1998 GMC Sonoma Review

Used Sonoma for sale
List Price Estimate:$857 - $1,818
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GMC Sonoma model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Fuel efficient base engine. Sporty styling. Powerful optional V6. Handy 3rd door option.
  • Shabby build quality. Low seating positions. Rattly third door option.

Vehicle overview

Looking for a way to distinguish the GMC Sonoma from the pedestrian Chevrolet S-10, marketers have decided to sell the Sonoma as a capable alternative to the traditional sporty coupe. With an aggressive new look, available sport suspension, third-door extended cab, snazzy sportside bed and a strong 4.3-liter V6 under the hood, it shouldn't be a hard sell.

Despite this new advertising image, Sonomas can be fitted to suit just about any requirement, from strict utility hauler to off-road bruiser. Choose from three wheelbases, two cab types, a regular size or long cargo bed in Wideside 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-cylinder or two V6 choices) and manual or automatic shift.

GMC substantially improved the Sonoma for 1998. New styling results in a more cohesive, upscale look than the previous Sonoma imparted, and a revised interior includes dual second-generation airbags and improved ergonomics. Seats have been revised to provide better comfort and a nicer appearance. Rear bumpers get a center cutout to improve access to the cargo bed, and towing capacity is increased to 3,500 pounds. Four-wheel drive models have standard four-wheel disc brakes, and there are new uplevel audio systems available.

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, Ford has the General beat by a wide margin.

Inside, Sonomas and Chevrolet S-Series pickups are virtually identical, with a roomy cab and fresh interior design. Center stack controls are canted toward the driver for improved access. Unfortunately, the plastic used for dash panels and switchgear still looks as though it was sourced from Fisher Price. 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 vehicles than the Sonoma, and their sticker prices reflect this impression. In compact-truck value per dollar, though, GMC just might deliver all the goods you're seeking, especially if what you're seeking is a sport truck able to dust a Nissan 200SX SE-R off the line and in the twisties.

1998 Highlights

Styling is retuned inside and out, resulting in a sleeker look and better interior ergonomics. Dual second-generation airbags are standard, and seats are upgraded for improved comfort and appearance. Four-wheel disc brakes are standard on 4WD models and uplevel stereos are new for 1998. New colors inside and out round out the changes.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1998 GMC Sonoma.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4.13 out of 5 stars
SL 2dr Regular Cab LB
Generally reliable but when it breaks down it is down for days. I have replaced the wiper motor twice, the computer system twice, alternator, ball joints tie rod ends, and others odds and ends through the years. But I abuse it. It's a great daily commuter. Put wieght it in the back and it handles allright in all weather conditions. It gets excellent gas mileage, 30+ in the city on a good tuned engine. It only has a 4 cylinder so it cant haul much weight but does well for its size. My truck has the long box so it handles like a school bus. It has that big truck feel even though it is so small. My full sized Sierra has a smaller turning radius. It is a bit gutlus I would go for the V6
4.88 out of 5 stars
Awesome Pickup
SLE 2dr Extended Cab 4WD SB
Awesome pickup. College kid and I love it. Only downside can't find any aftermarket parts.
4.38 out of 5 stars
Served its purpose
SLS Sport 2dr Regular Cab Stepside SB
I bought this truck off a 3 year lease and have put 90K miles on it with little problems. I had to replace the alternator and the U-joint, but the engine and tranny have been reliable. It also has a little more road noise than I'd like. However, these complaints are minimal compared to the reliability and good gas milage it gets (28 miles/gallon).
4.13 out of 5 stars
My Sonoma
Mark Maloney,08/01/2010
SLE 2dr Regular Cab SB
It has been an excellent truck for me and the wife. it has proven to be dependable and reliable. It is a good driving truck, nice ride.


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

More about the 1998 GMC Sonoma

Used 1998 GMC Sonoma Overview

The Used 1998 GMC Sonoma is offered in the following submodels: Sonoma Regular Cab, Sonoma Extended Cab. Available styles include SLE 2dr Regular Cab 4WD SB (4.3L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLS Sport 2dr Regular Cab SB (2.2L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLS Sport 2dr Extended Cab 4WD SB (4.3L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLE 2dr Regular Cab SB (2.2L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLS Sport 2dr Extended Cab SB (2.2L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), SL 2dr Regular Cab LB (2.2L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLS Sport 2dr Regular Cab 4WD SB (4.3L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLE 2dr Extended Cab 4WD SB (4.3L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), SL 2dr Regular Cab 4WD SB (4.3L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLS Sport 2dr Extended Cab 4WD SB (4.3L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLS Sport 2dr Regular Cab SB (2.2L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLE 2dr Extended Cab SB (2.2L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLS Sport 2dr Regular Cab LB (2.2L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLS Sport 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB (4.3L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), SL 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB (4.3L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M), SL 2dr Regular Cab SB (2.2L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), SLS Sport 2dr Extended Cab SB (2.2L 4cyl naturally aspired 5M), and SLS Sport 2dr Regular Cab 4WD SB (4.3L 6cyl naturally aspired 5M). Pre-owned GMC Sonoma models are available with a 4.3 L-liter gas engine or a 2.2 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 180 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1998 GMC Sonoma comes with four wheel drive, and rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.

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

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 Sonomas are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1998 GMC Sonoma for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1998 GMC Sonoma.

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

Find a used GMC Sonoma for sale - 9 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $8,553.

Find a used GMC for sale - 3 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $19,642.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC Sonoma for sale - 2 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $11,684.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC for sale - 5 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $15,596.

Should I lease or buy a 1998 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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