There are several keys to a quality heavy-duty work truck. A high max towing capacity and payload capacity, a powerful engine that can get moving in a hurry, and a history of reliability that gives you the peace of mind to do the work you need to do without worrying if your truck can handle it. Two of the leaders in the heavy-duty work truck segment are the GMC Sierra 2500 and the Chevy Silverado 2500. Both of these trucks check a lot of boxes on the heavy-duty truck list. They offer prodigious power and can tow plenty of weight, whether for the job site or for heading to the lake. In order to fully understand which of these great trucks is the better buy, let’s take a look at the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500 vs 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500.
2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Trims
The first thing to note about the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500 is that it is all-new and fully redesigned. This is great news as it means that GMC stocked their workhorse with the latest bells and whistles. You can see the stunning technological features from the base model all the way up to the highest trims.
The Sierra has five different trims and a host of different cab and bed configurations, making it an astonishingly versatile truck. The base model Sierra comes as either a 2WD or 4WD and has the choice between a 6.6L V8 direct injection engine that can produce up to 401 horsepower and a 6.6L Duramax turbocharged diesel engine that is even more powerful and can generate up to 445 horsepower. The Duramax engine can also tow up to 18,500 lbs and pushes the payload capacity up to 3,553 lbs.
These numbers are extremely impressive for a base model, and the story is the same all the way up to the famous Denali trim that drivers have favored for years. The starting price for the Sierra base model is $40,200 and ranges up to $64,300 for the Denali with 4WD.
2020 Chevy Silverado 2500 Trims
The Silverado has a very similar set up to the Sierra. It also has five trims, available as either 2WD or 4WD vehicles, and has the same two engine options, a 6.6L V8 direct injection engine that gets up to 401 horsepower and the same 6.6L Duramax turbocharged diesel that can get 445 hp. Naturally, the towing capacity and payload capacity are also about the same as are the price ranges.
The base model WT starts at $34,600, while the top trim High Country gets up to $61,600.
With the price in the same ballpark and many of the specs very similar or identical, other factors will have to determine which of these two work trucks makes more sense.
When you look inside the all-new GMC Sierra 2500, you see a masterfully designed cab that is the perfect blend of comfort and functionality. The Sierra boasts the best in class head and legroom so you won’t feel cramped, whether driving to work or making a long haul. The 40/20/40 folding front bench and 60/40 folding second row are also extremely practical and allow you to maximize the interior cargo room.
The cab is also replete with some of the finest finishes you could hope for with plenty of space for drinks, USB and power outlets, and high-quality upholstery that is not only stylish but comfortable too.
While the Chevy Silverado 2500 also has some solid features, you can often only find the best of the best on the higher (and more expensive) trims.
What really propels the 2020 Sierra 2500 to the next level are the latest tech features it has. It makes sense that the Sierra would have the latest and the greatest since it was fully redesigned for 2020, and GMC’s engineers were able to take advantage of all the best tech on the market.
One of the highlights is the 15 different views you can get with the Sierra’s camera, which, in addition to being the best in its class, really helps when parking and trailering. The transparent trailer view is also a stunning innovation and takes the stress out of trailering large loads and allows you to see what is behind the trailer even while you are driving.
The Sierra also has a vibrant (and massive) 15” heads up display (HUD) that can give you a ton of information about the truck and your trip, all accessible without making you take your eyes off the road. The touchscreen is also brilliant and easy to use and works well with the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, both of which come standard.
While the Silverado 2500 has plenty of impressive tech as well, its cameras, information, and infotainment systems just don’t have the same level of coverage and quality as the Sierra 2500. You can definitely get a great suite of tech on the Silverado, but often at the higher trims, which are the most costly.
The safety features are another area of clear dominance for the Sierra over the Silverado. This is true at just about every trim level, but it especially shines through on the top-level trims where the list of standard safety features on the Denali dwarfs that of the High Country. Though many of the same features are available on the High Country, making them standard on the Denali was a smart move for GMC and speaks to their commitment to safety.
Some of those standard safety features include Lane Departure Warning and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. Two other great technologies standard on the Denali are Following Speed Indicator and Hitch Guidance with Hitch view, the latter of which, in addition to being designed to increase safety, is also ultra-convenient.
Overall, the Sierra 2500, and especially the Denali trim, is one of the safest HD trucks on the road today.
As noted above, the Silverado, especially its top trim the High Country, is no slouch either. But many of its top safety features are only available on a line-item basis, meaning you have to pick and choose which technologies you want.
The Better HD Truck for Your Money
It’s hard to compete with the all-new 2020 GMC Sierra 2500. Because it is able to take advantage of all the latest tech features available today, it is a force to be reckoned with. Its stunning interior, which is both comfortable and practical, means you can ride around in style while getting the job done right. The long list of great tech extras make staying connected and trailering much easier. The standard safety features, especially on the Denali, make for one of the safest trucks you can imagine.
The 2020 Chevy Silverado 2500 is a great truck too, but given that it has nearly identical performance metrics like engine power and towing and payload capacity, it loses out to the Sierra in the other important categories.
If you want the latest and the greatest tech, and a truck that performs like a beast and is sure to be super-reliable, then it’s best to go with the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500. Happy driving.