1996 Chevrolet C3500 Review
GM's big haulers power up for '96.
Thanks to the tough-guy look of the new Dodge Ram pickup and the rounded mod-squad shape of the even-newer Ford F-Series pickup, the Chevrolet--and cousin GMC--C/K full-size pickups are suddenly looking like the old kids on the block. Yet, in truck years, the General Motors full-size pickups aren't really that old. The design was first introduced in 1988 as a completely new offering inside and out, and even today it looks clean, crisp and contemporary.
Stylistically, it offers truck buyers an alternative to the newer Dodge and Ford models, an alternative that is traditional without necessarily being out of fashion. And in a market segment where product cycles are often measured in decades, eight years tallies up as just getting started.
In 1992 the line was rounded out with the addition of a Crew Cab model and a 6.5-liter turbodiesel V8. In 1995 the interior was redone, including the addition of a driver's airbag.
For 1996 there is really big news under the hood. The so-called Vortec" technology, which was used to such positive effect on GM's 4.3-liter V6 truck engines, has been extended to all the C/K's gasoline V8 engine offerings. The 5.0, 5.7- and 7.4-liter V8s all deliver a lot more power and a lot more torque. In horsepower, the 4.3 V6 has more than the previous 5.0 V8, the 5.0 has more than the previous 5.7, and the 5.7 has more than the previous 7.4. Across the board, torque figures are up between 20 to 25 lb.-ft., depending upon the specific engine."
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