As others have said, this too was my first car. Being a typical high school kid this car took a beating, now I am older it is still reliable and I have had few problems with it. One thing I will say is that GM does not build very good drive trains, but the rest of the car makes up for this. It handles great on the road, and unlike most SUV's has very minimal body roll, it can also tow plenty and remain stable. The Z71 editions are great for offroad, decent ground clearnace and skid-plates help, I have taken mine to Moab many times and it works great. Bottom line is these things keep going and going, as long as they are maintained. I have 150K on mine!
Interior space, horse power, and handling.
More durable transmissions, electrical system could be more heavy duty. Also if you buy one of these invest in an aftermarket air intake it will really help your milage, and power.
My wife and I bought this in 2000 with 60K on it. She loves it, and it loves the local Chevy garage. We have replaced the fuel pump at 90K, the alternator at 95K, the tranny at100K (as everyone I know with a '96 has), the old style transfer case solenoid with the new/improved version, and have put two batteries in it. It also has a drinking problem. I top off the coolant about once a month. It now has a leak out of the rear seal of the transfer case (which I'll fix if it ever stops snowing), as well as lifter rattle and high oil pressure readings when first started. The a/c crapped out last year as well. But to borrow an old juice ad, I never have to say, Wow, wish I had a V8 because when the 350 rocks, she rocks!
V8 power! Stylish looks
Transmission durability. Visor mirrors. The vanity lights always stayed on until I disconnected them. That's what kept draining the second battery, and eventually killed it. Less brake pedal travel. Longer lasting a/c components
She is a beauty & a real tall truck with big tires. I love my truck! I can never wait to drive it. We have 4 cars, so this one's dedicated to towing RV. The tires and the huge engine result in some poor mileage from this gas engine when towing. Hwy 2, Washington State is a real hard pull for anything less than a mighty diesel, but Big Red handles the job quite fine. We get about 9 mpg for that tough pull. Hiway we get 14 mpg but the monster tires r 2 blame. This is one sexy truck that gets looks everywhere I go. Both men & women try to catch a glance of what is behind the limo tinted glass with the real big bass. We'll invest money in her & keep her 4-ever! This truck rocks.
Big tall beefy look - the new ones are too round or "soft" looking. My sister has the 2003 and it sounds beefy but looks a little sissy-like and the new style just doesn't look right with the suspension lift on it.
None other than I wish I could wiggle my nose and get better mileage. My friends 2006 loaded top of the line 4x4 only gets 16 mpg on the hiway so 14 in my modified '96 isn't so bad.