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A grey 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali is parked with snowy mountains in the distance.

5 Things You Need to Know About the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD

We’re deep into 2019, which means we’re learning more about the upcoming 2020 models that are going to be hitting the road soon. Among them, the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD is definitely a heavy hitter that offers a ton of power and just about everything you could want in a heavy-duty pickup. While we don’t yet know how much this beauty will cost, there are still plenty of things to talk about when it comes to this truck.

For starters, you need to know about its engines, the options they provide and just how much power they are going to give you. Speaking of power, you definitely need to know about the impressive towing capability and payload capacity of this truck, because it is a serious workhorse. In particular, the trailering features that GMC has loaded into this pickup include some next-level stuff like more camera options than any truck I’ve seen and one particular feature that has me seriously excited.

But enough warm up. Here’s what you need to know…

#1 – It Has Two Engines Available

When it comes to any vehicle, I like options – I like being able to pick and choose and make sure the vehicle I end up with perfectly fits my needs. That’s why I’m happy to see that the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD has two different engines to choose from. This way you can be sure you get the level of power and performance that is right for you.

The standard engine is a 6.6L V8 direct injection engine that is new in 2020, rather than a carryover from 2019, which offers up to 401hp and 464 lb.-ft. of torque. This is a conventional gas engine that comes with a six-speed automatic transmission. Overall it’s the standard and it’s good to see that GMC has packed such a powerful engine into the Sierra 2500HD to start with.

However, if you want more power and better performance, then they’ve got you covered there. You can upgrade to an available 6.6L Duramax turbo-diesel V8 engine that provides up to 445 hp and 910 lb-ft of torque for excellent overall performance. While this is the same diesel engine currently available on 2019 models, where GMC has stepped things is up is with the transmission. In the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD, the more powerful diesel engine is paired with an all-new Allison 10-speed automatic transmission for better control and performance on tough terrain.

A white 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD AT4 is parked with mountain views.

#2 – The Towing Capacity is Impressive

Engines with big numbers are great, don’t get me wrong, but at the end of the day, what really matters is how those numbers translate into performance. With a heavy-duty truck that usually begins with one of the most important performance numbers around: towing capacity. So, let’s see how the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD stacks up.

Good news! The towing capacity on the updated Sierra 2500HD is excellent – though it does vary depending on the configuration you go with. If you choose the conventional gas engine, rather than the turbo-diesel, then you get a towing maximum of up to 14,500 lbs. That is regardless of what cab configuration you choose. If you’re looking at fifth-wheel or gooseneck towing, then a regular cab can pull up to 17,400 lbs behind it, a double cab can tow up to 17,100 lbs maximum, and the crew cab can tow up to 16,900 lbs.

With the more powerful diesel engine, you get even better-towing capacity with certain configurations. The diesel engine has a conventional towing capacity of up to 14,500 lbs if you go with a regular or double cab, and a maximum of 18,500 lbs with a crew cab. With a fifth-wheel or gooseneck, however, the double cab has a maximum of 18,200 lbs while both a regular and crew cab can tow up to 18,500 lbs. In other words, a fifth-wheel or gooseneck setup only boosts towing capacity for regular and double cabs; with a crew cab, it’s the same as conventional towing.

#3 – So is the Payload Maximum

Maximum payloads also vary quite a bit depending on which engine you choose and the cab configuration, which makes sense since larger engines and bigger cabs add more weight onto the frame. With the standard gas engine, the maximum payload is up to 3,997 lbs with a regular cab (I can’t help but feel there’s an engineer somewhere losing his mind because they can’t get the few extra pounds to break 4,000), up to 3,854 lbs with a double cab, and up to 3,862 lbs with a crew.

By comparison, the maximum payloads are all lower with the more powerful diesel engine (no surprise) but still impressive. With the diesel engine, the 2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD has a maximum payload of up to 3,715 lbs with a regular cab and up to 3,657 lbs with a double cab. If you opt for the larger crew cab, then the maximum payload goes down to 3,597 lbs. That’s still quite impressive considering how much towing capacity you get with that configuration.

#4 – It Has 15 Different Camera Options!

Camera views of the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD are shown.

This is the kind of stuff that really makes me geek out when it comes to trucks like the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD. I see new and more powerful engines all the time and big numbers are fun to read and write about. But real innovations and new ideas are rarer, so something like this gets me excited.

Part of the revamped and improved trailering system for the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD includes availability of up to 15 unique camera views. No seriously – FIFTEEN! This gives you unparalleled visibility of your truck, and whatever you’re towing so you can be secure in the knowledge that it’s secure.

These 15 different views include a hitch view for precise alignment when you’re getting set up, a bed view that gives you similar precision when using a fifth-wheel configuration, and a standard rear camera view with available guidelines. There is also a front camera view, with available guidelines, and surround view that gives you a bird’s eye look at your truck and surroundings. The 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD also includes options for both front and rear top-down views that show you what’s in front of and behind you, as well as front and rear side views to help with any blind spots.

That’s a lot of different ways to see around your vehicle and make sure you’re secure. But, my personal favorite has got to be…

#5 – The Transparent Trailer Feature is Awesome

No really, it’s awesome! Also, no this doesn’t mean the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD can somehow magically make your trailer invisible – if you want a trailer or camper like Wonder Woman’s jet, you’ll have to get something custom made. What this system does is it uses the tailgate-mounted camera and an available camera mounted on the rear of your trailer.

The Transparent Trailer system takes the images from these two different cameras and provides you with a look behind you that simulates what it would be like if the trailer wasn’t there, or if you could see completely through it. It’s a panoramic view that gives you a much better sense of what’s directly behind you, which can really come in handy when you’re backing up or trying to park and avoid obstacles. This is also ideal for seeing behind you when merging into traffic or making a tight turn, two common problem areas for trucks with trailers.

There’s plenty more about the 2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD to get excited about, but these are my favorite features at the moment. You can learn more about the future of heavy-duty pickups at your local GMC dealership. Or wait until we know more and I’ll be here to tell you all about it!

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