenger side again, because I didn't see the gap and its not on my 18. Thanks for bringing that up.

I for one can't stand wood, real or fake! My 18 came with the wood grain, and I had dealership switch it all out for brushed aluminium. Matches the center stake that is brushed aluminum.

Too each their own. I am a GM fan, not for the love of them at all. I just buy their vehicles b/c they last. DO I think they could have changed it up a bit, maybe, but its very simple to use, and I really like that. I think Ford's Sync and center stack area is a pain in the @$$ to operate and other reviews have said that too!

BTW. the two I sat in at dealership was RST model and and SLE Sierra, not even top trim, and I was impressed with the soft touch materials, b/c usually in the lower models, they are filled with those types of materials.


I acknowledge that neither the Ford or Ram are perfect, and they both have at least some issues. I for one don't trust Ram reliability much at all. While I like the looks of Rams 12" touch screen, I wouldn't necessarily want one, can you imagine how much $ it would cost to replace that? I'm holding on to my Suburban for now.

@ Texas 1836

AGREED!! That 12 inch looks fantastic in the truck no doubt about it, but when those things go out; it's going to be a nightmare to fix and a repair bill I wouldn't want. I've preached that first day they showed interior of truck.

I have best friend who is in the business of selling car stereos. I get all my Alpine screens from him. The new GM 9 incher is $2k. I can get it through him for about half that price. Now take 2 more inches and dealership fees, and I can see that in the $4K or higher bill! No thanks!

Is that the same interior as the 4500 truck? 👎🏿👎🏿💩🤮🤮💩

As far as panel gaps, I was referring to how much open space you see around perimeter of glove box doors, why the big gaps?...looks like something out of a 1990's GM dashboard. Compare Ram's and even Ford's dashboards to GM, and you will see less plastic, more trim pieces of different materials, and noticeably smaller panel gaps.
Posted by: Texas1836 | Jan 24, 2019 2:13:39 PM

No you wont find tighter panel gaps on a Ford. In fact their dash has some of the biggest and most inconsistent gaps you will find today. Their glove box warps so badly in fact that some guys have had issues with getting the glove box latch to catch correctly.

For me, the worst part of GM's new dash, is on the passenger side, or everything right of the center stack...it is all plastic...on the Ram and the Ford it is not all plastic and the upper glovebox can barely be seen.
Posted by: Texas1836 | Jan 24, 2019 2:13:39 PM

IT'S A TRUCK. The pathetic expectations that come up when discussing trucks today is the perfect example of how it's not GM that's gotten worse at making truck, it's how Ford and Ram have slowly devolved their "trucks" into car-like metro vehicles designed to sell in the suburbs to people that have never owned a truck or cared about the capabilities of a truck. They want to look like masculine but they whine about stuff that has nothing to do with what makes a truck a GOOD truck. The Ram rides like a car which is what you want if you only use it as a car and car nothing about how well it can handle weight in the bed. Its payload capacities are straight up embarrassing , even after Ram just bragged up how much they "boosted" payload ratings. The average 2019 Ram still only has about as much payload capacity as a MIDSIZE truck. The F-150 is still the truck with a tinfoil bed as Ford hasn't done a single thing to address the weak tiedows that rip away from the metal and let whatever load you did have secured, topple over and rip your whole bed apart like we saw in those famous blue F-150 pictures where the entire bed had basically ripped apart. The riveted seams are terrible, the bed cracks and tears like tinfoil, and this weak bed is attached to a truck with the weakest 4WD in the 1/2 ton market. It's a Prius pretending to be a "truck".


Agreed, not exactly to your point though that GM does a good job of building a truck. The lower GM trim level packages reflect something like what would be expected for a work truck. I don't use my truck for working in the oil fields, or on construction sites (except for minor construction around our property). I do use my truck however to haul our travel trailer around sometimes several thousand miles per year. I need a truck to do this kind of work...if I am paying close to $80,000 for this kind of truck, I would kind of like the interior to be more luxurious than my $30,000 commuter car. In that respect, GM is getting destroyed by the competition. With Ram and to some extent Ford, for roughly the same price, I can get similar work truck capabilities, but with a nicer to MUCH nicer interior to ride around the country with while pulling our trailer.

GMSRGREAT says he like islam and it’s adherents.

So you like the scourge of the earth huh?


Posted by: TNTGMC | Jan 23, 2019 10:04:13 PM

Fake TNTGMC, stop posting using others user names and you might become less paranoid.

The GMC Denali HD is decidely the best looking truck in the segment.


This truck has grown on me over the last few days, I am starting to really like the looks of the Denali exterior. I already like the Duramax, and I gained a little confidence in the 'Allison' transmission, according to GM sources, the transmission was co-developed, and co-validated with Allison. I still think the interior in the upper trims is so-so, but I am really liking the rest of the truck. For now this truck has moved into the finals to compete with the Ford Super-Duty for my business...though I am still a little ways out (have to find the $80k somewhere).

Instead of paying $80k for a diesel HD pickup you could always go the Rich DeBoss route and drive a 15 year old Chevy with a freshly rebuilt 12 valve Cummins...and have enough money left over to buy a new XLT or Chevy LT crew cab V8 just to cruise around in. Just depends how badly you want to have a new Super Duty or Denali in the driveway.

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