A light gray 2021 GMC Sierra Denali has a dirt bike in the bed while parked in front of tree-covered mountains.

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 vs 2021 Ram 1500: Comparing What Matters Most

When comparing pickup trucks, you might compare design, features, and price like any other vehicle, but there are other components specific only to pickup trucks. Truck owners likely need their pickup truck to put in a lot of heavy-duty work, so things like performance, capability, technology, and safety are important to compare among pickup trucks. No wimpy trucks here! Two of the top contenders in this class are the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 and the 2021 Ram 1500. At first glance, these trucks seem pretty similar. What about the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 vs 2021 Ram 1500 on towing, fuel economy, or safety features, though? We’re putting these two pickup trucks to the test on where it matters most for trucks, performance, capability, technology, and safety.

Providing the Ultimate Performance

Pickup trucks these days offer a lot of flexibility in performance to get your jobs completed. If you’re looking for the most fuel-efficient truck out there, you can select an engine to deliver those needs. If you’re only interested in engines with standard 4WD, there’s a selection for you. Both the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 and 2021 Ram 1500 offer five engine options, so you can truly customize your experience.

The 2021 Sierra’s innovative Duromax 3.0L Turbo Diesel engine features everything you love about diesel. Its best-in-class horsepower of 277 and estimated 26 MPG combined is the perfect marriage of performance and efficiency. The 2021 Ram 1500 also offers a diesel engine, the 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 engine, and also has impressive stats with 260 horsepower and also gets around 26 MPG combined.

When you’re on the road in a pickup truck, you have this extra confidence to take on changing road conditions. The 2021 Sierra 1500 is the first in its class to offer an available 2-speed Autotrac transfer case that allows the driver to shift from 2WD to 4WD swiftly as road conditions change. Overall, both the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 and the 2021 Ram 1500 have high performance capabilities. If you’re searching for the most performance, the 2021 GMC Sierra AT4 is the performance-driven model of the Sierra for both on and off the road. The Ram TRX is the Ram model to choose for not only performance but off-road capability too.

A red 2021 Ram 1500 is parked on dirt with a trailer filled with two UTVs.

Capability Meets Flexibility

Whether you’re an avid off-roader or just prefer the convenience of paved roads, one thing that’s easily agreed upon is the need for towing and hauling. What good is a truck that can’t effectively haul a boat to the lake or haul your Saturday morning building project? No good, that’s for sure. The good news, both the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 and 2021 Ram 1500 can tow and haul a large load with ease. The Sierra has a maximum towing of 11,800 lbs, but it’s the 2021 Sierra 1500’s cargo bed that really turns heads and leads its class with flexibility.

For starters, the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 has the most cargo bed volume in its class, with 62.9 to 89.1 cu. ft. All this cargo room needs adequate access to get full use out of the space, so available on the 2021 Sierra 1500 is the MultiPro Tailgate. This tailgate is the world’s first six-function tailgate. It can, quite literally, do anything you need it to. True truck owners know the frustrations of just needing a couple more inches to access their load or finding unique ways to secure their load in the tailgate. With the MultiPro Tailgate, you have six functions that help with loading, unloading, and accessing the cargo bed.

The 2021 Ram 1500 has its own flexible tailgate known as the Multifunction Tailgate. The major feature of this tailgate is its 60/40 door open split that allows for easier loading and unloading. You can even access the tailgate while towing as well. It’s easy to see that for the pickup truck driver who needs the most flexibility for their gear, the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 provides the perfect amount of versatile capability.

Technology for Work and Play

Technology can be fun and useful, right?! While both the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 and 2021 Ram 1500 have the luxurious technology for convenience and entertainment, like the premium sound system and wireless charging, the technology for towing is impressive. The GMC Sierra 1500 has 15 camera views available that give you every angle possible of your surroundings. The Prograde trailering system technology helps you hitch and tow effectively, plus uses the infotainment system to give you key information while you tow. Information like tire pressure monitoring and trailer light sequence are crucial to a safe towing experience, and the Sierra 1500’s trailer technology provides that.

The 2021 Ram 1500 also has its own towing technology. Known as the smart towing technology, it provides assistance with hitching while also monitoring tire pressure and trailer light check. This technology also has an available 360-degree camera view to enhance your view while towing. Drivers don’t need to think twice when deciding to tow in either the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 or 2021 Ram 1500 with all of the technology and safety precautions that are in place. Towing with confidence means a more relaxed and memorable adventure.

A black 2021 GMC Sierra Denali is towing a large enclosed trailer as part of the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 vs 2021 Ram 1500 comparison.

Safety First and Always

No matter if you’re towing or just taking a drive in either the 2021 Sierra 1500 or 2021 Ram 1500, safety matters. With technology rapidly developing, there are available safety and driver assist features that make each drive feel safer. Both of these trucks have advanced safety technologies that feel as premium as they sound.

For the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500, there are available Adaptive Cruise Control, Front and Rear Park Assist, Automatic Emergency Braking, Safety Alert Seat, Following Distance Indicator, IntelliBeam, and Teen Driver systems. Each of these gives you audible, physical, or visual alerts on potential collisions or obstacles in your path or perform other necessary safety tasks. The 2021 Ram 1500 has an available Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking, LaneSense Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist, and Blind Spot Monitoring.

Without a doubt, there are similarities with the safety features in both of these trucks. They both get the job done well. Some of the more specific features in the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500, like the Adaptive Cruise Control, Teen Driver, and the Safety Alert Seat, could make a big difference in your daily driving activities, so we would go with the Sierra if buying one of these two trucks.

There’s a Lot to Love, But the Sierra 1500 Is the Winner for Us

There’s a lot to love about the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 and 2021 Ram 1500. Both of these trucks know how to get down and dirty with the job at hand. You’re bound to have an adventure wherever you go in the Sierra or Ram. When comparing the two, there are several details that stick out about the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500. The extra-large cargo bed and MultiPro Tailgate give extra flexibility and versatility that’s always desired in a pickup truck. Lastly, the extra safety features like Teen Driver may fit certain family situations perfectly. While you can’t go wrong with either truck, the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 proves to be a solid every-day truck for the whole family and more than satisfies your truck needs.