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2020 GMC Sierra 1500 gets more technology, revised powertrain lineup

A 10-speed automatic is now available on more models.

2019 GMC Sierra Denali CarbonPro Edition

The GMC Sierra 1500 receives a handful of equipment changes for the 2020 model year, this generation of the truck's second year on the market. The tweaks include more technology and some changes to the pickup truck's powertrain roster.

Big news for the 2020 model year is the greater availability of the optional CarbonPro Edition carbon-fiber pickup truck bed and 3.0-liter Duramax turbodiesel inline-six engine. Both were only added late in the 2019 model year, but for 2020 will be much more readily available to buyers.

The Sierra Denali now has a 10-speed automatic, up from an 8-speed last year.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

In terms of technology, the 2020 Sierra 1500 can now be equipped with far more cameras. Like the new Sierra HD, the 1500 model can now be optioned with GMC's Enhanced ProGrade Trailering system, which features 15 cameras. That includes cameras mounted on the rear of a trailer to provide a "see-through" trailer effect. The truck's Trailering App has also been updated so, for instance, owners can pre-configure trailer lengths and profiles through the myGMC app and send them to the truck remotely.

Other tech additions include camera-based adaptive cruise control, which becomes available on the SLT, AT4 and Denali trim levels. It can bring the truck to a full stop if traffic slows completely. Last year, adaptive cruise was not available on any version of the Sierra 1500. Finally, models with the 8-inch touchscreen infotainment now support Sirius XM with 360L, the satellite radio service's on-demand platform.

The Sierra HD's transparent trailer tech will now be offered on the Sierra 1500, too.


More packaging changes

There are also a few changes to the powertrain options for the 2020 GMC Sierra. For starters, models with the aforementioned CarbonPro Edition can now be equipped with the truck's 3.0-liter diesel engine, whereas previously they were offered only with a 6.2-liter V8.

In addition, trucks with the 5.3-liter V8 engine equipped with the company's Dynamic Fuel Management system now receive a 10-speed automatic transmission, up from an eight-speed automatic previously. That powertrain combo is standard on the Sierra 1500 Denali and AT4, and optional on all four-wheel-drive Sierras in the SLE or higher trim levels. A 10-speed automatic is also offered with the 6.2-liter and 3.0-liter engines.

Incidentally, a different version of the 5.3-liter V8, with cylinder deactivation rather than the Dynamic Fuel Management skip-fire system, still use a six-speed automatic transmission. But a GMC spokesman noted that engine is only offered on "the very base level Sierra."

This year, the GMC Sierra's Elevation trim package will be now be offered on Crew Cab trucks, having previously been offered only on Double Cab models. Finally, the AT4 off-roading package gets some visual tweaks: A black chrome grille surround, black exhaust tips and restyled badges are all part of the changes.