2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD

2021 MODEL
$35,900 - $43,800
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7.7

Overall Rating

INDIGO

2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: October 31, 2020

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Kiran Menon

Content writer


One of the most iconic and easily recognizable trucks, the GMC Sierra series has stood the test of time and is as of today one of the most sold trucks in the American market. The truck is a jack of all trades kind of deal and does not let down on any front. For the 2021 model year, GMC Sierra stays largely similar to the previous model that came with an updated fascia and redesigned interiors. Powering the GMC Sierra 2500 HD is a 6.6-liter V8 gasoline motor pumping 401 horsepower and 464 lb-ft of torque.

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Pros

Impressive performance

Immense towing capabilities

Imposing looks

Cons

Fuel efficiency can be better

Interior is sub-par

What's New?

The GMC Sierra 2500HD is carried over for the 2021 model year.



Ratings

Features

9.0

Engine And Performance

9.9

Fuel Economy

6.0

Interior

8.0

Exterior

8.0

Safety

7.0

Final Verdict

8.2

7.7

OVERALL RATING

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2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

MSRP: $34,700 - $41,600

7.9/10
2021 Ford F-250 SuperDuty
2021 Ford F-250 SuperDuty

MSRP: $33,705 - $43,330

8.1/10

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Base

Base

power
401 hp @ 5200 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
TBD

$35,900 - $38,700


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
2dr Regular Cab 8 ft. (6.6L 8cyl 6AM) Starting at $35,900 MSRP TBD 401 hp @ 5200 rpm, 6.6 L, V-8, Regular unleaded
6-speed Automatic w/overdrive and auto-manual rear wheel drive 3
2dr Regular Cab 8 ft. LB 4WD (6.6L 8Cyl 6AM) Starting at $38,700 MSRP TBD 401 hp @ 5200 rpm, 6.6 L, V-8, Regular unleaded
6-speed Automatic w/overdrive and auto-manual four wheel drive 3

2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLE

SLE

power
401 hp @ 5200 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
TBD

$41,000 - $43,800


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SLE 2dr Regular Cab 8 ft. (6.6L 8cyl 6AM) Starting at $41,000 MSRP TBD 401 hp @ 5200 rpm, 6.6 L, V-8, Regular unleaded
6-speed Automatic w/overdrive and auto-manual rear wheel drive 3
SLE 2dr Regular Cab 8 ft. 4WD (6.6L 8cyl 6AM) Starting at $43,800 MSRP TBD 401 hp @ 5200 rpm, 6.6 L, V-8, Regular unleaded
6-speed Automatic w/overdrive and auto-manual four wheel drive 3

Expert Review

7.7

Overall Rating


The GMC Sierra 2500 HD gets out to compete with some of the heavy-weights like the RAM 2500 and Chevy Silverado 2500 HD, but GMC always manages to find its way to being the best or at least rivaling the best. Let’s find out more about the 2021 GMC Sierra 2500 HD and see if the newer GMC is any good against its rivals.

Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD front three quarter view
Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD rear three quarter view

9.0/10
Features

9.9/10
Engine and Performance

6.0/10
Fuel Economy

8.0/10
Interior

8.0/10
Exterior

7.0/10
Safety

8.2/10
Final Verdict


2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Features

9.0/10

The GMC Sierra line-up gets you several different trims to choose from, but being the Regular Cab, options are limited to two; Base and SLE. The base trim starts at $35,800, which is fairly equipped. The SLE costs you around $43,200 with 4WD and gets you a lot of features inside.

Model

Base

SLE

MSRP

$35,800

$40,400

MSRP(4wd)

$38,600

$43,200

Key Features

6.6-liter V8 gas engine

Adds to Base

 

4way adjustable seats

Leather seats

 

Premium synthetic leather seats

Leather steering wheel

 

7inch color screen

WiFi hotspot

 

Cruise control

Remote start

 

Remote keyless entry

Two additional USB ports

 

Semi-Automatic climate control

Power mirror

   

Power drive and passenger seats

The Base trim offered at $38,500 and comes equipped with all the primary requirements including comfortable seating and a basic infotainment system. In addition to all that’s offered in the base trim, SLE offers Wi-Fi, cruise control, Remote start, power-adjustable mirrors, driver seats, and many more for a starting price of $40,400.

2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Maintenance, Reliability and Warranty

When it comes to vehicle ownership, reliability plays an important role. The GMC Sierra is one of the highest-rated pickups in the GMC lineup when it comes to reliability. With a J D power score of 77 out of a total of 100, the GMC proves to be a strong contender for its rivals. We are pleased to hear modern-day GMCs refraining from dreaded reliability thanks to improved manufacturing techniques and quality control. 

Category

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Total

Insurance

$909

$941

$974

$1,008

$1,043

$4,445

Maintenance

$403

$630

$629

$1,808

$1,125

$4,595

Repairs

$0

$0

$120

$284

$414

$818

Taxes & Fees

$2,949

$111

$111

$111

$111

$3,393

Financing

$2,884

$2,318

$1,717

$1,074

$388

$8,381

Depreciation

$7,516

$3,301

$3,124

$3,665

$3,472

$21,245

Fuel

$2,354

$2,425

$2,498

$2,573

$2,650

$12,500

Real Cost to Own

$16,491

$9,186

$8,617

$9,950

$8,613

$55,123

Ownership costs for the GMC Sierra total for $55,123 for a period of 5 years. It includes everything from repairs, taxes, fees, and even fuel costs. The almost $56,000 cost of ownership might seem a little bit over the top but isn't anything too steep given the Sierra is a premium full-size truck.

Warranty

In the event of something unfortunate, before you start cursing your luck, bear in mind that GMC offers a slew of warranty packages for the 2021 Sierra 2500HD.

Criteria

Period

Limited Warranty

3 years/ 36,000 miles; whichever is earlier

Powertrain Warranty

5 years/ 60,000 miles; whichever is earlier

24-Hour Roadside Assistance

5 years/ 60,000 miles; whichever is earlier

It should also be noted that the GMC Sierra is entitled to GMC’s complimentary scheduled maintenance upon its initial visit. If the warranty offered is compared with other brands then GMC is a little behind since both RAM and Ford offer 100,000 miles of powertrain warranty, road-side assistance, and corrosion protection. 

Miles per dollar

The GMC Sierra 2500HD will have an MPD (miles per dollar) ratio of 1.43. This means the Sierra 2500 runs for 1.43 miles for every dollar you spend on it. This ratio is achieved by factoring all the running costs including taxes, insurance, fuel costs to the average distance covered in a year which comes to $10,516 and 15,000 miles respectively.

2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Buying Advice

Since you don’t have a lot of choices in terms of trims, going ahead and getting the SLE would be ideal since it’s fairly decently equipped. On the other hand, if your line of job requires a workhorse then the Base would suffice.

How about a used GMC Sierra 2500HD?

The GMC Sierra is not something you should call an investment. It can be seen that the Sierra loses around $8000 in its first year as depreciation. Given that it is a near $40K truck, it shouldn’t be that much of an issue. However, if you’d bought the base Base at around $35K, losing $8000 is something to be considered. The figures can vary with different variables. it depends upon the truck's condition, maintenance, body strength, and the miles driven by the owner. If you have a properly maintained vehicle that is less driven you can also get a better value.

2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Engine and Performance

9.9/10

A massive vehicle like the Sierra 2500 needs an equally massive engine. Powering this hefty vehicle is a 6.6L V8 engine. This gigantic engine makes 401 horsepower and 464 lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The combination of the two works well for the Sierra 2500 here. 

Models

2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD 

2021 Ford F-250 

2020 RAM 2500

2020 Chevy Silverado 2500HD

MSRP

$35,800

$34,035

$35,000

$34,700

Engine

6.6L V8

6.2L 2 Valve SOHC EFI V8

6.4 L V8 

6.6L V8

Drivetrain

RWD

RWD

RWD

RWD

Transmission

6-Speed Automatic

6-Speed Automatic

8-Speed Automatic

6-Speed Automatic

Power 

401 hp @ 5,200 rpm 

385 hp @ 5750 rpm

410 hp @ 5,600 rpm

401hp @ 5,200 rpm 

Torque

464 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm

430 lb-ft @ 3,800 rpm

429 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm

464 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm

Comparing the Silverado to the Sierra is almost a must. Both are essentially the same vehicle. There are some very minute differences between the two, however, as far as the engine and its performance are concerned, it is the same. The Ford F-250 makes less power from a smaller engine. However, it does cost a little less.

2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Acceleration And Braking Performance

Despite the humongous body the Sierra 2500HD has, it manages brisk acceleration figures. For a truck weighing more than 6000 pounds, it takes only 6.1 seconds to reach 60 mph from a standstill. The 6-speed transmission puts the power down quite well and never showed hesitance.

2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Regular Cab accelerate 0-60 mph in 7.5 sec

Models

2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD 

2021 Ford F-250 

2020 RAM 2500

2020 Chevy Silverado 2500HD

0-60 (seconds)

7.5

8.5

8.8

7.4

Quarter-Mile (seconds)

15.6

18.1

17.2

15.4

Top Speed (MPH)

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

60-0 (feet)

138 ft.

140 ft.

135.5 ft.

138 ft.

The brakes in the Sierra 2500 work great, despite a very obvious flaw. The brake pedal has a substantial amount of dead travel. Nearly a quarter of the pedal delivered no braking at all. However, when the brakes do deploy, they provide a confident feel.

2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Regular Cab brake rotor

The soft pedal makes it easier to push it all the way.

How much can the GMC 2021 Sierra 2500HD Tow? 

The GMC Sierra 2500 being a Heavy Duty variant hauls enough load for most needs. The 2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD can tow up to 15,000 pounds and carry a payload of upwards of over 3,800 pounds.

Models

2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD 

2021 Ford F-250 

2020 RAM 2500

2020 Chevy Silverado 2500HD

Payload Capacity

3857 lbs

4170 lbs

4010 lbs

3534 lbs

Towing Capacity

14500 lbs

15000 lbs

17540 lbs

14500 lbs

While Sierra’s towing capacity is very impressive, the RAM has it beat. With over 17000 pounds of towing limit, the RAM 2500 takes the podium here. Payload capacity, however, differs with the F-250 edging over. Here, the Silverado and the Sierra don’t reflect the same numbers, with the Sierra having a slightly more payload capacity.

2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Fuel Economy

6.0/10

As with all Heavy-Duty trucks, the EPA does not rate them, more importantly, they fall under commercial use. The same holds for the Sierra 2500HD, but GMC has given it a generous 36-gallon fuel tank which should be enough 

Models

2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD 

2021 Ford F-250 

2020 RAM 2500

2020 Chevy Silverado 2500HD

MPG (City)

NA

NA

NA

NA

MPG (Highway)

NA

NA

NA

NA

MPG (Combined)

NA

NA

NA

NA

Fuel Capacity (gallons)

36

34

31

36

Range (City/Hwy) 

NA

NA

NA

NA

As per various customer reports, both GMs excel in terms of gas mileage. The GMC Sierra offers you the best-in-class mileage figures and so does the Silverado. Moreover, both of them also get a generous 36-gallon fuel tank as opposed to 34 and 31 gallons in the Ford and RAM respectively.

2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Interior

8.0/10

The GMC Sierra is massive inside and out. It gets a square-ish looking dashboard, it’s upright, and sports equally big air-con vents which continues the theme. Most parts of the dashboard and the doors are covered with hard plastics and feel downright cheap which is expected from a base regular cab truck.

2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Regular Cab cockpit area

Models

2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD 

2021 Ford F-250 

2020 RAM 2500

2020 Chevy Silverado 2500HD

Seating Capacity

3

3

3

3

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/ Legroom; inches)

43.1/66.1/44.5

40.8/66.7/43.9

39.8/65.9/40.9

43.1/66.1/44.5

Cargo Capacity (cu.ft)

83.5

78.5

57.5

83.5

However, if you go ahead and get the SLE, things do seem to get an upgrade, not too drastic of a change but nonetheless. The seats are humongous and high on comfort. They are snug and long distances should not be a problem at all. Out of all the utilitarian trucks here, the GNC’s interior feels the most comfortable being a slightly premium offering than the rest.

How’s the 2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD’s infotainment system?

The GMC comes with a 7.0-inch touchscreen display with an improved user interface that has Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi Connectivity. It is the same setup as seen last year and is carried over for 2021 since GMC took the effort to update the infotainment unit for 2020.

2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Regular Cab infotainment screen

Still, the infotainment unit could’ve been better when compared with that of the F-250 and the RAM.

2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Regular Cab instrument cluster
2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Regular Cab steering wheel
2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Regular Cab dashboard
2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Regular Cab front seats
2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Regular Cab

2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Exterior

8.0/10

The 2021 GMC Sierra regular cab is at the bottom of the Sierra trim lineup and lacks the flair on the outside. It is devoid of any sort of chrome treatment except for the chrome strip around the grille. Compared to the rest of the pickups out there, the Sierra is far better in terms of presence and overall looks.

2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Regular Cab

Models

2020 GMC Sierra 2500HD 

2021 Ford F-250 

2020 RAM 2500

2020 Chevy Silverado 2500HD

Curb Weight (lbs)

6,105 

5,683 

6,306 

5,741 

Length (inches)

235.5

231.8

232.0

235.5

Width (inches)

81.8

80

79.5

81.8

Height (inches)

79.9

77.9

78.0

79.9

Ground Clearance (inches)

10.2

8.5

13.0

10.2

Wheelbase (inches)

141.6

141.6

140

141.6

At the side, the regular cab gets steel rims that look retro and have an old-school charm to them and feels like a breath of fresh air in the sea of similar-looking diamond cut alloys. These wheels do look rugged and can go anywhere. The GMC Sierra is a total workhorse and that’s exactly what it looks like on the outside. Step up to the SLE and things do take a turn for the better with slightly updated exterior accouterments.

2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Regular Cab left side view
2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Regular Cab rear tangle view
2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Regular Cab
2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Regular Cab rear angle view
2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Regular Cab right side view
2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Regular Cab front view

2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Safety

7.0/10

The set of standard safety features offered in the 2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD includes dual-stage frontal airbags, lane assist, and forward collision alert and tire pressure monitoring system amongst others. The IIHS has given overall "Good" ratings for the 2020 model with side, roof strength, head restraints, and seats performing above the average. NHTSA has rated the crashworthiness as 4 stars out of 5. Some other Safety features are as follows:

  • Parking assist
  • Four-Wheel Automated Braking System
  • Hitch Guidance
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring
  • Trailer Monitor
  • 4 Wheel ABS
  • Engine Immobilizer
  • Post-Collision Safety Systems
  • Stability Control
  • Emergency Braking Assist

2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Competition

2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Vs Ford F-250 Super Duty

On paper, the Sierra is the truck anyone would prefer. It is quicker than the F-250, it has better-stopping power, has better cabin space, and most importantly, more bed space. Well, the Sierra may have more cargo space or maybe faster, but the F-250 is ahead in one key factor, towing capacity.

Ford F-250 Super Duty

Although the difference in towing capacity isn't much, but nonetheless.

2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Vs Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

The Silverado and the Sierra are basically the same truck. It is based on the same platform, has the same engine, and mostly has the same performance numbers. The difference lies in their nature. While the Silverado focuses on getting the work done, the Sierra is generally seen as the more polished of the two.

Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

It has better interiors and a flashier exterior. The choice is up to the end-user in our regard.

2021 GMC Sierra 2500HD Final Verdict

8.2/10

The GMC Sierra 2500 HD promises enormous power in a very attractive package. While the interior here is a little bit behind the curve, what the Sierra offers at this price point is the assurance of getting the work done at all costs. To us, the Sierra is an easy recommendation. Although its competition is also gearing up to give it a tough fight, this just means that there is scope for improvement and possibly an electric/ hybrid version would find a spot in their lineup.

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