The Future Of Light Duty Trucks: 2020 GMC Sierra 3.0-Liter Duramax

Guys, simply put, these trucks are wicked. Thankfully, the guys and gals over at GMC flew us out to an absolutely beautiful Jackson Hole, Wyoming area where we got to test, work, photograph, and ask about the all-new Sierra’s. Now, the small truck diesel power phenomena is still going and GMC, in my opinion, has killed it. This new truck has virtually everything you can think of.

Key Facts

  • 3.0-Liter Duramax
  • 10-Speed Allison Transmission
  • AT4 Packages
  • CarbonPro Truck Bed
  • MultiPro Six-Function Tailgate

With a new truck, I’m always after getting the best shot location to showcase it. What is better than the mountainous area of Wyoming?

If you’re here, you’re wanting to know about this 3.0-Liter Duramax engine and the new 10-speed Allison transmission. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty facts. With this lethal combination between the two, expect a driving experience like no other in a small truck. Coming in at a whopping 277 horsepower, this little 3.0-liter is a hoss with 460 lb-ft of torque.

We took the Sierra out on the hectic course of steep ups and steep downs, through rugged terrain and buried them into the mud. Frankly, the 3.0-Liter had plenty of low-end torque and horsepower to effortlessly complete the task at hand. One thing I noticed, the engine is ridiculously quiet. You physically had to try and hear it. To me, that’s a really cool feature that the truck can be capable of so much, for the ordinary driver, and doesn’t put off a ton of sound. For those of you who are into making some noise, you know that will be an option at some point.

What can you tow? Well, the Sierra trucks equipped with this engine, since there is a gasoline V8 option, has a max towing rating of 9,100-pounds and a max payload of 1,830 pounds. With this much weight behind the truck and the provided 460 lb-ft of torque, you can expect exceptional drivability. Oh, and to top it off, you’re looking at a truck that is capable of up to 30 miles per gallon.

Guys, this truck is perfect for four-wheelers, dirt bikes, boats, small campers, or even cars and car trailers. It really is the whole package.

The Allison 10-speed, which is also in the GMC HD trucks, is a work of art and really works well in the half tons. The historic Allison name will continue to be chased as its new features really work well for the driver. The transmission optimizes gear shifts to provide maximum power, torque, and efficiency. It has ten available gears with a brain that makes sure that you’re in the proper gear for the task at hand.

“Customers ask us about their Allison transmissions. They don’t call us up and ask about the gearbox, transmission, or drivetrain, they say Allison,” said Tim Herrick, Executive Chief Engineer of GMC. “The value the Allison name brings to the GM trucks is something we’re proud to be a part of.”

The Sierra’s still come in the traditional packages with the exception of a new one, AT4. The guys at GMC are proud to show us their new make and the AT4 package is perfect for the rugged off-roader looking for luxury but likes to use their truck, too. The AT4 Sierra’s come equipped with a factory two-inch suspension lift, the worlds first six-function MultiPro Tailgate, distinct exterior design with black chrome accents, exclusive athletic, premium interior, class-leading 15-angle camera system, available mud terrain-rated Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires, and the option to upgrade to the CarbonPro Edition. The first-ever carbon fiber truck bed.

The CarbonPro Truck bed technology is gnarly. With a 60-pound difference than your ordinary polymer/steel truck bed, lighter that is, this bed has been designed to accommodate everyone. The tough carbon fiber structure has been fitted to create more bed space allowing more room for your belongings while exceeding other materials durability.

In fact, we had our chance to destroy the inside of this bed with things like a baseball bat, sledgehammer, golf clubs, cinder blocks, steel pipes, and even a chainsaw. Nothing even budged. At first thought, I was skeptical. After deliberately tossing a cinder block, corner-first, into this high dollar truck bed with no exciting hole, scratch, or mark, I’m sold.

I feel like a lot of the manufacturers will start to head in this direction after seeing the testing and being a part of it first hand. You have a lighter box with more room for stowing and its durable as all get out. What else could make this bed even better, though? The tailgate. Let’s make it automatically fall with the tap of a button. Yeah, that’s been done.

By the touch of a button on the tailgate, or by your key fob, you can access the bed area for the traditional gate opening. Primary gate load stop function allows you to flip up the trimming allowing more extended room for load containment. Flip the inner gate down, now you’ve given yourself closer access to the load in the bed. Also, you have a 375-pound rated full-width flip-down step available for bed access as well.

What other options do you have? How about the MultiPro Six-Function tailgate system. This tailgate has six options to fit everyone's in-bed needs including a sound system.

If you’re wanting the primary gate close for load containment, flip down the inner gate for more usable space and use the gate stop feature to hold in the contents. Then, with the load stop down, you have a perfect workspace for any sort of work. The tailgate really does it all and covers everything. One last thing, the GMC team has teamed up with Kicker Audio for a full Bluetooth/USB enabled waterproof sound system in the tailgate. That’s right, you can now listen to the music off of your phone or Bluetooth device right in the bed of your truck.

There is no if’s, and’s or but’s, this truck rocks. You have the horsepower and torque of the 3.0-Liter Duramax engine, the durability, and reliability of the Allison transmission, LTE through Denali packages including the AT4, the option to upgrade to the CarbonPro truck bed, Six-Function Tailgate with Kicker Audio system, and all of this with up to 30-miles per gallon. If you’re interested in spec’ing out your next truck, be sure and head over to GMC’s website. Stay tuned as we dive deeper into these rocking little powerhouse’s.

About the author

Artie Maupin

Artie Maupin is from Southeast Missouri and has an extreme passion for anything diesel. He loves drag racing of all kinds, as well as sled pulling competitions.
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