Large pickup truck; Built in Canada
  • ext. cab long bed
  • ext. cab short bed
  • reg. cab long bed
  • reg. cab short bed
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $3,000 – $23,000*

2001 GMC Sierra 1500 SLT extended cab

1999 GMC Sierra 1500 regular cab

G2001 MC Sierra 1500 C3 interior

2000 GMC Sierra 1500 extended cab

2001 GMC Sierra C-Series extended cab

  • Acceleration (V8)
  • Instruments/controls
  • Fuel economy
  • Ride

General Motors refined its big pickups capably, while introducing plenty of worthy improvements. No extended-cabs are more comfortable. Both makes deliver high value for performance, comfort, and design, and beat Ford in 4WD convenience. GMC models tend to cost just a tad more then Silverados. Few C3 models are likely to be found, and they’ll be expensive.


Both GMC and Chevrolet redesigned their full-size pickups for 1999. Sierras came in half-ton 1500 (listed here) and light-duty 3/4-ton 2500 form. GMC dealers also kept selling pickups from the old design, right alongside the new ones. GMC models now had their own front-end sheetmetal. Wheelbases increased by 1.5 inches for regular-cab models, and 2 inches for extended-cabs. Body lengths grew by about 9 inches. A right-side third door, which opened only after the front door was unlatched, was standard on extended-cab pickups. Both body styles came with a 6.5- or 8.1-foot Wideside cargo bed, or a 6.5-foot flare-fender Sportside box. Antilock braking again was standard, but 4-wheel disc brakes were new. Also new was an adjustable ride control option that allowed the driver to switch between two levels of shock-absorber firmness.

A 4.3-liter V6 again served as base engine, but 4.8- and 5.3-liter V8s replaced the previous 5.0- and 5.7-liter engines, offering 25 and 15 more horsepower, respectively. Manual and 4-speed automatic transmissions were available. The automatic gained a Tow/Haul mode, which reduced the amount of shifting under heavy loads. New optional Autotrac 4-wheel drive could be left engaged on dry pavement, automatically engaging the front axle when rear-wheel slippage was detected. It could also be locked in 4WD High or Low range.

Yearly Updates

2000 Sierra
A new 4-door extended-cab body replaced the 3-door setup after the 2000 model year began. Both rear doors were hinged at the back, and could not be opened or closed independently of the front doors.
Sierras came in SL, SLE, and top-of-the-line SLT trim. Heavy-duty models based on the previous design remained on sale, named the Sierra Classic.
Both V8 engines gained 15 horsepower this year, and peak towing capacity (when properly equipped) grew by 700 to 11,200 pounds. A factory-installed tonneau cover was newly optional for Wideside cargo beds.
2001 Sierra
Traction control became an option for 2WD Sierras with an automatic transmission. Early in 2001, a new Crew Cab body style arrived, with four front-opening side doors, matching the similar body offered by Ford.
GMC added a new performance-oriented C3 model to its lineup, equipped with a 6.0-liter V8 that delivered 325 horsepower. Chevrolet did not get a comparable model for its Silverado series. The C3 had unique front-end styling and exterior trim, as well as a sport suspension with 17-inch tires, bigger brakes, a heavy-duty towing package, tubular side steps, and extra amenities including a leather interior. GM’s OnStar emergency/communications system was standard on the C3, and optional on SLT pickups. The C3 had a new permanently engaged 4WD system, which lacked low-range gearing.
2002 Sierra
In 2002, Sierra Denali introduced GM’s Quadrasteer 4-wheel steering system, which was designed to decrease the turning radius at low speed and to aid stability at higher speeds. The Quadrasteer option at midyear was extended to Silverado as well as to mainline extended-cab 2WD and 4WD Sierras; it included a special 6.5-ft box with flared fenders.
Also new for Sierra was a Professional Package option that included exclusive interior storage features, such as a refrigerated console compartment and room for hanging files, plus specific exterior trim.
2003 Sierra
All models got minor exterior styling changes and revamped dashboard and seats. Among new options were premium Bose audio and XM satellite radio. Rear-seat DVD entertainment is a new Crew Cab option.
2004 Sierra
A new light-duty crew cab was added midyear, which has a shorter bed than the previous 1500 Heavy Duty Crew Cab. Also, base models got standard chrome exterior trim and cruise control in 2004 and SLEs got standard fog lamps.
2005 Sierra
A new flagship body style, more available V8 power, and limited-edition gas-electric hybrid version highlight 2005 for Sierra. For ’05, Denali is a Crew Cab instead of an extended cab. Joining the 295-hp 5.3 for ’05 is a high-output version with 310 hp; it’s available for short-bed 4WD extendeds. Denali uses a 6.0 with 345 hp, a 20 hp increase from 2004. Midyear, a Performance Edition package became available for short-bed 2WD LS/LT extended-cab models. The option includes the Heavy-Duty Trailering package, the Denali 6.0 V8, and 20-inch wheels and tires.
2006 Sierra
No major changes for the 2006 Sierra.


longitudinal front-engine/rear- or 4-wheel drive

Sierras had a standard 200-horsepower 4.3-liter V6. Two V8s were optional: 4.8 and 5.3 liters. Either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission could be installed, but the 5.3-liter V8 was automatic-only. For 2000, the 4.8-liter V8 grew from 255 to 270 horsepower, while the 5.3-liter increased from 270 to 285 hp. GMC introduced a 325-horsepower, 6.0-liter V8 for 2001, in the new performance-focused C3 pickup. Joining the 295-hp 5.3 for ’05 is a high-output version with 310 hp available on short-bed 4WD extendeds. Denali uses a 6.0 with 345 hp, a 20 hp increase from 2004.

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.3/262
Engine HP 200
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 260
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.8/294
Engine HP 255-270
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 285
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.3/325
Engine HP 270-310
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 315-325
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic



ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 6.0/364
Engine HP 300-345
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 360-370
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic


Road Test

GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado pickups outperform their predecessors, if not dramatically so. All-around performance easily matches Ford’s F-150. New V8s are smooth and capable, but yield slightly less torque than previous engines, so acceleration and throttle response are similar. The Tow/Haul mode and optional adjustable suspension are welcome features, since most big pickups haul or tow at times. Although it’s a smooth runner, the V6 struggles under heavy loads or up long grades. The 5.3-liter V8 offers good power under all conditions, though it trails Ford’s 5.4 liter in torque. An alert, fuss-free automatic transmission helps. A 2WD Sierra with the 5.3 V8 averaged 12.6 mpg.

Brakes deliver good stopping power with firm, progressive pedal action, unlike the previous model’s mushy feel. Steering is more precise, if overboosted. The Quadrasteer 4-wheel steering system, made available in 2002, is a revelation, giving this big pickup the close-quarters maneuverability of a small car as well as enhancing high-speed tracking and towing stability. A stiffer structure helps improve ride quality, which is more compliant than Ford’s, though the tail still stutters over bumps when the bed is empty. Road, wind, and engine noise levels are mild.

In design, feel, and location, gauges and controls are best-in-class. GM also supplements the odometer with an engine-hour meter. Front seats are roomy and supportive. Integrated seatbelts move comfortably with the seats themselves. Some drivers might have trouble squeezing between the door panel and seat, to reach some controls. A Sierra or Silverado soundly trounces Ford and Dodge pickups in rear-seat accommodations, with more leg clearance. A contoured cushion and reclined backrest approach sedanlike comfort, and doors open wider.


Model Tested: 2002 GMC Sierra SL reg. cab 2WD, V6

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 4
Fuel Economy - 2
Ride Quality - 3
Steering/Handling - 2
Quietness - 5


Controls/Materials - 7
Room/Comfort Front - 7
Room/Comfort Rear - 0
Cargo Room - 1


Value - 6

Total: 37


ext. cab long bed
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
157.5 246.6 78.5 70.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
34.0 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
41.0 38.4 41.0 33.7
ext. cab short bed
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
143.5 227.5 78.5 71.2
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
26.0 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
41.0 38.4 41.0 33.7
reg. cab long bed
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
133.0 222.1 78.5 71.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
34.0 3
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
41.0 NA 41.3 NA
reg. cab short bed
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
119.0 203.2 78.5 71.2
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
26.0 3
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
41.0 NA 41.3 NA
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1999 Sierra 1500 reg. cab short bed


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 3
Front Passenger Injury - 4

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 77
Injury 52
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Manual transmission
Description: Manual transmissions tend to pop out of first gear because the transmissions were built without a detent ball and spring. Under warranty, these parts will be installed. (1999-00)
Vehicle shake
Description: Extended cab, long box models shudder when accelerating from a stop requiring replacement of the two-piece driveshaft with a one-piece driveshaft. (1999-01)

Recall History

1999-00 Sierra
Description: Clearance between front right-hand brake pipe and body cross sill could decrease and allow contact, which could result in damage and loss of brake fluid and pressure.
1999-02 Sierra
Description: In environmentally corrosive areas of specified “salt belt” states, unwanted antilock braking activation may occur, causing increased stopping distance during low-speed brake application.
1999-04 Sierra
Description: The tailgate support cables may corrode, resulting in the sudden loss of the tailgate. Dealers will inspect and replace affected parts.
1999-05 Sierra w/manual shift and PBR or TRW parking-brake system
Description: Friction linings may wear to an extent that makes the parking brake ineffective in holding the vehicle.
2000 Sierra w/4-wheel disc brakes
Description: Out-of-spec spring clip in antilock brake system could allow motor bearing to become misaligned; eventually, ABS would be nonfunctional and dynamic-rear-proportioning system would become inoperative.
2000 Sierra
Description: Hydraulic pump driveshaft may fracture, resulting in immediate loss of power-steering assist; same condition could produce loss of assist from hydro-boost power brakes after reserve pressure is depleted, but neither condition totally eliminates the ability to steer or slow the vehicle.
2001 Sierra with 8.1-liter V8 engine
Description: The engine may run rough or stall, and may not restart, due to an intermittently-operating crankshaft position sensor. Dealers will replace the crankshaft position sensor.
2003-04 Sierra
Description: Certain vehicles may have been produced with an out-of-specification brake relief valve, making steering difficult when braking. Dealers will inspect and replace affected parts.
2003-04 Sierra CNG
Description: Only one seating position, the center rear, is equipped with a child restraint lower anchorage.
2003-05 Sierra
Description: Seatbelt routing for second-row center occupant may make it difficult to position the lap portion of the belt low around the occupant’s hips.
2004-05 Sierra w/Bosch hydro-boost braking
Description: Hydraulic brake booster pressure accumulator may crack and separate during normal operating conditions, possibly issuing fragments and allowing fluid leakage.
2005 Sierra w/5.3-liter V8
Description: Engine fuel rail crossover tube retainer screws may break, allowing fuel leakage and possible engine stalling.
2005 Sierra
Description: Bolt that attaches intermediate steering shaft to steering gear may fracture, resulting in loss of steering.
2005 Sierra
Description: Under certain vehicle-starting conditions, shift-lever position indicator in instrument panel may not illuminate.
2005 Sierra
Description: During extreme steering maneuvers, power steering hose might fracture and leak fluid, leading to loss of steering assist and increase in steering effort; could also affect operation of the hydro-boost power brakes.
2005 Sierra Denali
Description: Owner’s manual may indicate incorrect seat locations with upper and lower child-restraint tether anchors, and also provide incorrect installation instructions.
2005 Sierra w/aftermarket leather seats
Description: Testing has indicated that the aftermarket leather seat covers can cause the passenger sensing system to malfunction. If the passenger sensing system malfunctions, the front air bag on the passenger side may be disabled when it should be enabled, or enabled when it should be disabled. GM will purchase these vehicles for the full price paid for it (not exceeding the fair market value at the time it was bought), including taxes and fees, if the vehicle is returned to GM’s possession by January 31, 2007. Through January 31, 2007, GM will also pay for the removal of any aftermarket accessories that may have been installed and return them to the customer.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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