2021 GMC Sierra 1500: Here’s What’s New And Different9
The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 represents the third model year of the fourth-generation Sierra, which was launched for the 2019 model year. The half ton pickup truck a slew of minor updates and changes for the 2021 model year – here’s what they are.
From a model line standpoint, the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 sees the following changes:
- Deletion of 2WD Standard Bed Crew model (TC10743)
- Double Cab no longer available on SLT and AT4
On the outside, the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 sees the deletion of four exterior color options as well as the addition of four new hues:
- Ebony Twilight Metallic
- Cayenne Red Tintcoat
- Brownstone Metallic
- Deep Mahogany Metallic
- Red Quartz Tintcoat
- Smokey Quartz Metallic
- Carbon Black Metallic
The Sierra AT4 gains a new high clearance step. The dealer-installed option, assigned RPO code VXW, is included in the AT4 Premium Package (PDG), and is not available with any other RPO or LPO assist step.
Additionally, a set of new 22-inch multi-spoke polished wheels (RPO code SES) are added to the lineup as optional on SLT and Denali. The wheels became unavailable later on in the model year as a result of an ongoing wheel shortage.
Meanwhile, a new illuminated front GMC emblem joins the lineup. The dealer-installed option is available on AT4 and Denali models.
Finally, the GMC MultiPro tailgate becomes optional on base Sierra (1SA) models standard on SLE (3SA) models. By comparison, the MultiPro Tailgate was not available for either model for the 2020 model year.
The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 also sees the addition of wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto. Additionally, Sirius XM Radio is now standard on SLE and Elevation models, compared to being an available option for the 2020 model year.
Other interior changes include:
- Addition of premium floor liners with removable carpet inserts as standard on Sierra AT4
- Dark Walnut / Slate interior color combo is no longer available on Sierra Elevation
- Sunroof is no longer available on SLE (3SA) and Elevation 4WD (3SB) models
- Front 40/20/40 split-bench with covered armrest storage is now standard on base Sierra (1SA) models
- For the 2020 model year, the covered armrest storage was only available with models equipped with the turbocharged 2.7L L3B four-cylinder engine
- Bucket seats are now available as an option on all Elevation (3SB) models
- For the 2020 model year, the front bucket seat option was only available for models equipped with the Elevation Convenience Package
The 2021 Sierra 1500 continues to be offered in either rear-wheel or four-wheel drive configurations, and offers the following six engine options:
|Engine||Fuel||Aspiration||Transmission||Horsepower @ RPM||Torque @ RPM||Axle Ratio|
|4.3L LV3 EcoTec3 V6||Gasoline||Atmospheric||6-speed automatic MYC||285 @ 5300||305 @ 3900||3.42|
|2.7L L3B I4||Gasoline||Turbocharged||8-Speed Automatic (MQE)||310 @ 5600||348 @ 1500-4000||3.42|
|5.3L L82 EcoTec3 V8||Gasoline||Atmospheric||6-Speed Automatic (MYC)||355 @ 5600||383 @ 4100||3.42|
|5.3L L84 EcoTec3 V8||Gasoline||Atmospheric||2WD 8-Speed Automatic (MQE) / 4WD 10-Speed Automatic (MQB)||355 @ 5600||383 @ 4100||3.42|
|6.2L L87 EcoTec3 V8||Gasoline||Atmospheric||10-Speed Automatic (MQB)||420 @ 5600||460 @ 4100||3.23|
|3.0L LM2 Duramax I6||Diesel||Turbocharged||10-Speed Automatic (MQB)||277 @ 3750||460 @ 1500||3.23|
Notably, General Motors made a change halfway through the 2020 model year, resulting in certain models being equipped with the eight-speed automatic transmission rather than the newer ten-speed unit. To compensate for the older technology, GM is offering buyers a $200 credit. Such models include:
- Base Sierra (1SA) models equipped with the turbocharged 2.7L L3B I4 engine
- Standard on SLE (3SA) and Elevation 4WD (3SB) models equipped with either th 5.3L EcoTec3 L84 V8 engine or turbo 2.7L L3B I4 engine
- Not available with 3.0L Turbo-Diesel LM2 I6 Duramax engine
- Standard on Elevation 2WD (3VL) models
- Standard on SLT models equipped with the 5.3L EcoTec3 L84 V8 engine
- Included and only available on Denali models with 2WD configurations and the 5.3L EcoTec3 L84 V8 engine
Another noteworthy occurrence, as first reported by GM Authority, is a $1,500 price reduction on models with the Duramax Diesel engine option.
Finally, the Sierra 1500 sees increased maximum tow ratings for models powered by turbocharged 2.7L I-4 L3B gasoline engine as well as the 3.0L I-6 LM2 turbo-diesel Duramax engine.
From a packages standpoint, the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 sees the addition of the X31 Off-Road and Protection Package, which is available on SLE (3SA), Elevation (3SB), and SLT (4SA) models. The package includes the following components:
- Spray-on bedliner
- All-weather floor liners (LPO-level item)
- Off-Road Package, which includes:
- Off-Road suspension
- Hill Descent Control
- Skid plates
- Heavy-duty air filter
- X31 hard badge
- SLE and Elevation models require:
- 4WD configuration
- AT tires
- 3.0-liter Duramax LM2 Turbo-Diesel I6 engine or 6.2-liter L87 EcoTec3 V8 engine
- Not available with Max Trailering Package
Also new is the Safety Confidence Package, which is available on base Sierra (1SA) models and includes:
- Automatic Emergency Braking
- Forward Collision Alert
- Front Pedestrian Braking
- Cruise Control
- Steering wheel audio controls
- Driver Information Center
Meanwhile, AT4 CarbonPro Edition wheels may now be upgraded to 20-inch 6-spoke Carbon Grey painted aluminum (NZQ) wheels with LT265/60R20 MT blackwall Goodyear Wrangler Territory (QFV) tires. For the 2020 model year, only the AT4 CarbonPro Edition wheel (PCP) was available for the model.
Other package level changes include the addition of the SLE Value Package, which is now standard on SLE models, as well as the Elevation Value Package, which is now standard on Elevation models.
Additionally, the Bed View Camera is no longer available as a free flow item. Instead, it’s now included and only available with the Technology Package, which also includes the following features:
- HD Surround Vision
- Rear Camera Mirror
- Bed View Camera
- Multicolor 15-inch Diagonal Head-Up Display
- On SLT models, requires:
- Outside power adjustable vertical trailering mirrors, (PDJ) Driver Alert Package II and (PDY) SLT Preferred Package. Includes (UHS) 8-inch Digital Driver information Center.
- On AT4 models, requires:
- 2 – Requires (PDJ) Driver Alert Package II and (PDO) AT4 Preferred Package. Includes (UHS) 8-inch Digital Driver information Center.
- On Denali models:
- Included with Denali Ultimate Package
- Requires Driver Alert Package II, which includes:
Lastly, the 2021 model year also sees the deletion of Denali Premium Package, which was exclusive to Denali models.
2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Availability
The 2021 Sierra 1500 is assembled at the following factories:
- GM Fort Wayne Assembly in Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA
- GM Silao Plant in Mexico
Both facilities have been producing 2021 models since the end of Q3 2020. Looking ahead, we expect the Sierra 1500 to receive a thorough mid-cycle refresh for the 2022 model year, where it will gain new front and rear fascias, a completely revamped cockpit, and Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving assistant on the range-topping Sierra Denali. See more on the 2022 Sierra.
After that, we expect the fourth-gen Sierra 1500 to remain in production at least through the 2025 model year. Then, an all-new, next-generation GMC Sierra will most likely launch after the 2025 model year.
Sierra 1500 News
GM 8-Speed Automatic Transmission Lawsuit Granted Class Action Status
Seeking compensation and GM warranty reform.
PaxPower Can Supercharge Your GM Truck With Up To 650 Horsepower: Video
The kit is also available for the 5.3L V8 L84.
- Sweepstakes Of The Month: Win a 2023 Corvette Z06 Convertible. Details here.
Much of the information given above is wrong!
To start with, the four colors listed as “deleted”, were actually were new colors in 2021. The headings are reversed, Deep Mahogany, Red Quartz, Smokey Quartz & Carbon Black were all discontinued at the end of the 2020 model year. Also, I believe the MultiPro tailgate is standard on all Sierra’s now except the base trim. While the 8 speed trans has been standard on 5.3L, 2WD Denali’s, 4WD Denali’s only come with the 10 speed. It was only lesser trims (SLT, SLE, etc) equipped with the 5.3L, that got the 8 speed and $200 credit. Finally, while the sunroof is no longer available on the SLE, it is available on the AT4, but only as part of an option package, not as a stand alone option.
Yes, the color headings were swapped.
Yes, the MultiPro tailgate is standard on all Sierra 1500s except the base trim, we’ve revised the article to account for entire availability and not only what was changed.
We’ve added in 8-speed availability for all models as well.
“Sunroof is no longer available on SLE (3SA) and Elevation 4WD (3SB) models” – AT4 sunroof availability was note referenced as it did not change.
Thank you for your contributions!
Correction: The 2021 GMC 1500 the article is about, is built in FT. Wayne Indiana and Silao, Mexico. The 1500 light duty trucks are not assembled in Flint Michigan only the HD’s 2500, and 3500.
I know a few years ago cc standard bed where flint assembled.
Today we only build HD trucks. At least since 2019.
Revised, thank you for pointing this out.
I would not buy a new GMC pickup until they get rid of the goofy square fender wells.
I agree. I have hated them for years.
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