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2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Are You Considering a 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

With the competition in the heavy-duty pickup segment being so fierce, GMC was forced to completely redesign the Sierra 2500HD. Its lengthy list of improvements is evident. Not only is the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD a more powerful towing machine, but it also benefits from a number of updated technologies. Dazzling exterior styling and a rejuvenated interior also help make the new Sierra 2500HD more relevant. Let’s find out why this truck has caught the attention of so many drivers.

What’s New for 2020?

GMC has scrapped the previous-generation Sierra 2500HD, which had a dated interior. The new model has been upgraded in several different ways.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD – The Pros

1. Stronger Base Engine

Gone is last year’s 6.0-liter, V8 engine. It has been replaced by a beefier 6.6-liter, V8 engine. GMC rates it to develop a gutsy 401 horsepower and 464 lb-ft of torque. When test driving the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD, you can immediately feel the new engine’s higher output. Drivers can expect acceleration to be a bit more responsive. Whether you’re pulling a fishing boat or merging onto an active highway, the additional muscle will prove its worth.

2. Mighty Diesel Powertrain

If you plan to do a lot of heavy-duty towing, consider upgrading to GMC’s latest Duramax diesel engine. It pushes out 445 horsepower and more than 900 pound-feet of torque. An abundance of torque allows the diesel-powered Sierra 2500HD to pull like a train. You can also take advantage of the new 10-speed automatic transmission, which keeps the truck in the ideal gear for hauling big loads. A 35,500-pound maximum towing capacity puts the new Sierra 2500HD among the segment’s best.

3. AT4 Trim Comes Ready for the Rough Backcountry

A high-strength chassis makes the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD tougher than the average pickup truck. Adventure seekers who love tackling muddy trails should check out the AT4 trim. It’s specifically made for weekend warriors who enjoy an outdoor lifestyle. GMC equips it with several rugged components. While extra skid plates help shield the undercarriage from rough terrain, a lifted suspension rewards you with additional ground clearance. Red tow hooks also help distinguish the Sierra 2500HD AT4.

4. Fun Truck to Drive

While you can venture off-road in the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD, it’s just as rewarding to drive on the street. This truck’s muscular powertrain gives you on-demand performance. When you want to have a little fun, the Sierra 2500HD will definitely be up to the task. Upon accelerating from a dead stop, you should be able to hit 60 mph in about 7.3 seconds. Although heavy-duty trucks aren’t typically known for their sporty handling, an optional Digital Variable Steering Assist system allows the Sierra 2500HD to inspire greater confidence.

5. A Real Head Turner

In comparison to the previous version of the Sierra 2500HD, the new model has a far more striking appearance. Sculpted headlamps and a brawny grille help create a cool look. Diesel trims come equipped with a vented hood, which gives the truck a more hostile attitude. While the base model doesn’t have much flair, upper trims will turn heads. Chrome accents and a flashy set of 20-inch wheels are found on the luxurious Denali trim.

6. Useful Towing and Hauling Features

In terms of towing technologies, the old model lagged behind competitors like the Ford F-250 Super Duty. However, things are different for 2020. GMC has introduced an all-new camera system, which can provide up to 15 different views. When pulling a load, this feature gives you a lot more trust. You can also benefit from GMC’s ProGrade Trailering System, which keeps track of valuable information like trailer tire pressure and helps you to position the tow hitch.

7. Roomy and Relaxing Truck

The 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD isn’t just a hardworking truck. It now provides a higher degree of passenger comfort. Families and work crews will especially appreciate the Sierra 2500HD’s roomier cabin. With an extra three inches of legroom in the rear, crew cab models provide a wealth of space for everyone. Premium leather seats with heating and ventilation come equipped on the range-topping Sierra 2500HD Denali. This luxurious trim also features an upgraded climate control system.

8. A Greater Number of High-Tech Features

Although the base model is essentially a work truck, it still comes loaded with more than enough high-tech goodies. GM’s latest infotainment system is sure to impress. Aside from being simple to use, this touchscreen interface also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You can also opt for a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, which allows all-day internet streaming. Life on the road is made more rewarding with the optional head-up display. The surround-view camera is another great feature worth considering.

9. Useful Safety Features Available

The 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD offers more safety technologies than ever. By reducing dangerous blind spots, GMC’s Rear Camera Mirror allows you to better scan the road the behind you. A pulsating Safety Alert Seat also helps you to stay secure. When a potential crash is detected, the bottom of your seat will start to vibrate. Meanwhile, automatic emergency braking may prove to be even more helpful. Other safety aids include a Following Distance Indicator, parking sensors, and lane departure alert.

10. Bose Premium Sound System

The standard audio system is unlikely to get you excited. If you crave a more stimulating sound, check out the truck’s available Bose audio system. It includes a total of seven high-quality speakers. A subwoofer delivers rich bass.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD – The Cons

1. Consumes More Fuel Than a Light-Duty Pickup

Although the EPA doesn’t list fuel economy estimates for heavy-duty vehicles, the new Sierra 2500HD is less efficient than a light-duty pickup truck. You can expect fuel economy to suffer the most in the city. If this truck’s fuel costs concern you, consider getting the Sierra 1500. A new diesel engine allows it to return up to 30 mpg on the freeway. Remember, getting the Sierra 1500 will result in a lower towing capacity.

2. Prices Can Climb

The 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD has a reasonable starting MSRP of less than $36,000. Folks who demand more luxury will be interested in the higher trim levels. Prices for the rugged AT4 trim begin at nearly $58,000. Meanwhile, expect the Denali trim to sticker at more than $63,000. This may be too steep for some truck buyers. Options, like a surround-view camera and a head-up display, add to the truck’s final cost.

3. Adaptive Cruise Control Not Offered

Adaptive cruise control has become a hot commodity in the pickup truck world. Unfortunately, it’s not offered on the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD. This fact may disappoint some people. With the use of adaptive cruise control, drivers can experience less anxiety on the highway. Both the 2020 RAM 2500 and the 2020 Ford F-250 offer this highly sought-after feature.

4. Not an Ideal City Vehicle

Folks who live in crowded cities should consider this truck’s size. Because of the Sierra 2500HD’s massive stature, it’s harder to fit into small spaces. While the available surround-view camera is a big help, GMC doesn’t offer the Sierra 2500HD with an automated parking system. Navigating the truck down narrow city streets requires your complete attention. Furthermore, drivers must double-check for pedestrians walking past.

5. No Crash Tests Available

The Sierra 2500HD is built with a powerful frame. Nevertheless, this fact doesn’t automatically make it a safe truck. Unfortunately, crash tests have yet to be performed on the new Sierra 2500HD. When buying one, you have to take a leap of faith.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition

2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty

The 2020 Ford F-150 feels very modern on the inside. While the F-250 Super Duty’s aluminum body helps save weight, it will be more expensive to repair. Aluminum is typically more prone to denting. When it comes to exterior styling, some people may prefer the Sierra 2500HD’s more tougher appearance.

2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

Despite being built on the exact same platform, there are some important differences between the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD. You’ll find higher quality materials inside of the Sierra 2500HD. You can also get the Sierra 2500HD with an exclusive MultiPro tailgate, which can be used for a variety of different tasks.

2020 Ram 2500

Critics rave about the Ram 2500’s smooth ride competitive performance. However, the Sierra 2500HD does offer some exclusive towing upgrades.


The 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD is a good match for any heavy-duty pickup on the market. It has improved in key areas like technology and performance. While the Sierra 2500HD is a comfy cruiser, it's also rugged enough for the rural backcountry. This is especially true for the tough-nose AT4 trim. Furthermore, you can expect the Sierra 2500HD’s revamped styling to cause people to take a long glance.

Are there any big issues for the new 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD? Like every other truck in the segment, it takes up more space than the average vehicle. Sierra 2500HD buyers are also forced to live without adaptive cruise control. If you don't have much money to spend, the upper trims may be a bit too expensive for your budget.
Previous GMC Sierra 2500HD Buying Guides:

Why buy a 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD? w/ pros vs cons