2020 GMC Sierra HD Denali
When practicality and utility is infused with luxuryby Sidd Dhimaan, on
GMC has always been the Robin to Chevy’s Batman. It has faithfully played the role of a wingman for quite some time, but now is its time to shine. The 2020 models of the GMC Sierra have been nothing short of a revelation. With revised, controversial exteriors, chrome walloped on the face, and new mills under the hood, the Sierra is set to take on the competition without being in the shadow of the Silverado. Can the well-equipped truck shine like a bright star this time around?
2020 GMC Sierra HD Denali
- LED lights all around
- Longer wheelbase
- Front grille will draw polarising opinions
- 15 cameras around the body
- Six-Mode MultiPro tailgate
The Denali is the top-of-the-line trim that shows off everything GMC could do it terms of creativity, innovation, and technology. The GMC Sierra HD Denali looks different from its cheaper trim counterparts. If you thought the rivals consumed all the chrome present in the world, think again. The Denali comes with a trim-exclusive chrome grille, chrome bumpers, and chrome fog light surroundings. Wait, we’re not done; chrome wing mirror caps, chrome window sills, and elements of chrome on the fenders. Phew!
The 2020 Sierra HD Denali also features new signature lighting elements. The headlights are large-sized units with C-shaped LED housing and daytime running lights.
This time, the truck is slightly taller and has a fully functional hood scoop that helps cool the monstrous engine underneath the bonnet. The muscle lines on the hood add to the butch look of the truck. The GMC Sierra just cannot be ignored due to its sheer size and presence. When that bling shines in your rear view mirror, you will surely give way.
The profile of the 2020 GMC Sierra HD Denali looks smart and rather sedate when compared to the front fascia.
The Denali comes standard with 20-inch rollers and is available with a multitude of optional wheels. GMC has made 22-inch wheels available on the Denali, which will most likely be the most preferred side. The stance of the GMC Sierra HD Denali is quite tall, and even the standard tires look puny on it. The flared wheel arches are covered with black plastic cladding. GMC has not gone easy on the chrome appliqué on the side; other than the mirrors, you can find it on the window sills, the badges, and the door handle. This truck should be called ’Silver’ado instead! The XL-sized wing mirrors come with the engine badge stamped right behind it. The Denali trim also benefits from the roof marker lights that comes as standard.
There’s nothing exceptional about the Sierra HD Denali’s derriere. The taillamps are all LEDs and add a certain character to an otherwise generic rear.
The focus here, however, will be on the MultiPro tailgate.
The six-mode tailgate can work as a standing desk or can be folded down to create a step into the bed. It is basically two tailgates - inception of sorts - wherein a fold-out stopper can be deployed from the inner tailgate. It can be operated at a push of a button or the key fob. The MultiPro tailgate can support up to 375 pounds and has two buttons for operation and the inner gate release. The GMC badge is placed on the center of the tailgate and just cannot be missed. The GMC Sierra HD comes with not one or two, but 15 cameras in total to give you an action of what’s going on around its body. More on this in the next section.
GMC Sierra HD Exterior Dimensions
|Double Cab||Crew Cab|
|Wheelbase (in. / mm):||144.2 / 3662 – 6’6” box
158.1 / 4017 – 8’ box
|153.7 / 3904 – 6’6” box |
167.7 / 4258 – 8’ box
|Overall Length (in. / mm):||230 / 5842 – 6’6” box
248.9 / 6322 – 8’ box
|239.5 / 6083 – 6’6” box |
258.4 / 6563 – 8’ box
|Overall Width (in. / mm):||80.5 / 2045||80.5 / 2045|
|Overall Height (in. / mm):||78 / 1983 (4WD w/ 6’6” box)
77.9 / 1978 (2WD w/ 8’ box)
77.8 / 1977 (4WD w/ 8’ box)
|78.2 / 1988 (2WD w/ 6’6” box) |
78.2 / 1987 (4WD w/ 6’6” box)
78 / 1981 (2WD w/ 8’ box)
77.9 / 1980 (4WD w/ 8’ box)
Note: 2019 GMC Sierra HD exterior dimensions listed here.
- Best-in-class Legroom
- Best-in-class Head room
- Trailering system
- Rich material used in the cabin
- 15-inch Head up Display
Automakers have now realized that truck owners need the best of utility and luxury in the same vehicle these days. That is why the kind of cabins trucks have these days can put luxury sedans to shame.
The GMC Sierra HD Denali not only exudes quality, but it also has best-in-class front headroom and legroom in the Crew Cab models.
The 2020 GMC Sierra HD Denali is offered with exclusive materials to distinguish it from other trims, like premium leather seats, authentic, open-pore wood trim, and dark-finish aluminum decor. The leather details also feature a contrasting stitch pattern. The material looks durable and will last for a long time despite rough usage. The steering wheel features a prominent Denali brand to remind the driver that they’re driving the ultimate version of the 2020 GMC Sierra HD.
When you build a truck that can haul tens of thousands on its ass, you better make sure the driver knows what’s going on behind. But for some reason, automakers tend to skip this problem. GMC, however, has capitalised on this issue and turned it into a USP even though it should have been a basic safety feature. GMC has offered 15 cameras that help drivers see what’s around the truck and the trailer. The 2020 GMC Sierra HD Denali even lets the driver see right through a trailer by stitching together footage from a camera mounted on the tailgate and footage from an accessory camera that needs to be installed on the back of the trailer. This makes navigating parking lots, merging into traffic, or making tight turns a breeze.
As for the entertainment shenanigans, the 2020 GMC Sierra HD Denali is fairly loaded. Some features include -
- Rear Camera Mirror technology
- 15-inch-diagonal head-up display
- An infotainment system that supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
- Auto Electric Park Brake
- Park Grade Hold Assist
- Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control
- Trailer Sway Control
The Sierra HD Denali also comes equipped with the iN∙Command control system that provides the ability to monitor and control select functions of equipped trailers through the myGMC mobile app.
For instance, if it’s a camper, they can use the app to turn on the A/C or the water heater, check the water level, and check the generator’s fuel level. With a second app called "Trailering", owners can also verify the trailer’s tire pressure, whether the lights work, and access a pre-departure checklist. Nifty, huh?
GMC Sierra HD interior dimensions
|Double Cab||Crew Cab|
|Headroom (in. / mm):||42.8 / 1087 (front)
38.7 / 982 (rear)
|42.8 / 1087 (front) |
40.5 / 1029 (rear)
|Legroom (in. / mm):||45.3 / 1150 (front)
34.6 / 880 (rear)
|45.3 / 1150 (front) |
40.9 / 1040 (rear)
|Shoulder room (in. / mm):||64.8 / 1647 (front)
64.3 / 1634 (rear)
|64.8 / 1647 (front) |
64.3 / 1634 (rear)
|Hip room (in. / mm):||60.7 / 1543 (front)
60.2 / 1530 (rear)
|60.7 / 1543 (front) |
60.2 / 1530 (rear)
Note: 2019 GMC Sierra HD interior dimensions listed here.
- 6.6-liter, V-8 Duramax or 6.6-liter V-8 gasoline
- As much as 910 pound-feet of torque
- Can tow 33,000 pounds
- 7,500 pounds of payload capacity
- 10-speed automatic gearbox
The Denali trim is offered with two engine options. The standard engine is an all-new 6.6-liter, V-8 gasoline engine that churns out 401 horses and 464 pound-feet of twist. It is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and is a decent performer overall. The highlight is the second engine option that GMC is offering for the Sierra HD Denali - a 6.6-liter, Duramax, V-8 that produces 445 horses and a rather hefty 910 pound-feet of torque. The engine will be mated to 10-speed automatic transmission. The 910 pound-foot mark is quite astonishing and greatly satisfying at the same time, but it rather surprising that GMC did not try to top the new Ram HD’s 1,000 pound-feet of torque. GMC is selling this as the top-of-the-line heavy-duty hauler, so this would have been a great selling point for the automaker. Will we see that in the facelift?
|GMC Sierra 3500 HD||Ram 3500 HD||Ford F-450 Super Duty|
|Engine||6.6-liter Duramax||6.7-Liter Cummins||6.7-Liter Power stroek|
|Transmission||10-Speed Allison||Six-Speed Auto||Six-Speed Torqshift|
|Horsepower||445 HP||400 HP||440 HP|
|Torque||910 LB-FT||1,000 LB-FT||925 LB-FT|
|Curb Weigh||TBA||TBA||7,000 LB +|
|Maximum Towing Capacity||33,000+ LBS||35,100 LBS||Up to 35,000 LB|
|Payload Capacity||TBA||6,570 LBS||7,640 LB|
|GMC Sierra 3500 HD||Ram 3500 HD||Ford F-450 Super Duty|
|Engine||6.6-liter V-8 (gasoline)(est)||6.4-Liter HEMI V-8||6.2-Liter Flex V-8|
|Transmission||Six-Speed Auto (est)||Six-Speed Automatic||Torqshift Six-Speed Auto|
|Horsepower||400 HP (est)||410 HP||385 HP|
|Torque||450 LB-FT (est)||429 LB-FT||430 LB-FT|
|Curb Weight||TBA||TBA||5,668 to 7,526 LBS|
|Maximum Towing Capacity||18,000 LBS (est)||17,980 LBS||13,300 LBS|
|Payload Capacity||TBA||TBA||2,474 to 4,332 LBS|
The 2020 Sierra HD Denali can tow up to 33,000 pounds. Although this is a big improvement over the 2019 Sierra HD, which could tow 23,300 pounds, it falls short of the Ram’s 35,100-pound rating and the Ford F-Series heavy-duty truck that can lug 35,000 pounds. This could play a big role in a customer’s decision-making process as this is essentially the core point of a truck. GMC did an amazing job at revamping the Sierra HD overall and topping it with everything possible in the Denali trim, but it missed out on the most important aspect.
Pricing for the 2020 GMC Sierra HD Denali is not yet revealed officially, but the current model is priced at $56,200 for a rear-wheel-drive setup and $60,300 for four-wheel-drive models. Expect a slight increase over the existing prices.
The most popular truck of the segment squares off against its American counterpart. As is the norm in this segment, the Ford Super Duty F-350 also comes with a huge chrome grille slapped on its face. The Blue Oval has offered it with two engine options for you to choose from - a 6.2 liter, V-8 engine that develops 385 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque, and 6.7-liter, turbodiesel V-8 mill that churns out 450 horses and 935 pound-feet of torque. These specs are pretty much on par with the rivals. Well, we would say it’s on par with the competition. Both the engines come mated with a six-speed automatic transmission system, either in two-wheel-drive system, or four-wheel-drive configuration. However, the truck can lug 32,000 pounds! However, Ford will be plonking the newer models from the Super Duty F-250 trims with a new 7.3-liter, V-8 engine will make its debut in 2020 model.
On the inside, the truck is a typical Ford - large, comfortable, and utilitarian. The top-trim comes with an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, leather upholstery, and power-adjustable pedals, and heated and cooled seats, to name a few. As is with any Ford truck and SUV, there is not dearth of customization. Right from spoiling yourself with creature comforts, to mechanical, Ford has made sure you can build this truck as per your convenience. However, this could see you shell you out more than $80,000.
Read our full review on the 2020 Ford Super Duty F-350
It looks like automakers are competing against each other to give their trucks the biggest mouth possible. If the one on the Sierra HD Denali looked garish, check out the one on Ram HD. Just like the Sierra, the Ram HD also underwent a transformation that has made it all the more relevant. Ram has reworked its chassis and body, which enabled it to shave off 143 pounds of the curb weight when compared to its predecessor. The base trim is powered by a 6.4-liter, Hemi, V-8 engine that produces 410 horsepower and 429 pound-feet of torque. The Ram HD also boasts a 6.7-liter Cummins turbodiesel engine under the hood that produces a mammoth 1,000 pound-feet of torque but a mere 400 horses. Ram decided to mate it to a six-speed automatic transmission and limit its potential to a certain extent. The Sierra HD Denali is offered with less torque, but it still scores an advantage over the Ram HD, thanks to the ten-speed auto gearbox. Ram is offering the same mill with lower power output as well - 370 horses and 850 pound-feet of twist. In its ultimate avatar, the Ram HD can lug 35,100 pounds and deliver a payload of 6,570 pounds. It can be customized with a rear air suspension which can be very helpful while loading and unloading.
Unlike the GMC Sierra HD Denali, Ram has focused on the mechanicals of the HD more than the interior. It does not seem as lush as the Denali, but you still get all the creature comforts. The console area now stands at 22.6 liters - 2.9 liters more than the 2019 model and includes 12 storage configurations. You can hold bigger items like tablets in it now. The base trim comes with a five-inch infotainment system, while the higher trims can be availed with an 8.4-inch or 12-inch screen. It also comes with five USB ports, three 115-volt plugs, and wireless charging docks.
Read our full review on the 2020 Ram HD.
When it comes to other automakers, they sell most of their models in the mid-range trims as they are affordable and the customers can equip them with their choice of goodies and shun out the extras that they don’t require. For instance, customers prefer the mid-Lariat trim when it comes to Ford trucks. However, unlike the competition, GMC has sold 50-percent of the Sierra HDs in the top-of-the-line Denali trim. Features like the 15-inch head-up display, 15 camera setup, its compatibility with apps, and a multipro tailgate make things a lot more interesting in day-to-day use. By equipping the 10-speed Allison transmission, GMC has made sure that the Sierra HD drives better with heavy loads. The 2020 GMC Sierra HD will be built at the company’s Flint Assembly in Flint, Michigan and is set to arrive late in the summer of 2019.
Read our full review on the 2020 GMC Sierra HD.
Read our full review on the 2019 GMC Sierra.