The full-sized pick-up market is one of the most competitive segments. With the addition of the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500, General Motors now has two horses in the race. Unlike its sibling, the Chevrolet Silverado, the Sierra 1500 offers more comfort and utility. The 420-horsepower, 6.2-liter V8 engine, and handsome styling promise to give the Sierra a place on the podium alongside its corporate twin. Here is a detailed review of the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500.
2020 Versus 2021: What's the Difference?
Although the 2021 edition of the GMC Sierra comes with minor changes, several enhancements make it worthwhile. A new feature included in the 2021 model is a jack-knife alert that warns when the trailer length might interfere with traffic. Buyers will also be happy to learn that the multi pro tailgate is now more widely available. More welcome news is that getting a diesel engine is now cheaper than the previous year, thanks to a $ 1500 discount. Lastly, the towing capacity has been improved in this new model.
What Do the Various Trim Levels Offer?
One thing buyers don't have to worry about when it comes to the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 is choices. In addition to different cab configurations, buyers can also choose bed lengths, according to their needs. To top it all up, there six different trim levels. Below is a detailed insight into what each trim level offers.
The Sierra 1500
The Sierra is the lowest trim level of the 2021 GMC Sierra lineup. Despite being the cheapest, this trim still comes with loads of safety and convenience features. For infotainment, the base trims features include a 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, Apple Carplay or Android Auto, and a six-speaker audio system. The safety features include a rear vision camera, teen driver configuration, and a tire pressure monitoring system.
The GMC Sierra SLE comes with all the features of the base trim. However, there are a few extra additions. For instance, the Sierra SLE has a larger 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, keyless entry ignition, and an extra USB port for devices. Other noteworthy additions are the heated steering wheel, cruise control, automated climate control, heated front seats, and a Multipro configurable tailgate.
The Sierra Elevation is quite similar to the SLE. However, few additions make it stand out. The first feature that demands a buyer's attention is the 20-inch aluminum wheels. Other features added are the in-bed LED lighting, two extra USB ports, and a remote locking tailgate. Like all the other trims, buyers can choose between the different engine and cabin configurations.
The Sierra SLT marks the entry into the upper premium trims. It comes with several additional features expected of a luxurious full-size truck. These include an interior donned with leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a steering wheel. The infotainment is upgraded to comprise a satellite radio, wireless Apple Carplay or Android Auto, and voice recognition. Upgrades in the safety department include trailer hitch guidance assist and trailer brake controller.
The GMC Sierra AT4 is an upgrade on the SLT. Extra features are added to make it suitable for off-roading. The performance enhancements include hill descent control, 2-inch lift suspensions, all-terrain tires, skid plates, and adjustable traction control. Other features are bucket seats and ventilated front seats.
The Sierra Denali takes its rightful position at the top of the lineup. As expected, this range-topping model comes with all the best features. For entertainment, an 8-speaker Bose audio system compliments the 8-inch touchscreen. Safety is a priority with the Sierra Denali; hence, some upgrades include adaptive suspension, driver alert, and blind-spot monitoring. Other bonus features are the side steps, 20-inch aluminum wheels, and wireless device charging.
Which Trim is Right for Me?
With five different trims and several engine and cabin configurations, choosing just one from the impressive lineup is a daunting task. Ultimately, budget and personal preference play a factor. Overall, the Sierra Elevation is the perfect compromise. It offers a middle ground price-wise but also comes with all the popular features. However, for buyers who love off-roading, the Sierra AT4 tops the lineup by a mile.
What Kind of Technology Does It Have?
The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 comes with some of the latest technology in the automobile industry. The standard features include a touchscreen infotainment system equipped with Apple Carplay and Android Auto. The car also comes with Bluetooth, and a Wi-Fi hotspot for all the trim levels. Advanced features include wireless device charging, Bose audio system, heated seats, and built-in navigation. The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 is also packed with the latest safety features. The features include collision warning, lane departure alert, lane keep assist, and blind-spot monitoring.
How Does It Perform?
Performance levels vary, depending on the engine option. The base trim comes with a 285-horsepower V6 engine that is coupled with a 6-speed transmission. Other alternatives are a 355-hp V8 and a 6.2-liter 420-hp V8. Towing and hauling capacity tops out at 12,000 pounds and 240 pounds, respectively. The AT4 variant handles the rough terrain better and gives the Ford F-150 a run for its money. Fuel economy also varies greatly due to a wide range of powertrain and engine combinations. Overall, the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 has a decent EPA rating of 23/30 mpg.
Is It Safe and Reliable?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) bestows the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 a four-star in crash testing. This is not the best, but it is up there with some of the best. Although this year's model is yet to be rated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the last year's model was named the top safety pick in this category. Any problems encountered will be covered by the 3year/36000-mile warranty, or the five-year/60,000 miles powertrain warranty. It also comes with one complimentary maintenance visit.
What's the Interior Like?
Standard GMC Sierra models can seat three people. However, that number doubles if one opts for the double cab, or the crew cab configuration. In general, the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 combines practicality and comfort with ease. The cabin is surprisingly quiet with easy-to-use buttons. However, the quality of the interior materials doesn't match its more luxurious competitors.
What are the Alternatives to this Model?
Despite the mixed reviews, the 2021 GMC is a capable model. Unfortunately, it doesn't excel in any area. Buyers can keep their options open by looking at other alternatives, like its corporate twin, the Chevy Silverado or the Ram 1500.
Note: All GMC Sierra 1500 4WD lease prices and dollar figures above are approximate amounts. Prices are subject to change without notice.