Midsize pickup trucks were once the vehicle of choice for working people, like contractors and farmers. However, over the past decade, these powerful, versatile, and durable trucks have broken out of their working vehicle label, and have become increasingly popular with suburban families and off-road enthusiasts. Two of the most popular are made by the same conglomerate, General Motors, under separate divisions. Chevrolet’s entry into the market, the Silverado 1500, is well known and has an extremely loyal following. Not to be outdone, the GMC Sierra 1500 has also developed an excellent reputation. Because of their lineage, there are many similar features, from the configurations and dimensions of the trucks to the use of the same infotainment system. In the following, we will look at the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 vs 2020 GMC Sierra 1500, so that you can make an educated decision when choosing which truck to make your own.
MSRP and Trim Levels
The base MSRP of the 2020 Chevy Silverado is $28,300 for the Work Truck with a regular cab and long bed. This is less than the entry-level 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 with a regular cab and long bed, which starts at $31,195. Furthermore, the Chevy Silverado 1500 offers more trim levels, a total of eight, compared to six trims for the GMC Sierra 1500.
In addition to the Work Truck trim, there are seven other trims available. The first is the Silverado 1500 Custom for an MSRP of $34,600. Following that is the LT for an MSRP of $36,900, the Custom Trail Boss for an MSRP of $39,500, the RST for an MSRP of $38,800, the LT Trail Boss for an MSRP of $48,500, the LTZ for an MSRP of $43,000, and the top-of-the-line High Country for an MSRP of $53,300. Furthermore, Chevrolet offers both the LT Trail Boss and Custom Trail Boss in a special Z71 off-road package, boosting the total number of trims to an amazing ten.
In contrast, there are six models of the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500. In addition to the base model Sierra, there is the SLE for an MSRP of $39,395, the Elevation for an MSRP of $41,895, the SLT for an MSRP of $45,895, the off-road configured AT4 for an MSRP of $51,000, and the top model Denali for an MSRP of $54,700. What also stands out in this comparison is that the pricing increases rather precipitously as you move between trim levels with the Sierra. This is not as much the case with the Silverado, which is due in large part to the number of extra trim levels.
Outcome: The advantage goes to the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500.
Engine and Drivetrain
This is one of the more interesting comparisons, since both the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 and the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 use the same engines, except for one. This difference shows up in the Work Truck, Custom, and Custom Trail Boss models of the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500. These come equipped with a 4.3-liter EcoTec3 V6 engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission. This engine can provide up to 285 horsepower and 305 lb-ft of torque. It is estimated to provide up to 16 miles per gallon in the city, 21 miles per gallon on the highway, and 17 miles per gallon combined. You’ll also find this engine offered on the GMC Sierra.
The four other engines are common to both the Silverado and the Sierra, but with one difference. The base engine on the GMC Sierra 1500 SLE and Elevation, and on the Chevy Silverado LT and RST is a 2.7-liter Turbo with active fuel management. Operating on an 8-speed automatic transmission, this engine provides up to 310 horsepower and 348 pounds to feet of torque. Drivers are estimated to get 20 miles per gallon in the city and 23 miles per gallon in the highway from this engine. It is also available as an upgrade on the Chevy Silverado Custom and Work Truck.
This situation becomes more interesting when you get to the larger engines. The 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 is featured on the GMC Sierra 1500 SLT and Denali, and the Chevy Silverado 1500 LT Trail Boss, LTZ and High Country. This engine provides up to 355 horsepower and 388 lb-ft of torque. However, the version that is standard on the Chevy Silverado 1500 models features dynamic fuel management, while the one on the Sierra has active fuel management, with dynamic fuel management as an optional upgrade. Also, while this engine has a standard 8-speed transmission, drivers of the Silverado 1500 LT Trail Boss and High Country will have a 10-speed automatic transmission if they choose to buy their trucks as a 4X4.
As a result, the one on the Silverado will provide better fuel economy. Drivers of the Silverado with the 5.3-liter engine will experience 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 miles per gallon on the highway, while those with the Sierra will have an estimated 17 miles per gallon in the city and 23 miles per gallon on the highway. It should be noted that this engine is available on the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LT, RST, WT, Custom, and Custom Trail Boss, and the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 SLE and Elevation as an upgrade.
There are two other engine options available for the two trucks. The Duramax 3.0-liter Turbo-Diesel I-6 is available on the Chevy Silverado 1500 LT, RST, LTZ and High Country, and the GMC Sierra 1500 SLE, Elevation, SLT, and Denali. This engine will provide up to 277 horsepower and 460 pounds to feet of torque on a 10-speed automatic transmission. Interestingly, while it is estimated to provide fuel economy of 23 miles per gallon in city driving on both vehicles, the numbers change with highway driving, where the Silverado is expected to provide 33 miles per gallon to 30 miles per gallon on the Sierra. Finally, there is a 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8 with dynamic fuel management available on the Chevy Silverado 1500 High Country, LTZ, LT Trail Boss, RST, and Custom Trail Boss, and the GMC Sierra SLT and Denali. It can provide up to 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque on a 10-speed automatic transmission. The EPA estimates that this engine will provide 15 miles per gallon in the city and 20 miles per gallon on the highway.
Outcome: Slight Advantage for the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500.
Trailering and Payload
As can be expected with two such similar vehicles, the numbers on trailering and payload are relatively similar. Both the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 and the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 have the same payload capacity depending on the choice of bed. The long beds in both can carry up to 2,431 pounds of cargo in 89.1 cubic feet of space. The short beds are lower capacity, with up to 2,178 pounds in 62.9 cubic feet of space. The standard bed has 71.7 cubic feet of space for 2,250 pounds of cargo.
There is one difference in this regard. The maximum towing capacity of any 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 is 13,400 pounds for all engine and trim levels, while the maximum for the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 is 12,100 pounds. Therefore, if you need to do some towing, your best bet would be the 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500.
The Final Outcome: The 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 has the advantage.