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1999 GMC C2500

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1999 GMC C2500 Review

GM’s truck staple gets a makeover.

Reviewed by Automotive on


Having long been the leader in heavy duty trucks, the 1999 GMC C2500, also known as the Sierra line, continues to offer plenty of options and features. The C2500 series has given GMC a highly-versatile platform. Nearly a dozen basic models can be further modified by dozens of options. This year puts all those options and features on an entirely new basic platform with a lighter, stronger frame.

Much is new about the 1999 GMC C2500, noticeable from the outside and under the road when behind the wheel. A larger passenger cabin, more powerful engine options and a remodeled exterior lead the way for the updated GMC C2500 to challenge the class-leading Fords.

The Range

Body Styles: truck
Engines: 5.3-liter V-8, 5.7-liter V-8, 6.0-liter V-8, 7.4-liter V-8, 6.5-liter diesel V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: GMC C2500 SL, GMC C2500 SL Extended Cab, GMC C2500 HD SL,GMC C2500 HD SL Extended Cab, GMC C2500 SLE, GMC C2500 SLE Extended Cab, GMC C2500 HD SLE, GMC C2500 HD SLE Extended Cab, GMC C2500 SLT, GMC C2500 HD SLT

What's New

The classic workhorse gets a complete reworking for the new model year. Aside from the obvious exterior changes, the 1999 GMC C2500 has made even more changes underneath. A brand-new frame provides a smoother ride and better performance at a lower weight. New, more powerful engines are being offered. The cabins have all been enlarged for more passenger space. The brakes have been enlarged and now are standard anti-lock brakes.


The truck exterior has been restyled with a wider stance and larger chrome bumpers. The overall lines have been smoothed over. The headlights and taillights have been enlarged and rounded off. The stance of the truck is wider, and the wheelbase is slightly longer.


The change in model generations has seen the interior of the 1999 GMC C2500 grow to allow for more passenger space and have more comfortable seating. The seatbelts have now been built into the front seats to make getting in and out of the second row easier. This also allows the seats to be moved further forward and back. The instrument panel has been updated to be more ergonomic and easier to read. The side windows have been enlarged, allowing greater visibility. One thing they have missed is, unlike Ford and Dodge, GM does not offer a fourth door on its extended cabs.

Performance & Handling

As a truck, the 1999 GMC C2500 is built for work, not for speed. The towing/hauling capacity rates between 8000 and 16,100 pounds, depending on the frame and engine. The automatic transmission comes equipped with a Tow/Haul mode that causes the engine to perform differently with a load, making it more efficient while working. The handling is admirable with and without loads or trailers, fairly spry. On the highway, the powerful V-8 engines allow the C2500 to reach and maintain speeds while loaded. Without a load, it is able to accelerate quite quickly, and cruise at high rates of speed. There is the availability to choose between five suspension settings to handle operation from empty, performance rides to fully laden snow plowing. The tires are now 16-inch tires, up from the 15-inch tires of previous models.


The 1999 GMC C2500 comes standard with four-wheel anti-lock brakes. The brakes are made to withstand braking under heavy loads, so in daily use, it's more than adequate. The C2500 also comes with driver and passenger front airbags and daytime running lights. The overall size and frame strength of the trucks make them sturdy and durable in a crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given the C2500 above-average crash test ratings. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the C2500 an overall marginal score on the frontal offset crash test.

EPA Fuel Economy

GMC 2500 5.3-liter: 14/18 mpg city/highway
GMC 2500 6.0-liter V-8: 11/15 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Redesigned exterior
  • Spacious interior
  • Sturdy powertrain

You Won't Like

  • Terrible gas mileage, even for a truck
  • Premium price for a design that’s behind its competitors

Sum Up

GM’s truck staple gets a makeover.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Ford F-250
  • Chevy Silverado 2500
  • Dodge Ram 2500

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