Checking out GMC Trucks
It’s a new year, which can mean a lot of things, but especially New Year’s resolutions. In addition to doing the typical ‘exercise more’ and ‘eat healthier,’ we recommend adding a little light-duty to mid-size (and maybe heavy-duty) reading into your routine, specifically about all the latest GMC trucks you can find after you’ve searched “GMC dealer near me.”
And why not? After all the gifting and general merriment, it’s time to get back into a rhythm, whether it’s dropping the kids off at school or hauling some material back from the store. Or, maybe the fun isn’t quite over yet, and you’re looking to get out into the wild and have an adventure. Fortunately, GMC has a truck for every fit.
Now, let’s check them out.
Light-Duty, Heavy-Duty, and Mid-Size
GMC trucks come in three main varieties, which would be the Sierra 1500, the Sierra HD, and the Canyon. You also have, of course, the ever-popular Denali model for each variety and the AT4 off-road variant for the Sierra pickups.
The 2020 Sierra 1500
The Sierra 1500 is the most well-known of all GMC trucks, probably because it’s more than enough truck for the average owner, and it shares a mechanical blueprint with its cousin, the Chevy Silverado 1500. It’s been easy enough to confuse the two over the years, considering all of their similarities, but as time has passed, the differences have become more apparent.
Today, the Sierra 1500 is seen as the more luxurious or premium option when compared to the Silverado 1500. There needed to be something to differentiate the two mechanically similar machines, so it seems like luxury and convenience features became those deciding factors.
The Sierra 1500 comes in five different trims, including the Sierra, SLE, Elevation, SLT, AT4, and Denali. Starting prices range from $31,195 (Sierra) to $51,000 (AT4) to $54,700 (Denali). Quite often, the AT4 and Denali are seen as their own specific lines, but they are actually just different trim levels. It’s not surprising these two higher trims stand out because that’s where you get all of the best features.
The 1500 AT4 starts over $50,000, but it’s also the only 1500 trim that comes standard with 4WD. This is to be expected since the AT4 is the dedicated off-road trim in this lineup. GMC’s new MultiPro Tailgate, their ProGrade Trailering System, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel are all standard here. You’ll also find an off-road suspension with 2” factory lift, a 2-speed Autotrac transfer case, and red vertical recovery hooks.
The 1500 Denali will have those same features just mentioned other than the off-road specific ones (suspension, transfer case, and recovery hooks). If the Denali is equipped with 4WD, though, it will also have the 2-speed Autotrac transfer case. The Denali will have some additional safety features over the AT4, which include Front and Rear Park Assist, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Safety Alert Seat.
Unfortunately, the barebones Sierra 1500 will be lacking in standard safety features, although many of them are available as add-ons. Your standard Sierra 1500 engine will be the 4.3L EcoTec3 V6 engine (285 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque) while the standard on the AT4 and Denali trims will be the 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine with DFM (355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque). The SLT, AT4, and Denali trims also have the available option of the 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 engine (420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque), although 4WD is a prerequisite.
The Sierra HD
The Sierra HD comes in two classes (2500 HD and 3500 HD), and then each class has the same trim levels, the Sierra, SLE, SLT, AT4, and Denali. The biggest differences between the 2500 HD and the 3500 HD are the maximum numbers for conventional trailer capacity, fifth-wheel/gooseneck rating, and payload. The 3500 HD will be higher on all accounts.
If you aren’t sure if you’ve seen a heavy-duty pickup before, just think about if you’ve seen a truck with four wheels on the back or not. This configuration (2WD Dual or 4WD Dual) can be found on the 3500 HD, and its purpose is to increase towing/payload capacities and trailer stability. Of course, that doesn’t mean a truck won’t be heavy-duty if they don’t have that configuration, but it does mean all GMC trucks with that configuration will be heavy-duty.
The heavy-duty trucks are clearly more streamlined towards trailering and payload capacity, so let’s look at some facts.
Maximum conventional trailering capacity:
- 2500HD: 18,500 lbs
- 3500HD: 20,000 lbs
Maximum fifth-wheel/gooseneck rating:
- 2500HD: 18,500 lbs
- 3500HD: 35,500 lbs
- 2500HD: 3,979 lbs
- 3500HD: 7,442 lbs
The Canyon is the GMC’s sole mid-size truck, which is sometimes called a small pickup. It has six different trim levels, including the SL, Canyon, SLE, All-Terrain, SLT, and Denali. You may have noticed the trims are generally the same across all three of the GMC truck lineups, with just a hair of a difference here and there. On the Canyon, the new additions are the Canyon and All-Terrain trims, whereas the AT4 trim doesn’t show up at all. Starting prices range from $22,200 (SL) to $40,400 (Denali).
The All-Terrain can come as Cloth or Leather-appointed and is only available in 4WD, much like the AT4. Both the All-Terrain and Denali come standard with CornerStep rear bumpers, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot capable, halogen project-beam headlamps, remote start, and automatic climate control. The All-Terrain will, of course, skew on the side of off-roading, with an Autotrac 2-speed transfer case, black recovery hooks, off-road suspension, transfer case shield, and Hill Descent Control. The Denali will have more standard safety features, like Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, and Rear Park Assist.
While the standard Canyon SL comes equipped with a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine (200 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque), the All-Terrain and Denali will have a 3.6L V6 engine (308 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque). As one might expect, the standard Canyon SL will also lack a lot of standard safety features, although it does have electronic traction control, rear vision camera, StabiliTrak, and Teen Driver.
Which to Choose?
Your first choice will be between the three different lineups: 1500, Heavy-Duty, and Canyon. That decision will come down to what needs and wants you have when it comes to a pickup. Do you need to tow or haul a lot? If so, how much? If it’s a whole lot, then an HD might be better. If it’s a normal to a fair amount, then the 1500 should have you covered. And, if it’s not too much at all (comparatively speaking, as the Canyon can still tow up to 7,700 lbs), then the Canyon would be a good bet. However, it’s not all about towing and hauling. Maybe you just like trucks and want something that will do well off-roading. The All-Terrain and AT4 variants would be right up your alley.
Whatever kind of GMC truck it is you’re looking for, Frank Kent Country in Corsicana, TX, has you covered. We specialize in all GM vehicles, including their fine pickups. Whether it’s a Sierra 1500, Sierra HD, or Canyon — we have you covered. So come on down or give us a call whenever you’re ready, and we’d be glad to walk you through some different options and answer any questions you might have. We look forward to hearing from you!