Used 2001 GMC Sierra C3 Extended Cab Review

Edmunds expert review

A pickup lover's dream truck with a price that will likely keep it that way.

What's new for 2001

The extended-cab C3 is an entirely new truck based on the Sierra 1500 half-ton full-size pickup. Its 6.0-liter V8 makes it the only GM half-ton truck available with this engine. Sharing styling cues and feature content with luxury GMC SUVs, think of the C3 as a Denali pickup.

Vehicle overview

At first you might dismiss the all-wheel-drive C3 as just another gussied-up Sierra with a few doodads and some fancy leather seats. Not so. The C3 is a unique truck with several exclusive features not available on any other full-size half-ton Chevy or GMC pickup.

To some extent it could be compared to Ford SVT's F-150 Lightning in that it has a top-tier engine that can't be found in any other truck. From there, it's packed with luxury features that make it very comparable content-wise to GMC's Yukon Denali SUVs.

The 6.0 liter engine is the same as those found in the Denali SUVs. The only difference is that the engine in the C3 gets 5 extra horsepower and 5 foot-pounds of torque, likely due to different exhaust system configurations between the Denalis and the C3. Impressive in any light, the C3's engine makes 325 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and a stout 370 foot-pounds of torque at 4,000 rpm. Upgraded from standard Sierra (and Chevy Silverado) pickups, the C3's four-wheel disc brakes use larger 45mm twin-piston rear calipers borrowed from the heavier 2500-Series truck parts bin to bring the C3's braking capability up to snuff with its acceleration and cornering abilities.

While the C3 might not be as quick as a Lightning, one thing's for sure; you have the Ford well covered in the towing department -- the C3 can handle 8,700 pounds, while the Ford SVT entry can tow only 5,000.

Several other features are standard on the C3 including GM's OnStar personal-assistance system as well as leather seats, a six-disc CD changer with six speakers and rear seat controls, a trailer-towing package, a soft body-color tonneau cover, remote keyless entry, 17-inch wheels, and fog lights integrated into the front fascia.

The plush C3 cabin is loaded with more luxurious features putting it on par with the luxo Denali SUVs. Standard are six-way power seats for the driver and front passenger, a memory system for two preset seat positions, articulating headrests, and inboard armrests. The C3 also has an airbag deactivation switch for the front passenger seat.

The C3 is a nice package because it essentially equips a half-ton truck with a three-quarter-ton engine. And the driving experience is certainly a pleasant one as the C3 travels quietly but with a nicely firm ride to keep you on the road. It also brakes confidently, grips the pavement with more aplomb that you would expect from a 5,000-pound truck, and it has enough squirt to make you realize that this machine isn't equipped with an average V8.

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.