Used 2001 GMC Sierra 2500 Extended Cab Review
Edmunds expert review
With both a light- and heavy-duty version, GMC's 2500 series Sierra offers just about every option you could ask for in a full-size three-quarter-ton pickup.
What's new for 2001
If you're looking for flexibility, capability, and a "professional grade" image, look no further than GMC's 2500 Sierra. Available in either light-duty or completely redesigned heavy-duty versions, these versatile trucks come in a variety of configurations and trim levels to suit just about anybody's pickup truck needs.
Like the 1500 Series, these trucks share platforms and componentry with Chevrolet's Silverado, but Sierra gets some styling and feature enhancements to position GMC as the "professional grade" truck. Looks and special content aside, the biggest draw for GMC's big pickups are their exceptional powertrains, outstanding payload capacity, and unparalleled towing and hauling ability.
At the heart of the heavy-duty Sierra's redesign this year is the availability of two new engines and transmissions. The Duramax 6600 is an all-new turbodiesel V8 developed jointly with Isuzu that cranks out 300 horsepower and a whopping 520 foot-pounds of torque. (That's 65 horses and 20 foot-pounds more than Ford's PowerStroke, and 55/15 over the Dodge Cummins diesels.) When it comes to gasoline power, GM leads the pack there, too. The all-new Vortec 8100 V8 puts out 340 horsepower and 455 foot-pounds of torque - both numbers eclipsing those of the V10s being offered by competitors. Even the base Vortec 6000 V8, available in both light- and heavy-duty versions, has been juiced to 300 horses.
Heavy-duty models offer an electronically controlled Allison automatic transmission that boasts a patented "grade-braking" feature that automatically finds the optimum gear to supply downhill engine braking without manually downshifting, allowing you to concentrate on the road. It also touts "shift stabilization" to prevent ill-timed upshifts and downshifts, and even has bolt-on "Power Take Off" capability that allows owners to run PTO-driven equipment on-site, delivering 250 foot-pounds of continuous torque.
With comfy seats and plenty of the latest features, the redesigned heavy-duty Sierras sport roomier cabins with increased head, leg, and hip room over their predecessors. Light-duty 2500s carry over interiors from last year with child safety-seat tether hooks constituting the only new feature for 2001.
While we're not sure if the evolutionary styling of the GM's heavy-duty pickups carry the brute appeal of a Ford Super Duty or the big-nosed 3500-series Dodge, we do know that they will beat them when it comes to good ol' pullin' and haulin.' Even if you decide to stick with the somewhat more tame light-duty version, the 2500 Sierra still provides all the power and capability you'll ever need along with a comfortable interior and a smooth ride.
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.