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.
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.
Read what other owners think about the Used 1996 GMC Sonoma Regular Cab.
I bought a 96 Sonoma,4 cyl.,stick for $2,500 (inc. tax & fees) in 6/2009. Shortly after purchase I spent $2,000 replacing the alternator, fuel pump & engine. For a small truck (4cyl) it rides well & has great pickup for a 4 cylinder vehicle. It gets 20+ MPG, maneuvers well & easily holds its own on the interstate. At 70 to 90 MPH it still rides good and is easy to handle. It is mediocre at best as far as blocking road noise. The AC is excellent, the radio (I think it's original) plays well, and there is an extra input to plug in cell phone. Overall, I like it a lot. My wife hates it. She thinks it is too shaky & noisy, but she drives a 2007 E300.
4.88 out of 5 stars
SLS Sport 2dr Regular Cab Stepside SB
This one of the best trucks that I have ever driven. It has plenty of power and with the compact size it can really fly. The design of this truck leaves it open to modification and new looks.
3.63 out of 5 stars
200K and still going strong
SL 2dr Regular Cab SB
Not a bit of trouble except a head gasket under warranty. Change the oil every 3,000. One set of plugs, some brakes, and a clutch. Otherwise cheap dependable transportation with hauling capability. A little slow with the A/C on but she still can hit 80.
The Used 1996 GMC Sonoma Regular Cab is offered in the following styles: SL 2dr Regular Cab LB (2.2L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLE 2dr Regular Cab SB (2.2L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), SL 2dr Regular Cab SB (2.2L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLS Sport 2dr Regular Cab SB (2.2L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLS Sport 2dr Regular Cab LB (2.2L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLE 2dr Regular Cab 4WD SB (4.3L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLS Sport 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB (4.3L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLS Sport 2dr Regular Cab 4WD SB (4.3L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLS Sport 2dr Regular Cab 4WD SB (4.3L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), SL 2dr Regular Cab 4WD SB (4.3L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), SL 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB (4.3L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), and SLS Sport 2dr Regular Cab SB (2.2L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M).
Pre-owned GMC Sonoma Regular Cab models are available with a 2.2 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 118 hp, depending on engine type.
The Used 1996 GMC Sonoma Regular Cab comes with rear wheel drive.
Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.
What's a good price on a Used 1996 GMC Sonoma Regular Cab?
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