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Pickup trucks are now far more than just a tool for the construction site and the go-to vehicle for towing and hauling. Because retail buyers are now an incredibly important market for truck sales, there’s no such thing in the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 lineup for a stripped-down, hardcore work-focused version. That means even the entry-level Sierra 1500 is designed to appeal to a much broader audience than just commercial buyers.
As the fourth-generation of the GMC Sierra 1500 enters its third model year the main trim levels stay as they were, but you’ll find there have been lots of updates and changes for the 2021 model year such as new exterior colors, some new alloy wheel designs and new standard features. The various upgrade packages available for enhancing the Sierra 1500 also see notable changes.
The SLT and AT4 trim levels of the 2021 Sierra 1500 will no longer be offered in the Double Cab body style, and 2WD Standard Bed Crew Cab models have now been deleted from the range entirely due to a lack of demand.
This means the first model in the GMC Sierra 1500 family for the 2021 model is once again the SLE, and from there the range goes up to the SLT, Elevation, AT4, and finally to the incredibly well-equipped and luxurious Sierra 1500 Denali at the top of the range. Regardless of whether you’re towing a piece of machinery to a construction site in Villa Heights or planning a weekend adventure with the family at Fairy Stone State Park, the Sierra 1500 is the vehicle for all that and so much more bedsides.
With the 2021 Sierra 1500 buyers get to choose between no less than five fantastic powerplants, three transmissions and rear and four-wheel-drive. No matter what you want to do with your truck, there’s a powertrain combination that’s perfect for any application.
The first engine to consider is the standard 4.3-litre V-6 which produces a useful 285 horsepower and 305 lb.-ft. of torque. Although this is the unit commercial operators looking to keep costs down will probably gravitate towards it still offers a great deal of capability for retail buyers shopping on a budget. However, a lot of people will probably want to start with the second engine in the lineup, which is a sensational 2.7-litre turbo-four that shouldn’t be discounted just because it only has four cylinders. This thoroughly modern unit develops an impressive 310 horsepower and 348 lb.-ft. of torque, and it’s a great option for those with one eye on efficiency as well as capability.
Let’s face it though, a lot of truck buyers still love their V-8s, and the first of them for the Sierra 1500 is a 5.3-litre V8 that provides the truck with 355 horsepower and 383 lb.-ft. of torque. If even that’s not enough for your needs you can upgrade even further to the available 6.2-litre V-8 for the SLT, AT4 and Denali trims, and you then have 420 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque to play with.
That leaves a great all-rounder for fuel economy and towing capability that comes in the shape of a 3.0-litre, six-cylinder turbodiesel that produces 277 horsepower and a huge 460 lb.-ft. of torque. If horsepower isn’t the important statistic for you, the diesel could be a fuel-efficient alternative to the 6.2-litre gas V-8 for heavy towing applications. If you’re regularly towing a Trailer, RV or boat to Philpott Lake or hauling heavy loads up and down the 220, the 3.0-liter diesel might be the perfect engine for your Sierra 1500.
Depending on which engine and engine and driveline you’ve chosen, the Sierra 1500 is available with a choice of 6-, 8- and 10-speed automatic transmissions.
Even if you go for the most basic and affordable version of the Sierra you’ll still be getting a full set of power features, air conditioning, 17-inch wheels, and a Bluetooth infotainment system boasting a 7.0-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility as part of the standard specification.
SLT models build on the SLE equipment list with additions such as a bigger 8.0-inch touchscreen, a set of smart 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, a driver seat that power-adjustable, leather upholstery, a high-definition backup camera, and an innovative and very versatile tailgate capable of opening in six different ways. A key asset of the SLT is it allows buyers to choose from a number of individual options that are not available for the base model, so you could have an SLT with things like cooled front seats, satellite navigation, wireless device charging, heated rear seats and advanced towing and trailering packages.
AT4 models are the ones to go for if proper off-roading is what you have in mind for your new truck. The AT4 doesn’t just look the part – it also features a number of components specifically designed to enhance the Sierra’s capability for when the pavement runs out. Denali trim levels in the GMC family of trucks and SUVs are now almost legendary for their chrome styling cues and opulent levels of standard kit, and the Sierra 1500 Denali is no exception. This range-topping model comes with standard front bucket seats, an adaptive suspension set up, open-pore wood interior trim, navigation, a surround-view camera system, a rear camera mirror, and the bling look is completed with some awesome 22-inch alloys.
There are plenty of highly capable full-size, light-duty pickup trucks on the market, but the 2021 GMC Sierra is one that standards out from the crowded field. The GMC caters to the needs and desires of an increasingly diverse pool of truck buyers who want more than just a truck that can tow and haul, and the Sierra 1500 has a style and imposing presence all of its own.
There really is a 2021 Sierra 1500 to suit just about every potential buyer, so come and let us help you identify which one is right for you with a test drive from us here at GR Chevrolet today, conveniently located at 930 Fairystone Park Highway, Stanleytown, VA.