2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Review | More towing, same truck

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The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 and the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 are close siblings and are getting closer each year. One of the Sierra's standout features, the Multi-Pro tailgate, can now be found on the Silverado for 2021, which offers even fewer reasons to opt for the GMC over the Chevy. When you look at the more humble SLE and SLT models, the choice between both depends heavily on style preferences. The Sierra Denali is a slightly different story as its available adaptive chassis is exclusive to GMC and greatly improves both driveability and handling.
Of course, it still can't compete with the Ram 1500 on either count, and the Denali cabin continues to be a rather half-hearted luxury attempt. Especially given the truly luxurious offerings from Ram and Ford. The gap between the Sierra's lower trim levels and its non-Chevy competitors isn't that big, but the cabin's design, quality, and functionality still leave much to be desired. While this is often not a priority for truck buyers, the Sierra is not superior in any other way to make up for it. It's a capable truck with a compelling variety of powertrains, but in general it doesn't go as far above the competition as its Silverado sibling.
What's new for 2021?
Changes for 2021 are mostly related to equipment, but some important changes have been made to towing and prices for the New Year as well. All 2021 Sierra 1500s are equipped with a number of new towing technologies, which are described here. New technologies include a trailer length indicator, jackknife alarm, trailer assistance guidelines, and camera extensions, including a rear side view and a bed view.
GMC expanded the availability of the Multi-Pro tailgate, now allowing people who opt for the SLE and Elevation lower fairings to have this option. The AT4 features new ally-terrain tires from Goodyear Wrangler Territory and an off-road stage with high ground clearance. Diesel buyers will be pleased to hear that GMC cut the price by $ 1,500 to $ 995 and increased trailer capacity by £ 1,900 to a more competitive $ 9,300. The maximum tow of the 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder has also increased by 2,300 pounds to 9,200 pounds. According to GMC, the increase in diesel was due to "better than expected rear axle durability," and the four-cylinder increased because GM found the engine had "better than expected cooling performance."
How is the interior and vehicle technology?
Like its Silverado sibling, the Sierra's cabin is the least compelling and competitive feature, falling far behind the Ram 1500 and Ford F-150 in terms of quality and design. If you look at the interior from a purely functional point of view, the Sierra can do its trucking tasks perfectly. The seats are wide, flat and comfortable. It has huge armrests on either side so you can stretch out as far as your truck stretches the road limits (seriously, this thing is huge). All of the buttons in the center stack are well labeled, easy to find, and big enough to poke away without hitting the wrong one. It even has a volume and tuning knob.
Unfortunately, the dashboard is monotonous and frankly ugly in any trim level. The hut is particularly harmful in the Sierra Denali. The black vinyl "sewn" onto the black dashboard and some strips of wood on the center console and doors are just not enough to create the ambience that truck buyers deserve (and get) from its high price You elsewhere). That might have been enough when the Denali was the only luxury truck, but no more.
At least the technology offers are generous. All trim levels come standard with a touchscreen (8 inches on all models except the base model), Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a sound system with six speakers (two speakers with a normal cabin), while the popular SLE OnStar and In-Truck add 4G LTE WiFi. Additional USB ports, various trailer apps and aids, several camera systems for parking and trailers, wireless charging of smartphones and audio upgrades can be added to the equipment variants above.
2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
How big is it?
The Sierra 1500 Crew Cab pictured above left offers a limo-like expanse in the back seat, supported by a colossal back door. As expected, the double cab's rear seat back is more upright and less comfortable (see image above right). Legroom, while class-leading, is still tight behind a tall rider, which means the Double Cab's back seat is ultimately best for casual use or for kids. At least the front hinged doors at the back are better set up than the annoying clamshells of the F-150 Super Cab.As usual, you can have a split 40/20/40 bench seat for three people (all panels except AT4 and Denali) or bucket seats with a full center console (unavailable base or SLE) received.
What about the bed? The thinner, higher walls introduced for this latest generation have resulted in a bed that ultimately holds up more than anything else in the segment. Better still, the maximum payload is between 1,550 and 2,250 pounds, which is generally a few hundred pounds more than an F-150 or Ram 1500. However, there's more to the Sierra bed than just volume and payload. For starters, it offers the MultiPro tailgate, which has tons of configurations, but mostly a quick way to climb into bed. You can even equip it with a special kicker sound system, which is shown in the gallery below. But wait, there's more! The Sierra Denali and Sierra AT4 can be fitted with the CarbonPro carbon fiber composite bed, which GMC says offers additional "strength, durability, and scratch resistance," with a potential weight reduction of 59 pounds depending on the configuration. It's basically a bed and a pad in one.

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What is the performance and fuel consumption?
Standard equipment only comes with a 4.3-liter V6 that produces 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque. It comes standard with a six-speed automatic and Active Fuel Management (AFM), which switches off half of the cylinders to save fuel. All fairings get 17 mpg when combined driving with this engine.
Standard on the SLE and Elevation (and optional only on the basic truck) is a 2.7-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine that delivers 310 hp and 348 lb-ft of torque. It has an eight-speed automatic and also receives AFM (yes, it can run on two cylinders). It hits between 19 and 21 mpg together, which might seem like a minor benefit, but in terms of actual gas money spent, it could save up to $ 400 per year over the V6. It's also the best fuel economy of any full size non-diesel truck.
Standard on the SLT, AT4 and Denali is a 5.3-liter V8 that develops 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. It is optional for SLE and elevation. With its six-speed automatic and AFM, it delivers 17 mpg together. However, certain trim levels can equip this engine with an eight-speed automatic and the more advanced Dynamic Fuel Management (DFM), which increases fuel consumption to a V6 value of 18 (4WD) or 19 (2WD) MPG. You can also pair it with a 10-speed automatic in certain trim levels, which, depending on the configuration, can collectively improve efficiency by up to 1 mpg.
Optionally available for the SLT, AT4 and Denali is a 6.2-liter V8 that offers 6.2 liters of displacement and generates 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. It only gets 10-speed and DFM, and together it returns 17 mpg.
A 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-six is ​​available as an option for all but the basic equipment, developing 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. It also gets the 10-speed automatic. It returns 26 mpg when combined with 2WD and 24 with 4WD. That's the same as the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, but we're still waiting for the 2021 F-150 numbers.

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How is it to drive
As with any American full-size truck, the driving experience of the Sierra and Silverado depends heavily on the engine chosen - and since GM offers more engines than anyone else, the differences are even greater. We haven't tried the base V6 yet, but we've found the turbocharged four-cylinder to be just as powerful and efficient as advertised, which can easily dispel concerns that you can't fit a four-cylinder into a large truck. Still, we think it represents a questionable value compared to Ford's tiny turbo V6 and Ram's mild-hybrid V8. A better deal on power and fuel economy is the new Duramax diesel engine - its torque equals that of the large 6.2 liter V8, its fuel economy will be far superior, and it's shockingly quiet. It is definitely worth considering.
However, we expect most buyers in Sierra will be looking at a V8. In this case, we've found that 6.2L is obviously more powerful than the 5.3L truck, but you don't necessarily need it either. We've pulled heavy loads with both, and the 6.2-liter is more of an example of overkill than necessity.
However, up to this point everything we have written also applies to the Silverado. The driving experience of the Sierra is even greater due to the adaptive dampers of the Denali fairing, which provide the standard chassis with superior driving and body control. We found in separate Silverado / Sierra trucks that when driving over incomplete pavement they punish either hardness (large wheels) or unusually nautical jumps (small wheels). Both of these do not occur in the more civilized Denali with the big wheels. If you're looking for a reason to choose Sierra over Silverado and have the money to buy a big dollar truck, this is it.
What else can I read about the GMC Sierra 1500?
2019 GMC Sierra AT4 First Drive | Offroad overkill
We are testing the all-terrain Sierra AT4 with the 6.2-liter V8 and Dynamic Fuel Management.

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2019 GMC Sierra Denali First Drive | The more things change ...
Our first drive through the Sierra Denali, including more detailed design and engineering information.
2020 GMC Sierra 1500 Interior Driveway Test | Still lagging behind
Our detailed interior and review of the Sierra in its off-road AT4 trim.

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Video: The MultiPro tailgate explained

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Video: GMC MultiPro tailgate against the Ram multifunction tailgate

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What features are available and what is the price?
The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 is available in the regular cabin (basic equipment only), in the extended double cabin and in the crew cabin as well as in three bed lengths and two front seating options, so that a maximum of five or six people can be accommodated. Available equipment variants are Base, SLE, Elevation, SLT, AT4 and Denali (crew cabin only).
Prices start at $ 31,295, including the $ 1,595 target fee. However, since this applies to a regular basic cab, it is almost irrelevant to most truck buyers. Really, things start with the SLE Double Cab for $ 41,995.
A full breakdown of the specs, features, and local prices for each trim level can be found here on Autoblog. It should be noted, however, that the AT4 is the off-road oriented model we have featured here, while the Sierra Denali is the luxury oriented model that comes with all the comforts and pampering features in the GMC toolbox.
What are the safety equipment and crash ratings?
Forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking at low speed and lane departure warning are only available in the SLT, AT4 and Denali equipment variants. The warning of blind spots and rear cross traffic is optional in all trim levels except in Denali, where they are standard. A variety of camera systems and other technology features are also available to improve the trailer experience in terms of both usability and safety.
The Road Safety Insurance Institute gave the Sierra 1500 Crew Cab the highest possible rating of “Good” in all crash categories, but with the new test for passengers with a low overlap, for which it received a limit value (third of four). It also has a poor headlight rating, but a superior rating for its optional forward collision warning / prevention system. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rated the Sierra Crew Cab four stars. In the crash test breakdown, mainly frontal crashes were rated four stars, and in the rollover test, five stars were given for all side crash tests.
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