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The GMC Sierra 1500 is a luxury truck that’s ready to take the gloves off and go to work against its big rivals from Dodge and Ford.

What’s New for the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500

The GMC Sierra 1500 arguably began the luxury truck market and for 2020 it adds more luxury features after its latest generation was released in 2019. While other manufacturers focus on ride quality or interior features, the Sierra might be the best-focused work truck available on the market today. Throughout the entire vehicle, there are thoughtful touches aimed at the vast majority of owners.

2020 GMC Sierra 1500

2020 GMC Sierra 1500 – media.gmc.com |  Shop 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 on Carsforsale.com

Only a year since its initial release, the 2020 GMC Sierra doesn’t get any breathtaking additions, but some things like the Adaptive Cruise Control are available on more trims. New powertrain opinions including a 10-speed automatic and a 3.0-liter diesel engine are inserted into the lineup. New cameras allow drivers to see into the bed as well as outside of the truck.

Body Style

Starting Price

MSRP $29,850

Drivetrain

Drivetrain

RWD or 4WD

Drivetrain

Fuel Economy

26 City / 26 Hwy (MPG)

Number of Seats

Seating

Seats 5

The Breakdown

New diesel engine adds excellent economy

AT4 Package adds serious off-road capability

A powertrain for every need

Pretty sparse interior features on lower trims

Cheap-looking and feeling interior materials

No more comfortable than its downstream Chevrolet cousin

It’s time for a real Raptor rival

2020 Sierra 1500 Specs

Trims & Pricing

Sierra - $29,850
SLE - $48,690
Elevation - $50,030
SLT - $50,040
AT4 - $59,840
Denali - $69,985

2020 GMC Sierra 1500 Powertrain

GMC Sierra 5.3L V8
2020 GMC Sierra 1500 5.3L V8 - carsforsale.com

Five different engines are available in the 2020 GMC Sierra. They include a standard 4.3-liter V6 with 285 horsepower, a 2.7-liter 4-cylinder with 310 horsepower, a 3.0-liter diesel with 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, a 5.3-liter V8 with 355 horsepower, and the top-of-the-line 6.2-liter V8 with 420 horsepower. Of course, each engine is paired to its own transmission with a 10-speed automatic mated to the diesel and both V8s (when equipped with 4WD). The 4-cylinder and the rear-wheel-drive 5.3-liter get an 8-speed. Finally, the base V6 uses a 6-speed auto.

2020 GMC Sierra 1500 Powertrain 2.0
2020 GMC Sierra 1500 5.3L V8 - carsforsale.com

The powerful V8 engine is incredibly potent. In many ways, it can be credited with the excellent driving characteristics of the Sierra. Looking beyond the engine, the Sierra is a bit unrefined compared to its rivals. Honestly, though this is a truck and it drives far better than even trucks from 5 years ago. It has a bit of body roll. It’s never going to stop on a dime. But it can also confidently take a highway turn at 80 without fear of falling over. The RAM 1500 is noticeably better, but for most GM diehards, the difference won’t be enough to make them switch.

Towing & Payload

2020 GMC Sierra 1500 Towing & Payload
2020 GMC Sierra 1500 - media.gmc.com

With a maximum towing capacity of more than 9,800 pounds, this is one seriously capable pickup truck. Gone are the days of needing a ¾ ton or 1-ton truck to do some serious towing. Add to that a payload of 2280 pounds. The 2020 GMC Sierra is a truck that can do the job day in and day out.

2020 GMC Sierra 1500 Fuel Economy & MPG

The big standout here is the diesel engine that gets the 2020 GMC Sierra up to 26 mpg combined. That fuel economy will surely make it a hit. The gas-powered trucks don’t really come anywhere near that though, with the closest being the rear-wheel-drive 4-cylinder. Fuel economy is not a big highlight of the Sierra, but most rivals don’t fare markedly better.

Interior, Comfort, & Cargo Space

Interior comfort is a mixed bag in the 2020 GMC Sierra. In terms of ride quality, we’ve talked about how it’s a bit rougher than the competition, but that’s not due to the seating arrangements. The captain’s chairs in front are outstanding. The rear seats are pretty good too with well-finished stitching and great HVAC controls. The issue is that the rest of the interior is in a word, uninspiring. It’s not bad perse, just not innovative.

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The plastics and switchgear are very standard General Motors parts bin and just don’t make the truck feel like most other $40,000 to $50,000 trucks in the segment. At the same time, this is a work truck that is highly resilient and featureful. The MultiPro tailgate is seriously cool and goes far beyond the parlor trick many thought it would be. The exceptional payload numbers are great, but the Sierra also features excellent auxiliary features like the bed camera and spots for additional aftermarket trail cameras. No more getting out and getting into the bed to confirm that you have this or that.

Entertainment & Technology

2020 GMC Sierra 1500 Entertainment
2020 GMC Sierra 1500 - media.gmc.com

Looking at the 2020 GMC Sierra on its own merit, the 8-inch infotainment screen is fantastic. It’s responsive, it’s well-formatted, and now, with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay it’s even easier to use. We love the standard mobile WiFi hotspot as well as the optional premium Bose Audio system that sounds fantastic. Still, against its competitors, it’s just not as refined. The UConnect in RAM trucks again stands out as considerably more attractive. Again, the GMC is all about practicality over panache. The interior features and tech like USB and USB-C ports are useable and great to have, but not about to impress anyone.

Safety Features

Somewhat disappointingly, the 2020 GMC Sierra doesn’t get any advanced safety features. The Denali is the only one to come with the “Driver Assist I” package that features blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert as well as parking sensors. It’s optional on other trims as is the Driver Alert II package that has adaptive cruise, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and automated emergency braking. Those options are all lovely, but many rivals offer them standard across the range.

2020 GMC Sierra 1500 Trims & Pricing

2020 GMC Sierra 1500 Base Sierra
2020 GMC Sierra Base - carsforsale.com

SIERRA – $29,850

This base trim is the only one you can get for less than $40,000. It’ll come with A/C, a rearview camera, a six-speaker sound system, and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

2020 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE
2020 GMC Sierra SLE - carsforsale.com

SLE – $48,690

This is likely the best seller aside from fleet sales since it gets features like heated seats, keyless entry, an 8-inch infotainment system, cruise control, four USB ports, and a bed camera to keep track of your gear without leaving the cabin.

2020 GMC Sierra Elevation
2020 GMC Sierra Elevation - carsforsale.com

ELEVATION – $50,030

Adding 20-inch wheels, an appearance package, and LED fog lights are all a part of the Elevation package which also adds a locking tailgate. 

2020 GMC Sierra SLT
2020 GMC Sierra SLT - carsforsale.com

SLT – $50,040

The SLT trim seems to turn the clock back a bit with Chrome bumpers and accents, leather, a trailer brake controller, as well as heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear seats. It also downgrades the wheels to an 18-inch set but we imagine they’ll ride a bit more comfortably. This is the first trim level where the 6.2-liter V8 is available.

2020 GMC Sierra AT4
2020 GMC Sierra AT4 - carsforsale.com

AT4 – $59,840

Perhaps our favorite trim, the AT4 is a sincerely capable off-road truck with skid plates, recovery hooks, hill-descent control, adjustable traction control, a 2-inch lift with special monotube shocks, and all-terrain tires. It also has ventilated front seats and only comes with four-wheel drive.

2020 GMC Sierra Denali
2020 GMC Sierra Denali - carsforsale.com

DENALI – $69,985

As the luxury version of the Sierra it’s no surprise that it gets 20-inch wheels, side steps, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, adaptive suspension, a Bose premium audio system, and a digital instrument cluster. It also has wireless charging and a power rear window.

Warranties

The 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 features a completely pedestrian warranty. 3 years or 36,000 miles cover the truck and the powertrain itself is covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. GM graciously provides a single complimentary service after the initial purchase and then nothing else.

What we think

2020 GMC Sierra 1500

2020 GMC Sierra 1500 – media.gmc.com |  Shop 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 on Carsforsale.com

The 2020 GMC Sierra is a great truck in many ways. Sure, it’s not going to dominate when it comes to tech or safety, but frankly, this is a truck that is amazing as a truck. That’s the most important part of the equation. We recommend the Denali as it drives the best, can do the most, and will hold its value exceptionally well.

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Stephen Rivers

Stephen Rivers is a car enthusiast who loves all things built with passion, extending to nearly all car cultures. After obtaining an occupational studies degree in sports medicine, Stephen turned his attention to sports cars. He was employed as an auto shop manager, spent time in auto sales, and worked as a software developer for a racing company, but Stephen began writing about cars over 10 years ago. When he's not in front of a computer screen, he's racing his own Bugeye Subaru WRX in as many autocross and rallycross competitions as he can.

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