Used 2000 GMC Sierra Classic 2500 Extended Cab Review

Work trucks don't need to be pretty. Just because the redesigned half-ton Sierra is already on the market, don't overlook these tried-and-true heavy-duty haulers.




what's new

GM has refined the Sierra Classic lineup, dropping all 1500 Series (half-ton) trucks in favor of workhorse 2500 (three-quarter-ton) and 3500 (one-ton) Series models. The only other news is the addition of a new paint color, as this old truck platform (based on the previous-generation C/K pickup) soldiers on for a final year.

vehicle overview

The GMC Sierra became the "Sierra Classic" to distinguish the old C/K-derived version from the all-new Silverado-based Sierra that arrived in showrooms for 1999. To help bolster stocks of work-oriented pickups until heavy-duty derivatives of the new Sierra can be built, this previous-generation model continues to be offered, albeit now only in 2500 or 3500 series form. In other words, if you want a traditional half-ton pickup, you've got to buy the new Sierra.

Like last year, changes are limited to some mechanical upgrades and a new exterior paint color, Emerald Green. After the all-new Sierra hit the showrooms, it made no sense for further revisions to this stopgap version whose days were numbered. So why bother even considering a brand-new copy of the old model? Simple: It's all a matter of availability, and cost. Available as a regular cab, extended cab, four-door crew cab and even as a bare-bones chassis cab in either two- or four-wheel drive, these trucks are both plentiful and competitively priced. Besides, some truck traditionalists actually prefer the Classic's squared-off look over the new Sierra's sculpted lines. Despite the aging design of the Sierra Classic's underpinnings, both of its gasoline engines benefit from the very latest Vortec GM technology, which means healthy power and torque ratings. The standard 5700 Vortec V8 makes 255 horsepower, and is a much more satisfying power plant underfoot than Ford's overhead-cam truck engines. For even more power you can opt for the 7400 V8 with 290 horses and some 410 pound-feet of torque. If you need true stump-pulling muscle, there's also a 6.5-liter turbodiesel, which cranks out a whopping 430 pound-feet of torque when mated to an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. A rugged five-speed manual is also available.

Just because these are previous-design vehicles, creature comforts aren't totally forgotten. The Sierra Classic was part of the 1990s truck revolution that saw manufacturers strive to make their trucks more carlike. Consequently, seats in the Classic are sturdy and comfortable, shoulder belts are height-adjustable to fit a variety of physiques, and upholstery choices include leather.

Power speaks volumes in the truck market, and having competitive horsepower numbers goes a long way toward selling the consumer on these older designs. The burly workhorse nature of these pickups gives both Chevrolet and GMC's Ford/Dodge rivals a ''Classic'' run for their money.

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.