1998 GMC Sierra 3500 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Hulking, go-anywhere ability. Torquey stump-pulling engines. Rugged good looks.
  • Aging design. Too much cheap plastic inside.
List Price Estimate
$991 - $2,085

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

GM has figured out a way to steal some thunder from the Dodge Ram and the new Ford F-Series. Their entire line of truck engines is infused with notable horsepower and torque output figures, which goes a long way toward selling the consumer on these aging pickups.

Every Sierra gasoline engine, from the base V6 to the king-of-the-hill V8, benefits from Vortec technology which provides healthy power and torque ratings. For example, the standard 4300 V6 makes an ample 200 horsepower, and the optional 5700 V8 is a much more satisfying powerplant than Ford's new overhead cam designs. Also available are regular- and heavy-duty turbodiesels sporting 6.5 liters of displacement. For 1998, turbodiesels are infused with additional power and torque. All Sierras have four-wheel anti-lock braking.

The optional side access panel makes the extended cab model a true family vehicle. Loading cargo into the rear of the cab is much easier too. To qualify for the side access panel, you must order a 1500-series extended cab equipped with SLE or SLT trim and a Vortec 5000 or Vortec 5700 engine mated to an automatic transmission. In contrast, Ford provides a third door standard on all extended cab models, making life much easier. And, for 1998, Dodge offers optional rear doors on both sides of the truck.

Creature comforts aren't forgotten in the Sierra. Automakers are constantly trying to make their trucks more car-like, so GM has made rear seat heating ducts standard on the Sierra extended cab. Shoulder belts are height adjustable to fit a variety of physiques, and upholstery choices include leather. Heck, you'd hardly know this was a truck, especially with the passenger car tires that give some versions of the Sierra a nicer ride and quieter interior.

Improvements for 1998 include second-generation airbags for front seat passengers, a standard PassLock theft deterrent system, reduced rolling resistance tires on 1500-series models, and three new exterior colors. An all-new Sierra is due in mid-1998 as a 1999 model, so revisions this year are understandably minimal.

Although Chevrolet's own C/K Series garners the greatest amount of publicity, GMC's equivalents are pretty strong sellers themselves. Sierras, in fact, account for close to half of GMC output. Americans continue to clamor for burly pickups, whether for their macho image or for real down and dirty work. Whether you choose a light-duty two-wheel-drive (C1500) or the massive four-wheel-drive K3500 Club Coupe, on a 155.5-inch wheelbase, GMC gives both Chevrolet and its Ford/Dodge rivals a run for their money.

1998 Highlights

Diesel engines make more power and torque, extended cab models get rear heater ducts, a PassLock theft-deterrent system is standard and three new colors debut. Second-generation airbags are standard.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1998 GMC Sierra 3500.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4.25 out of 5 stars
Camper K3500
K3500 SL 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB
I use this primarily to haul a slide-in camper, and after some mods, it performs this task well. Weakest point is brakes. I'm on my 3rd front and 2nd rear set at 30K miles. They work well, but don't last many miles. With a 454 V8, 4.10 rear end, and automatic trans, I get 9-10 MPG. It is a great family hauler, and the 4WD has saved me twice from getting stuck and needing a tow. Mods I did were additional rear helper springs, air suspension, Bilstein shocks, and load range G rear tires (Goodyear). I do NOT have dual rear wheels.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1998 GMC Sierra 3500

Used 1998 GMC Sierra 3500 Overview

The Used 1998 GMC Sierra 3500 is offered in the following submodels: Sierra 3500 Crew Cab, Sierra 3500 Regular Cab, Sierra 3500 Extended Cab. Available styles include SLT 2dr Extended Cab 4WD LB (5.7L 8cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLT 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB (5.7L 8cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLT 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB (5.7L 8cyl naturally aspired 5M), SL 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB (5.7L 8cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLE 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB (5.7L 8cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLE 2dr Regular Cab LB (5.7L 8cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLT 4dr Crew Cab LB (5.7L 8cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLE 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB (5.7L 8cyl naturally aspired 5M), SL 2dr Extended Cab 4WD LB (5.7L 8cyl naturally aspired 5M), SL 4dr Crew Cab LB (5.7L 8cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLE 2dr Extended Cab 4WD LB (5.7L 8cyl naturally aspired 5M), SL 2dr Extended Cab LB (5.7L 8cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLE 4dr Crew Cab LB (5.7L 8cyl naturally aspired 5M), SL 4dr Crew Cab 4WD LB (5.7L 8cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLE 2dr Extended Cab LB (5.7L 8cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLT 2dr Regular Cab LB (5.7L 8cyl naturally aspired 5M), SL 2dr Regular Cab LB (5.7L 8cyl naturally aspired 5M), and SLT 2dr Extended Cab LB (5.7L 8cyl naturally aspired 5M). Pre-owned GMC Sierra 3500 models are available with a 5.7 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 255 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1998 GMC Sierra 3500 comes with four wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.

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Can't find a used 1998 GMC Sierra 3500s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used GMC Sierra 3500 for sale - 2 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $24,713.

Find a used GMC for sale - 5 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $23,562.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC Sierra 3500 for sale - 12 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $7,667.

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Should I lease or buy a 1998 GMC Sierra 3500?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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