Oct 22, 2020

2020 GMC Sierra SLTBy Glen Konorowski

Every once in a while I test a vehicle that I really find exceptional and this was the case with the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 Elevation 4WD. In the past, the vehicles I have tested from GM have generally been good but have never really stood out. The new Sierra I tested was equipped with the new 3L inline 6-cyclinder Turbo-Diesel that did make it stand out.

In the past, diesel vehicles have tended to be generally noisy and generally a little slower than their gas counterparts. General Motors has stepped up the game with the new Duramax 3-litre. This engine is quick, quiet and defiantly not any nosier than the gas engines in the Sierra lineup.

My tester, the Elevation model and it was fairly well equipped - a 4-door configuration that can hold 5-people with ease with leather faced seats. Front seats are a comfortable bucket with a 10-way power setup for the driver. The placement of the seat made it easy to see out of, which I liked, making it a big plus when backing up and towing.

The dash was generally no problem to figure out and reach despite the fact this is a large interior. The nice, bright gauges are easy to read at a glance. The test truck had the optional sunroof which I personally like as it allowed a good amount of light into the dark interior. Coupled with the optional opening back cab window, you could get a lot of air passing through the cab without having to turn on the air.

GMC HD RevealThe 3L inline 6-cylinder diesel, new to the Sierra and a change from the traditional array of gas engine options, is much better at adding torque due to its configuration. Power is 277hp.@3750Rpm and a hefty 460lb.ft. of torque @1500rpm. This low end torque allows for easy starts from its approximant 10,000lb towing capacity. One nice feature on my test truck was the Limited Slip differential that offers better grip when in the water at the launch ramp. My truck as well was 4-wheel drive a feature that is nice in the extreme of winter and muddy situations as well.

The short-box version carries enough gear for most of us. One feature I do like is the spring loaded rear tailgate. This allows the gate to lower down slowly rather than just drop suddenly. As gates are heavy, this same system allows easy lifting to close it into the up position. One nice feature on most General Motors full-sized trucks is the built in steps to each side of the rear bumper. They made getting in and out of the truck bed easy even with the 20-inch wheels.

While I had the Sierra I found it to be generally nice to drive on a day-to-day basis. The engine was more than accommodating in city traffic and the suspension easily soaked up potholes and raised manhole covers with ease. On the highway it was smooth and as comfortable as a full-sized car.

With the diesel engine a $4,800 option, you do need to be the travelling type to justify the extra money spent. One redeeming feature is the great fuel consumption. It gets 9.1L/100Km city and 10.5L/100Km on the highway, which I found, to petty well on the mark with my driving.

Overall, I liked driving the Sierra 1500 which I can’t say for a lot of trucks I drive. At $67,600 it was reasonably well equipped, something I think would more than please most boaters.

Glen KonorowskiGlen Konorowski is a life long automotive enthusiast and automotive journalist for 35-years. He also claims to be former Commodore of the Monty Carlo Yacht Club!

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