Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

If you own a fullsize pickup truck, chances are you put its towing capabilities to work.

More than half of GMC’s Sierra customers report doing so. Whether it’s a boat, an RV or some other toy that needs to be pulled in a trailer, pickups are up for the job...even if it’s a chore for the drivers.

20/21 Vision

GMC aims to lessen the burden with a number of enhancements for the 2021 Sierra 1500 and Sierra Heavy Duty models.

2021 GMC Sierra

2021 GMC Sierra HD Black Diamond (Images: GMC)

Several features have been added to improve visibility and help drivers maneuver bulky trailers. These include:

  • Trailer-length indicator that displays a red overlay on the infotainment screen’s camera feed that’s twice the length of the trailer when the turn signal is activated to highlight potential blind spots when trailing vehicles might interfere with changing lanes
  • Rear trailer view that displays guiding lines and trailer angle indicators to assist in backup maneuvers
  • Rear-side view enhancement that now displays a split view of the left and right sides of the truck when traveling forward or in reverse, and adjust for the angle of the trailer
  • Cargo bed view now includes a zoom feature and hitch guidance for connecting gooseneck trailers
2021 GMC Sierra jackknife alert system

Jackknife warning system 

The 2021 Sierra pickups also get a new jackknife warning technology. Based on inputs from cameras and other sensors, the system alerts the driver if the front of the trailer approaches the rear of the tow vehicle. In addition to visual cues in the center display, the situation also could prompt a vibration in the seat cushion.

But it’s up to the driver to take corrective action by easing off the throttle or steering into the skid.

GM’s “Transparent Trailer” virtual camera, which was introduced last year, will continue to be offered as part of the Sierra’s ProGrade Trailering package.

More MultiPro, Lower MSRP

GMC also increasing the availability of its MultiPro tailgate on more versions of the Sierra 1500. Introduced two years ago, the innovative system has various hinges and folding mechanism that allows for greater flexibility in accessing the cargo bed.

The 1500 model also gets optional 20-inch Goodyear Wrangler tires and an off-road high-clearance step.

At the same time, the price of the light-duty pickup’s optional 3.0-liter diesel engine has been cut by $1,500. This lowers the premium for the diesel to about $1,000 and $2,400 compared with trucks equipped with a 5.3-liter V-8 and 2.7-liter V-6, respectively.

Heavy-Duty Black Diamond

The Sierra HD adds a top-end Denali Black Diamond Edition trim level.

The package includes 20-inch gloss-black wheels, power-retractable side steps, high-end Kicker audio unit, auxiliary trailer camera, trailer tire-pressure monitor sensors and premium floor mats with removable carpet inserts.

Why it Matters

Pickups are becoming increasingly popular and profitable. Added features help on both fronts.

Related Topics


  • BMW and Toyota and FMCW Lidar

    This is not a piece of modern art: Rather, it is an image from Blackmore Sensors and Analytics of Bozeman, Montana, micro-Doppler signatures of pedestrians (or maybe that’s a pedestrian, singular) walking (see it now?). Blackmore is a company that is developing FMCW lidar.

  • Injection molding for interiors—including fabrics

    Plenty of interior components are injection molded. But some companies—such as VW—are using a process for trim pieces that both mold a component and cover it in fabric in a single molding process. And it is coming to the U.S. in the not-too-distant future.

  • Designing the 2019 Ram 1500

    Ram Truck chief exterior designer Joe Dehner talks about how they’ve developed the all-new pickup. “We’ve been building trucks for over 100 years,” he says. “Best I could come up with is that this is our 15th-generation truck.”