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1997 Chevrolet K3500

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1997 Chevrolet K3500 Review

Perfect for the heaviest workloads.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1997 Chevrolet K3500 classifies as a full-size, four-wheel drive pickup truck manufactured by General Motors. The truck debuted under the C/K nomenclature in 1975, and it continues production almost unchanged.

The K3500 serves as a one-ton pickup truck, and this model year most likely marks the last year for the Chevrolet C/K trucks. A new and refreshed range of pickups should make their entry soon, but the C/K models may still survive on the road.

The Range

Body Styles: two-door regular cab, four-door extended cab, four-door crew cab
Engines: 5.7-liter V-8, 7.4-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Chevrolet K3500 Cheyenne, Chevrolet K3500 Silverado

What's New

The 1997 Chevrolet K3500 gets revised to reduce the steering effort required at low speeds, and refinement of the transmission fluid facilitates smoother gearshifts.

Trucks that fall below 8600 pounds GVWR get a deactivation button for the passenger airbag. The airbag can be deactivated in order to place a rear-facing child safety seat in the front passenger seat.

The 5.7-liter Vortec engine gets an alternative fuel version, but it only comes on specific models. The 1997 Chevrolet K3500 offers three new exterior colors, and the third door option becomes available in more models this year.


The appearance of the 1997 Chevrolet K3500 remains nearly the same as when the first generation launched in 1975. This either seems good or bad, depending on whether the buyer likes the design of Chevrolet trucks.

The 1997 Chevrolet K3500 has a wheelbase that ranges from 117.5 inches to 155.5 inches, depending on the model chosen.


While the Chevrolet K3500 does not offer much on the outside, it offers a lot of options to choose from for its interior. The cabin of the 1997 Chevrolet K3500 feels very spacious, and it offers ample legroom and headroom in the front. The back feels a little cramped when compared to the front seats, but they seem decent enough for short drives. Visibility looks great because of the tall windows and windshield and wide stance of the truck.

The controls seem mostly well arranged, but some of the controls for the climate control system have a confusing layout. On a positive note, the instrument gauges remain easy to reach and read.

Performance & Handling

The 1997 Chevrolet K3500 offers two engines. A 5.7-liter V-8 delivers 255 horsepower and 335 lb-ft of torque, which comes standard. The optional engine, a 7.4-liter V-8, delivers 290 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque. The 5.7-liter engine pairs with a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic transmission, but the 7.4-liter engine only mates with the automatic.

Both V-8 engines offer lots of power for heavy-duty work, although the smaller 5.7-liter suits occasional work only. For regular heavy-duty work and extra oomph, drivers prefer the 7.4-liter engine. Ride quality improves a lot from previous generations but still offers little of note.


Safety information remains unavailable for the 1997 Chevrolet K3500.

EPA Fuel Economy

Chevrolet K3500, 7.4-liter V-8, automatic: 10/12 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Powerful performance
  • Spacious interior
  • Great visibility
  • Lots of cargo space

You Won't Like

  • Very poor fuel economy
  • Unrefined ride quality

Sum Up

Perfect for the heaviest workloads.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Ford F-350
  • GMC K3500
  • Dodge Ram 3500

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