As GM Authority explained previously, GMC Sierra HD buyers don’t simply want a bigger GMC Sierra 1500 when it comes to exterior styling. When buyers step up to the bigger heavy-duty pickup model, they expect a number of things beyond the obvious increase in capability; they also expect a unique aesthetic that stands apart from the light-duty models. As such, the GMC Sierra HD offers a unique look compared to the 1500 models. Here’s what makes it different.
For the sake of this comparison, we’re placing the 2019 / 2020 / 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali side-by-side with the 2020 / 2021 / 2022 GMC Sierra HD Denali and picking ’em apart with regard to styling, starting with the front fascia.
Before we start, we should note that the only part that’s shared between this generation of the Sierra 1500 (all-new for the 2019 model year) and Sierra HD (all-new for the 2020 model year) is the roof. Other than that, essentially all other exterior parts – including the cabs and body panels – are different between the two trucks.
For starters, the grille is different between both trucks, with that of the GMC Sierra HD models offering wider spacing between the three horizontal grille slats. There’s also a different shape for the upper and lower grille sections of the primary grille. The GMC Sierra 1500 also has a slightly different shape with regard to the headlamp housings, and the lower section of the fascia is along with the fog lamps are entirely different between the two models as well.
Higher up, we find a different hood between the two models, with the HD model featuring a prominent hood scoop for the HD model.
Moving over to the front three-quarters view, we find the GMC Sierra HD doubles down on its dimensional increase with a number of changes compared to the GMC Sierra 1500. The wheel arches, wheel design, window design, and side-view mirrors all help to differentiate the heavy-duty models as being aesthetically bolder than the light-duty Sierra.
The same can be said about the profile view, where the GMC Sierra 1500 has a rising kink at the C-pillar plus a noticeable character line along the doors. Additionally, the HD model features the prominent BedStep at the forward-most point of the box, which makes it easier to access the bed from the side of the truck. The Sierra 1500, by comparison does not offer the BedStep.
The rear three-quarters angle provides a perfect shot of the rear fenders of the Sierra 3500HD, which in this case is a dually (dual rear wheel) truck. They look positively enormous next to the single-wheel setup of the light duty model.
The tail lights of both models appear to be the same, and both trucks feature the CornerStep integrated in to the corners of the rear bumper.
Finally, the rear end isn’t all too different between the Sierra HD and light-duty 1500 models, unless of course we’re talking about the dual rear wheel configuration and associated styling elements that come as a result of that, like the fenders. But beyond that, the lower fascia, bumper, and MultiPro Tailgate are similar.
Additionally, the Sierra HD only comes with a single-exit exhaust mounted to the passenger-side of the truck, no matter the engine – 6.6L V8 L8T gasoline or 6.6L V8 L5P turbo-diesel Duramax. Meanwhile, the Sierra 1500 offers a single-exit exhaust on some of the entry-level models, while mid-tier and higher-end models feature integrated dual exhaust.
Clearly, there are some pretty major styling differences between the GMC Sierra HD and GMC Sierra 1500. That said, the family styling resemblances are also undeniable, and it shouldn’t be too difficult to pick these two apart from a distance while recognizing that they are both GMCs.