2021 GMC Sierra 1500 4WD Crew Cab Denali new car reviews

Photography Courtesy GMC

We'll admit, we don't totally understand the difference between GMC and Chevrolet trucks, but we do know what the fact sheet tells us–things like Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability are now standard, plus Brownstone Metallic, Hunter Metallic, Cayenne Red Tintcoat and Ebony Twilight Metallic are all-new colors for 2021.

What's it like to drive? keep reading to find out.

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J.G. Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak
Production/Art Director

I guess no modern truck review would be complete —or would even be worth partial credit—without some lament on the expense of modern trucks. Our test truck stickered for nearly $73,000. That’s… a lot.

Yet still, dealers sell every truck they can bring on the lot, and there are few deals to be had, so I guess I’m the weirdo here.

Anyway, at least it can’t be said that you don’t get a lot from your $73,000 these days, because you absolutely get an amazing combination of capability, features and drivability. Half-ton pickups are larger than they’ve ever been, but GM has somehow not let that physical size affect drivability.

As we saw with the Suburban we recently tested, the vehicles are extremely maneuverable, whether trolling a parking lot for a good space, or making a U-turn on a four-lane road with plenty of space left over. It’s a triumph of vehicle dynamics that shouldn’t be overlooked, especially as more and more people are using trucks—wrongly, possibly, but that’s another discussion—as their primary daily transportation.

So between their excellent manners and copious features, modern trucks operate quite well as cars, but they give up nothing as trucks, either. Our test Sierra was equipped with the optional 6.2-liter V8 and towing package, but not the lower 3.42:1 rear end ratio that would have given it a 12,000-lb. max towing capacity.

With the equipped 3.23 rear-end ratio, our test truck had a 9,000-lb. max rated capacity, which is still enough to tow all but the largest, heaviest rigs. In fact, for a smaller, less aero-intrusive trailer, the higher rear-end ratio was actually a nice combination.

We hooked up our AeroVault trailer for a short trip to a local autocross, and with a 2700-lb. car inside the Sierra easily trundled down the highway at 70 mph at around 1500 rpm getting an indicated 15 mpg. The 420hp 6.2 liter V8 also had enough reserve capacity to pass traffic like there wasn’t even a trailer behind you.

Still, $73,000 is a lot of money, but you can’t complain that you’re not getting a lot of functionality for the money. Trucks are more costly than ever, but they’re also better than ever.

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