2021 GMC Sierra 1500 vs 2020 Nissan Frontier

2020 Nissan Frontier
2020 Nissan Frontier
$26,790MSRP
Overview
Overview
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2021 GMC Sierra 1500
2021 GMC Sierra 1500
$30,100MSRP
Overview
Overview
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2020 Nissan Frontier
$26,790MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 GMC Sierra 1500
$30,100MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2020 Nissan Frontier is 5.0 out of 10, while the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 scores 5.7 out of 10. Based on these ratings, the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 is the better choice, offering more advanced technology, better performance, and greater overall value.

Overview

MSRP

$26,790

MSRP

$30,100

Average price

$24,666

Average price

$42,089

Listings

285

Listings

3675
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

5.0 out of 10

Expert reviews

5.7 out of 10
Pros
  • Powerful engine
  • Off-road capability
Cons
  • Advanced safety features are not standard
  • Poor value for money
  • Outdated technology
Pros
  • Multiple body styles
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Easy-to-use technology
Cons
  • Outdated technology
  • Interior materials feel cheap
  • Underwhelming base engine

2020 Nissan Frontier Reviews Summary

Nissan is celebrating the Frontier’s Sweet 16 this year, but this is not a coming-of-age milestone. Rather, it’s a long-overdue retirement party. And the Frontier is going out with a bang thanks to a brand-new engine and transmission that give a preview of what the next-generation Frontier has in store. Just make sure you don’t get into an accident, or you’ll get pretty banged up yourself.

2021 GMC Sierra 1500 Reviews Summary

GMC is the “professional grade” brand at General Motors, but that’s just marketing mumbo jumbo. The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 is the same thing as a Chevrolet Silverado 1500, but with different styling and a handful of unique features, like an optional carbon-fiber composite cargo bed. This year, GMC makes several changes to its full-size light-duty pickup truck, none of them earth-shattering. This remains a fundamentally appealing truck in need of attention to the details.
No video found
Popular Features & Specs

Engine

3.8L 310 hp V6

Engine

4.3L 285 hp V6 Flex Fuel Vehicle

Drive Train

4X2

Drive Train

4X2

Seating Capacity

4

Seating Capacity

3

Horsepower

310 hp @ 6400 rpm

Horsepower

MPG City

18

MPG City

16

MPG Highway

24

MPG Highway

21
2020 Nissan Frontier
2020 Nissan Frontier
$26,790MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 GMC Sierra 1500
2021 GMC Sierra 1500
$30,100MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2020 Nissan Frontier
$26,790MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 GMC Sierra 1500
$30,100MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2020 Nissan Frontier is 5.0 out of 10, while the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 scores 5.7 out of 10. Based on these ratings, the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 is the better choice, offering more advanced technology, better performance, and greater overall value.

Overview
MSRP
$26,790
$30,100
Average price
$24,666
$42,089
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
4.6
4.9
Expert reviews

5.0 out of 10

Read full review

5.7 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Powerful engine
  • Off-road capability
Cons
  • Advanced safety features are not standard
  • Poor value for money
  • Outdated technology
Pros
  • Multiple body styles
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Easy-to-use technology
Cons
  • Outdated technology
  • Interior materials feel cheap
  • Underwhelming base engine
Summary

Nissan is celebrating the Frontier’s Sweet 16 this year, but this is not a coming-of-age milestone. Rather, it’s a long-overdue retirement party. And the Frontier is going out with a bang thanks to a brand-new engine and transmission that give a preview of what the next-generation Frontier has in store. Just make sure you don’t get into an accident, or you’ll get pretty banged up yourself.

GMC is the “professional grade” brand at General Motors, but that’s just marketing mumbo jumbo. The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 is the same thing as a Chevrolet Silverado 1500, but with different styling and a handful of unique features, like an optional carbon-fiber composite cargo bed. This year, GMC makes several changes to its full-size light-duty pickup truck, none of them earth-shattering. This remains a fundamentally appealing truck in need of attention to the details.
Video
No video found
Popular Features & Specs
Engine
3.8L 310 hp V6
4.3L 285 hp V6 Flex Fuel Vehicle
Drive Train
4X2
4X2
Seating Capacity
4
3
Horsepower
310 hp @ 6400 rpm
MPG City
18
16
MPG Highway
24
21
Look and feel
2020 Nissan Frontier
8/10
2021 GMC Sierra 1500
6/10
The 2020 Nissan Frontier’s design had aged gracefully, resembling a well-preserved 2005 model. The PRO-4X trim stood out with its tube-style roof rack, unique 16-inch alloy wheels, knobby white-lettered tires, standard spray-in bedliner, and cool bedside graphics. Available in King Cab and Crew Cab styles, the Frontier offered various trims and packages, including the Value Truck Package, Midnight Edition Package, and Special Edition Package. The interior, reminiscent of mid-2000s Nissan designs, featured hard plastic materials but was solidly built, with no squeaks or rattles even on rough roads. In contrast, the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 was all about style and luxury, especially in the Denali trim. The AT4 variant, priced at $66,695, was the off-road-ready version with a factory-installed 2-inch suspension lift, off-road suspension, skid plates, and unique design details like red front recovery hooks. The black-on-black Sierra looked sleek but was hard to keep clean. Inside, the truck featured caramel seat trim and metallic accents, but the overall design felt industrial and dated. Rubber floor mats with snap-in carpeted inserts provided practicality, but the cabin lacked the luxury expected at its price point.
Performance
2020 Nissan Frontier
8/10
2021 GMC Sierra 1500
9/10
The 2020 Nissan Frontier featured a new 3.8-liter V6 engine producing 310 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 281 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm, paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. This engine replaced the old 4.0-liter V6 and 2.5-liter four-cylinder, offering smoother and more refined performance. The Frontier’s fuel economy improved slightly, with RWD models achieving 19 mpg combined and 4WD models 18 mpg combined. The truck’s maximum tow rating remained at 6,720 pounds. However, the Frontier’s steering was slow and heavy, and its turning radius was wide. The PRO-4X trim’s Bilstein off-road shocks handled rough terrain well but allowed road surface irregularities to affect the ride quality. The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 offered an affordable Duramax 3.0-liter turbodiesel six-cylinder engine for $995, producing 277 horsepower at 3,750 rpm and 460 lb-ft of torque at 1,500 rpm. Paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, the Duramax provided smooth and responsive performance. The Sierra’s Auto 4WD system maintained impressive traction in various weather conditions, and the truck averaged 21.1 mpg during testing. The AT4’s suspension handled tough terrain confidently and provided a comfortable ride on highways. The Sierra’s towing capacity reached up to 9,300 pounds, with our test truck rated at 8,800 pounds and a payload rating of 1,810 pounds.
Form and function
2020 Nissan Frontier
5/10
2021 GMC Sierra 1500
6/10
The 2020 Nissan Frontier offered ample storage with dual glove compartments and a bin under the center armrest. The PRO-4X trim featured an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, though it wasn’t as comfortable as Nissan’s Zero Gravity designs. Rear seat space was tight, with a flat bench seat and limited backrest angle. The Frontier’s bed, equipped with a spray-in bedliner and Utili-Track channel system, had a payload capacity of 1,020 pounds but was only 18 inches deep and 27.1 cubic feet in volume. The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 provided large, supportive front seats with power adjustments, heating, and cooling. Rear seats were spacious and heated, with rear air conditioning vents and a power sliding rear window. High-clearance side rails and the Multipro tailgate made accessing the cargo bed easier. The CarbonPro Edition package added a carbon fiber composite bed, increasing durability and payload capacity. The Sierra’s bed held between 62.9 and 89.1 cubic feet of cargo, with 12 cargo tie-downs. However, interior storage space was less impressive compared to other full-size pickups.
Technology
2020 Nissan Frontier
3/10
2021 GMC Sierra 1500
7/10
The 2020 Nissan Frontier’s 5.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system included NissanConnect Apps, satellite radio, navigation, voice recognition, and a 10-speaker Rockford Fosgate sound system. However, it lacked Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Bluetooth pairing allowed for Siri Eyes Free voice assistant use, but the overall technology offering was limited and outdated. The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 featured numerous camera-based technologies, including a surround-view camera, trailer- and bed-view cameras, and a rear camera mirror. The optional Technology Package added a 15-inch head-up display and an 8-inch driver information display. The infotainment system, available with 7-inch or 8-inch touchscreens, offered wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, SiriusXM satellite radio, a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot, and navigation. The Bose premium sound system was adequate but not exceptional. The Sierra’s 4G LTE WiFi hotspot and 115-volt in-dash outlet proved useful during power outages.
Safety
2020 Nissan Frontier
1/10
2021 GMC Sierra 1500
4/10
The 2020 Nissan Frontier had poor crash-test scores, with a four-star overall rating from NHTSA and marginal ratings from IIHS. It lacked modern safety features, offering only a reversing camera, antilock brakes, traction control, and stability control. The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 offered optional forward collision warning, front pedestrian braking, and automatic emergency braking. Blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic warning were standard on the Denali trim. Adaptive cruise control was available on higher trims. The Sierra’s crash-test ratings were mediocre, with a four-star overall rating from NHTSA and marginal ratings from IIHS. The 2022 model year promised improvements with GM’s Super Cruise technology.
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