2020 GMC Sierra 1500 Reviews

2020 Sierra 1500 New Car Test Drive

The following review is for a 2019 Model Year. There may be minor changes to current model you are looking at.


Redesigned for the 2019 model year, like its Chevrolet Silverado close cousin, GMC's Sierra has lost weight while growing a bit, expanding interior space. Without attempting to be Number One in towing capacity and the like, this full-size pickup stresses smart, easy-to-use modern technology.

New features include a MultiPro six-way, two-piece tailgate. Standard on SLT, AT4 and Denali Sierras, it can swing and fold in two sections for easier loading. A newly optional carbon-fiber cargo bed is said to be tougher and lighter than some competitors provide. New options also include a rear camera mirror and a multi-color head-up display.

Sierras come in regular-cab, extended-cab, and crew-cab configurations. Regular-cab trucks have a 126.5-inch wheelbase. Extended- and crew-cab models ride a 147.4-inch wheelbase. GMC claims the longer-wheelbase version provides nearly 3 additional inches of back-seat legroom. Crew cabs have been the most popular Sierra body style.

GMC offers six Sierra trim levels: base, SLE, Elevation, SLT, AT4, and Denali.

Eventually, GMC plans to offer the 2019 Sierra with a broad range of powertrains, including a new turbo four-cylinder, a gasoline V6, and a turbodiesel inline six-cylinder. Initially, however, only Sierras with gasoline V8s have been available. The 5.3-liter V8 develops 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque, driving an 8-speed automatic transmission.

For greater muscle, an optional 6.2-liter V8 generates 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet, mating with a 10-speed automatic. The 4.3-liter V6 makes 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque, working with a 6-speed automatic transmission. GMC's 2.7-liter turbo six generates 310 horsepower and 348 pound-feet. Rear-wheel drive is standard, with four-wheel drive available.

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash-tested a 2019 Sierra. NHTSA gave the 2018 model five-star ratings overall and for frontal and side impacts. 

Sierras can get such features as a rearview-mirror camera, but cutting-edge active-safety technology is limited to top models. Blind-spot monitoring costs extra on every model except Denali. Forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, a prominent safety feature, is optional only on SLT, AT4, and Denali, bundled with adaptive cruise control and active lane control.

The camera mirror offers a clear view to the rear, but with rapidly-moving images. A multiple-viewtrailer camera also is available. The MultiPro tailgate drops down with damped assist like a normal tailgate, but its center section can fold to create a standing-height desk or a wide step.


Prices do not include $1,495 destination charge.

Double Cab with 147-inch wheelbase:

Base V6 ($33,500 with 2WD, $36,800 with 4WD) contains the 4.3-liter V6 engine, 6-speed automatic, power locks and windows, air conditioning, 17-inch wheels, Bluetooth, and 7.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Base work trucks have vinyl flooring, a front bench seat, and cloth upholstery.

SLE ($37,800 with 2WD, $41,100 with 4WD) substitutes a 2.7-liter turbo four with 8-speed automatic, heated power mirrors, remote keyless entry, and lift-assisted tailgate. Powertrain options include a 5.3-liter V8 or a 3.0-liter turbodiesel with 10-speed automatic.

Elevation ($40,300 with 2WD, $43,600 with 4WD) includes the 2.7-liter turbo, off-road appearance elements, body-color trim, and 20-inch wheels. A 5.3-liter V8 or turbodiesel engine may be substituted. An optional X31 Off Road Package for 4WD adds a locking rear differential, hill-descent control, skid plates, and two-speed transfer case.

SLT V8 ($44,300 with 2WD, $47,600 with 4WD) gets the 5.3-liter V8, along with dual-zone automatic climate control, a high-definition rearview camera, satellite radio, power front seats, leather upholstery, LED headlights, and six-way tailgate.

4WD AT4 V8 ($50,800) comes with 5.3-liter V8 and four-wheel drive, adding an off-road suspension with 2-inch lift, two-speed transfer case, skid plates, locking rear differential, Rancho shocks, 18-inch wheels with, hill-descent control, and two-tone leather. A 6.2-liter V8 or turbodiesel may be substituted.


Crew Cab with 147- or 157-inch wheelbase:

147″ V6 ($35,900 with 2WD, $39,200 with 4WD) has V6 engine and four conventional doors.

157″ V6 ($36,200 with 2WD, $39,500 with 4WD) rides longer wheelbase.

147″ SLE ($40,200 with 2WD, $43,500 with 4WD) is similar in content to Double Cab SLE.

157″ SLE ($40,500 with 2WD, $43,800 with 4WD) rides longer wheelbase.

147″ SLT V8 ($46,700 with 2WD, $50,000 with 4WD) is similar in content to Double Cab SLT.

157″ SLT V8 ($47,000 with 2WD, $50,300 with 4WD) rides longer wheelbase.

147″ AT4 V8 4WD ($53,200) is similar to AT4 Double Cab, with four conventional doors.

147″ Denali V8 ($54,700 with 2WD, $58,000 with 4WD) comes with the 5.3-liter V8, heated/ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, trailer camera display, perforated leather upholstery, open-pore wood trim, and Bose audio. Lane-change and blind-zone alerts are standard.

157″ Denali V8 ($55,000 with 2WD, $58,300 with 4WD) rides longer wheelbase.

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