Consumer Reports isn’t the end all be all on car and truck reviews, but they do a great job of objectively grading all vehicles based on the same aspects. Because CR doesn’t really bend their criteria, trucks often do relatively poorly compared to cars and SUVs. Aspects like ride stiffness, overall comfort, and fuel economy are often killers. Even amongst the trucks, the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 bombed the CR review, making its price increase interesting.
How much is the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500?
According to GM Authority, the Sierra just got a small price bump across all trim levels and options. Effective immediately, the base-model Sierra’s price tag has just grown by $400 big ones. The upper-crust Denali and AT4 packages have grown by $500 and $600, respectively. The bad news for GM fans continues to mount; the Elevation package will now run you an extra $900 while the SLE gets slammed the hardest with a price spike of $1,000 smackers.
The Sierra is following suit on the other recent price increase on the 2021 Chevy Silverado 1500. The truck price hike will remain consistent across the board for any rear-wheel-drive or 4×4, no matter the configuration or options package. The base-level Regular Cab Long Bed Sierra cost $31,695 and will now cost you $32,095, including destination.
Are there any new features following the 2021 Sierra 1500 price increase?
No. sorry to put it so bluntly, but them’s is the facts. The 2021 model does have some new features, but it had them before the price increase. The 2021 GMC Sierra comes wearing some new colors; actually, a lot of new colors. The new shades include Ebony Twilight Metallic, Cayenne Red Tintcoat, Hunter Metallic, and Brownstone Metallic, which replace Deep Mahogany Metallic, Red Quartz Tintcoat, Smokey Quartz Metallic, and Carbon Black Metallic. The 2021 models also come with wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and enhanced towing packages.
But why did the 2021 Sierra do so poorly on the Consumer Reports road test?
Not only did the Sierra do badly, but it came in dead last (or at least tied the 2021 Chevy Silverado for dead last). It and the Silverado scored an abysmal 45 out of 100. The normal truck killers are all here; stiff ride, uncomfortable, poor fuel economy, and cheaply appointed. The true killer is the predicted reliability score of one out of five. However, the Sierra isn’t all bad.
The new 5.3-liter V8 is strong, and paired with the new eight-speed automatic, the payload and towing have increased. The Sierra gets 17 mpg with the V8, while the V6 diesel catches an impressive 23 mpg. There is also a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder available.
The ride isn’t the worst but didn’t help pull the truck out of its hole. CR says the ride is stiff and bouncy, but the 2021 model got new springs that softened things up a little from the previous model. The steering is ok and provides a little feedback from the road, but still not much. Braking actually surprised the tester at CR, who said it was better than average.
Prices go up whether we like it or not
Overall the Sierra doesn’t seem that bad until you look at the reliability concerns. On previous models, Consumer Reports found that owners experienced a lot of problems. Specifically, drivers reported major issues with the engine, transmission, brakes, climate control, and bodywork. Most of the worst of these issues are from the 201-2017 year models, but issues with brakes and electronics got worse in later models. Without toughness and reliability, a truck has nothing.
The low reliability and low overall score from CR make the price increase feel a little silly. Of course, production costs are a factor, and $400 is not all that big of a deal in a new car’s price, but it still makes me raise an eyebrow.