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To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles nearly a decade ago in the AAA Green Car Guide, which initially focused entirely on rating fuel-efficient, low-emitting vehicles.

For the 2020 edition, we're expanding the focus of the guide to include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. To further reflect this change, we've renamed the guide: It's now the AAA Car Guide. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail-for example, the latest advanced safety features, the dangers of distracted driving, and the development of autonomous vehicles.

home Home » Search Results » 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 2WD Crew Cab SLT
How The Car Guide Rating Works
Test Results and Rankings:
The green cars tested by the ARC are evaluated on the basis of 13 categories: emissions, fuel economy, crashworthiness, braking, acceleration, handling, cargo-carrying capacity, ride quality, interior noise, ease of entry and exit, maneuverability, roominess, and visibility. The scores for the categories are totaled, and the cars are ranked from high to low.
Car Guide Winner: 1st Place Pickup

2020 GMC Sierra 1500 2WD Crew Cab SLT

Vehicle Type: Pickup Diesel
 overall score
Category Ranking: 1
Vehicle Price
Base Price: $46,700
Price as Tested: $57,595
Fuel Information
Fuel Type: Diesel
Fuel Capacity (gal): 24
EPA City mpg23
EPA Highway mpg30
EPA Combined mpg26
Advanced Safety Features
Adaptive Cruise Control [O]
Advanced Headlights [O]
Automatic Emergency Braking [O]
Blind-Spot Warning [O]
Forward-Collision Warning [O]
Lane-Departure Warning [O]
Lane-Keeping Assistance [O]
Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [O]
[S] Standard, [O] Optional
NHTSA Rating:
star star star star star_border
Overall Observations
Although the 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT has a relatively high MSRP, it comes packed with numerous standard and available performance and convenience features, technology, and safety systems that make it a highly capable full-size pickup truck. Examples include a rearview camera system that aids in lining up trailer hitches, a six-function power liftgate, a carbon-fiber cargo box, a bed-view camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, LED headlights, front and rear parking assist, and a wide-ranging set of available advanced driver-assistance systems. Our test vehicle came equipped with a new 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline 6 engine that generates 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque; it’s paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. This setup contributes to a good overall driving experience, with lots of available low-end torque, quick acceleration, and large towing and payload capacities. The Sierra also has a spacious cab, with excellent front and rear legroom for all passengers; the backseat easily accommodates three adults. For this vehicle class, respectable fuel economy and handling aren’t usually a consideration, but that’s not the case with this diesel-powered, full-size pickup: The Sierra gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg city/30 mpg highway/26 mpg combined, which is impressive given its size and towing capabilities.
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Strengths and Weaknesses
Strong Points
  • Good performance, lots of torque
  • Power multifunction tailgate is standard
  • Rearview-camera system
Weak Points
  • Harsh ride quality
  • Noisy engine
  • Poor rear and side visibility
  • No standard advanced safety features
Vehicle Specifications
Model year tested: 2020
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/3
Curb weight (lbs): 5420.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 231.7 / 81.2 / 75.5
Wheelbase (in): 147.4
Number of air bags: 8
Warranty (months/miles): 36/36,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Bridgestone Alenza
Front and rear tire size: 275/60 R20
Max towing capacity (lbs): 7400
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Auto 10-speed
Drivetrain type: Rear wheel
Engine/motor: 3.0L I-6 DOHC Turbo-Diesel
Engine horsepower @ RPM: 277 @ 3750
Test Data
Test Vehicle Scores
Advanced Safety Features: 10.00
Fuel Efficiency: 3.24
EPA Emissions Score: 1.00
Acceleration: 4.89
Braking: 3.58
Crashworthiness: 5.98
Handling: 4.17
Ride Quality: 7.57
Interior Size: 8.38
Easy of Entry and Exit: 8.03
Visibility: 7.39
Interior Noise: 7.58
Cargo Capacity: 7.02
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