2021 GMC Sierra 1500 vs 2022 Toyota Tacoma

2021 GMC Sierra 1500
2021 GMC Sierra 1500
$30,100MSRP
Overview
Overview
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2022 Toyota Tacoma
2022 Toyota Tacoma
$27,150MSRP
Overview
Overview
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2021 GMC Sierra 1500
$30,100MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Toyota Tacoma
$27,150MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 was 5.7 out of 10, while the 2022 Toyota Tacoma scored 7.5 out of 10. Given these ratings, the 2022 Toyota Tacoma emerged as the more highly rated vehicle. If you're in the market for a reliable, capable, and well-equipped truck with a solid reputation for off-road capability and safety features, the Tacoma makes a compelling choice.

Overview

MSRP

$30,100

MSRP

$27,150

Average price

$42,238

Average price

$36,549

Listings

3728

Listings

2999
Ratings & Reviews
User Reviews
User Reviews

Expert reviews

5.7 out of 10

Expert reviews

7.5 out of 10
Pros
  • Multiple body styles
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Easy-to-use technology
Cons
  • Outdated technology
  • Interior materials feel cheap
  • Underwhelming base engine
Pros
  • Impressive off-road abilities
  • Manual transmission available
  • Easy-to-use technology
Cons
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Cramped back seat
  • Poor ride quality

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.

2022 Toyota Tacoma Reviews Summary

Other small trucks have come and gone—and come back again—but the Toyota Tacoma has been the cornerstone of the segment for decades now. Though it has grown in size through the years, it has remained one of the best options if you’re in the market for a smaller alternative to full-size pickups. It’s a great option for a commuter who goes on the occasional camping, kayaking, or mountain biking adventure. The bed is good for picking up supplies to tackle a weekend project.

But the midsize Tacoma has increased competition. In the past decade, the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, and Ford Ranger have returned. The Nissan Frontier recently received a long-overdue overhaul. And there’s even a new crop of compact pickups, including the Hyundai Santa Cruz and Ford Maverick. So is the Tacoma still the big dog among small trucks?

Popular Features & Specs

Engine

4.3L 285 hp V6 Flex Fuel Vehicle

Engine

2.7L 159 hp I4

Drive Train

4X2

Drive Train

4X2

Seating Capacity

3

Seating Capacity

4

Horsepower

Horsepower

159 hp @ 5200 rpm

MPG City

16

MPG City

20

MPG Highway

21

MPG Highway

23
2021 GMC Sierra 1500
2021 GMC Sierra 1500
$30,100MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Toyota Tacoma
2022 Toyota Tacoma
$27,150MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2021 GMC Sierra 1500
$30,100MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now
2022 Toyota Tacoma
$27,150MSRP
Overview
Overview
OverviewShop Now

CarGurus highlights

Winning Vehicle Image

According to CarGurus experts, the overall rating for the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 was 5.7 out of 10, while the 2022 Toyota Tacoma scored 7.5 out of 10. Given these ratings, the 2022 Toyota Tacoma emerged as the more highly rated vehicle. If you're in the market for a reliable, capable, and well-equipped truck with a solid reputation for off-road capability and safety features, the Tacoma makes a compelling choice.

Overview
MSRP
$30,100
$27,150
Average price
$42,238
$36,549
Listings
Ratings & Reviews
User reviews
4.9
4.2
Expert reviews

5.7 out of 10

Read full review

7.5 out of 10

Read full review
Pros & cons
Pros
  • Multiple body styles
  • Multiple powertrain options
  • Easy-to-use technology
Cons
  • Outdated technology
  • Interior materials feel cheap
  • Underwhelming base engine
Pros
  • Impressive off-road abilities
  • Manual transmission available
  • Easy-to-use technology
Cons
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Cramped back seat
  • Poor ride quality
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.

Other small trucks have come and gone—and come back again—but the Toyota Tacoma has been the cornerstone of the segment for decades now. Though it has grown in size through the years, it has remained one of the best options if you’re in the market for a smaller alternative to full-size pickups. It’s a great option for a commuter who goes on the occasional camping, kayaking, or mountain biking adventure. The bed is good for picking up supplies to tackle a weekend project.

But the midsize Tacoma has increased competition. In the past decade, the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, and Ford Ranger have returned. The Nissan Frontier recently received a long-overdue overhaul. And there’s even a new crop of compact pickups, including the Hyundai Santa Cruz and Ford Maverick. So is the Tacoma still the big dog among small trucks?

Video
Popular Features & Specs
Engine
4.3L 285 hp V6 Flex Fuel Vehicle
2.7L 159 hp I4
Drive Train
4X2
4X2
Seating Capacity
3
4
Horsepower
159 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG City
16
20
MPG Highway
21
23
Look and feel
2021 GMC Sierra 1500
6/10
2022 Toyota Tacoma
7/10
The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 offered buyers a stylish choice compared to its Chevrolet Silverado counterpart, especially with the upscale Denali trim level. An insider's badge of honor, declaring ownership of a "Denali" was tantamount to announcing one had acquired a Mercedes. For those not enthralled by the Denali's chrome embellishments, other variants of the Sierra could still be optioned to reach similar price levels. Their Sierra AT4 test model, priced at $66,695 MSRP (including a $1,695 destination charge), catered to off-road enthusiasts. The AT4 featured a factory-installed two-inch suspension lift, an off-road suspension equipped with Rancho monotube shocks, skid plates, a two-speed Autotrac transfer case, a locking rear differential, distinct design details like red front recovery hooks, and body-color trim. Adorned with aggressive mud-terrain tires, the truck's AT4 CarbonPro Edition Package included a CarbonPro carbon fiber composite cargo bed and a MultiPro Audio System for its six-position configurable tailgate. Badges on each front fender showcased it as something "extra." The Sierra's black-on-black aesthetic looked impressive but was notorious for showing dirt quickly, which seemed counterintuitive for an off-road-focused vehicle. The interior was primarily adorned in black plastic, save for some caramel seat trim and metallic accents, making it appear somewhat industrial. Despite its fluffy price tag, the Sierra Denali's interior could have imparted more luxury. In comparison, the 2022 Toyota Tacoma pulled from a rich history dating back to the 1960s with the Toyota Pickup and Hilux. While the exterior design of this third-generation Tacoma (introduced in 2016) looked contemporary with an aggressive grille and modern headlights, its interior started to show its age. The Tacoma’s cabin, though functional, was replete with hard plastics and less-than-premium surfaces. It integrated newer elements like push-button start amidst outdated buttons and switchgear from older Toyota designs. Trim levels for the Tacoma ranged from SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, Limited to TRD Pro. Standard SR features included 16-inch steel wheels, Class IV tow-hitch receiver, air conditioning, and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system that supported Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa. Moving up to the SR5 introduced fog lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and an upgraded 8-inch touchscreen. The TRD Sport featured 17-inch alloy wheels, TRD-tuned sport suspension, push-button start, and dual-zone automatic climate control, among other amenities. TRD Off-Road traded back to 16-inch alloy wheels, a trail-oriented suspension with Bilstein shocks, and an added 4.2-inch color display in the instrument panel. The Limited trim leaned towards luxury with 18-inch polished aluminum alloy wheels, leather upholstery, JBL premium audio system, navigation, and heated front seats. The TRD Pro, which we drove, came with optional leather, unique exterior styling, added underbody skid plates, LED fog lights, a TRD-tuned suspension, and a TRD sport exhaust.
Performance
2021 GMC Sierra 1500
9/10
2022 Toyota Tacoma
8/10
In terms of performance, the 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 offered an affordable Duramax 3.0-liter turbodiesel six-cylinder engine for $995, which contrasted favorably with Ford and Ram’s pricier diesel options. The Duramax engine churned out 277 horsepower at 3,750 rpm and 460 pound-feet of torque at just 1,500 rpm. This torque was comparable to the Sierra's 6.2-liter V8 but achieved this power much sooner. Paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, the engine effectively delivered power, especially in the lower range, making it adept for a variety of driving conditions. During tests, the Sierra managed fuel economy of 21.1 mpg, slightly below the EPA’s rating of 24 mpg in combined driving. Its Auto 4WD mode maintained impressive traction, and the off-road suspension, equipped with Goodyear DuraTrac mud-terrain tires, handled difficult terrains with ease. The Sierra could tow up to 9,300 pounds and had a payload capacity of 2,150 pounds. Our specific model mustered 8,800 pounds of towing capacity and a payload rating of 1,810 pounds. Meanwhile, the 2022 Toyota Tacoma's base engine—a 2.7-liter four-cylinder producing 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque—was underpowered and lacked significant fuel economy benefit. The recommended optional 3.5-liter V6 engine, delivering 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque, came standard in higher trims and was more capable but still struggled to attain highway speeds. Both the four-cylinder and V6 engines funneled power through a six-speed automatic transmission to either rear or available four-wheel drive. TRD models offered an optional six-speed manual transmission. When equipped with the V6 engine, the Tacoma's maximum towing capacity was 6,800 pounds, with a payload capacity of 1,685 pounds. The V6 engine, although capable around town, struggled during highway acceleration due to poor gearing and transmission performance. The suspension provided a balance between a smooth ride and firmness around corners. The TRD Pro's trail features like Multi-Terrain Select, Crawl Control, and a multi-terrain monitor showcased its off-road prowess, handling difficult terrains efficiently.
Form and function
2021 GMC Sierra 1500
6/10
2022 Toyota Tacoma
7/10
The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 provided a considerable amount of interior space, typical for full-size crew-cab trucks. The front seats in the test model, although stiff, offered durability and various adjustments, including heating and cooling functions. Passengers benefited from heated rear seats and rear air conditioning vents. Special high-clearance side rails and a six-position Multipro tailgate facilitated easier ingress and egress, as well as bed access. The CarbonPro Edition package's cargo bed, made of carbon fiber composite, was a standout feature, offering resistance to dents, scratches, and corrosion while saving weight. The bed could hold between 62.9 and 89.1 cubic feet of cargo, making it more accommodating than most light-duty full-size pickups. With 12 cargo tie-downs, each corner supported up to 500 pounds. For internal storage, however, the Sierra lagged behind competitors, offering less innovative or smaller options despite features like rear seatback cubbies. In contrast, the 2022 Toyota Tacoma offered both Access Cab and Double Cab configurations. The Access Cab’s rear half-doors accommodated four occupants with rear jump seats more suitable for small children or occasional adults. The Double Cab's full doors expanded seating capacity to five but still suffered from limited rear legroom. The Tacoma's front seats afforded ample legroom, but taller drivers might struggle with the tilt/telescoping steering wheel not extending far enough, forcing compromises between legroom and arm stretch. Within the cab, the Tacoma provided generous cupholders and storage. The test model bed also featured in-bed lighting and an in-bed power outlet. Comparing payload and towing capacities, the Sierra 1500 outperformed the Tacoma, with the former offering up to 8,800 pounds of towing and a payload capacity of 1,810 pounds, compared to the Tacoma’s 6,800-pound towing and 1,685-pound payload capacities.
Technology
2021 GMC Sierra 1500
7/10
2022 Toyota Tacoma
8/10
The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 boasted numerous camera-based technologies, including a standard reversing camera, surround-view, trailer and bed-view cameras, and a rear camera mirror. Additionally, the Technology Package offered a 15-inch head-up display and an 8-inch driver information display. Its robust infotainment system came with either a 7-inch or 8-inch touchscreen. The 8-inch display in the test truck featured large volume and tuning knobs, physical menu shortcut buttons, and excellent voice recognition. Standard features included wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, SiriusXM satellite radio, a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot, and a navigation system. The Sierra’s Bose premium sound system, though adequate, paled compared to systems from Ford and Ram. Practical features included a 115-volt in-dash electrical outlet and a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot, useful during power outages. The 2022 Toyota Tacoma’s base infotainment system had a 7-inch touchscreen, while most trims featured an 8-inch touchscreen with large icons and a basic layout. Though dated, the system was still familiar and easy to use for many shoppers. The test truck featured a wireless device charger, requiring manual activation compared to more modern automatic systems. Aside from trail-camera technology, the Tacoma lacked many advanced tech features, suiting those with active lifestyles prone to putting their vehicle through rugged use.
Safety
2021 GMC Sierra 1500
4/10
2022 Toyota Tacoma
9/10
The 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 offered several safety features, although some were optional rather than standard. Forward collision warning, front pedestrian braking, and automatic emergency braking, which were options, should have been standard, especially on higher trims like the Denali. The Denali did come with blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic warning, while lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, and a Safety Alert Seat were available depending on the trim level. Adaptive cruise control, available on the Sierra SLT, AT4, and Denali, worked efficiently. Despite these features, the Sierra's crash-test ratings were unimpressive for a relatively new design. The NHTSA gave it a four-star overall rating, with four stars for driver and front passenger frontal-impact protection. The IIHS rated the Sierra’s front passenger small-overlap frontal-impact protection as "Marginal" and its headlights as "Poor." Its child safety seat LATCH anchors also rated "Marginal" for accessibility. The 2022 Toyota Tacoma came standard with several driver assistance features, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, and lane-departure warning. Optional features included blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear parking sensors. Even though the standard backup camera was grainy, the Tacoma's well-documented safety credentials included high scores in IIHS tests for the nearly identical 2021 model. The 2022 Tacoma received a four-star overall rating from the NHTSA, with five stars in side crash tests and four stars in frontal and rollover crash tests.
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