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.
GMC aims to lessen the burden with a number of enhancements for the 2021 Sierra 1500 and Sierra Heavy Duty models.
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
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.
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A young(ish) guy that I’ve known for a number of years, a man who spent the better part of his career writing for auto buff books and who is a car racer on the side, mentioned to me that his wife has a used Lexus ES Hybrid.
The thing about the Wrangler Willys Wheeler: It is a toy for a grown-up boy.