The 2021 Ford F-350 falls between extreme heavy duty and full-on commercial. It offers plenty of payload and towing capacity, and its diesel V8 generates immense power and torque. However, the 2021 GMC Sierra 3500 is the largest and strongest GMC truck you can buy. Let’s compare these powerful trucks.
Design/Trims and Price
The 2021 Ford F-350 Super Duty features a comfortable, spacious cab that can be built in numerous configurations. It is available in three cab styles, two bed lengths, and either single or dual rear wheels. Ford offers available cooling seats, leather interior, and ambient lighting, as well as a new bed step. Vinyl seating is standard on the XL trim and cloth seating is standard on the XLT trim. There are six available trims – XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited. Starting prices range from $35,745 for the XL to $85,365. for the Limited edition.
The 2021 GMC Sierra 3500 offers plenty of cab and bed options: two or three-seat regular cab models offer an 8-foot bed that provides 83.5 cubic feet of cargo volume. Double cab variants have seating for five or six and 35.2 inches of rear legroom. They can also be paired to a standard 6-foot 9-inch bed with 69.6 cubic feet of cargo volume or the 8-foot-long bed. The crew cab model expands rear legroom to 43.3 inches, along with keeping the double cab’s regular and long-bed options. A heated steering wheel and heated-and-cooled front seats are available, as well as a split-folding front bench that can be replaced with a pair of bucket seats and a full center console. It comes in five trim levels: Sierra base, SLE, SLT, AT4, and Denali. Starting price begins at $37,700 for the Sierra base and ranges to $65,500 for the Denali.
There are technology features to make your life easier such as FordPass Connect, which helps you stay connected by using your app; accessing features like start/stop, lock/unlock, remote start scheduling, vehicle location, fuel levels and mileage. Available SYNC also uses your voice to activate the controls, keeping your eyes on the road. All models except the base XL come standard with a user-friendly 8.0-inch touch screen infotainment system and features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; built-in navigation is available. All F-350 trims include one USB port, additional USB charge ports, and a 100-volt outlet. Ford’s Co-Pilot technology offers a long list of safety features, including automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring with trailer coverage, adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree view camera system and a trailer sway control.
All heavy-duty Sierras include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, with a 7.0-inch touchscreen on base models and an 8.0-inch display on higher trims. If you choose the SLT or higher, your Sierra HD will include satellite radio and voice control, and Denali models add integrated navigation. Entry-level trucks feature a 3.5-inch display in the instrument cluster, and higher trims include 4.2- or 8.0-inch displays. A six-speaker audio system is standard on most trims, and the Sierra Denali gets a seven-speaker Bose system. Automatic emergency braking with forward collision alert, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a 360-degree camera are all options.
There are three available V8 engines – in gasoline, a 6.2-liter V-8 that makes 385 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque or a 7.3-liter V-8 that delivers 430 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque. The third-choice is optional in the F-350 and is the segment’s most powerful turbo diesel engine. The 6.7-liter with a V8 Power Stroke turbo diesel engine, makes 475 hp and a hefty 1,050 lb-ft of torque. Available with every engine choice, is the heavy-duty 10-speed TorqShift automatic transmission that sends power to a permanent 4X4 AWD system. The 2021 Ford-350 comes with rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive.
The Sierra 3500 features a gas and a diesel engine option: the gas is a 6.6-liter V-8 with 401 horsepower and 464 lb-ft of torque and a six-speed automatic transmission (it comes standard with RWD and optional 4WD). The diesel engine is a 6.6-liter Duramax V8 with 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque that works with an Allison 10-speed automatic transmission.
Off-Road and Towing Capabilities
A Super Duty Tremor Off-Road Package upgrade is available on the F-350, with a 2-inch front lift and shorter airdam, followed by 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac all-terrain tires. It also includes a returned suspension, upgraded shock absorbers, a locking rear differential, a limited-slip front differential, a rock-crawl mode, and low speed cruise control. Skid plates are also included. The Super Duty features two important options to its towing package – the Trailer Reverse Guidance, and the Pro-Trailer Backup Assist which will make reversing a trailer easier.
The F-350 that carries the most payload is the regular cab, long bed, RWD, with a maximum capacity of 7,850 pounds. The crew cab, long Bed, 4WD configuration has the lowest payload of 2,890 pounds. Maximum towing reaches 21,200 with the Powerstroke diesel engine. For gooseneck or fifth-wheel towing, capacity reaches 35,750 with the diesel models.
An X31 Off-road package is available for the Sierra 3500 that includes off-road suspension, Twin-tube Rancho shocks, Eaton automatic locking rear differential, and underbody skid plates. It provides responsive suspensions with AT4 and Denali’s independent front suspensions, providing excellent wheel alignment, ride comfort and turnability with reduced weight. A Hitch View is also available to help with positioning after backup to a trailer hitch.
The Sierra 3500 has a maximum conventional trailering capacity of up to 36,000 pounds, a maximum fifth-wheel/gooseneck rating of up to 35,500 pounds, and a maximum payload of up to 7,442 pounds.
The 2021 Ford F-350 and GMC Sierra 3500 are capable of all of the hard tasks, but the F-350 adds style when you’re out on the town, while being tough on the off-road.