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2021 Ford F-150 vs. 2021 GMC Sierra: Which Is Better?

In the battle for full-size pickup supremacy, it pays to keep up with the times and the competition. The fully redesigned 2021 F-150 goes head to head against the 2021 GMC Sierra on practicality, strength, and even luxury. Which is better?

Quick Facts

  • The Ford F-150 is completely redesigned for 2021.
  • Each truck offers a large variety of engine options.
  • Trim levels range from bare-bones to luxury.

2021 Ford F-150 SuperCrew

2021 Ford F-150

Base price: $36,650 / Read our 2021 Ford F-150 SuperCrew Review

What we like: Best-in-class payload and towing; 700-mile-range hybrid; a wide variety of engines and trims.

What we would change: Prices get very high at the higher trims; conservative exterior styling; bigger F-150s can be a challenge to park; only one transmission choice.

Overview: The Ford F-150 has been in production since 1948, so it’s safe to say that Ford has a handle on this whole pickup truck business. For 2021, the F-150 gets a full redesign, with a boatload of engine options, a couple of different cab lengths, and a variety of tech. Seating six in comfort and offered with three different bed choices, the 2021 Ford F-150 SuperCrew is offered in six trim levels starting from bare-bones and going all the way to luxury. Equipped with the 3.5-liter Ecotec V6, the F-150 can tow 14,000 pounds. New for this year is what Ford calls the PowerBoost gas/electric hybrid, with 430 horsepower and an impressive 700-mile range on a full tank of gas.

What’s new for 2021: Given that the F-150 has been fully redesigned for this year, everything is new. Most significant is a new infotainment system and an optional hybrid.

Features and technology: For 2021, the Ford F-150 SuperCrew is offered in six trims: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and the top tier luxurious Limited. The XL includes the 3.3-liter V6 engine and 17-inch wheels. It’s equipped with an 8-inch touchscreen and Ford’s new Sync 4 infotainment system, which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. On the safety front, all F-150s come standard with Ford’s CoPilot360 technology, which includes forward-collision warning and dynamic brake support, hill-start assist, pre-collision assist with emergency braking and pedestrian detection, and a rearview camera.

Options are comprehensive, but some highlights are a full-length fold-flat storage area for the second row and a foldout tailgate. Depending on the engine option, you can also get a 23-, 26- or 36-gallon tank. Pro Trailer Backup assist is also a handy feature that makes it easier to back up a truck and trailer. Interior options include a 12-inch touchscreen and a digital gauge cluster. If your truck is used for work, there’s a handy Interior Work Surface for a flat surface over the center console including a fold-down transmission shifter. Max recline seats fold nearly flat.  Also available is a 360-degree camera for an overhead view around the truck, which helps when parking or towing. There’s also an optional onboard generator for charging tools and such.

What does the future hold: As the old saying goes, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” so since 2021’s F-150 is a full redesign, expect only minor tweaks, more safety tech, and more fuel-efficient and powerful engines. See 2021 Ford F-150 SuperCrew models for sale near you

2021 GMC Sierra Crew Cab

2021 GMC Sierra 1500

Base price: $36,000 / Read our 2021 GMC Sierra Review

What we like: Wide variety of engines; luxurious top trim; good resale value; quiet cabin.

What we would change: Payload and tow ratings lag some competitors; could use some more tech features; top trims get very expensive.

Overview: The 2021 GMC Sierra Crew Cab is a cousin to the Chevy Silverado, although the GMC models tend to be a little more luxurious, with some of the quietest cabins among trucks. But make no mistake. With a variety of powerful engines, bed lengths, and cab sizes, the Sierra is ready to get things done. The six-passenger Crew Cab is offered with a couple of different bed lengths, and the Sierra is offered in several trims, with the regular Sierra being the bare-bones roll-up window work truck and the top-level Denali offering a premium stereo and lots of other goodies, to go along with its $70,000 sticker.

What’s new for 2021:  Recently redesigned, the 2021 GMC Sierra Crew Cab offers only newer tweaks, such as enhanced technology for towing a trailer, optional Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity on all levels above the base, and active safety features on all trims.

Features and technology: There are six trim levels for the 2021 GMC Sierra Crew Cab, with the base Sierra being primarily sold as a fleet truck with such things as a 4-way manually adjustable seat, 17-inch wheels, a two-speaker stereo, and yes, roll-up windows. However, it does include a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system including Bluetooth pairing and a USB port. Optional on all trims is the Safety Confidence Package, including forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking.

The next level is the SLT, which adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, automatic climate control, a Wifi hotspot, and a six-speaker audio system. As with the F-150, the 2021 GMC Sierra Crew Cab offers a host of options and driver-assistance and safety features. Some include leather interior and an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility on the upper trims, the MultiPro Tailgate, and a premium Bose audio system with navigation on the top Denali trim.

Safety and driver-assist options include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control.

Farther up is the AT4 model, offered only with four-wheel drive, an off-road suspension, hill descent control, and skid plates and recovery hooks. Denali and AT4 trims also can come as Carbon Pro Editions, with an extra-tough carbon-fiber pickup bed.

What does the future hold:

As the redesign of the Sierra was recent, expect only modest tweaks to options and safety technology. See 2021 GMC Sierra models for sale near you

F-150 vs. Sierra: Strengths comparison

F-150 Benefits: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility on all trims; higher maximum payload and towing; optional hybrid.

Sierra Benefits: More luxurious interior; choice of transmissions; quieter cabin.

F-150 SuperCrew vs. Sierra Crew Cab: Which is better?

It takes a lot to compete in the full-size truck class, and both the 2021 Ford F-150 SuperCrew and the 2021 GMC Sierra Crew Cab compete at a high level, with tons of options and trims to suit every truck buyer’s need. They’re both very good. But if your truck needs require maximum towing and payload, the Ford gets the nod.

Find a Ford F-150 for sale or Find a GMC Sierra for sale

2021 Ford F-150 SuperCrew 2021 GMC Sierra Crew Cab
Popular Powertrains
Engine 3.3-liter V6 4.3-liter V6
Horsepower 290 hp @ 6,500 rpm 285 hp @ 5,300 rpm
Torque 265 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm 305 lb-ft @ 3,900 rpm
Transmission Automatic, 10-speed Automatic, 6-speed
Fuel Economy 19 mpg (22 city, 25 hwy) 19 mpg (16 city, 21 hwy)
Also Available 2.7-liter V6, twin-turbocharged; 5.0-liter V8; 3.0-liter V6, turbodiesel; 3.5-liter V6, twin-turbocharged; 3.5-liter V6 + electric motor 2.7-liter I4, turbocharged; 3.0-liter I6, turbodiesel; 5.3-liter V8; 6.2-liter V8; automatic 8-spd; automatic, 10-spd
Specs
Basic warranty 3 years or 36,000 miles 3 years or 36,000 miles
Powertrain warranty 5 years or 60,000 miles 5 years or 60,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating n/a n/a
Max Seating Capacity 5 Passengers 6 passengers
Wheelbase 145.4-157.2 inches 147.4 inches
Overall Length 231.7-243.5 inches 231.7-241.3 inches
Width 79.9 inches 81.2 inches
Height 75.6 inches 75.5 inches
Turning Diameter 47.8 feet 46.3 feet
Headroom, Front 40.8 inches 43.0 inches
Headroom, Rear 40.4 inches 40.1 inches
Legroom, Front 43.9 inches 44.5 inches
Legroom, Rear 43.6 inches 43.4 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 66.7 inches 66.0 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 66.0 inches 65.1 inches
Max Payload (Crew Cab) 2,900 pounds 2,178 pounds
Max Towing (Crew Cab) 14,000 pounds 11,800 pounds
Doug Lloyd
Doug Lloyd is an author specializing in comparison tests. A veteran of the automotive press world, Doug started at Sports Car International and Vintage Motorsport magazines and has worked at both Porsche Panorama magazine and Edmunds.com. Doug is also a jazz piano player and a composer for television.

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