Moving into its second decade, the 2000 GMC Sierra C3500 is the two-wheel drive full-size truck (one ton) of the GMC truck lineup. A twin to the Chevy Silverado’s C trucks, it is well equipped to handle work. As the new Sierra does not come in a one ton size, this truck has no competition on the showroom floor.
Body Styles: crew cab truck, regular cab truck, extended cab truck
Engines: 5.7-liter V-8, 7.4L V-8, 6.5-liter turbo diesel
Transmission: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: GMC C3500 SL, GMC C3500 SLE, GMC C3500 SLT
Because the Classic Sierra is being replaced by the New Sierra with the two overlapping last year and this year, there have been no significant changes to the older model. Therefore the only real changes this year is the loss of the C1500 model and some new exterior colors.
The styling of the C3500 is classic and bold. There is a huge GMC badge on the front grille announcing its presence. Speaking of huge, the C3500 itself is huge. It has a width of 77 inches and a total length ranging from 250.9 inches to 237.4 inches. Because of its massive weight of about 1000 pounds, dual rear wheels are standard on the extended cab models and are an option on all other models. The extended cab’s rear doors open toward the back making loading and unloading passengers and cargo easier. However, these doors only open after the front doors are opened. A chrome step bumper comes standard on the SLE and SLT models. Other options available include flared fenders, clearance lights, a camper/towing package, and camper mirrors. Some models come with a choice between 6.5- and 8-ft. cargo beds, either of which can be equipped with a bed liner.
Although the C3500 is meant for work, the interior was made more car-like beginning in the 1990s. The lowest models still come standard with vinyl seats, but cloth is available and the high end SLT comes with leather seats and steering wheel trim. The extended cab is roomier than its competition actually making it possible to carry adults in the rear. A three person bench seat is standard but bucket seats are an option. The rear seat in the extended cab is a three place bench seat that is reclined to make it more comfortable than the usual rear seat in a truck. Tinted glass is standard on all trucks making the interior more comfortable. The SLE and SLT models come with power brakes; power windows and door locks; and power exterior mirrors. Among the optional features are upgraded stereos offering a cassette player or a CD player and cruise control.
Performance & Handling
Both of the Sierra’s gasoline engine options are equipped with the latest Vortec GM technology. All three engines come with amazing power. The standard 5.7-liter V-8 puts out 255 horsepower and 330 ft-lb of torque at 2800 rpm. The 7.4-liter V-8 boost the power to 290 horsepower and 410 ft-lb of torque. Finally there is a 6.5-liter turbo diesel engine, which provides an amazing 430 ft-lb of torque for those needing a huge initial burst of power. Both of the gas engines have more satisfying power plants than the overhead-cam engines on the new Sierras.
A four-speed automatic transmission and a five-speed manual transmission are available for all models, and the automatic transmission is electronically controlled. The sheer power of this truck will be an important feature for many buyers and makes it a tough competitor for the Ford and Dodge competitors. The handling is rugged and rough, but it isn’t designed for a smooth ride, it’s designed to get the job done.
All of the C3500 models have four-wheel, antilock brakes. The SLT has a keyless entry system standard and it is an option on the SLE.
EPA Fuel Economy
GMC Sierra/C3500: not available
- The rugged platform
- The three very powerful engine options
- The classic exterior style
You Won't Like
- Plastic on the interior looks cheap
- The design has been superseded by the new Sierra
Strong, solid work truck with more than a decade of service behind it.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Chevrolet C3500
- Ford F350
- Dodge Ram