2020 GMC Sierra 1500: Big Diesel, Big Tech

GMC has just refreshed its half-ton pickup. This year, the 2020 Sierra 1500 features 10-speed auto for the diesel option, a rocking carbon fiber bed, and more tech than you can shake a stick at.

Photo: GMC

Let’s start things off with the look. GMC thankfully went with a less polarizing front end for the Sierra, unlike its controversial cousin, the Chevrolet Silverado. However, the redesigned front grill has resulted in a lower MPG rating, despite having a lower curb weight than the older version.

Under the hood, the refreshed Sierra is available in different engine options, from a 2.7L turbocharged four-banger all the way to a 6.2L V8 mill. This being Diesel World, however, what we’re interested in is the 3.0L Duramax L6 turbodiesel, which puts out 277 horses and 460 lb-ft. of torque. The engine can be paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission and is available in Denali, SLE, SLT and Elevation trim.

The top-end AT4 and Denali models also get GMC’s CarbonPro bed. As the name suggests, this is a carbon fiber bed that offers six times the impact resistance compared to steel. During testing, the bed was able to shrug off dropped cinder blocks, 1,800-lb. loads, and entire water-filled drums.


Finally, the refreshed Sierra gets a slew of high-tech toys. There’s an adaptive cruise control with full stop-and-go function, allowing it to be used in heavy city traffic. The feature is available on the Denali, AT4 and SLT trim.

In addition, the 5.3L gas engine option gets GM’s Dynamic Fuel Management system introduced last year. Also known as “Dynamic Skip Fire”, it supersedes the older Active Fuel Management system and deactivates cylinders based on usage to improve power delivery and efficiency.

Finally, the 1500 will get the “x-ray” camera trick of its bigger HD brother. The system superimposes the feed from a trailer-mounted camera over the trailer, creating a neat see-through view.

The 2020 Sierra 1500 is expected to retail close to the current model’s prices, which ranges from just over $31,000 to about $60,895 .