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If you want power, the Sierra's got it. But if high-quality materials and solid build quality are also a priority, you might want to check the offerings from Ford and Toyota, as well.
Powerful V8-engine selections, modern architecture, handsome styling
Spotty interior fit-and-finish concerns, premium brand carries a premium price.
Available Sierra 2500 Models
Use the Edmunds Pricing System to help you get the best deal:
After a complete redesign last year, GMC's Silverado-based pickup finally gets a fourth door on the extended cab. There's also more power on tap in the 4.8- and 5.3-liter engines, increased trailer ratings and standard programmable automatic door locks. New factory appearance items, such as wheel-lip flares and a soft tonneau cover, are now available on some models.
Thanks to the myriad of improvements that came with the introduction of the '99 Sierra, GMC's full-size pickup now moves to the refinement stage for 2000. Employing unique, three-piece frame construction, Sierras come in either 1500 (half-ton) or 2500 (three-quarter-ton) series. Like most major pickup brands, there's even a regular cab/bare-chassis offering for custom applications such as tow, utility or dump trucks.
Perhaps the biggest draw for GMC's big pickup is a first-class engine lineup. The base Vortec 4.3-liter V6 has been upgraded this year to improve durability, emissions and fuel economy. It now features a roller timing chain and rocker arms, extended-life spark plugs and coolant and a new oil-level sensor. But more impressive are the three V8s, two of which tout power increases this year thanks to new camshafts. The Vortec 4800 V8 (standard on 1500 Series extended-cab models) makes 270 horsepower (up from last year's 255). And the 5.3-liter V8 gains 15 horses (now at 285) and 10 more pound-feet of torque (to 325). Both engines enjoy a long, flat torque curve for sustained hauling performance. You can also opt for a 6.0-liter V8 with 300 horsepower.
Each truck is available with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. As usual, there is a variety of configurations to choose from, including the regular or extended cabs, short or long beds, Wideside or Sportside box designs, rear- or four-wheel-drive versions, three trim levels (SL, SLE or SLT) and a dizzying array of options. As a premium truck brand, GMC says it is designing vehicles geared more toward on-road purposes. In other words, if you want a dirt-crunching, rock-hopping vehicle made by GM, Chevy would be the place to shop.
For 2000, the roomy extended cabs get a fourth-door for better rear-seat access, and with improved V8 power and a new rating system methodology, all Sierras enjoy higher trailer-towing ratings than last year. Inside, you'll find ample storage areas, including a center armrest that is large enough for a laptop computer or a six-pack of soda, depending on your priorities. Reduced-force airbags (with passenger-side on/off switch) are standard, plus several safety and convenience features have been revamped, including locking and illuminated entry functions.
The Sierra boasts far too many features to list here, but suffice it to say that GMC has a very competitive product compared to its Ford and Dodge rivals. But because GMC is set on segmenting itself as the premium truck division that caters to upscale truck buyers, prepare yourself for price creep to start forcing less-affluent young cowboy types to shop elsewhere.
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