Used 1998 GMC Jimmy

1998 GMC Jimmy
List price range
1998 GMC Jimmy

Pros

  • Sleek styling.

Cons

  • Body shake on rough surfaces. Cheap interior parts. Uncomfortable rear seats. Former class-leading V-6 not as strong as much of the competition these days.
GMC Jimmy years

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

GMC has the unenviable job of marketing the Jimmy as a luxury SUV now that the Pontiac-GMC merger is complete and crazed brand managers think GMC products need to be perceived as upscale from Chevrolet. Essentially identical to the Blazer and Oldsmobile Bravada, with no distinguishing characteristics to set it apart from either of these models, Jimmy marketers have their work cut out for them. Tightly sandwiched between the Blazer and Bravada, there is only one way to convince buyers that the Jimmy is the one to buy: slick advertising.

Despite a minor redesign for 1998, four-door styling is on the staid side, but two-doors are fastback-profiled with a distinctive side-window treatment. A Jimmy is comfortable, easy to handle and fun to drive. Upgraded versions can be luxuriously equipped, but each rugged rendition looks and feels tough--a little more truck-like than the similar Blazer. An under-the-floor spare tire on four-door models increases cargo space. Headroom is immense and elbow space excellent. There's room for two in back; maybe three if you enjoy hearing comfort complaints while you drive, but the short seat feels hard and there's no room under front seats for feet. Basically, the back seat should be reserved for kiddies.

Though exceptionally sure-footed most of the time, a Jimmy can feel momentarily unstable and top-heavy in a sharp maneuver - but only if you forget what you're driving. On snowy pavement, you almost have to try to make a four-wheel-drive Jimmy skid. Whether maintaining traction while accelerating, or trying to recapture grip through a turn, 4WD delivers a strong feeling of confidence.

All-wheel drive, formerly an option, is no longer available on the Jimmy. Four-wheel antilock braking helps haul the sport-ute to a prompt halt, and all models gain four-wheel discs for 1998. Drivers and passengers face second-generation de-powered airbags. Acceleration is strong from the standard 4300 Vortec V6 engine, and the smooth four-speed automatic suffers little lag when downshifting. A five-speed manual transmission is available on two-door models.

Other news for the new year includes a revised interior with a softer appearance and better ergonomics. Bodyside cladding has been restyled, and the top-of-the-line SLT 4WD is equipped with some God-awful alloy wheels. The back bumper gets a center step cutout to improve access to the cargo area and roof rack. New audio systems debut, and buyers of the SLT 4WD can opt for heated front seats. Something called a Truck Body Computer controls the PassLock theft deterrent system, automatic headlights, battery rundown protection, retained accessory power and lockout prevention features. Exterior mirrors can be ordered with a defrost mode for snowy days and nights.

The hardest duty in Jimmy-shopping is deciding what to include. Suspension choices stretch from smooth to off-road. Expect some bounce and roll from the Luxury Ride suspension, but it's compliant and responds quickly. Sport (SLS), comfort (SLE) and touring (SLT) decor packages are available. Then there's the huge option list to contend with. Overdo it, and the toll can zip skyward in a hurry, though this GMC represents slightly better value than Oldsmobile's all-wheel-drive Bravada.

1998 Highlights

A revised interior contains dual second-generation airbags, improved climate controls and available premium sound systems. Outside, the front bumper, grille and headlights are new. Side cladding is restyled and SLT models have new alloy wheels. Fresh colors inside and out sum up the changes.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1998 GMC Jimmy.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

GMC SLS Jimmy 4x4
Edwin Vazquez Jr,03/30/2009
I purchased this vehicle in NJ and used it for 4 yrs and then moved to Puerto Rico and this vehicle started to give me problems here. The seat level recliner snapped off on both side thats sad but true. The other items i changed on it is the battery, alternator, AC compressor and evaporator, fan belts, brake pads first time after 3 yrs. The ABS light on and Air Bag light drives me crazy but besides that I cant complain the truck has been very good and will continue to purchase GMC trucks. Edwin
Dependable
James Hobday,07/02/2009
Look, we've had this thing forever. 11 Years later this thing is still on the same break pads. The four-wheel drive broke in Arizona but that's because we used and abused it. This car's interior isn't much to wave a stick at NOW but it was a $44,000 car for the SLT 4WD. This thing will run forever if you take care of it just a little. This is my dad's and he cleaned the carpets, washed it, change the tires/filters/oil when they were supposed to be changed and it's still going. It even survived my sister ^_^. That's saying something. I love this truck and plan on buying a 2001 Jimmy for college. You just have to take care of the car and it'll run forever.
Great product
andrew_07,09/29/2009
i bought my 98 Jimmy from my grandfather June 16th of 2008 as I was 19 at the time buying my first vehicle. I am now 21 and I love my 98 Jimmy it has 131,200 miles on it and runs and looks like new. I had to replace the fuel pump and relay and no problems since that fix was routine matinence. I have drivin it harder than most drivers as I am 21 and it is really responsive, has solid steering feel, has great acceleration and is really comfortable to drive for long periods. I like the ammount of luggage space and it tows 3500 lbs as it has a bumper - mounted hitch if my hitch was a frame - mounted hitch it would tow 5500 lbs. the 4 wheel drive is very powerful and responsive as well
great suv
korey ,02/04/2003
I have owned two jimmys and have no serious problems with either. my previous jimmy had 150,000 miles on it before being stolen. The jimmy i own now is great and has had no serious problems so far. Considering the amount of jimmys and blazers on the road there is probably going to be what seems like a lot of defects. In reality the number with defects in comparison to the amount sold is minimal.
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Features & Specs

MPG
14 city / 20 hwy
Seats 0
N/A
Gas
190 hp @ 4400 rpm
MPG
14 city / 20 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
190 hp @ 4400 rpm
MPG
14 city / 19 hwy
Seats 0
N/A
Gas
190 hp @ 4400 rpm
MPG
14 city / 20 hwy
Seats 0
N/A
Gas
190 hp @ 4400 rpm
See all Used 1998 GMC Jimmy features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Poor

More about the 1998 GMC Jimmy
More About This Model

All right, I’ll admit it: I name my cars. My green ’95 Explorer is affectionately known as "Willow," I used to drive a Jeep Cherokee called "Jake," an old hand-me-down VW Cabriolet went by "Whitey," and the beat-up Honda Accord that I inherited from four older sisters and drove around town in high school? Well, I’d call her anything she wanted as long as she didn’t break down on me. Even now I feel the urge to name other people’s cars, if they haven’t already. When I started dating my husband, I tactfully pointed out the fact that a member of his family was nameless. Humoring me, we collaborated and came up with "Spike" for his Mazda 626.

I don’t believe I’m alone in having this compulsion to name the automobiles I drive. My sister calls her Nissan Pathfinder "Patrick" (it’s green) and my best childhood pal tagged his used Crown Victoria with the nickname "Queen Mary." This doesn’t appear to be a weird obsession only afflicting people from Ohio, either. Greg Anderson, another Edmund’s editor, named his beat up 5-Series BMW "Bessie" so that on cold winter mornings, he can coax her up a hill with, "Coooome Ooooonnn, Bessie." Our editor-in-chief once owned a silver over black Escort with tinted windows called "Guido," a Ford Fiesta with an orange interior named "Oscar" and a 1990 Festiva tagged "Floyd," "Smurf Turd" or "Babe Magnet," depending on how many beers he and his college buddies had consumed. And, I’m sure there are countless others who are addicted to this car-naming habit.

The point is, your car becomes a part of your everyday life—a member of your family, so to speak. It can make you smile, laugh, cry or jump up and down in a fit of rage. A name emotionally attaches you to your car like nothing else can.

Even automakers are catching on to this trend. If you buy the GMC "Jimmy" we drove a few weeks ago, you won’t ever have to pick out a name—it comes with one. Liken it to Jimmy Buffet, Jimmy Dean or any other Jimmy you identify with and you’ve got a truck with personality. But you may have to act quickly. We’ve heard rumors that GMC is phasing out its Jimmy in favor of the more sophisticated-sounding "Envoy." If they do, it’ll be a shame. Upgrade the truck, sure. But why throw away a perfectly good name and replace it with an inanimate term that means "messenger"? We don’t get it.

For now, in addition to a name, the 1998 Jimmy comes with an unchanged yet spunky Vortec 4300 V6 engine, new styling on the front end and a completely redesigned interior. The classic Jimmy powertrain makes 190 horsepower at 4400 rpm and 250 foot-pounds of torque at 2800 rpm, providing what we thought was plenty of power for our two-door test truck. What we didn’t find plenty of, however, was room. Our editor-in-chief-turned-father found that loading his daughter’s car seat in the back was a huge undertaking that caused more headaches than watching six consecutive Barney episodes, and that gaining access to the cargo area practically required a degree in engineering.

Visibility was another problem, even for the taller members of our staff. The view from the rear three quarters of the truck was pitiful and, with the rear-mounted wheel obstructing most of the back window, seeing anything directly behind the vehicle was downright impossible. High seatbacks allowed the driver only a tiny sliver in which to catch movements or shadows of nearby cars when changing lanes—not a safe feeling, especially on a twisty mountain road.

But from the outside, Jimmy looked good. Our red test truck shimmered in the Colorado sunshine and appeared tantalizingly beefy. Trim levels available on the two-door are the SL and SLS sport trim while new colors include Pewter Metallic and Copper Metallic. They sound real nice, but we liked our red truck just fine. On the road, however, we realized that the truck’s ride was a bit bumpy, even for an SUV, and its turning radius of 34.8 feet was too wide for off-roading or even urban U-turns. Maneuvering the gigantic, oversized steering wheel caused problems with everyday turns and made us feel like we were navigating a barge.

On the upside, Jimmy provided plenty of legroom in the front, a smooth automatic transmission, supportive seats that were power adjustable, four cupholders, dual second-generation airbags and double sun visors with extenders. These and other interior improvements were well received, especially the easy-to-operate stereo and climate controls that were featured on a panel angled 15 degrees toward the driver for easier access. Jimmy’s glove box release latch was moved to the left side to improve ergonomics for the driver and the CD storage in the center console was easy to get into. The passenger side grab bar offered a touch of style, not to mention a practical safety handle for driving over those mountain rocks or city potholes.

Complaints about the interior were restricted to the aforementioned lack of space, an oddly-placed cassette player on the center floor console and an obtrusive bump covering half of the passenger side floor area.

To test out the cargo dimensions, we picked up my sister and her boyfriend after a weekend of downhill skiing. First, we discovered that the keyless remote had a separate button for unlocking the back—a nice touch. Jimmy’s V6 did just fine with the extra gear and body weight, but when loaded with four people, gear for two, and one pair of skis stretching the length of the vehicle, the modest cargo space in our two-door Jimmy was all eaten up. Which made me wonder: what if we’d all gone skiing?

Despite our grievances, we commend GMC on many aspects of this vehicle, including, for now, their fine choice of a name. Jimmy is rugged and sporty-sounding, the perfect ideal for GMC’s target customer: a 41-year-old looking for a solid vehicle with style.

Jimmy has all this and more, but so do many of the competing trucks in this class. And some offer extra power and amenities for nearly the same cost. Still, Jimmy’s the only one that comes with its own name already branded on the vehicle.

Now, there’s an idea: we could start painting our cars’ names right on the bumpers like they do with boats. Think how much more fun Monday morning commutes would be ("Hey, there's a fuscia Lexus named Sugar Bun"or "See that black Thunderbird named Zippy?"). I think I'm on to something here…

Used 1998 GMC Jimmy Overview

The Used 1998 GMC Jimmy is offered in the following submodels: Jimmy SUV. Available styles include SL 2dr SUV, SL 4dr SUV, SL 2dr SUV 4WD, SLS Sport 2dr SUV, SLS Sport 4dr SUV, SLE 4dr SUV, SLT 4dr SUV 4WD, SLE 4dr SUV 4WD, SLS Sport 2dr SUV 4WD, SL 4dr SUV 4WD, SLS Sport 4dr SUV 4WD, and SLT 4dr SUV.

What's a good price on a Used 1998 GMC Jimmy?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1998 GMC Jimmies are available in my area?

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Can't find a used 1998 GMC Jimmys you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used GMC Jimmy for sale - 6 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $23,650.

Find a used GMC for sale - 11 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $17,312.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC Jimmy for sale - 7 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $7,399.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC for sale - 8 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $24,050.

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Should I lease or buy a 1998 GMC Jimmy?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out GMC lease specials
Check out GMC Jimmy lease specials