Unlike other oversized pickup trucks, the GMC Topkick had a pretty long life span. The vehicle is basically a rebadged version of the Chevrolet Kodiak and was sold until 2009.
The Topkick pickup was a medium duty truck designed to be able to deal with those loads that were too heavy for a conventional pickup truck and its 6.6 liter V8 unit can tow up to 16.000 pounds.
The vehicle was modified in 2003, when it received a series of new features, some exterior changes and upgraded technologies. The new truck came with both 4x2 and 4x4 configurations and had a starting price of $55.000.
The GMC Topkick looked like a true beast and its imposing stance drew instant attention every time it passed down the street. The truck measured eight feet wide, nearly eight feet tall and not less than 20.5 feet long.
The body lines are pretty robust and enhance the rugged look of the truck, while the hood is slightly raked to give the vehicle a touch of dynamism.
Up front there is a simple rectangular grille which bares the red company’s badge in its center. The grille is flanked by a set of twin squared headlights which sit under a thin chromed bar.
The front oversized wheel arches share the same robust design with the rest of the body, while the one piece bumper comes with a shiny treatment and a solid build quality.
On each side of the cab there are huge foot steps to help you climb inside without too many struggles. Other footsteps can be found around the back and permit you to have easier access to the load bed.
The GMC Topkick’s interior is identical with the Kodiak’s and shares the same design and materials. Though, this is not a bad thing as the overall ergonomy is pretty well sorted and we also like the high class materials. The build quality however, could’ve been improved as the fittings aren’t exactly stellar.
Luckily, every control is at its right place and the instrument panel is fitted with basic and clear gauges that are fairly easy to read. We also like the angled center stack which is borrowed from the full sized heavy duty rigs.
You won’t have any complains about the front seats either, as thanks to their wide range of adjustments they offer a good level of comfort. The steering wheel features a pretty ergonomic design and can be also adjusted for reach and rake according to your wishes.
You seat very high from the ground, so high that you can’t see anything that sits too close to the truck. To improve the visibility, GMC has fitted its truck with standard all around cameras. Though, rear visibility is still an issue and the rear view camera won’t be of much help during parking maneuvers.
The Topkick is pretty well kitted and comes with all the high class features expected from a premium pickup truck.
Engines and performance
The GMC Topkick is equipped with a 6.6 liter Duramax turbo diesel engine that can be also seen under the bonnet of the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado. The engine cranks out 300 hp at 3000 rpm and 605 lb.ft at 1600 rpm.
The V8 is able to deal with almost anything you’ll ask of it, but it’s far from being sporty. The top speed is limited to only 70 mph, but you wouldn’t want to go any much faster, as the truck’s proportions will calm your speedy intentions instantly.
Yet, this truck wasn’t build for speed as its main purpose is to tow big loads and unsurprisingly it’s pretty good at this. Thanks to its generous torque, the GMC Topkick is able to handle a 5000 pound payload and tow up to 14,300 pounds, number that can’t be matched by any other conventional pickup truck.
As it was expected the fuel consumption could leave you broke just after a few hundred miles, as it’s rated at only 7 mpg.
GMC Topkick Engines specifications
|Engine||hp @ rpm||lb.ft @ rpm|
|6.6 liter V8||300 @ 3000||605 @ 1600|
Ride and handling
The chassis and the cab are separated by a performant air suspension system, so the ride quality isn’t as bad as expected. Though don’t expect to be too smooth either, as the Topkick is basically a truck with a load bed at the back.
The power steering is also pretty light and responsive and enables you to move those big wheels without feeling like you’re training at the gym. On the other hand, is devoid of any proper road feedback. The body roll however, is perfectly kept in check and the cab’s floating effect is also pretty small.
You won’t have any problems to bring this big rig to halt as its breaks are fairly capable of getting the job done. Moreover, the GMC Topkick it’s also offered with a standard engine break which is a common thing among big trucks and will help you slow down without using the service breaks.
The GMC Topkick was a good product, but its market was pretty limited. It had a fairly spacious and comfortable cab, while the engine was also strong and reliable, being able to tow massive weights with ease. Though, it was far from being fuel efficient.
Moreover, the gargantuan proportions of the vehicle made it far from being agile around the city and its road manners were pretty close from those of a full sized rig.