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2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: Base vs SLE vs SLT, AT4 & Denali
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

What 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

Designed to be a heavy-duty alternative to the Sierra 1500, the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD has been transformed into a much better pickup truck. Not only does the redesigned model have a striking new look, but it also offers more passenger room. An updated list of high-tech features further elevates Sierra 2500HD’s appeal.

As always, the new Sierra 2500HD is built to work hard. Increased towing and hauling capability allow you to move big loads with confidence. There are five available trims: Sierra base, SLE, SLT, AT4, and Denali. Let’s find out which new Sierra 2500HD is the best choice for you.

Compare the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD vs SLE Trims. What is the difference?

With an estimated MSRP of $35,600, the base Sierra 2500HD is essentially a work truck. Don’t expect this trim to make style a top priority. It’s strictly focused on getting the job done. However, chrome bumpers and LED headlamps do come standard. When stuck in a tight spot, you can take full advantage of the built-in tow hooks. Diesel models feature a vented hood, which improves performance.

When shopping for a base Sierra 2500HD, you’ll have two new powertrains to choose from. The base power source is a new V8 gasoline engine, which cranks out a more formidable 401 horsepower and 464 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is responsible for putting the power to the wheels. Optional four-wheel drive helps you to venture through the mud and snow.

If you need more muscle for towing, step up to the Sierra 2500HD’s new Duramax diesel engine. Output has increased to an excellent 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque. Performance is further enhanced by a new Allison 10-speed automatic transmission, which has the most gears in the segment.

On the inside, the Sierra 2500HD does sacrifice some luxury. Nevertheless, it does come equipped with all of the usual modern features, including power windows and air conditioning. GMC designed the interior materials to handle the everyday grind. Carpeted floor covering is standard.

Despite being the lineup's base model, the Sierra 2500HD does come equipped with some must-have technologies. Drivers will definitely be using the 7.0-inch screen regularly. Apple Car and Android Auto make integrating your phone a non-issue. Of course, standard Bluetooth connectivity allows you to make hands-free calls while on the road.

For drivers who love jamming to music, they’ll likely be disappointed by the base model’s standard stereo system. To say the least, its two-speaker setup just doesn’t deliver an exciting sound.

While the base model does not have any advanced accident-avoidance technologies, it does feature a backup camera. Aside from helping you to spot obstacles from the rear, the camera also includes hitch guidance. With the use of this feature, attaching a trailer will be an easier task. Meanwhile, vertical trailering mirrors help you to overcome blind spots. A tire pressure monitoring system and traction control are standard as well.

If you desire a bit more style and additional comfort features, step up to the Sierra 2500HD SLE. While this trim’s powertrain options remain the same, you’ll immediately notice its upgraded exterior. A chrome grille and a nicer set of 17-inch alloy wheels help set it apart. Meanwhile, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of an upgraded tailgate with EZ lift and lower assist.

The Sierra 2500HD also comes equipped with upgraded interior features. To give the interior a nicer feel, GMC wraps the steering wheel in leather. A 40/20/40 split-bench front seat with under-seat storage also comes standard.

When stepping up to the Sierra 2500HD SLE, you’ll enjoy GM’s beneficial OnStar communications system. It allows you to contact emergency roadside assistance at the touch of a button. OnStar can also be used to obtain navigation directions. Many truck shoppers will appreciate the 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, which allows you to access the internet at any location. Remote keyless entry eliminates the need for you to put a key into the door lock. A color information display is another one of this trim’s useful features.

Available as an option on the Sierra 2500HD SLE, GMC’s ProGrade Trailering System is well worth the money. It’s designed with 15 cameras, which help give you the best possible visibility when towing a trailer. Along with the system also comes a Trailering app. This app allows you to perform a number of cool functions, including remotely testing the trailer lights and checking tire pressure.

Compare the 2020 Sierra 2500HD SLE vs SLT Trims. What is the Difference?

In terms of luxuriousness, the Sierra 2500HD SLT clearly separates itself from the lower trims. It also has a more eye-catching appearance. An upgraded set of 18-inch alloy wheels with black accents come standard. GMC also decks out the Sierra 2500HD SLT with LED fog lights and attractive LED taillights. Although the power-folding mirrors may not enhance styling, they do help the truck to better fit into tight spots.

You can also take advantage of the Sierra 2500HD SLT’s upgraded bed features. When loading stuff after dark, cargo bed LED lighting makes it easier for you to see. GMC’s MultiPro Tailgate may prove to be even more helpful. It can be used in several different ways. Aside from helping you to accommodate longer items, the MultiPro Tailgate can also be transformed into a full-width step.

There are more amenities on the inside. Ten-way power front seats with power lumbar ensure a relaxing commute. Dual-zone automatic climate control also helps promote greater comfort. Perforated leather seating surfaces further highlight the SLT trim’s luxuriousness. During the peak of winter, the heated steering wheel will help keep your hands warm. Heated and ventilated front seats are available as an option.

Upgraded tech makes the Sierra 2500HD SLT more rewarding. A larger 8.0-inch touchscreen replaces the standard infotainment display. Meanwhile, expect the six-speaker stereo system to offer a more enjoyable sound. Before heading out on a frigid day, remote engine start allows you warm up the cabin. GMC’s highly recommended ProGrade Trailering System is standard, which makes the SLT trim a strong value.

Compare the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT vs AT4 Trims. What is the difference?

If you spend a lot of time on the trails, go for the Sierra 2500HD AT4. In regard to off-road capabilities, it sits atop the lineup. Standard four-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer case helps you to maneuver on slippery ground. To give the Sierra 2500HD AT4 more protection in the rough backcountry, GMC equips it with additional undercarriage protection. Meanwhile, a lifted suspension gives the truck extra ground clearance.

The Sierra 2500HD AT4’s adventurous exterior styling matches its rugged personality. Red tow hooks and blacked-out treatments help distinguish it from the other trims. It looks properly prepared for an off-road excursion.

A few special interior touches also highlight the Sierra 2500HD AT4. All-weather floor mats with an AT4 logo come standard. While climate-controlled seats are found in the front, heated rear seats treat your passengers to greater comfort. Leather upholstery adorns the cabin. If desired, you can outfit the AT4 trim with a sunroof for an extra cost.

You can enhance safety with an optional Following Distance Indicator. When there’s not an adequate amount of space between you and the next vehicle ahead, the system will flash a warning.

Compare the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD AT4 vs Denali Trims. What is the difference?

The Sierra 2500HD Denali is for folks who want to experience the finer things in life. In contrast to the off-road-ready Sierra 2500HD AT4, this trim will spend most of its time on the street. Nevertheless, all-wheel drive does come standard.

There’s no overstating the Denali trim’s more upscale appearance. It features a number of bold exterior upgrades. On the front, a unique grille and chrome tow hooks help the Sierra 2500HD Denali to make a strong statement. Meanwhile, running boards make accessing the cab a bit easier. Smoked Amber LED roof marker lamps and exclusive wheels are also found on the Denali trim.

Like the AT4 trim, the Denali trim comes standard with ventilated front seats. However, it also benefits from an upgraded climate control system and premium leather upholstery. Another perk is the Denali trim’s Bose premium audio system, which is clearly a big upgrade. Meanwhile, navigation helps you to find your way to out-of-town destinations. Wireless device charging and automatic high beams are also standard on the Denali trim.

While the Sierra 2500HD Denali is well equipped right out of the box, there are a few premium upgrades available. While a surround-view camera aids parking, a color head-up display puts your speed and driving directions in your direct line of sight.

Which Trim to Choose?

All five of the available 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD trims deserve some consideration. If you need an everyday work truck that can haul a heavy load, the base Sierra 2500HD will be your best option. Both the standard V8 engine and the optional Duramax diesel engine are potent. Although the base model doesn’t make styling a top priority, it can take a lot of abuse.

As expected, the base model’s interior isn’t concerned with providing a luxurious driving experience. However, it does come loaded with touchscreen that provides smart integration. Bluetooth is also among the base model’s list of standard equipment.

If you desire more creature comforts and a showier exterior, consider moving up to the Sierra SLE. Its Wi-Fi hotspot is a feature you will likely use multiple times throughout the day. You can also enjoy modern features like remote keyless entry and GM’s top-notch OnStar communications system. Although the optional ProGrade Trailering system will cost you to spend more money, this upgrade is a must for towing.

The mid-level Sierra 2500HD SLT is just a bit nicer than the SLE trim. Its leather-appointed interior and upgraded seats may catch your attention. You’ll also receive a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen. Remember, the Sierra 2500HD SLT comes standard with the SLE trim’s optional ProGrade Trailering system.

Drivers who love exploring the wilderness will want the rugged AT4 trim. Off-road features, like a lifted suspension and beefy skid plates, help you to topple rough terrain. Outdoors lovers will also appreciate the Sierra 2500HD AT4’s adventurous look. While this trim is made for the rural backcountry, it still manages to offer a great deal of luxury. Furthermore, GMC’s Following Distance Indicator is a feature that makes driving in heavy traffic more secure.

Folks who make luxury their biggest priority will have their eyes on the range-topping Denali trim. Some of the niceties include premium leather upholstery, a Bose sound system, and wireless charging. However, keep in mind that it has a sticker price of more than $65,000. If you want to save some big bucks, step down to the GMC Sierra 2500 SLT.
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