Used 1996 GMC Sonoma Extended Cab

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1996 GMC Sonoma
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1996 GMC Sonoma

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Compact trucks are hot nowadays, and GMC's entry into that market delivers hard-to-beat value--even if it doesn't necessarily stand at the very top of its class in every way. A driver airbag with knee bolster and daytime running lights (headlights that operate at 90 percent intensity whenever the truck is driven, whether you want 'em on or not) were added last year. This year, all Sonomas are equipped with four-wheel antilock braking, and a handy side access panel has joined the extended cab option list. Also new is a revised five-speed shifter on four-cylinder trucks that promises reduced shift and throw effort, and has been placed closer to the driver for ease of operation.

Sonomas can be fitted to suit just about any requirement, from strict utility to sporty style and performance. Choose from three wheelbases, two cab types, a regular-size or long cargo bed in Fleetside or new Sportside configuration, and two- or four-wheel drive. Whew! You still have to consider three trim levels, seven suspension systems, three engines (a four or two V6 choices), and manual or automatic shift.

With the high-output, 180-horsepower Vortec 4300 V6 on tap, and the new Sport Suspension package, the Sonoma performs as energetically as high-priced sports cars did a decade or so ago. By any definition, that's progress. The new Sportside box and sharp five-spoke alloys nicely complement the top powertrain and suspension, turning the Sonoma into a true factory sport truck. For off-roading duties, GMC offers the Highrider, riding three-ply all-terrain tires and sporting a reinforced frame (four inches wider, two inches taller) and toughened suspension. Either Sonoma outperforms the Ranger on or off the pavement, but when it comes to interior fittings, only the Dodge Dakota looks and feels more archaic.

Inside, Sonomas and S-Series pickups are virtually identical, with a comfortable cab marred by an aesthetic disaster of a dashboard, which looks and feels as though it were lifted from some defunct Buick project. Some graphics have been changed this year, but the plasticky interior ambiance is unchanged. A passenger airbag is unavailable. On extended cab trucks, an optional side access panel makes loading passengers or cargo into the rear of the cab much easier.

Ford's Ranger and Toyota's new Tacoma come across as more refined, and their sticker prices reflect this impression. In compact-truck value per dollar, though, GMC just might deliver all the goods you're seeking.

1996 Highlights

Extended-cab models get an optional driver-side rear access panel. All Sonomas are now equipped with four-wheel ABS. A new sport suspension provides sporty handling, and a snazzy Sportside box ends Ford's reign as lord of compact stepsides. A new five-speed transmission improves shifter location and operation when equipped with the base four-cylinder. Still missing is the availability of a passenger airbag.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 GMC Sonoma.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Nice truck
GMC Sonoma 4x4,03/10/2005
I have had this truck for 4 years and I purchsed it with 79,000 miles on it and I have nothing but a great experience with this truck. I now have over 193,000 miles on it and it runs almost like new. I change the oil every 3000 miles and the ride isn't bad for a truck. The only thing I had to do to this truck was install a new wiper motor which I installed and that's about it. I like how reliable this trucks been and the 4 wheel drive works perfectly.
Put the vehicle down and back away
buy japanese,03/16/2003
Wow, Where do I start. I purchased this truck new with only 8 miles on it. I have had nothing but problems. I will just make a list. 2 Head gaskets replaced and now this one is leaking. 12,000m 38,000m. three wiper motors replaced 28,000m. one starter replaced 25,000m. Two clutches and all related parts, throwout, slave,etc. 40,000m 75,000. three sets of universal joints 50,000 80,000 102,000m. Fuel pump went out 80,000m. Had to go back to dealer to have several squeaks/rattles fixed. Lumbar adjustment broke second time I used it. Drivers side mirror broke. Cupholder came apart. Both door speakers quit working.
Reliable Truck! 4cyl manual
Rob,01/21/2007
No major mechanical problems for over 10 yrs! 138K only regular maintenance. Still running and am ready to trade in for another Sonoma. Bought new at $300 above invoice.
Great little truck!
stevedb,10/22/2002
Truck has over 117,000 miles and has never let me down. Made mostly short and day trips. V-6 had great power for passing and hauling. V-6 & auto trans got 22 city and 25 highway mpg (better than L4/Maunal was rated. Only did regular maintenance, no other $$$ were spent. Only complaint ss lack of good lumbar support on seat. I am buying another one now due to the great rebates and my GM Card points.
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Features & Specs

MPG
20 city / 27 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
118 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
15 city / 20 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
180 hp @ 4400 rpm
MPG
20 city / 27 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
118 hp @ 5200 rpm
MPG
15 city / 20 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
180 hp @ 4400 rpm
See all Used 1996 GMC Sonoma Extended Cab features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger1 / 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
    0

More about the 1996 GMC Sonoma
Used 1996 GMC Sonoma Extended Cab Overview

The Used 1996 GMC Sonoma Extended Cab is offered in the following styles: SLE 2dr Club Coupe Stepside SB, SLE 2dr Club Coupe SB, SLE 2dr Club Coupe 4WD SB, SLS Sport 2dr Club Coupe Stepside SB, SLS Sport 2dr Club Coupe 4WD SB, SLS Sport 2dr Club Coupe SB, SLE 2dr Club Coupe 4WD Stepside SB, and SLS Sport 2dr Club Coupe 4WD Stepside SB.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 GMC Sonoma Extended Cab?

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Which used 1996 GMC Sonoma Extended Cabs are available in my area?

Used 1996 GMC Sonoma Extended Cab Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1996 GMC Sonoma Extended Cab.

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1996 GMC Sonoma Extended Cab for sale near you.

Can't find a used 1996 GMC Sonoma Sonoma Extended Cab you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used GMC Sonoma for sale - 6 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $19,769.

Find a used GMC for sale - 12 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $19,610.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC Sonoma for sale - 4 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $19,331.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC for sale - 5 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $10,634.

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Should I lease or buy a 1996 GMC Sonoma?

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.

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