A grey 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 is driving on a mountain road past a guard rail and pine trees.

What’s New with the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500?

Out of all of the available full-size trucks on the market, the Sierra 1500 doesn’t get enough clout. It should, though. As one of the coolest and most capable pickups out there, the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 will satisfy your every need. With multiple engine options and a gigantic bed, the possibilities are endless with this model. Plus, the advanced technology will have you grinning from ear-to-ear every time you slip behind the wheel. So what should you look forward to when you visit your local GMC dealer to check out the latest professional-grade half-ton truck?

There are many new components on the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500, including several high-tech trailer-assist features. You will find features such as the jack-knife alert system that will detect when you are in danger of getting yourself into a jack-knife position with your trailer. There is also the trailer-length indicator that will help you safely change lanes when pulling a long trailer. On top of the new trailering features, the popular MultiPro Tailgate has become more available, and there are some new paint colors to choose from.

Engine Lineup

Five incredible engine options are available on the new 2021 GMC Sierra 1500. First is the 4.3-liter V6 that generates 285 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque. Equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission and RWD, this powertrain gets 17 MPG combined (16 MPG city and 21 MPG highway). If you opt for 4WD, that will drop the highway gas mileage very slightly to 20 MPG, but the city and combined mileage ratings will remain the same.

If you prefer to get better gas mileage, then we recommend the 2.7-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Producing 310 hp and 348 lb-ft of torque, this motor gets about 21 MPG combined (20 MPG city and 23 MPG highway) when it is equipped with RWD. If you opt for 4WD, it will get about 19 MPG combined (18 MPG city and 21 MPG highway). Also, this powertrain uses an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Next is the turbo-diesel 3.0-liter Duramax Inline-6 motor. Delivering 277 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque, this engine is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. RWD models get an estimated 26 MPG combined (23 MPG city and 30 MPG highway), and 4WD get around 24 MPG combined (22 MPG city and 26 MPG highway).

If you prefer V8 engines, then you will be happy to know that the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 has two available options. The first is a 5.3-liter EcoTec V8 that pumps out 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. However, this engine comes with three different transmission options – a 6-speed automatic, an 8-speed automatic, and a 10-speed automatic. In its best configuration, it can achieve up to 19 MPG combined (17 MPG city and 23 MPG highway). However, this can vary considerably depending on the transmission and drivetrain combination, so be sure to check the numbers for the exact configuration you are interested in if fuel economy is a concern.

Finally, the robust 6.2-liter EcoTec V8 engine pushes out 420 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. As the most powerful option in the engine lineup, it is only fitted with the most capable 10-speed automatic transmission. Only available with 4WD, most models get 17 MPG combined (16 MPG city and 20 MPG highway). However, the AT4 models get a slightly lower 15 MPG city and 19 MPG highway.

A red 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4 is off-roading on dirt with mountains behind it.

Diesel Technology

If you happen to choose the turbo-diesel powertrain, then you should know about the amazing features that come with it. Gone are the days of diesel engines taking half an hour to warm up. This new unit uses active thermal management to heat up quickly and maintain optimized heat for the best performance and fuel efficiency. Once the motor is warmed up, this system will keep tabs on the temperature levels to ensure the best combustion. The lightweight aluminum engine block is filled with advanced features, such as a 3-actuator rotary valve system to distribute the coolant throughout the motor and start/stop technology to improve fuel economy.

Off-Roading Technology

The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 offers a capable 2-speed AutoTrac transfer case that enables you to shift between 2WD and 4WD to handle any road conditions. It also comes with the Traction Select System that includes driving modes such as Tour, Sport, Terrain, Snow, and Tow/Haul. But for optimum off-road performance, opt for the AT4 trim. This variant comes from the factory with a 2-inch lift, Rancho shocks, and Goodyear Wrangler mud-terrain tires.

The Bed

Offering short, standard, and long bed lengths, the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 has more cargo room than any other full-size model in its class. You can get anywhere from 62.9 cubic feet to 89.1 cubic feet of cargo space, depending on which bed size you choose. The bed is made from roll-formed, high-strength steel for excellent durability, and it comes with a dozen cargo tie-downs that can hold 500 pounds of weight per corner. A 120-volt outlet is also included in the bed as well as LED lighting so that you can always check on your cargo.

If you opt for a CarbonPro edition, then you will enjoy an industry-first carbon fiber composite bed. This prevents the scratches, dents, and even corrosion that can occur with a metal bed. It also reduces the overall weight of the vehicle by 60 pounds and eliminates the need for a bed liner. Finally, the CarbonPro bed even adds an extra cubic foot of volume and two additional tie-downs points.

Towing Enhancements

If you are considering the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500, then you probably want to haul a trailer. Luckily, this model has been tweaked to perfection for towing. Let’s look at some of the newest features. First, the integrated trailer brake controller allows you to have total control over your trailer brakes with only your fingertip. It’s an in-vehicle app that enables you to program your trailer brake setting for your specific trailer. Although it is standard on the SLT, AT4, and Denali trims, you can also add it to the lower trims if you want.

You can even add trailer towing mirrors. These are longer and have lower convex mirrors for better visibility. They come with power-folding, auto-dimming, and heating technology, as well as manual extend and retract capabilities. Integrated LED turn signal indicators are also included. Finally, an electric parking brake assist is available when Hitch View is active. As you reverse towards the trailer, the electric parking brake will set when you shut into Park. This will help to avoid any roll, and it will also keep the hitch aligned properly.

A grey 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 is towing a boat on a one lane road past a river.

Max Trailering Package

Another great thing about the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 is the available Max Trailering Package. This adds several features, including an automatic locking rear differential, revised shock tuning, heavy-duty springs, and an enhanced cooling radiator. It comes with the integrated trailer brake controller and the Handling/Trailering Suspension Package for optimized towing. If you plan on any sort of heavy towing, we recommend this exceptional package.

Find a 2021 GMC Sierra 1500

Are you ready to rock with a brand new 2021 GMC Sierra 1500? You can easily find one at any GMC dealership. Get in touch with your local dealer today to schedule a test drive! Once you’ve gotten behind the wheel of this magnificent truck and experienced all that it can offer, we are sure that you will agree the 2021 Sierra 1500 is among the best in its class.