Used 1997 GMC Sonoma Extended Cab


1997 GMC Sonoma

1997 Highlights

Changes are limited to new colors, availability of the Sport Suspension on extended cab models, engine and transmission improvements, lighter-weight plug-in half shafts for 4WD Sonomas and console-mounted shifter for trucks equipped with a center console and bucket seats.


Pros

  • Fuel-efficient base engine, sporty styling, powerful optional V-6, handy third door option

Cons

  • Shabby build quality, uncomfortable seats, rattly third door option

Used 1997 GMC Sonoma Extended Cab for Sale

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Compact trucks are hot sellers, and GMC's entry into that market delivers hard-to-beat value--even if it doesn't stand at the top of its class in every way. A driver airbag with knee bolster and daytime running lights are standard. All Sonomas are equipped with four-wheel antilock braking, and a handy side access panel is optional on the extended cab.

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 Sportside configuration, and two- or four-wheel drive. Whew! You still have to consider three trim levels, five suspension systems, three engines (a four or two V6 choices), and manual or automatic shift.

GMC changes little for 1997. Extended cab models can be equipped with the Sport Suspension for the first time, and powertrains have been improved for better efficiency. Order bucket seats and a center console, and you'll get a floor-mounted shifter rather than one sticking out of the steering column. Remote keyless entry key fobs are redesigned, and Fairway Green and Smoky Caramel replace Radar Purple and Bright Teal on the color chart. Plug-in half-shafts on 4WD models are lighter-weight and easier to service.

With the high-output, 180-horsepower Vortec 4300 V6 on tap, and the 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 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 Nissan Truck is more archaic.

Inside, Sonomas and Chevrolet S-Series pickups are virtually identical, with a roomy cab marred by an aesthetic disaster of a dashboard, which looks and feels as though it were lifted from some defunct Buick project, and uncomfortable bucket seats. A passenger airbag is unavailable. On extended cab trucks, an optional left side access panel makes loading passengers or cargo into the rear of the cab much easier, but takes the place of one of the fold-out jump seats in the rear.

Ford's Ranger, Dodge's Dakota, and Toyota's 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.

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Vehicle Photo

Features & Specs

SLE 2dr Extended Cab 4WD Stepside SBSLE 2dr Extended Cab 4WD SBSLS Sport 2dr Extended Cab SBSLS Sport 2dr Extended Cab Stepside SBSLE 2dr Extended Cab SBSLS Sport 2dr Extended Cab 4WD Stepside SBSLS Sport 2dr Extended Cab 4WD SBSLE 2dr Extended Cab Stepside SB
MPG1717232323171723
SeatingN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Transmission5-speed manual5-speed manual5-speed manual5-speed manual5-speed manual5-speed manual5-speed manual5-speed manual
Fuelgasgasgasgasgasgasgasgas
Horsepower180 hp @ 4400 rpm180 hp @ 4400 rpm118 hp @ 5200 rpm118 hp @ 5200 rpm118 hp @ 5200 rpm180 hp @ 4400 rpm180 hp @ 4400 rpm118 hp @ 5200 rpm

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating

    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3/5
    Passenger2/5
  • 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
    0

Top Consumer Reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 GMC Sonoma

(10)

Consumer Rating


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A great Sport Truck
While my review will be a bit baised, the truth of the matter is that this is a great truck. I own one of the limited models that came with the full ZQ8 package. Needless to say, this truck is more than powerful, and an excellent example of how a sport truck should handle. The truck is very responsive to modifications, which I can attest to personally since mine runs the quarter in a little over 13 seconds flat. Yet, as a pure work truck it is as relaible as can be, and has far better styling than the competition. If you must settle for a mid-size truck, than this is the best choice out there.
Love my Sonoma
I bought my '97 Sonoma 4x4 new and have enjoyed driving it ever since. It feels a little sluggish in the city at times, but that's to be expected with most trucks. This truck handles very well on the highway, especially in the mountains. The V6 has enough power to make climbing hills and passing a breeze, even when loaded. If I decide to buy a new truck any time soon, it will most likely be another Sonoma.
Leaks everything.
Has leaked oil, coolant, trans lube, freon since the day I bought it. GM would do nothing. Had to drive a whole year without heat because nobody could figure out why or fix it. Noisy transmission. Mysterious electrical problems. Eats oxygen sensors. Needs new ones every 2 years. Drove about 4 years with the "check engine" light on. Hard to fix since everything is so tightly jammed in the engine compartment. I would not buy GMC again. Yeah, a Sonoma is not a "real" truck. But just because it's small is no excuse for bad design and manufacturing. It wasn't a cheap truck.
Used 1997 GMC Sonoma Extended Cab Overview

The Used 1997 GMC Sonoma Extended Cab is offered in the following styles: SLE 2dr Extended Cab 4WD SB, SLE 2dr Extended Cab SB, SLS Sport 2dr Extended Cab Stepside SB, SLS Sport 2dr Extended Cab SB, SLE 2dr Extended Cab 4WD Stepside SB, SLS Sport 2dr Extended Cab 4WD Stepside SB, SLS Sport 2dr Extended Cab 4WD SB, and SLE 2dr Extended Cab Stepside SB.

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