The 1997 GMC C1500 is part of the C/K lineup of pickup trucks, which was introduced along with the Chevrolet C/K trucks in 1975, and both Chevrolet and GMC trucks had the same engine configurations, body styles, and generation changes.
According to the C/K nomenclature, it's a two-wheel drive, half-ton pickup truck, and the K represents four-wheel drive pickups. Although the Chevrolet and GMC C1500s were more or less the same in practice, it differs in its badging as well as its front grille and fascia.
Body Styles: regular cab, extended cab, crew cab
Engines: 5.7-liter V-8, 5.0-liter V-8, 4.3-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: GMC C1500 SL, GMC C1500 SLE, GMC C1500 SLT, GMC C1500 GT, GMC C1500 Special
The 1997 GMC C1500 gets a new speed-sensitive steering system that allows the driver to turn the truck at low speeds with less effort. The four-wheel-drive version has an improved turning radius as well, making it more maneuverable.
The 1997 GMC C1500 with a GVWR under 8600 pounds have a passenger airbag as a standard feature. The automatic transmission has been refined for smoother shifts and better fuel efficiency. It's also now available in three new exterior color schemes.
The 1997 GMC C1500 carries forward the same conventional look that was introduced when the fourth generation debuted in 1988. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that it still has some of the attributes of a 1975 GMC truck.
The 1997 GMC C1500 is a rather reliable truck in terms of performance, but its exterior look is clearly outdated. Nevertheless, a majority of trucks prioritize performance over looks, which is probably why GMC has not bothered to overhaul the exterior.
The 1997 GMC C1500 has quite a sparse interior with just the bare necessities. Nevertheless, it does come with a number of different packages that offer more features. The tall windows and windshield and the wide stance gives the driver great visibility all around.
The 1997 GMC C1500 is quite spacious with lots of legroom and headroom up front. The rear bench present in some models is quite cramped, but the extended-wheelbase versions have a more spacious rear bench.
The 1997 GMC C1500's controls are arranged quite well on the dash with most of them being easy to understand and use, except for the controls for the electronic vents and heater. Another minor gripe is that it has a relatively small glove compartment.
Performance & Handling
The 1997 GMC C1500 has a base engine that's a 4.3-liter V-6; this delivers 200 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque. The truck is available with two optional V-8 engines. The first one is a five-liter engine that delivers 230 horsepower and 285 lb-ft of torque, while the second is a 5.7-liter V-8 engine that delivers 255 horsepower and 335 lb-ft of torque.
The most powerful engine is the 5.7-liter V-8, and the engine’s incredible torque makes it perfect for low-end pulling and rapid highway passing. The five-liter V-8 engine is good for withstanding occasional heavy loads, and it is quite powerful, too. The V-6 engine offers just about decent acceleration but only with light loads and a manual gearbox.
The 1997 GMC C1500 received a full five-star rating for driver safety and four stars for passenger safety during frontal impact tests conducted by the NHTSA.
EPA Fuel Economy
GMC C1500: 13/17 mpg city/highway
- Powerful V-8 engines
- Large cargo bed
- Spacious interior
- Great visibility
You Won't Like
- Poor ride quality
- Some controls are confusing
Has something for everyone.
If You Like This Vehicle
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