First Drive: 2002 GMC Sierra Professional
The ultimate professional-grade tool
It's the truck that would make Tim Allen types blush: The Sierra Professional series (available in 1500 Series 2WD or 4WD Extended Cab short-box configurations with 6200- or 6400-lb GVW ratings) provides the ultimate professional-grade tool for those who need more than just transportation to and from the job site. Think of it as a custom-designed vehicle to expand the work capabilities of contractors, builders, and numerous skilled trades people who carry equipment and/or are prone to use their trucks as portable offices.
Inside, the center console has a front compartment, providing concealed storage for a PDA, cell-phone, and two auxiliary power points to charge them. It also provides a storage tray for smaller items like maps, gloves, or CD. In addition, it has an oversize "Big Gulp"-type drinkholder and a second temperature-controlled cupholder that can keep beverages hot or cold when the ignition is on. During our initial drive, we can attest that it keeps soda frosty and coffee piping hot.
The center console also can be easily converted to provide hanging file-folder storage, with two specially designed rails provided for that purpose. The rails slide into the center bin in place of the thermal electric cooler. Additional storage capability in back of the console accommodates items like folders and portfolios. Convenient storage nets on the underside of the lid and on the backside of the console provide additional storage. The console also has two additional power outlets in the rear for charging battery packs for power tools.
Available in either SLE or SLT trim, the 2WD Sierra Professional comes with a standard Vortec 4800 V-8, and the 5300 V-8 is optional. The 4WD model, available only in SLE trim, has the 5.3 standard. The 4.8 V-8 is an option for credit on the purchase price, but we wouldn't recommend it. Both engines mate to a standard 4L60-E four-speed automatic transmission.
The new models also look the part, with a large, full-chrome grille; bold, molded-in-color bodyside molding; specific 16-in. cast-aluminum wheels; and LT245/75R16C tires and wheel flares. They also feature a full standard bedliner and box-rail-protector covers. From our perspective, the 2500 Professional is the best tool box on wheels, wrenches not included.