JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. — The 2020 GMC Sierra Heavy Duty is a bit of a mixed bag. It excels at the tasks an owner is likely to require from a massive pickup truck, but the interior is a definite letdown. Taken as a whole the truck boasts several class-leading specifications and features that make up for the lackluster look and feel of the cabin. And it's much more successful than the mechanically similar Chevy Silverado HD, which shares the Sierra's weaknesses but few of its subjective strengths. GMC’s Sierra HD may share most of its major bits and pieces with the Silverado, but the strongest reason to pick the GMC over the Chevy is that the SLE and SLT trims of the Sierra HD are legitimately handsome. And the rugged, off-road-themed AT4 package is new for 2020 with a blacked-out look that we think a lot of buyers are going to love. Even the ostentatious, chrome-dipped Denali trim looks classy compared to the in-your-face look of Ford’s Super Duty line. The same can’t be said for the Silverado HD, which, depending on trim level, varies from garish to just plain ugly. The six-function MultiPro tailgate is the next major differentiator. It’s not perfect — and mounting a hitch ball in the receiver renders some of its functionality unusable — but it’s unique and potentially very useful to a subset of truck customers. We’ve covered MultiPro several times already, but if you’re still not clear on its advantages, watch the video below for a demonstration (that's a light-duty Sierra in the video, but the tailgate works the same). Another unique selling proposition is the AT4 trim, since Chevrolet doesn’t (yet) offer its Trail Boss package on the Silverado HD. The most obvious competitor to the Heavy Duty AT4 is the Ram Power Wagon, and the GMC’s 3,615 pounds of payload and 18,500 pounds of towing capability handily outdo the Ram’s ratings of 1,660 and 10,620. Granted, the trucks aren’t aimed at quite the same buyer — the Power Wagon has legit off-road credibility thanks to upgrades like its electronically disconnected sway bars, 12,000-pound Warn winch, and a forward-facing trail camera. But unlike the GMC Sierra AT4, it isn’t available with a diesel. No matter; those aiming for a rough-and-tumble appearance in a heavy duty now have a couple options. We look forward to testing Ford’s upcoming Tremor package for its Super Duty line of trucks to see where the Blue Oval’s heavy duty off-roader falls in comparison to GMC’s AT4 and Ram’s Power Wagon. Both full-size truck twins from General Motors have some useful technology that differentiate them from their competitors, starting with an independent front suspension design instead of a solid front axle, for superior ride quality. Both unladed and while towing up to 30,000 lbs, we found the ride of the Sierra HD commendably smooth for a truck with such ridiculous capabilities. And the ride benefit doesn’t sacrifice outright capability. Its 35,500 max tow rating is class-leading. The steering …
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|MPG||City / Hwy|
|Transmission||6-spd auto w/OD|
|Power||401 @ 5200 rpm|
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