The Chevrolet Kodiak shared the same designed and technologies with the GMC Topkick and Isuzu H-Series and was commercialized between 1980 and 2009. The vehicle was designed as a medium duty truck used for utilitarian and commercial purposes.
The last generation was launched in 2003 and it was built on the new platform G-Platform.
The new model came with a bigger cab and was offered with both 4x2 and 4x4 configurations. Power comes from a 6.6-liter, 300-horsepower Duramax diesel V-8 and the base two wheel drive Kodiak starts at about $55,000.
The Chevrolet Kodiak has a maximum towing capacity of 16.000 pounds, plus the additional 5,500 lb. it can carry at the back.
The big Chevrolet Kodiak is an imposing presence as it measures eight feet wide, nearly eight feet tall, and 20.5 feet long (in crew cab guise).
The vehicle features a robust conventional cab configuration, but the last generation came with a bunch of exterior modifications which helped it look more modern.
The most significant exterior change was the new front grille. The rest of the body however, remained mostly unchanged and the new Kodiak kept the same robust wheel arches found at its predecessor.
The main lights are pretty small and their chunky shape looks a bit out of place. The front bumper continues the robust design language found at the rest of the body, but it seems pretty solid and ready to go head to head with small impacts without breaking down.
The truck received a generous glass area and the hood is slightly raked to improve the front road visibility.
On each side of the cab there are convenient footsteps which permit you climb easier inside, while at the back there is also another foot step which is integrated into the rear spoiler to offer access to the load bed.
The Kodiak cab is pretty close to the one from a typical heavy duty rig. There are acres of space which give the cabin a nice airy feel. The dashboard is available with various trims, but the plastics are more on the hard side of things.
The center console features a pretty ergonomic design and it’s slightly raked toward the driver, offering easy access to its numerous controls.
The four spoke steering wheel is pretty modern and we like its optional tasty wood inserts which make it look upscale.
The ergonomic steering wheel and the deep, air-suspended seats offer an excellent driving position and there are also enough adjustments to keep you satisfied. Though, the driving position is so high that you can’t see anything that’s close to your front, rear or sides. To solve this problem, Chevrolet added a series of cameras which start every time you activate the turn signals. There is also a rear view camera but it offers a pretty limited angle of visibility and won’t help you too much with parallel parking.
Most of the controls are placed within easy reach and the instrument cluster is fairly easy to read during both night and day trips. Other interior features include dual-tone leather seats, complementary gray carpeted floor, aftermarket dash and door trim.
Engines and performance
The Chevrolet Kodiak was powered by a Duramax 6600 engine mated on a six speed Allison transmission (with PTO included).
The engine develops a maximum output of 300 hp with 605 lb.ft of torque which is more than enough to help you move around town with agility and to tow heavy weights without breaking a sweat.
The transmission was pretty impressive, as it’s surprisingly refined and runs through gears effortless. Unlike other heavy duty boxes, the Kodiak’s unit doesn’t make abrupt shifts when empty and can adapt the gear changes according to the loads that are carried at the back.
The Chevy Kodiak can go from 0 to 60 mph, in about 12.5 seconds which isn’t as slow as expected, but not too fast either. Though, highway overtaking still needs serious planning.
Chevrolet Kodiak Engines specifications
|Engine||hp @ rpm||lb.ft @ rpm|
|6.6 liter V8||300 @ 3000||605 @ 1600|
Ride and handling
The vehicle is equipped with the UltraRide chassis air suspension which makes for a smooth ride regardless of what load you’ll carry at the back.
Leaving apart the poor all around visibility, the truck isn’t difficult to drive and the light power steering helps you maneuver it around without too much drama.
There is also a pretty small body lean in corners and the truck stays well planted in its wheel with a well controlled floating effect.
The stopping power is decent and the truck is also offered with a capable engine break which will come in handy when you need do deal with downhill sections.
The Chevrolet Kodiak offers a good mix between comfort and functionality and it’s also pretty cheap compared to models like the International CXT. Though this truck should be used only if you really need its heavy duty towing and hauling capacity as there are many other conventional pickup trucks out there which can tow up to 10,000 for less money.