Once again, we’re out and about covering the latest trucks hitting the market and with all of the teasers here and there of new features, the GMC trucks had my attention. Sure enough, it didn’t disappoint. The 2020 HD’s, although some may not like the new look, are starting to grow on me. The SLE trims all the way up to Denali, and that includes the new AT4 package, really look rugged, work-worthy, with an added luxury bonus.
The interiors of these trucks, as they have in years past, were extremely comfortable to ride in making for nice drives through the beautiful Teton Mountains. Other awesome features include the head-up display and a center stack control system that offers up to fifteen different camera views making it a stress-free driving and towing experience.
The head-up display is a very sporty feature that I enjoyed. With the GPS telling us where to turn, the head-up was linked with it. You can physically stay looking out of the windshield with transparent messages coming across telling you how far and when to turn, your speed and the speed limit, and also tire pressures and distance till empty. The head-up option is really nice.
Fifteen camera angles? Yes. Fifteen. During GM’s trailer towing and camera presentation, they explained to us how scary towing can be for people who don’t have a lot of experience or even for an experienced driver with a new heavier or larger load. With this system that obtains fifteen angles, you can literally monitor your camper, trailer, or whatever it is at all times. For instance, one of the cameras actually showed inside of the trailer. You’re towing across the country and want to check on your cargo. Pull up the in-trailer camera and bam. There it is.
With this In-Command Smart Trailering integrated into the system, you’re able to command to the trailer or view trailer status using the MyGMC app or through the information system. (Apple CarPlay/ Android Auto) What does this mean? You can have the fifth wheel camper behind you, wheel into the campsite, and kick the generator on, turn the air conditioning on, control the exterior lighting, slide the awning in or out, and view your on-board tank levels all from the information screen in the truck or from your MyGMC app right on your phone.
So, overall, driving loaded and unloaded, the experience was great. The truck handled the load safely, properly shifted in and out of gears going through the mountains, the truck had low-end power and torque to pull anything we had, and it also features the MultiPro tailgate system and a best-in-class towing rating of 35,500-pounds.
Let’s dive a bit deeper in that. The 2019 3500 HD trucks had a max trailering rating of 23,300-pounds and a max weight, or the gross combined weight, of 31,300-pounds. The new generation, as expected, is capable of a lot more. In fact, GMC said its a 52-percent increase from previous generations. Now, with the newly designed Sierra, you’re able to tow a max weight of 35,500-pounds. That is a combined gross vehicle weight of 43,500-pounds. All of the dual rear wheel models with the diesel engine can tow more than 30,000-pounds.
Let’s talk engines and transmission. Although the 3.0-Liter engine has certainly rung some bells, we can’t forget about the legendary 6.6-Liter Duramax engine. This generation of the Duramax engine is pumping out 445-horsepower and 910-lb/ft of torque. New engine features include a larger 28-inch cooling fan, segment-exclusive dual air intake system, stronger drivetrain for maximum torque, and a torque-tuned first gear.
All of this horsepower and torque is backed by the equally as legendary Allison name. This first-ever Allison 10-speed automatic transmission is very smart. It was constantly making adjustments while we were towing or unloaded through the flats and mountains to make sure we had the power right when we needed it. There was never a time where we would lug the engine down due to too high of a gear. The power was always there and the transmission shifted smooth as butter and the overall experience was great.
Also, these trucks are equipped with on-board DEF systems. Unlike before, the tanks are now located inside the frame rails for a more discreet location, you can constantly monitor the DEF levels from the DIC (Driver Information Center) or right from your smartphone via the MyGMC app, and the filler neck is conveniently located right next tot he fuel cap on the bedside.
We can’t thank the team at GMC for allowing us to come out and see their hot new product and we look forward to the next trucks to come! What are your thoughts on the 2020 Sierra Heavy Duty? Are you happy with the changes that have been made? Let us know in the comments below. Stay tuned to Diesel Army as we will dig into these new 3.0-Liter Duramax Sierra’s coming up very soon.