1995 CHEVROLET C/K3500 EXT. CAB 2WD
Used Truck - 1995 Chevrolet C/K3500 Ext. Cab 2WD in Victoria, Tx
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1995 Chevrolet C/K3500 ReviewThis car review is specific to this model, not the actual vehicle for sale.
GM offers trucking as you like it.
As with life, variety is the spice of trucking these days. Pickups, particularly full-size, come in more shapes, sizes and capacities than any other kind of vehicle.
The Chevrolet/GMC Truck C/K Pickup, Ford’s perennial rival in the sales derby, provides an excellent example of this product proliferation. Regular cab, extended cab, 4-door Crew Cab; regular bed or long bed; manual transmission or 4-speed automatic; 2-wheel drive, 4-wheel drive; dual rear wheels; several wheelbases; engine options galore; a blizzard of convenience goodies - if Shakespeare were writing today, 'As you like it' might very well have been devoted to the American full-size pickup phenomenon.
If you can’t come up with a C/K Pickup that suits your needs, well, maybe you don’t need a pickup.
We picked a standard cab Chevy C1500 - the classic all-American half-tonner - for our evaluation, because even with all the other variations this truck still represents about 80 percent of sales for the C/K line.
A word on designations. When you see the letter 'C' in front of the number, it means the truck is a 2WD model. When the letter 'K' is used, the truck is equipped with 4WD, GM’s on-demand Insta-Trac system, which is designed for part-time use and can be engaged while the vehicle is moving.
The numbers in the designations refer to load capabilities - 1500 is the basic truck, 2500 indicates greater load capabilities and 3500 tells you it’s a real workhorse. Availability of some of the higher-output engines is limited to the 2500 and 3500 versions, which is also true of the competition from Ford and Dodge.
Engines - have these guys got engines. The lineup starts with the 4.3-liter Vortec V6, a surprisingly lusty performer that generates 160 hp and 235 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s also had some noise-reduction massaging for 1995. This is the base engine for the C/K line, and it’s worth a look; you might decide you don’t really need a V8.
V8 engines occupy the next two spots in the inventory: the good old 5.0-liter, with 175 hp and 265 lb.-ft. of torque, and the stronger 5.7-liter with 200 hp and 310 lb.-ft. Both variations have a distinguished service record, dating their lineage to the original Chevy small-block V8 of 1955.
The rest of the engine lineup is limited to heavier duty C/K trucks, the 2500 and 3500 series. A big-block gasoline V8 - 7.4 liters with 230 hp, 385 lb.-ft - heads this group. There are also two 6.5-liter diesel V8s, one normally aspirated, one turbocharged. The normally aspirated version develops 155 hp and 275 lb.-ft. of torque, the turbo generates 180 hp and 360 lb.-ft. Both are workhorse units, great for towing and heavy hauling, and both offer better fuel economy than gasoline engines of equivalent power.
Chevy C/K trim levels range from the Work Truck, a stripped-for-action edition with prices comparable to a compact truck, to the more luxurious Silverado.
There’s also a Sportside variation, with a side dimpled into the bodywork between the rear fender and the cab. Not as practical as the standard cargo bed configuration but undeniably stylish.
The C/K pickups are a little smaller than their rivals from Dodge and Ford are. But the critical dimension - enough room between the rear wheel wells for that all-important 4 ft. x 8 ft. sheet of plywood to lie flat on the cargo box floor - is present.
Aside from minor trim changes, neither of the C/K lines has had a styling change since 1988, and that holds true for 1995.
However, there have been some significant changes within. Our C1500 Silverado sported an instrument panel that was not only better looking and more functional, but also included a driver’s airbag.
The standard analog instruments are more readable, the new audio controls are larger and the new rotary-knob climate controls are far simpler and far easier to use than the previous setup.
The right side of the dashboard top has a couple of molded-in cupholders, as well as a dished-out storage area where a passenger’s airbag will someday go. Our Silverado test truck included a new optional center console that’s particularly nifty, with a swivel-top writing surface, a map/document compartment on its underside and a removable coin holder.
We liked the dual 12-volt auxiliary power plug-ins, and we were truly pleased to find that all C/Ks now need only one key to unlock the doors and start the truck.
The optional high-back bucket seats in our test truck represent another improvement over their predecessors, but GM could still do a little work on the bottom cushion. This truck’s long list of civilizing features is aimed at all-day driving comfort, and the seats could fall an hour or two short of this goal.
Standard cab roominess is another area where the GM pickups don’t quite measure up to their major competitors, particularly the big Dodge Ram. That’s why extended-cab editions are enjoying such a surge in popularity.
Ride quality is one area where the C/K Pickups score high marks. The relatively sophisticated suspension system of this line is good at smoothing out rough roads, even when there’s no load in the cargo bed. Toyota’s T100 may have a slight edge in this area, but not by much, and it simply can’t handle the kind of workloads of V8-powered American trucks.
Our Silverado’s 5.7-liter V8 delivered very good punch for all-around driving, and it also delivered a muted but powerful exhaust note to go with it. This is a very satisfying sound to most pickup owners, and it seems to be unique to good ol’ all-American over-head-valve V8 engines.
Handling is another C/K strong suit. Ford’s limited production F-150 Lightning is the handling champ among full-size pickups, but for all-around agility in a regular production truck, our C1500 Silverado does very well.
We were also impressed with the performance of the braking system, which includes 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) as a standard feature for 1995 across the board. That’s a big plus for the GM camp - it’s optional elsewhere.
The Chevrolet/GMC Truck C/K lineup has been updated continuously since its major overhaul back in 1988 and the major refinements for 1995 - a new interior, a driver’s airbag and standard 4-wheel ABS - make it more competitive than ever.
GM quality still trails Ford by a little bit, although the gap is closing steadily. And the C/K line still enjoys a quality edge over Dodge. It’s also worth noting that GM’s 6-year/100,000-mile rust-through warranty indicates a high level of quality-confidence on the part of the manufacturer.
Our test truck was free of any noticeable flaws, including squeaks or rattles, inside and out, although BSRs (industry-speak for buzzes, squeaks and rattles) rarely show up in a new vehicle.
If you want an extended-cab version of one of these trucks, you may need some patience. GM’s ability to supply rising demand for these popular models is already on the slow side and factory shuffling is likely to cause additional delays, at least for the first part of the ’95 model year.
Beyond that, however, the C/K series rolls into 1995 as a distinctly improved and competitively priced line of full-size pickups that includes a truck for just about every conceivable purpose. As a result, choosing between a Ford F-Series, a Dodge Ram or a C/K Pickup gets to be a matter of subtle distinctions in roominess and design efforts.
Any way you choose, you should be able to get your pickup as you like it.
Pontiac, Michigan; Flint, Michigan.