Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips and Reviews

A blue 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 is parked in front of a river at sunset.

The Latest Trucks From GMC

GMC has remained rather steady with its truck lineup over the years. It has been over 15 years now since GMC offered any other trucks other than its current lineup (they discontinued the Sonoma in 2004). Instead of making a number of truck variations and model types, GMC, as well as most truck manufacturers, make only a few models and then offer several trims to let you customize the pickup to meet your set needs. Both the Sierra and the Canyon remain the two model types offered by GMC. In addition to the heavy-duty variations of the Sierra, these are all the GMC trucks for sale currently. While one recently saw a generation upgrade, the other we will see one in the near future. If you’re considering either of the pickups, here’s what you need to know about the current selection of GMC trucks.

The Noteworthy 2020 GMC Canyon

The GMC Canyon has been in its current second-generation body style since 2012. The first generation lasted for 10 model years, so if that’s any indication, the current second-generation will end after another model year (or two), and a redesigned third-generation Canyon will hit showrooms.

The possibility of a redesign is something to consider if you’re shopping around for smaller pickups. Do you want to go with a model that might look a bit dated in another two years? Does that even matter to you? A few questions you’ll need to answer ahead of shopping for the light-duty pickup. One of the great things about pickups is that manufacturers maintain a body style for a long time. Unlike cars which see generation refreshes every few years, the same body style for trucks may remain for a decade or more. This helps keep the styling fresh and why most trucks maintain a somewhat timeless element to it. Even trucks built in the 90s are only usually two or maybe three-generations old.

As for the current 2020 GMC Canyon, the smaller body size does not keep it from delivering what you want in a small pickup. While the numbers don’t match what the GMC Colorado is capable of, there are times where you just don’t need a larger pickup. It also comes with three engine options, which gives you plenty to choose between when shopping for the Canyon. Other small-duty pickup manufacturers don’t give these kinds of engine options. In fact, some only offer one, so having more options is always a plus (especially when truck shopping because everyone uses their trucks a bit differently).

A man is walking away from his dark blue 2020 GMC Sierra 1500, which is popular among GMC trucks for sale.

The base model does come with a smaller 2.5L I4 engine. However, you can upgrade to either a 3.6L V6 or a 2.8L Duramax Turbo-Diesel I4 engine. These options will give you a max of 308 horsepower and up to 7,700 pounds of potential towing. For most people that 7,700 pounds are more than plenty. Of course, if you’re looking for something to tow your boat up to the lake, you’ll want one of the larger Sierras. But 7,700 pounds is a solid number for a truck of its size.

The diesel engine does add a bit to the price tag of the Canyon, but what you pay for the engine you’ll save at the pump as EPA estimates for the diesel engine peg the Canyon at 20 miles per gallon in the city and 30 miles per gallon on the highway. If you’re driving a truck made a decade ago, you might be lucky if you hit 17 or 18 miles per gallon on the highway.

There’s a number of trims available for the Canyon. Most of these offer slight upgrades from the lower trims or features like leather seating. You know, the standard trim upgrades. However, there are a handful of key features worth pointing out. First, there is an Elevation Edition. You can purchase an SLE trim and then further customize it with the Elevation Edition (it’s only available on the SLE). This particular edition brings with it larger, Satin Graphite wheels, additional paint options, new body inserts, and a handful of other features that set it apart from other packages.

Then there is always the Denali, which is GMC’s top-tier trim. It comes with a handful of features we love, such as the rear park assist and a spray-on bed liner. We wish more truck manufacturers would add the bed liner as standard. Because if you’re using the bed regularly, you already know it can get beat up pretty quickly. Add in the wireless charging, and 3.6L V6 with active fuel management, and you have a solid small-duty pickup.

The Mighty 2020 GMC Sierra 1500

A man is pushing his bike next to a red 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 in front of a lake.

Unlike its smaller brother, which will be receiving a generation update in the coming years, the Sierra just saw one last year, so most of the upgrades in the current GMC Sierra are minor cosmetic changes. Even with the minor tweaks, though, the Sierra comes packed with several industry-leading features other pickups are just not able to compete with.

First, the pickup offers the best-in-class cargo box volume. So if you’re someone who uses the truck bed, you will like the added space. The Sierra also has best-in-class V8 horsepower and torque. With an industry-first carbon fiber composite bed and the most room offered for your legs and head, this is a pickup that’s designed for every need and every size. If you’re someone who likes to stand just a little bit taller, the Sierra offers the first-ever two-inch factory lift. This way, you no longer need to go to a third-party garage to have your pickup lifted (which can often void warranties).

The Sierra comes to the table with an impressive five-engine lineup. The base is a smaller 4.3L V6 while you can upgrade to a larger 5.3L V8 that is used with either a six-speed transmission or an eight-speed transmission. There is also a 6.2L V8 available. If you’re interested in a diesel option, there is a V6 diesel that churns out 460 lb-ft of torque and uses a 10-speed automatic.

Like the Canyon, the Sierra has several trims that slightly builds on the previous trims. However, some of our favorite features can be found on a variant of the Denali and the AT4. Both these top-tier trims offer a CARBONPRO edition. This edition provides a carbon fiber composite bed in the pickup, which is the first time it has been offered anywhere in a consumer-grade truck. It takes advantage of the 6.2L V8, a 15-inch head-up display, a rear camera mirror so you can adjust what you see as you drive, plus several smaller features, such as an audio system by Kicker.

The Latest From GMC

When shopping around for a new pickup, do you stick with the larger Sierra half-ton pickups, or are you a fan of the smaller Canyon trucks? Now that the smaller trucks are starting to improve in engine performance and towing potential, is that something that interests you? And does waiting for a new generation matter to you? With the Canyon generation upgrade a year or so away, would you wait (if you could), or is that even a thing you consider? And what is it that you like specifically about GMC trucks over other brands, including Chevy, for which the trucks share a number of similar features? We’d love to hear from you and know what you think, so let us and your fellow truck fans know in the comments below.

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