A black 2020 GMC Dealer HD Denali is parked on a woodland highway.

The 2020 GMC Sierra HD


Have you visited your local GMC dealer lately? This is going to get crazy if you’re a truck lover because the 2020 Sierra HD is like Build-a-Bear for trucks. If you can imagine it, you can probably have it. No joke. In order to write about all the options, this would need to be a dissertation, so this is going to be the Cliff notes version of the insane amount of imagination you can leverage when you go truck shopping. Get out your imagination and enjoy the ride. Just keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times.

First, the Engine That Could

Before we get too ahead of ourselves, here are the numbers: the Sierra 2500 HD starts with an MSRP of $40,000, while the 3500 HD starts at $41,200. You can choose from two engine options for the Sierra HD: the 6.6-liter V8 that runs on good old gasoline, or the Duramax 6.6-liter V8 turbo-diesel. The gas engine has 401 hp with 464 lb-ft of torque, while the diesel has 445 hp with a whopping 910 pounds of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is paired with the gas engine, while a handy 10-speed is paired with the diesel.

Suspension in the front is independent, while the rear is multi-leaf spring, and wheel size options are 17 or 18-inch painted steel or aluminum or the 20-inch aluminum. Here is where options start to become like “build-a-truck” because you get to choose from rear-wheel or four-wheel drive, 2500 or 3500, dually or single, regular cab/crew cab/double cab, and finally (take a breath) long or standard bed. And we haven’t even gotten started on what this truck can do yet.

When you own a truck like the Sierra HD, there’s no doubt about what you plan to do with this monster. You need to drag things around, like a hungry animal. Depending on which engine and truck size you choose, you can tow anything from 14,500 pounds max for conventional trailering on the smallest HD, or all the way to 35,500 pounds max for towing a gooseneck with the diesel and a fifth-wheel hitch. Seriously, this is like having a semi on your hands. Hook up, buttercup, because things will get towed with little trouble.

A white 2020 GMC Sierra HD AT4 from your local GMC dealer is towing a trailer.

Let’s Talk Trailers

Remember the days when you had to use mirrors and guess-work and lots of waving and screaming to park and maneuver with a big beast of a trailer? Those days are gone. When you get behind the wheel of the Sierra HD, you can get an astonishing 15 camera views, including the “transparent” view that allows the driver to virtually “see through” the trailer while towing. Yes, this is where the magic happens. Enjoy the head-up display that tells you the vehicle speed, navigation info, and even inclinometer display for road grade without you taking your eyes off the road, or the ability for one person to hitch up the trailer without help. Imagine how easy it would be to track and monitor the function of trailers through an available app so you can control how it meshes with the towing capability of the truck.

All this aside, one of the most talked-about features of the 2020 Sierra HD lineup is the MultiPro six-function tailgate, which is available for all trim levels and allows for six different loading configurations to load and access the truck bed. One of the interesting ways it can be utilized is to open the center gate, which is like a cut-out in the larger tailgate, to accommodate a few long items like 2x4s or long rods for construction jobs. This center gate also folds down in another configuration to act as a step up into the truck bed. Shorter and older folks will appreciate this thoughtful option since anyone getting into a truck bed knows that can get tricky when the truck is tall.

Payload capacities start at 3,563 pounds and go all the way up to 7,442 pounds. The overall length of the truck is 235.5 inches for the regular cab with a long bed, 240.45 inches for the double cab with a standard bed, and 250 inches for the crew cab with a standard bed. Add on another 16 inches for the long bed on either the double or crew cab dimensions for length.

Take the High Road

The dashboard and infotainment screen is shown in a 2020 GMC Sierra HD Denali.

Does anyone buy a truck that isn’t tricked out anymore? GMC certainly doesn’t hold back on the interior comfort, technology, and all-out luxury ride experience, though some might say competitors are starting to catch up to what GMC used to have in the bag. Either way, the Sierra line has broadened its shoulders to allow for more head and legroom in the cab, it sits higher and pulls back the sense of the speed while driving, and it also handles with more maneuverability.

Don’t assume this will be a car-like driving experience; no two ways about it; this is a massive truck to handle. You are still going to feel the weight of the vehicle beneath your hands on the wheel, but it has gotten easier to tame the workhorse. The wide range of technology you get for trailering and safety is going to set you up for success, too. Some stand-out features like rollover mitigation, park grade assist help braking efforts on a hill, an auto electric park brake helps maintain the truck’s position when hitching, and larger trailering mirrors mounted on the doors to allow for better visibility are just a few of the long laundry list of tech-assisted features.

Infotainment is also part of the party with a standard seven-inch color touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, available built-in WiFi hotspot with 4G, and available GMC Connected Access with ten years of connectivity. Parents will appreciate that a teen driver system is standard and allows parents to monitor teen driver habits. This truck will also have available USB ports in multiple locations, and upper trim levels could have voice-activated controls, wireless charging, or navigation.

The ride promises to be smoother than you might expect from a truck this size, and the transmission allows for shifting to keep the motion fairly clean and straightforward, even on steep grades. When you need to be on the road for hours, it’s good to know the truck will handle the trailer for you with little other than your eye on the road. Between the blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane change alert, and the parking assists, you will find the driving experience to be much more relaxed, knowing the truck has eyes on everything around you.

A Truck That Promises Luxury and Capability

Interior comfort is the norm with GMC trucks, and the Sierra HD lineup holds true. Seating for the front passengers is roomy, with soft-touch controls and a well-arranged dash. The infotainment is easy to use and access, the tech is fairly intuitive, and the general look is pleasing. Though the interior hasn’t been upgraded much with the 2020 models, it still looks and feels like a luxury vehicle inside. All the usual cup holders, pockets, and space in the console will still abound. In short, the ride will not disappoint.

Since this is the shortened run-down of all the options and capabilities of the behemoth that can practically tow your entire house behind you, it might be a good idea to just take one for a test drive. Prepare to be impressed if you are looking for power. This is one truck made for the heaviest duty, and few trailers will be off-limits when it comes to towing. Find your nearest GMC dealer to find out just how much fun you could have building your truck today.