This week we’re looking at the 2001 GMC Sierra Turbo Diesel Crew Cab. This bad boy is impressive with a 6.6-liter diesel engine that produces 300 horsepower and 520 foot pounds of torque at 1800 rpm. It’s the Duramax 6600 turbo-diesel V8.
I have been looking for a diesel for the ranch and pulling a 5th wheel and I’m torn between this and the Dodge Ram. Heavy-duty truck users like my brother who has a dump truck business leans to the Cummins Diesel engine and therefore the Dodge line. That’s what powers his Peterbuilt trucks and they are the grand daddy’s of diesel engine manufacturer’s.
On balance, GM diesel engines are built by the grand daddy of car and truck companies- GM, and they have been a top car company for a hundred years. Brother John says it’s just a V8 made into a diesel, where his Cummins is an inline six cylinder made to be a diesel. He routinely hauls two ton of hay in a one ton rated truck and pulls rocky dirt road (mud and snow in winter) hills up to the ranch.
Well, at the end of the day, you’ll make a decision based on what purpose you have for the vehicle and your preference of companies. The good news is that in this heavy-duty truck market there is really only three players as noted below. GM, Ford and Chrysler. You could flip a coin as I did and it was heads for GM, tails for Chrysler and on-edge for Ford. I’ve owned Ford trucks but I tend to lean toward GM products until I began to look closely at heavy-duty needs. Now I’m not sure. Dodge trucks have a great reputation and a die hard following who will tell you this is one tough truck. I’d be interested in your comments.
Handling & Performance:
Fast is my first thought and quiet is second and comfort is third. I had just come out of the Cad Catera and my tousch told me instantly that this “Truck” had more comfortable seating than the Cad. Thanks GMC, and please talk with your buddies over at Cadillac about how to make a seat comfortable.
If you believe what GMC says about the competition, this 300 horsepower @ 3100 rpm and 520 lb.-ft. of torque at a low 1800 rpm, produces 65-70 more horsepower and 20-70 more torque than its competitors. And they say it has segment-leading acceleration at any load level.
You get what you get because there is little difference in looks. They used to all be square looking and now they’ve rounded out the corners that I prefer now that I’ve gotten used to the look. They’ll probably stay close in styling because these truck builders don’t have the balls to be very different.
Fit and Finish:
Very nice. Trucks are as good as cars these days.
Terrible if you’ll drive it for transportation, and great if you have a “work horse” need.
Match the truck to the task at hand. If you’ll be pulling a 40-foot trailer or 5th wheel, be sure to get the long bed diesel since short bed is not recommended. You’ll pull loads with ease and get much better fuel economy from the diesel. The owners I’ve talked with agree that the gas engines are much poorer on economy than a comparable diesel engine and maintenance is less too on the diesel. In fact, they will run trouble free for twice the miles of the gas engine. If you expect to operate in snow or muddy conditions as brother John does, 4WD is a must.
Well, there are only three competitors so naturally you’ll want to drive them all.
Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD $21,469-36,017, Dodge Ram 2500 $20,995-26,265, Ford F-250 Super Duty $20,535-32,355.
Powerful, quieter than most diesels (78 decibels of sound at cold-idle startup, or about half the next quietest Ford competitor), nice interior and spacious Crew Cab, PTO (power take off) capability,
Cummins Diesel is arguably better than the GM diesel in the GM brand.
6.6 liter Duramax Turbo Diesel 300 horsepower and 520 ft. lbs. Torque, V8 engine, Allison five-speed automatic transmission, Factory-installed OnStar communications and security system on SLT, Air conditioning, Stereo with CD, cargo lamp, dual and side air bags, power mirrors, windows and door locks, 4-wheel antilock brakes, remote keyless entry, leather 6 way power seats and cruise control.
City and Highway MPG not available.
MSRP $43,294 (includes the Diesel engine and trans for about $6,000).