Reader Question: The Sound that Makes the Persian Gulf Cheer?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Dave asks: My boy has found a pretty solid 2001 GMC Sierra 1500, with a 6 liter V8, five speed manual and 3.73 gears

A friend says he had one and could only get 12-13 MPG Canadian, which would be only about 10 miles per US gallon. I checked online and the answer was 15 miles per USA gallon.

Is that right?

My reply: It’s in the ballpark . . . according to the EPA, this truck with the 4.8 liter V8/manual combo rated 13 city, 17 highway. This would work out to around 15 MPG average.

With the optional/larger 5.3 V8 which was available that year, the mileage is likely a bit less. You mention that the truck your son is looking at has the 6.0 V8 but I couldn’t find data for it and can’t recall it being available in the GM 1500s that year. It was, however. available in the heavier-duty 2500 series Sierra. If the truck you’re looking at has that engine, that’s probably what you’re looking at.

This is a great engine – especially as it was available with a manual transmission (something that’s unavailable now) and without all the current “safety” rigmarole. But you can expect to get around 10 MPG in this truck – and not just because of the larger engine. The 2500 Sierra is a beefier/heavier truck, in addition.

But it is a powerful/capable truck and if the price is right, it could be just the ticket. Gas is cheap right now. That could change, of course. But trucks – especially 4WD models with manual transmissions – tend to hold their value really well. So if your son decides it’s too much – or uses too much – it is probable he could sell the thing for about what he paid.

So it’s a relatively risk-free proposition.

Hope this was helpful!

. . .

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  1. I knew a lot of people who bought this truck. Don’t recall one that wasn’t a 2500 4WD crewcab. Every person said not to get your hopes high for fuel mileage but they were all driving them a couple years and buying new ones. I have 3/4T’s and K3500’s and I prefer the 3500’s for a lot of reasons including able to pull more weight and pull “out” more weight plus much better brakes and brake life. They just have a better feel and a heavier duty feel without sacrificing handling.

    • But I still prefer a 6.5 Turbo Diesel from the 90’s. Much cheaper and more durable parts. Every handle on those early trucks is steel and every handle on the 96 and up is plastic. It makes a lot of difference, not just the endgate or outside door handles but the inside door handles that seem to just break off left and right. Mirrors are better and they have inside and outside bearings for their hubs instead of a single, dry bearing that will often give up at 50K when you work in the dirt all the time. Their front-end parts are heavier too. You can count on 250K on front end steering and suspension parts. And NOTHING gets as good mileage as the 6.5 Turbo Diesel.


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