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With its cramped interior, dated design, and dubious build quality, the Jimmy doesn't make much of a case for itself against the bigger and more refined offerings from Nissan, Toyota and Ford.
Wide model range, plenty of features, sleek two-door styling.
Body shake on rough surfaces, low-buck interior parts, uncomfortable rear seats.
Available Jimmy Models
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For 2000, GMC is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its Jimmy nameplate with a Diamond Edition model. Other changes center on new equipment and suspension packaging. A heavy-duty battery is now standard, and Jimmy's V6 has been upgraded with a roller timing chain, sprocket and rocker arms for improved durability and reduced noise. There are also two new exterior colors, while the SLE gets a revised cloth interior.
GMC is positioning the Jimmy as a luxury SUV, more upscale than its platform pals, the Chevy Blazer and Olds Bravada. But there's not a whole lot to set these three apart. Like its stablemates, Jimmy received minor styling tweaks for 1998. The result was a clean-looking four-door version, but we like the profile of the two-door with its distinctive C-pillar treatment. In an effort to separate GMC's compact SUV from the pack this year, there's a 2000 Jimmy Diamond Edition model to mark the nameplate's 30th anniversary.
The Diamond Edition boasts two-tone paint and a slew of aftermarket-style add-ons, such as a prominent grille guard with integrated fog lamps, aluminum side-step tubes, bodyside cladding and special badging. Should you desire, you can opt for high-intensity discharge headlamps borrowed from Jimmy's snooty sister, the GMC Envoy. Inside, the Diamond Edition earns its moniker with diamond-quilted perforated leather.
If the idea of a high-profile, limited-edition sport-utility goes beyond your needs, the regular Jimmy lineup can be tailored to suit any driving requirement. The only difficulty is deciding what to include. Despite GMC dropping the old base SL model for retail customers, there are three different trim levels. SLS (sport) trim is now standard on two-door Jimmys and SLE (comfort) trim is now the standard for four-doors. If you need all the bells and whistles, opt for SLT (luxury/touring) equipment. Two-wheel-drive models can be had with Euro- or Luxury-Ride suspensions in either two- or four-door versions, while four-wheel-drive Jimmys add the choice of off-road underpinnings on two-doors.
Jimmy features strong acceleration from its Vortec 4300 V6 and smooth four-speed automatic. A "tow/haul" mode button helps optimize shifts when pulling a load, and the available AutoTrac automatic two-speed transfer case makes four-wheel traction a snap. Four-wheel antilock braking with four-wheel discs is standard. Inside, there's plenty of elbow room, and headroom is immense. There's space for three in back, but restrict it to two unless you enjoy hearing comfort complaints. The short rear seat feels hard and there's no foot room under front seats, meaning the backseat is not an enjoyable place to spend time.
Overall, Jimmy is easy to handle and fun to drive, and uplevel versions can be downright luxurious. You've also got a huge options list to help you customize your Jimmy to your tastes. Just be careful not to overdo it, because the price tag can zip skyward in a hurry.
Laura's old car was costing her a small fortune every month for gas and repairs. She didn't even want to drive her kids to the park any more. But buying a new Kia Soul changed all that.