2020 GMC Sierra 3500HD Review

Sierra 3500HD

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2020 GMC Sierra 3500HD Overview

The Sierra 3500 has been redesigned for 2020, following the 2019 redesign of the light-duty, half-ton GMC Sierra 1500. This includes a massive new grille flanked by large high-tech headlights. Atop the grille, a functional hood scoop provides fresh air to the engine.

The 2020 GMC Sierra 3500 HD is available with one of three cab sizes: regular, double, or crew. Regular is a single cab, double is a 2-row extended cab, and the crew cab is a true quad cab, offering best-in-class front headroom and legroom.

There are two engines available on the 2020 Sierra 3500HD, one gas and one diesel. Both engines displace 6.6 liters, with the gas engine making 401 horsepower and 464 pound-feet of torque and the diesel engine making 445 hp and an astounding 910 lb-ft. The gas engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, while the diesel engine gets a new 10-speed Allison automatic transmission. Power is sent to the rear wheels or available four-wheel drive (4WD) with low range. When properly equipped, the 2020 GMC Sierra can tow up to 35,500 pounds and provide a max payload of 7,442 pounds.

The cabin of the 2020 Sierra 3500 HD features a large center armrest panel that folds up to reveal a massive center storage bin. The 2020 Sierra 3500 HD also comes standard with a new 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system that's equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, a reversing camera, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Every truck comes with larger corner bed steps and the addition of new side steps ahead of the rear-wheel wells. The new Sierra 3500 HD also includes the class-exclusive MultiPro tailgate, which features six different modes and incorporates a bed step and bed extender, delivering easier bed access. The MultiPro tailgate is standard on the SLT, AT4, and Denali trims, and is available on the rest.

The Sierra AT4 is the bolder take. It has body-color bumpers and grille surround and a grille assembly that features a fetching black chrome finish. The AT4 also features red tow hooks and 18- or 20-inch wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires. The AT4 also comes standard with the X31 off-road package, which includes off-road-optimized Rancho shocks, hill-descent control, and added underbody skid plates.

GMC enhances the work of towing with some clever innovations. A series of cameras provides 15 viewing angles, including multiple trailering views. There’s even a view that digitally places the Sierra in the image, giving the driver a better sense of the surroundings in relation to this big truck. It also has an industry-first “transparent trailer” view.

The innovations don’t stop there, as the GMC Sierra comes with smart trailer integration. This allows the truck to work with ASA Electronics iN-Command control systems, which provide apps to control or monitor various trailer functions. These can be controlled via the myGMC smartphone app or via apps within Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Drivers who use trailers often know the need to routinely check all the trailer lights. The Sierra HD provides multiple customizable trailer profiles, which can recall previously set trailer brake controller gain levels. It can also monitor mileage, fuel economy, and service intervals associated with each trailer profile.

The 2020 Sierra also comes with trailer features such as a trailer theft-deterrent system, pre-departure checklists, and trailer tire-pressure and temperature monitors. This is in addition to now-common trailering features like trailer-sway control and tow/haul mode.

The GMC Sierra 3500 HD accommodates different forms of driving, with available four-wheel steering, which can tighten the turning radius at low speeds. The Sierra also comes with the Traction Select System with Tour, Sport, Off-Road, and Tow/Haul drive modes. The Sierra 3500 HD comes standard with a full array of front- and side-impact airbags, traction control, a tire-pressure-monitoring system, and the aforementioned reversing camera with 15 camera angles.

The 2020 GMC Sierra 3500 HD will be available to consumers in late summer of 2019.

Updated

From open-wheel racecars to specialty off-road vehicles, George Kennedy has driven it all. A career automotive journalist, George has been a contributor, editor, and/or producer at some of the most respected publications and outlets, including Consumer Reports, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Autoblog.com, Hemmings Classic Wheels, BoldRide.com, the Providence Journal, and WheelsTV.

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