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1996 GMC C1500

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1996 GMC C1500 Review

A rugged work vehicle with solid performance.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1996 GMC C1500 is a two-wheel-drive version of the popular line of GMC Sierra pickup trucks. It offers three models: SL, SLE, and the SLT. Available in both regular and extended cab editions, It is equipped with a standard 4.3-liter V-6. Additional engines available as options include a 5.0-liter V-8 and a 5.7-liter V-8. Designed to be a workhorse, it has an ample truck bed and decent legroom for passengers. The SL comes with basic standard features, including vinyl seating, tachometer, and power seating. The SLE and SLT come with better standard features, such as chrome bumpers, power exterior mirrors, cruise control, AM/FM/cassette audio system, and air-conditioning. The SLT comes with the most standards including luxury accessories such as leather seating and alloy wheels.

The Range

Body Styles: truck
Engines: 4.3-liter six-cylinder, 5.0-liter eight-cylinder, 5.7-liter eight-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual
Models: GMC Sierra C1500 SL, GMC Sierra C1500 SLE, GMC Sierra C1500 SLT

What's New

The 1996 GMC C1500 brings the new family of Vortec engines, providing additional power and torque than in previous years. For the extended cab models, an optional passenger-side third door is introduced. Daytime running lights are new this year, as well as safety belt upgrades, and lighted entry system. The on-board diagnostics system has also been improved this year to better monitor exhaust emissions.


The 1996 GMC Sierra C1500 features a straight side pickup bed and integrated chrome front bumpers and is equipped with externally adjustable mirrors on the driver and passenger side, as well as tinted glass. It is available in both a regular cab length and an extended one.


Interior features found on the GMC Sierra C1500 include vinyl seats, height adjustable safety belts and headrests, cup holders, driver front airbag, illuminated entry, front reading lights, cargo light, digital clock, and door pockets on the driver and passenger sides.

Performance & Handling

The 1996 GMC C1500 is a relatively powerful truck designed for hauling, and it comes with three engine options that have all been upgraded since last year. The 4.3-liter V-6 is capable of 200 hp at 4400 rpm and provides 255 lb-ft of torque at 2800 rpm. The next step up is a 5.0-liter V-8 engine producing 220 hp at 4600 rpm and offering 285 lb-ft of torque at 2800 rpm. The largest engine available is a 5.7-liter V-8, rated at 250 hp a 4600 rpm with 335 lb-ft of torque at 2800 rpm.


Safety features for the 1996 GMC Sierra C1500 include daytime running lights, four-wheel Anti-lock Brake Systems (ABS), and driver front airbag.

EPA Fuel Economy

GMC Sierra C1500: 14/19 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Rugged design with excellent towing capacity

You Won't Like

  • Poor fuel economy

Sum Up

A rugged work vehicle with solid performance.

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