Curbside Comparison: 1986 GMC High Sierra 2500 3+3 and 2021 Chevy Silverado 2500HD – The Changing Shape Of Pickups

When I saw that Jim Klein had a 2021 Chevy 2500HD crew cab pickup to review, it reminded me that I had recently shot this 1986 GMC 2500 crew cab. With their mandatory 8′ long beds, these Chevy and GM pickups were the biggest in the land at the time, starting in 1973. I naturally assumed it was longer than the short bed 2021; not so, it turns out.

The 1986 long bed is 244.8″ long; the short bed 2021 version is 250″ long overall. The changed proportions (more height) are deceptive, as the red truck looks visually shorter.

That means that the long bed version of the 2021 2500 HD crew cab is 22″ longer than the 1986 version. I’m not trying to make some profound editorial statement here, but just stating the facts. And acknowledging that a.) the 2021 version has more interior cab space. and b.) there’s a good reason why these long bed crew cab pickups have become so rare: They’re mighty long (266″, and 172″ wheelbase).

Either way, these are long trucks. But there’s no denying that the 2021 is…longer.