2020 GMC Sierra HD first drive review: Towing tech marvel

    There was a time when vans had been a primary instrument of the widespread employee. Not a lot thought was given to trip high quality or consolation. Luxury? Technology? That’s to your fancy sedan, pal.Fast ahead to in the present day and vans are extra helpful than ever whereas additionally being extremely luxurious and tech-rich. And maybe no truck does a greater job of being every thing to everybody than the latest technology of the GMC Sierra Heavy Duty. This is a truck made for work, however tacks on myriad options that make work each simpler and fewer annoying.A brand new AT4 trim means you may get your HD repair on the grime.
    Not solely is the heavy responsibility lineup new from the bottom up for 2020, nevertheless it additionally will get a brand new off-road targeted AT4 trim. The AT4 would not supply a suspension raise over the Sierra, SLE, SLT or Denali trims — in actual fact, it contains the identical Rancho shocks, skid plates and digital locking rear differential because the aforementioned Denali. However, it does embody an off-road mode and all-terrain tires wrapped round 18-inch wheels. After enjoying round a bit I discovered the tires did high quality within the dry grime, but when mud is on the agenda, you must positively improve. Overall, the Sierra HD would not share a single physique panel with its predecessor. It’s taller and has an extended wheelbase than earlier than, with a large grille and redesigned LED lighting all the way in which round. The mattress is one inch decrease for simpler loading, facet steps are included for simpler entry to the mattress and the kick-ass MultiPro six-way tailgate is on the market on all trims. I’ll get again to the tailgate later, however now I need to deal with what the Sierra HD does greatest: towing.Tow it with easeThe Sierra’s govt chief engineer, Tim Herrick, says, “I want my GMC Sierra to be the trailering truck of choice,” and man, is that this man heading in the right direction. The non-obligatory 6.6-liter V8 diesel engine places out 445 horsepower and 910 pound-feet of torque so the Sierra HD can tow 35,500 kilos with a fifth wheel or 20,000 kilos value of typical trailer, and might handle 6,532 kilos in its mattress. If you are protecting observe, that is extra towing functionality from heavy-duty vans from Ford and Ram, though each producers’ pickups function extra engine torque.There is a 6.6-liter V8 gasoline choice as properly, pushing out 401 horsepower and 464 pound-feet of torque. As anticipated, the towing numbers go method down right here, however it might nonetheless deal with a lot of what customers would wish: 17,400 kilos with a fifth wheel, 16,800 kilos utilizing a standard trailer, 7,442 kilos of payload.In the mountains of Wyoming round Jackson Hole, I spend my time within the diesel towing all of the heavy issues: a 40-foot lengthy, 14,000 pound fifth wheel; a 30-foot, 13,000 pound typical field trailer; and the grand-daddy of all of them, 35,500 kilos value of metal plates and, hilariously, opponents tailgates (GM does love a very good PR stunt). Certainly, the load slows the truck down, however all of the diesel torque is on the market proper off the road, so getting in control is not an issue, even at 6,000 ft of elevation. On the other facet, hitting the brakes reveals clean pedal really feel and no humorous enterprise from the trailer. It’s like x-ray imaginative and prescient!
    Where GMC
     actually knocks it out of the park, nevertheless, is with its trailering tech. Blind-spot monitoring that covers the size of the trailer is eschewed for a six-camera setup, or eight for those who go for two dealer-installed accent cameras inside and on the rear of your trailer. All informed, you may get 15 totally different views of what is going on on across the truck and trailer, together with facet views, a view of the hitch and a view contained in the trailer.However, GMC goes for the hat trick with the clear trailer know-how that stitches collectively the view from the accent digicam at the back of the trailer with the tailgate-mounted digicam, basically permitting drivers to see by their trailer. No longer will you marvel what number of vehicles are stacked up behind you on that mountain street, so you don’t have any excuse for not utilizing the turnouts. Now that I’ve pulled a trailer with this tech, I am unable to think about towing with out it.The in-vehicle trailering app supplies a handy strategy to examine on the trailer. Before heading out on a drive I can see my trailer’s tire pressures and temperature, examine the taillights and undergo a guidelines to make sure I’ve accomplished each process obligatory to securely hook up a trailer. Other vans supply the same guidelines function, however once more, GMC goes one step additional with the MyGMC app. Accessible out of your cellphone or by the usual Apple CarPlay or Android Auto interfaces, drivers can management a correctly geared up trailer’s HVAC system and examine water, propane and gray/black water ranges. Imagine pre-warming your camper 15 minutes earlier than pulling right into a campsite and having it good and toasty upon arrival.
    Solid trip The diesel V8 is mated to a 10-speed computerized transmission. This is the primary time a 10-speed has made its strategy to the heavy-duty pickup phase, and it performs like a champ, getting essentially the most out of the engine and shifting easily up or down as obligatory. The diesel engine is quiet, even on take off, although GMC elevated cooling for 2020 by including a dual-path air consumption system and it is fairly loud, so the outcome is definitely extra powertrain noise than earlier than.While different heavy-duty vans function a stable axle in each the entrance and the rear, the Sierra HD opts for an unbiased entrance suspension. GMC says it is extra sturdy over the lengthy haul, and in my testing, it affords nice trip high quality each with or with out a load behind you. A four-wheel-drive computerized gear is added to the two-speed switch case, which ought to assist while you want just a little extra traction, however not sufficient to warrant high-gear four-wheel drive.MultiPro tailgate, first seen on the gentle responsibility Sierra, is a Roadshow favourite and makes its strategy to the Sierra HD. It can open like a daily tailgate with a flip-up load cease however then transforms into a piece floor or a step with a soon-available Kicker audio system. The heart part can drop to permit simpler entry to the non-obligatory carbon fiber-reinforced plastic mattress.Two grime bikes and a MultiFunctional tailgate — what extra may you ask for?
    Emme Hall/Roadshow
    Yes, I mentioned carbon fiber mattress. Dubbed CarbonPro, it is a part of the mattress itself, not a mattress liner. Not solely does this save 60 kilos, however GMC let me whack it with a baseball bat as a lot as I wished. I finally bent the bat. The CarbonPro mattress has two additional tie-downs within the entrance in addition to wheel chocks carved in to your bike or bike. Three tie-downs in every nook end out the super-functional mattress.The Sierra HD has a number of different cool methods not discovered elsewhere, like a 15-inch colour head-up show and General Motors’ cool rear digicam mirror so you possibly can nonetheless see behind you even with two grime bikes within the mattress.Same ol’ insideInfacet, the cabin is pure operate over type. It’s comfy and every thing is inside attain, however I would not say it has any distinctive model as you will discover within the Ram heavy-duty vans. GMC’s infotainment system is housed on an 8-inch display and is likely one of the best within the enterprise to navigate. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are normal as is a 4G LTE WI-Fi hotspot. There are loads of charging choices, from a wi-fi pad to USB Type-A and Type-C ports, in addition to 120-volt shops.Of course, none of this comes cheaply. The diesel engine provides over $9,000 to the Sierra HD’s $40,000 base value, plus $1,595 for vacation spot. However, the favored AT4 trim begins at $57,700 whereas the Denali will set you again $63,700 to start out. All the vans I drove on the media launch had been near $80,000, due to their many know-how upgrades. Regardless, the pricing remains to be aggressive inside the heavy-duty truck phase. And the Sierra HD affords extra know-how to benefit from its class-leading towing functionality. Look for single- and dual-rear-wheel configurations to hit sellers any day now.The cabin of the Sierra HD is useful, however removed from engaging.
    Editors’ word: Travel prices associated to this function had been coated by the producer. This is widespread within the auto business, as it’s miles extra economical to ship journalists to vehicles than to ship vehicles to journalists. While Roadshow accepts multi-day automobile loans from producers with a purpose to present scored editorial critiques, all scored automobile critiques are accomplished on our turf and on our phrases.The judgments and opinions of Roadshow’s editorial crew are our personal and we don’t settle for paid editorial content material.

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