The Chevrolet K2500 is a three-quarter ton, heavy-duty pickup truck that GM introduced as early 1988 models. It was a part of Chevrolet and GMC's full-size pickup truck line called the C/K series which consists of the 1500, the 2500, and the 3500 models. The “C” designates two-wheel drive while the “K” stands for four-wheel-drive models. Let’s take a look back at the brief history of this car model.
1988 – 1993: First years
The Chevrolet K2500 first came out as one of GM’s redesigned early 1988 models that were almost identical to the GMC Sierra. It was a four-wheel-drive that featured a long bed and a 131.5-inch wheelbase and 8-foot bed. It also had an extended-cab pickup that rode a 155.5-inch span with an 8-foot bed or 141.5-inch with a 6.5-foot bed. It was equipped with standard antilock rear brakes and a V6 engine.
1994: Getting safe
For the 1994 model year, the Chevrolet K2500 received new safety features. The side door guard beams were added to minimize intrusion into the passenger compartment in case of a side impact. Another safety feature added to the K2500 was a center high-mounted brake light.
1995: Minor changes
The 1995 model year saw a few changes the Chevrolet K2500. Another set of safety features were added in the form of a new driver-side airbag and an interlock which requires stepping on the brake pedal. This new feature helps reduce the vehicle’s tendency to make sudden and unexpected movements. The interiors were also updated with power mirrors, revised climate controls, and cupholders that provided a more user-friendly environment. The Chevrolet K2500 also went through mechanical enhancements in this model year. Standard four-wheel antilock brakes were added, the duty automatic gearbox was modified, the rear-wheel-only antilock system was replaced by the four-wheel ABS, the transmission was revised for quicker 1-2 upshifts on full-throttle applications, and the engines were improved to reduce noise, improve durability, and increase efficiency.
1996: New engines
A new series of engines that provide more power and torque compared to last year's offerings were introduced for the Chevrolet K2500’s 1996 model year. This new family of engines called Vortec includes a 4.3-liter V6, a 5.0-liter V8 and a 5.7-liter V8. Other significant changes done to the K2500 for this year include the “Easy-Access System” which is an optional passenger-side third door that’s only available on the extended cab body styles. The new illuminated entry was also able to improve the convenience and comfort of the driver and the passengers. Daytime running lamps (DRLs) were added on the exterior features while the interior was updated with a twelve-volt power outlet, an electrochromic inside rearview mirror, and height-adjustable D-rings for safety belts. Aside from all of that, the 1996 Chevrolet 2500 has also been equipped with a second generation of On-Board Diagnostics for exhaust emissions monitoring.
1997: More minor changes
In 1997, low-speed steering effort was reduced and the transmission fluid pump has been refined for smoother shifts. The trucks under 8,600 pounds GVWR were also updated to allow the deactivation of the passenger airbag when a rear-facing child safety seat is installed. The Vortec 5700’s alternative fuel version also became available this year but only to a specific model.
1998: The final year
In 1998, the color choices were revised and so was the tailgate lettering. However, the biggest news for this model year was the standard theft-deterrent system. Unfortunately, this was also the last year for the Chevrolet 2500 as it was dropped by the company to be able to welcome the all-new Silverado.