Certain versions of the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 will be offered with both the GM eight-speed automatic transmission and GM ten-speed automatic transmission, the automaker confirmed to GM Authority this week.
When equipped with both the 5.3L L84 V8 engine and four-wheel-drive, the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 can be ordered with either the GM eight-speed automatic transmission or, if the customer is willing to fork over a little extra cash, the GM ten-speed automatic transmission.
The automaker decided to drop the ten-speed automatic transmission in certain versions of the truck late in the 2020 model year in favor of the eight-speed automatic, but with this change, GMC buyers will be able to choose which transmission they want. The ten-speed automatic carries a $200 premium over the older eight-speed automatic.
Customers can expect superior fuel economy in choosing the more up-to-date transmission option. When equipped with the 5.3L V8, ten-speed automatic and four-wheel-drive, the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 has EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 16 mpg city, 22 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined. The same truck with the eight-speed automatic returns 16 mpg city, 22 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined.
The option to add eight the eight-speed or ten-speed automatic transmission to the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 is available with the SLE or Elevation trim levels and only with the 5.3L L84 V8 engine and four-wheel-drive. The base Sierra trim level features the older 5.3L L82 V8 engine without dynamic fuel management, which is paired with a six-speed automatic.
Some customers have reported experiencing issues with the GM eight-speed automatic. A class-action lawsuit was filed against GM by owners of vehicles with the eight-speed last year, who complained of recurring issues with the transmission. GM Authority even penned an op-ed in the past deriding the eight-speed and suggesting it be replaced by the newer ten-speed. We’d say this is a $200 upgrade worth making, then, but we’ll leave it up to GMC customers to decide for themselves.