An unusual tailgate for the GMC Sierra 1500.
Full-size pickup trucks just may be the ultimate multi-purpose vehicle, serving commercial duty by day and as a family hauler for other times. They’re more luxurious than ever before with the GMC Sierra perhaps offering one of the best examples of a premium model designed for a variety of purposes.
One year removed from the release of its latest model, the 2020 Sierra 1500 adds a diesel engine, a newly available composite bed, expanded safety features, and a new wheel design for the Denali trim.
GMC offers the Sierra in five trims, three cabin sizes, and with standard rear-wheel drive or available four-wheel drive. Six engine variations, three automatic transmissions, and a slew of packages allow for customization. Prices range from about $38,000 to as much as $75,000, fully loaded. Notably, the Sierra competes with models from Ford, Ram, Toyota, and Nissan.
A Familiar Theme, GMC Style
A bold grille, powerful shoulders, a massive profile, and short- and long bed options are a shared distinction among big pickup trucks. GMC supplies its take on a familiar theme, using chrome highlights on the Denali trim. You will also find distinct lighting features and squared wheel wells everywhere else. You won’t confuse this truck with anything else, unless it is lined up next to a Chevrolet.
Room for three, five or six is on tap, depending on the cabin style and the seating layout. The Regular Cab is restricted to fleet use chiefly and is available one trim. The Crew Cab offers four full-size doors over the three-quarter rear doors of the Double Cab. The former wins the legroom and comfort battle.
The Sierra comes well equipped with cloth or leather seats and full power accessories. Also, climate control, a stellar infotainment system, and an available rear entertainment system.
Power v. Efficiency
Six powertrain combinations give shoppers much to consider. We’ve always preferred one of the two V8 gas engines as these offer the power and pulling performance you’d expect. But you’ll also find available a standard V6 and a surprisingly powerful turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine.
What’s new is the 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V6 engine that delivers 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, the latter matching the Sierra’s most powerful gas engine. It also pulls up to 9,000 pounds, although six tons is the limit with the big V8.
Trick Tailgate and a Composite Bed
Typically, when we review new vehicles, we don’t focus on one feature or give it an inordinate amount of space. But the available “MultiPro Tailgate” is a worthwhile exception. Exclusive to GMC (sorry, Chevy fans), the “trick” tailgate offers six functions and positions, which are designed to supply ease of access to the truck bed, aid in lifting heavy items, and even converts to a standing workstation. Yes, it is a gimmick of sorts, but it works as intended and doesn’t require much time to figure out its nifty latch system. Its load-stop feature is especially handy as it keeps large equipment from moving out of place. The specialty tailgate is standard on SLT, AT4, and Denali trims. Yes, someone even thought about an in-bed audio package, a $600 option for tailgate fans.
The CarbonPro composite bed is another GMC exclusive, available on the AT4 and Denali trims. The bed is made from the same material wrapping million-dollar super-cars and is lightweight as well as scratch, dent, and corrosion-resistant. Side benefits include no need to add wheelhouse liners or spray-in bed liners. Bundled with power steps, a power sunroof, and a rear camera mirror, the package adds an eye-watering $11,000 to your cost.
Build Your GMC
Pickup trucks have largely replaced full-size sedans and include robust payload and trailering capabilities no Buick Roadmaster could match. The interiors aren’t quite as lavish, however, but they’ve come a long way from the spartan cabins that once prevailed.
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