2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD vs. 2019 GMC Sierra HD

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Silverado HD LTZ/High Country offers optional Automatic Emergency Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Sierra HD offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

Full-time four-wheel drive is optional on the Silverado HD. Full-time four-wheel drive gives added traction for safety in all conditions, not just off-road, like the only system available on the Sierra HD.

The Silverado HD LTZ/High Country offers an optional Surround Vision to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Sierra HD only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

To help make backing safer, the Silverado HD (except Custom)’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Sierra HD doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Silverado HD and the Sierra HD have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

There are over 73 percent more Chevrolet dealers than there are GMC dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Silverado HD’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Silverado HD has a standard 170-amp alternator. The Sierra HD’s standard 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 12th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 46 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 22nd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Chevrolet 2 places higher in reliability than GMC.

Engine

The Silverado HD’s 6.6 V8 produces 41 more horsepower (401 vs. 360) and 84 lbs.-ft. more torque (464 vs. 380) than the Sierra HD’s 6.0 V8.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Silverado HD Diesel, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Sierra HD.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Silverado HD’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Sierra HD (275/70R18 vs. 265/70R17).

The Silverado HD’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 70 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Sierra HD’s standard 75 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Silverado HD’s wheelbase is longer than on the Sierra HD:

Silverado HD

Sierra HD

Extended Cab Standard Bed

149.4 inches

144.2 inches

Extended Cab Long Bed

162.5 inches

158.1 inches

Crew Cab Standard Bed

158.9 inches

153.7 inches

Crew Cab Long Bed

172 inches

167.7 inches

For better maneuverability, the Silverado 2500HD Regular Cab’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the Sierra 2500 Standard Box Double Cab’s (46.9 feet vs. 49.2 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Silverado 2500HD Standard Bed Crew Cab has a 1.68 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Sierra 3500 Standard Box Crew Cab (10.1 vs. 8.42 inches), allowing the Silverado HD to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The front grille of the Silverado HD offers available electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Sierra HD doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Silverado HD Double Cab has .2 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front hip room, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, .6 inches more rear legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Sierra HD Double Cab.

The Silverado HD Crew Cab has .2 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front hip room, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, 2.5 inches more rear legroom and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the Sierra HD Crew Cab.

Cargo Capacity

The Silverado HD Double Cab Standard Bed has a much larger cargo box than the Sierra HD Double Cab Standard Bed (69.5 vs. 61 cubic feet). The Silverado HD Double Cab Long Bed has a much larger cargo box than the Sierra HD Double Cab Long Bed (83.5 vs. 76.3 cubic feet).

The Silverado HD Crew Cab Standard Bed has a much larger cargo box than the Sierra HD Crew Cab Standard Bed (69.5 vs. 61 cubic feet). The Silverado HD Crew Cab Long Bed has a much larger cargo box than the Sierra HD Crew Cab Long Bed (83.5 vs. 76.3 cubic feet).

The Silverado HD’s cargo box is larger than the Sierra HD’s in almost every dimension:

Silverado HD Standard

Silverado HD Long

Sierra HD Standard

Sierra HD Long

Length

82.3”

96”

78.9”

97.8”

Max Width

71.4”

71.4”

64.6”

64.6”

Min Width

51.9”

51.9”

51”

51”

Height

21”

21”

21.1”

21.1”

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Silverado HD (except Work Truck/Custom/LT) offers an optional power cargo door, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The Sierra HD doesn’t offer a power cargo door.

Payload and Towing

The Silverado HD’s minimum standard towing capacity is much higher than the Sierra HD’s (16400 vs. 13700 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the GMC Sierra 3500 Long Box Crew Cab is only 23100 pounds. The Silverado 3500HD Regular Cab offers up to a 35500 lbs. towing capacity.

The Silverado HD has a much higher standard payload capacity than the Sierra HD:

Silverado HD

Sierra HD

Extended Cab 3500HD

4373 lbs.

n/a

Crew Cab 2500HD

3579 lbs.

3233 lbs.

Crew Cab 3500HD

4316 lbs.

4052 lbs.

Regular Cab 2500HD 4x4

3794 lbs.

n/a

Regular Cab 3500HD 4x4

4534 lbs.

n/a

Extended Cab 2500HD 4x4

3576 lbs.

3093 lbs.

Extended Cab 3500HD 4x4

4391 lbs.

n/a

Crew Cab 2500HD 4x4

3589 lbs.

2943 lbs.

Crew Cab 3500HD 4x4

4365 lbs.

4058 lbs.

The Silverado HD has much higher optional payload capacities than the Sierra HD:

Silverado HD

Sierra HD

Regular Cab 2500HD

3979 lbs.

n/a

Regular Cab 3500HD

7442 lbs.

n/a

Extended Cab 2500HD

3792 lbs.

3276 lbs.

Extended Cab 3500HD

6985 lbs.

n/a

Crew Cab 2500HD

3800 lbs.

3233 lbs.

Regular Cab 2500HD 4x4

3965 lbs.

n/a

Regular Cab 3500HD 4x4

7145 lbs.

n/a

Extended Cab 2500HD 4x4

3792 lbs.

3276 lbs.

Extended Cab 3500HD 4x4

6703 lbs.

n/a

Crew Cab 2500HD 4x4

3862 lbs.

3186 lbs.

Crew Cab 3500HD 4x4

6610 lbs.

5761 lbs.

Ergonomics

The Silverado HD LTZ/High Country offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Sierra HD doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Silverado HD’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Sierra HD’s parking brake has to released manually.

The Silverado HD LTZ/High Country’s front power windows both open or close with one touch of the switches. The Sierra HD’s front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

On a hot day the Silverado HD’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote (optional feature). The driver of the Sierra HD can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Keyless Open and Start optional on the Silverado HD (except Work Truck/Custom) allows you to unlock the doors, tailgate and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading cargo, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The GMC Sierra HD doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Silverado HD LTZ/High Country detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Sierra HD doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Both the Silverado HD and the Sierra HD offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Silverado HD has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Sierra HD doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Model Availability

The Chevrolet Silverado HD comes in regular cab, extended cab and crew cab bodystyles; the GMC Sierra HD isn’t available as a regular cab.

Recommendations

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Silverado as the 2014 North American Truck of the Year. The Sierra has never been chosen.

The Chevrolet Silverado outsold the GMC Sierra by almost three to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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