2021 GMC Sierra 1500

MSRP $31,195 - $37,190

Ranked #10 in Midsize Pickup-truck

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: August 31, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The GMC Sierra 1500 may only be the fourth largest selling full-size pickup truck in the American market behind all its direct American rivals, when combined with its corporate twin, the Silverado 1500, both the twins have managed to secure second-highest sales volumes in the country. The Sierra 1500 is positioned as a slightly premium alternative to the Chevy Silverado and hence sees a marginally higher price tag.

More from 2021 GMC Sierra 1500

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Exclusive Interior and Exterior Pictures | View latest Pictures

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Pros

Impressive hauling and towing capabilities

Large bed capacity with optional in-bed tie-down points

Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility

Spacious cabin

Cons

The cabin design isn’t up to modern-day standards

Sub-par cabin materials quality

Rough ride quality

What's New?

Wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$31195

bodystyle

2dr Regular Cab

passenger capacity

3

engine type

displacement

262 cu.in.

horsepower

285 hp @ 5300 rpm

torque

305 lb.-ft.. @ 3900 rpm

transmission

6 speed Automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

13.5/13.6 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

139.56 in.

length

229.6 in.

width

81.15 in.

height

75.6 in.

curb weight

4369 lbs.

ground clearance

8.1 in.

capacity

passenger volume

39.3 cu ft.

cargo volume

89.1 cu ft.

towing capacity

7900 lbs.

payload capacity

2431 lbs.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

corrosion warranty

6 yr./ 100000 mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$31,195 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 in Brownstone Metallic color
Brownstone Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide


The impressive standard tugging and hauling prowess together with the tech-savvy cabin make for an exciting prospect for many. With an MSRP of $29,795 for the standard regular cab, the GMC Sierra 1500 faces tough competition from its age-old rivals, the Ford F-150, RAM 1500, and its sibling, Chevrolet Silverado 1500.

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab front view
2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab rear view

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Features

Seems like GMC does not want to focus much on the regular cab body style and hence offers it with only a single trim option. There is just a drivetrain to choose from and comes paired with only the long bed option. It is loaded with a very limited amount of features and creature comforts to ensure low costs. That being said, GMC does offer plenty of optional features and packages to spec your truck as per your wish and requirements. 

Trims

Regular Cab

MSRP (RWD)

$29,795

MSRP (4WD)

$34,395

Key Features

Cylinder Deactivation

 

Dusk Sensing LED Headlamps

 

Emergency Braking Assist

 

Rear View Camera

 

Heated Mirrors

 

Single Zone Front Air Conditioning

 

Vinyl Upholstery

Which trim should you buy?

As there is no trim to choose from, one can just opt for the optional features of their liking and invest additional money for the 4WD drivetrain to ensure maximum practicality and capabilities from their full-size truck. 

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Engine and Performance

The regular cab variant of the GMC Sierra 1500 is powered by only the base 4.3-liter V6 engine which is plenty powerful though, producing 285 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque. There is no larger V8 or a diesel engine on offer. The engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission which powers the rear wheels as standard with an option for 4-wheel drive. 

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab engine bay

The performance from the base engine is about all work and no play. The engine is powerful enough to be able to tow 7,900 lbs and run a quarter-mile in just over 15 seconds while doing 0-60 mph sprint in 7.1 seconds. There is not much fun in driving this base engine but it does its job fairly well without much fuss and should be an ideal prospect for fleet operators. 

Model

GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab Long Bed

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Regular Cab WT Long Bed

Ford F-150 Regular Cab XL Long Bed

RAM 1500 Quad Cab Tradesman Short Bed

MSRP

$29,795

$28,995

$31,285

$34,490

Engine

4.3L, Naturally Aspirated V6

4.3L, Naturally Aspirated V6

3.3L, Naturally Aspirated V6

3.6L, Gas/Electric V6

Drivetrain

RWD

RWD

RWD

RWD

Transmission

6-speed automatic

6-speed automatic

10-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

Power

285 hp @ 5,300 rpm

285 hp @ 5,300 rpm

290 hp @ 6,500 rpm

305 hp @ 6,400 rpm

Torque

305 lb-ft @ 3,900 rpm

305 lb-ft @ 3,900 rpm

265 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm

269 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm

0-60 mph (sec)

7.1

7.0

7.3

6.6

Quarter Mile (sec)

15.2

15.2

15.4

14.7

Top Speed (mph)

130

130

130

130

Payload Capacity (lbs)

2,431

2,431

1,978

2,322

Towing Capacity (lbs)

7,900

7,900

8,200

7,740

The 2021 RAM 1500 is no longer offered with the regular cab and hence has the highest price tag amongst the trucks present here. Also, it is the only truck to incorporate a hybrid powertrain which helps it offer the quickest acceleration. The Chevrolet Silverado is the most affordable offering here and while the Ford F-150 is the slowest but offers the best towing capacity. 

How does the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab handle?

The large dimensions of the truck are felt in every possible way but the light-weight electric power steering makes it easy to maneuver in tight city spaces. The truck feels planted and relaxed through the steering wheel at high speeds, but the heft can be felt in terms of the body leaning forward and sideward when braking or taking sharp turns.

There are hardly any aids for off-road driving and ride quality is just average with nothing to stand out there as well. The lack of Adaptive Ride Control offered in the Denali trim means the ride is rough and does not feel very plush, unlike the RAM 1500 which is the smoothest of all. That being said, it is pretty comfortable for daily use but again, can get bouncy on uneven surfaces. 

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab Braking Performance

Although the braking performance is not that bad, the lack of feedback offered from the pedal makes it very difficult to modulate the amount of brake pressure needed to slow down or halt the truck accurately in every scenario. The 13.5-inch front and 13.6-inch rear brakes do a decent job by stopping the Sierra in 128 feet of braking distance, which although isn’t upto the mark with the competition, is pretty decent for a truck this size. 

Model

GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab Long Bed

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Regular Cab Long Bed

Ford F-150 Regular Cab Long Bed

RAM 1500 Quad Cab Short Bed

Brake Rotors - Front (in)

13.5

13.5

13.8

14.9

Brake Rotors - Rear (in)

13.6

13.6

13.2

14.8

Curb Weight (lbs)

4,369

4,369

4,122

4,778

60-0 mph (ft)

128

126

119

125

The RAM 1500 is the heaviest of the lot as it has a larger cabin and additional row of seats to offer and hence employs the largest brake rotors. Despite the heft, the large brakes do a great job of stopping the truck well in advance as compared to the GMC-Chevy trucks. The Ford F-150 is the lightest and also has decently sized brakes, therefore has the shortest stopping distance. 

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Fuel Economy

The large V6 engine under the hood of the Sierra 1500 does not fare well in this regard as expected. The more powerful and efficient engines are not available for the regular cab and hence one has to compromise with the 17 mpg of combined fuel economy of the truck. The large 28-gallon fuel tank does make a lot of difference to the driving range though, offering at least about 450 miles on a single tank of gas. 

Model

GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab Long Bed

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Regular Cab Long Bed

Ford F-150 Regular Cab Long Bed

RAM 1500 Quad Cab Short Bed

MPG (City)

16

16

20

20

MPG (Highway)

21

21

24

25

MPG (Combined)

17

17

21

22

Fuel Tank Capacity (gal)

28.0

28.3

23.0

23.0

Range (City / Highway / Combined) (miles)

448 / 588 / 476

453 / 594 / 481

460 / 552 / 483

460 / 575 / 506

Both the GMC trucks employ the same engine and have an almost identical gas tank size and hence offer the same driving range, which is the lowest of them all. The Ford F-150 and the RAM 1500 employ a much smaller capacity gas tank but have significantly higher fuel efficiency, with the RAM being the most frugal. Therefore, the RAM 1500 also offers the highest overall driving range. 

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Interior

The cabin of the GMC Sierra 1500 is the least appealing of all the trucks of this segment, and the basic nature of the regular cab makes the experience even worse. The lack of soft-touch materials reminds me of its utilitarian nature every time you hop in and the lack of creature comfort makes the matter even worse. 

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab front seats

The small climate control buttons do make things tricky to operate when on the road and the driver needs to have a second look sometimes. There is a lot of space for all the three passengers that can be seated on the split-bench, with the middle seat backrest doubling up as a large armrest when folded down. Shorter drivers will find visibility limited with the high hood and thick pillars. 

Model

GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab Long Bed

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Regular Cab Long Bed

Ford F-150 Regular Cab Long Bed

RAM 1500 Quad Cab Short Bed

Seating Capacity

3

3

3

6

Front Row (Head / Shoulder / Leg) (in)

43.2 / 66.1 / 44.5

43.2 / 66.1 / 44.5

40.8 / 66.7 / 43.9

40.9 / 66.0 / 40.9

Rear Row (Head / Shoulder / Leg) (in)

N/A

N/A

N/A

39.2 / 65.7 / 35.6

Cargo Capacity (cu-ft)

89.1

89.1

77.4

61.5

The longer bed offered with the regular cab of both the Sierra and Silverado trucks offers more volumetric space as compared to the Ford F-150. The RAM 1500 offers only a short bed with its quad cab which limits the space available but offers an additional row of seats. At the front, the RAM truck is the most compact with the F-150 feeling much more spacious and the top honor going to the GM trucks. 

  • 40/20/40 split front bench with covered armrest storage
  • Rubberized-vinyl floor covering
  • 3.5-inch monochromatic Driver Information Center
  • Brake lining wear indicator
  • 12-volt front auxiliary power outlet

What’s there to keep you entertained?

The standard 7-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility is impressive and the inclusion of wireless connectivity for the 2021 model year sweetens the deal a bit more. That being said, other than that, there is not much to offer.

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab infotainment screen

The audio system is limited to only a 2-speaker setup placed in either of the doors and Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity is all you get.

  • 7.0-inch touchscreen GMC Infotainment System
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability
  • Bluetooth streaming audio
  • Bluetooth for phone connectivity
  • 2-speaker audio system

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Exterior

The exterior appeal of the GMC Sierra 1500 differs a lot based on the trim and variants that one opts for, and the regular cab is the most affordable one, which feels underwhelming as compared to higher trims. The regular cab does not get the flash chrome treatment seen on higher trims but the large chrome grille surround remains standard. 

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab 

The headlight and tail lights both get LED treatment while the C-shaped daytime running lights are also standard. The rear gets a locking tailgate with no power lock and lift assist functions and the wheels are the standard 17-inch ones that are painted silver to make the basic steel wheels look a tad bit better. 

Model

GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab Long Bed

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Regular Cab Long Bed

Ford F-150 Regular Cab Long Bed

RAM 1500 Quad Cab Short Bed

Curb Weight (lbs)

4,369

4,369

4,122

4,778

Length (in)

229.6

229.6

227.7

228.9

Width (in)

81.2

81.2

79.9

82.1

Height (in)

75.6

75.6

75.2

77.6

Ground Clearance (in)

8.1

8.2

8.3

8.1

Wheelbase (in)

139.6

139.6

141.0

140.4

The Sierra 1500 and Silverado 1500 are the longest trucks due to the larger bed at the back. The F-150 is the most compact truck in this comparison and is also the lightest one. The RAM 1500 quad cab is wider and taller than the other three trucks which makes it feel more spacious on the inside. There is hardly any difference between the ground clearances of all the trucks, all offering upwards of 8-inch of clearance. 

  • LED reflector headlights and LED signature Daytime Running Lamps
  • LED tail and stoplight
  • Tailgate and bed rail protection caps
  • Rear chrome bumper with bumper CornerSteps
  • Chrome grille surround with Black mesh
  • 17-inch silver-painted steel wheels

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Safety

The IIHS is yet to test the Sierra 1500 completely, but the regular cab Sierra 1500 did well to score a pretty decent 4-star overall rating for the 2021 model year. The regular cab variant misses out on all the driver assistance features and gets a very limited amount of safety functions as standard. Driver aids likeforward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist and blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert are all available on higher trims, with some of them being available as options. 

  • StabiliTrak stability control system with Proactive Roll Avoidance
  • Traction control with electronic trailer sway control and hill start assist
  • Dual-stage frontal and Seat-mounted side-impact airbags
  • Head-curtain airbags w/Passenger Sensing System
  • Rear Vision Camera
  • Teen Driver Mode
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System w/Tire Fill Alert

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Competition

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab vs Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Regular Cab 

The sibling rivalry is pretty intense between these two as the Chevy Silverado has always managed to outperform the Sierra in terms of sales volume almost every year. There is hardly anything to differentiate between the two with only a nominal price premium asked by GMC for the Sierra 1500. It’s more about a matter of personal preference and we personally feel the Sierra 1500 looks a tiny bit better amongst the two but does not really feel worth the additional money. 

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Regular Cab  

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab vs Ford F-150 Regular Cab 

The Ford F-150 is considered the gold standard in the segment by many experts and buyers alike, which can be confirmed when looking at the sales chart. Although the F-150 is marginally pricier, it offers better ride quality, towing and braking performance along with a very frugal engine. The cabin also feels well equipped and gets a few more standard safety features and creature comforts that make it feel well worth its price tag and hence should be the preferred choice between the two. 

Ford F-150 Regular Cab 

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab vs RAM 1500 Quad Cab

The elimination of a regular cab for the RAM 1500 means it should become immediately out of contention for many probable buyers. That being said, being the second-highest seller in the segment says a different story altogether. The higher price tag not only gets you an additional row of seats, but it also adds on other things like a far more superior fuel efficiency and performance, while also featuring several more standard features over the Sierra. Thus, the RAM 1500 comes out as a better prospect in this comparison. 

RAM 1500 Quad Cab

 

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Final Verdict

The GMC Sierra 1500 Regular Cab offers great value to customers who want a no-nonsense work truck for themselves or for a fleet. That being said, the lack of any premium feel whatsoever, high fuel consumption, and the rough ride makes it difficult to be chosen as the preferable option. With Ford offering tons of more value and also returning great returns in the used vehicle market, the 2021 Sierra 1500 regular cab does not look very promising.