|23/30||Fuel Economy (city/hwy)||20/27|
|81.9||Cargo Volume (cu.ft.)||77.4|
|277||Diesel Horsepower (hp)||250|
The Ford F-150 may be America's best-selling pickup, but we all know that popularity does not always indicate quality. If you are looking for a reliable, professional-grade half-ton truck, then the GMC Sierra 1500 is your best option. GMC's take on the light-duty pickup includes rugged V8 and diesel engine options, best-in-class cargo bed volume, and plenty of advanced technology. And, of course, you cannot forget the good looks and luxury of GMC's legendary Denali trim. But if you are not yet convinced, then keep reading for a detailed comparison of the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 vs 2021 Ford F-150. We'll go over the performance, technology, and features of both pickups to showcase which one is worth the investment of both your time and your money.
Both the Ford F-150 and the GMC Sierra are designed to be at the top of their class in the light-duty pickup category. They have amazing performance in their respective category and offer a number of different engine options with top of the line performance. However, both pickups' exact performance varies depending on powertrain and drivetrain configuration, giving each truck its own unique identity on the road.
In the case of the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500, it has five different engine options and is available in two-wheel and four-wheel drive configurations. The default powertrain is a capable 4.3-liter EcoTec3 V6 with 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque, giving you plenty of performance at an affordable price. Slightly higher up the chain is a turbocharged 2.7-liter inline four-cylinder that generates 310 horsepower and produces up to 348 pound-feet of torque with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
For more power, there is a 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 petrol-based engine that delivers 355 horsepower and up to 383 pound-feet of torque. This engine also offers a modern 10-speed automatic transmission to optimize its performance. A 3.0-liter inline Duramax turbo-diesel provides 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of feet, which is the same amount of torque that is found in the 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V8, although the gasoline engine offers 420 horsepower.
The Ford F-150 has six different engine options, starting with the default 3.3-liter V6. With 290 horsepower and only 265 pound-feet of torque, the base Ford engine is noticeably weaker than the base engine in the GMC, pushing you to pay more for an upgraded option. The F-150 also lacks an affordable turbocharged option, with the next engine in the lineup being a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 that clocks in at 325 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque.
While the Sierra 1500 offers two different solid V8 options, the F-150 only has a single V8 - a 5.0-liter V8 offering 400 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque. If you want to get the most out of the Ford, you will have to opt for either the turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 or the hybrid PowerBoost V6. Finally, there is the 3.0-liter Power Stroke turbo-diesel V6. But despite having the same displacement as the GMC turbo-diesel, the Ford diesel option only manages 250 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque.
One of the most important aspects of a light-duty pickup truck is its ability to haul equipment, building supplies, or whatever else you can fit in the bed. After all, that is the whole point of a pickup truck. Both the 2021 GMC Sierra and the 2021 Ford F-150 can tackle most tasks with ease, but the Sierra 1500 offers larger bed options with more space for payload.
The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 offers three different bed options. There is a 5-foot 8-inch box, a 6-foot 6-inch standard box, and an 8-foot long box. This gives you plenty of options to find the perfect truck configuration for your needs. If you can opt for the regular cab and two-wheel drive, the base V6 engine is powerful enough to haul up to 2,250 pounds worth of payload.
However, the Sierra 1500 also boasts the largest bed options in its segment. The short bed provides nearly 63 cubic feet of cargo capacity, the standard bed has nearly 72 cubic feet, and the long bed offers over 89 cubic feet to fit anything you might need to haul. Opting for the crew cab configuration also gives you plenty of interior cargo volume and can house up to six passengers with the optional front bench seat.
The Ford F-150 also offers three bed options, but they are slightly smaller. You also have to spring for an upgraded engine option if you want to match the payload weight of the GMC Sierra 1500. The Ford's three bed lengths are a 5-foot 6-inch short box, a 6-foot 6-inch standard box, and an 8-foot long box. While the overall lengths are close, the Ford bed design is less efficient and provides less cargo space.
The short box has less than 53 cubic feet, the standard box is a touch over 62 cubic feet, and the long box has 77 cubic feet of cargo space. That effectively means that the Ford long box is the equivalent to the GMC standard box, and the Ford standard box is the equivalent to the GMC short box. Finally, the base V6 engine in the 2021 F-150 can only handle up to 1,985 pounds of payload, making it a noticeably less capable cargo-hauler. In order to match the payload rating of the base engine in the GMC Sierra 1500, you will have to one of the F-150's optional engines at an added price.
When it comes to technology and infotainment, these are now vital features for any pickup truck owner, whether you're driving around leisurely or using your truck for work purposes. Many drivers can no longer do without wireless connectivity, large touchscreens, and easy access to smart device media and applications. Thankfully, in the showdown between the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 vs 2021 Ford F-150, both trucks come replete with a litany of tech features.
The GMC Sierra 1500 easily tops out over its rival by boasting 15 different camera views from eight different cameras to help with a number of activities, working as essential driver aids for complex trailering and hitch guidance. The 15 camera views work in conjunction with the GMC ProGrade Trailering System and the accompanying trailering app, allowing you to easily see how to connect, hitch, or maneuver the trailer when it's attached to the Sierra. The app also shows trailering health with key alerts, glossaries, reference guides, pre-departure checklists, a trailer load calculator, and multiple profile selections for different trailer setups.
The 15 different camera views are also complemented by the available 15-inch heads-up display. This projects vital information on your windshield, providing you with best-in-class viewing for a number of vehicle-related features, including telemetry, a tachometer, audio controls, navigation, fuel systems, phone connectivity, off-road-inclinometer, and safety features. Standard infotainment amenities include a 7-inch touchscreen with support for wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. You can add to the experience with the available 8-inch touchscreen, built-in navigation, and SiriusXM 360L, which features more than 200 premium channels.
The Ford F-150 also comes with a number of technology and infotainment features, including support for wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, as well as available support for SiriusXM 360L and 4G Wi-Fi hotspot access. The F-150 does get a leg up on the GMC Sierra 1500 with its optional touchscreen display, which clocks in at up to 12-inches – although the base touchscreen is standard at 8-inches – and comes bundled with Ford's SYNC 4 infotainment system.
However, the F-150 still comes up short in the tech department compared to the Sierra 1500, given that it lacks the 15-inch, driver-side heads-up display that the GMC Sierra offers. It also has a more rudimentary camera system that cannot compare with eight cameras and 15 different camera views that are available on the GMC Sierra.