Used 1999 GMC Sonoma
Edmunds' Expert Review
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 look, available sport suspensions, a 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, three cabs, a short box or long box in Wideside or Sportside configuration and two- or four-wheel drive. Then, you still have to consider three trim levels (SL, SLS, SLE), three engines (a four-cylinder or two V6 choices), a manual or automatic shift, and no less than seven different suspension systems-three for 2WD and four for 4WD models. Whew!
GMC substantially improved the Sonoma inside and out last year, so minor revisions were on tap this time around. Four-wheel-drive models, which already have four-wheel disc brakes standard, now get GM's AutoTrac, an electronic two-speed transfer case that detects wheel slippage and automatically directs power to the axle with the most traction-all at the push of a button. Other minor upgrades, such as new colors, bigger outside mirrors and a content theft alarm with remote keyless entry, round out the changes for '99.
With the high-output, 180-horsepower Vortec 4300 V6 on tap, and the ZQ8 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. If off-roading is your thing, GMC offers the Highrider, sporting a reinforced frame (four inches wider, two inches taller) and beefed-up suspension riding on three-ply all-terrain tires. The GMC Sonoma can outperform Ford's Ranger on or off the pavement, but when it comes to interior fittings, Ford still has the General beat by a wide margin.
Inside, Sonomas and Chevrolet S-Series pickups are virtually identical, with a roomy cab and modern dash layout. Center stack controls are canted toward the driver for improved access. Unfortunately, the cloth trim and carpeting feel thin and 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 choosing the three-door cab eliminates one of the rear foldout jump seats.
For our money, the Ford Ranger, Dodge Dakota and Toyota Tacoma come across as more refined vehicles than the Sonoma, and their sticker prices reflect this impression. But in the compact truck value-per-dollar equation, GMC just might best deliver all the goods you're seeking-especially if what you're after is a sporty little truck able to sprint like a sports car off the line and through the twisties.
Features & Specs
Used 1999 GMC Sonoma Overview
The Used 1999 GMC Sonoma is offered in the following submodels: , . Available styles include SLS Sport 2dr Extended Cab SB, SLS Sport 2dr Extended Cab 4WD Stepside SB, SLE 2dr Extended Cab SB, SL 2dr Regular Cab 4WD SB, SL 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB, SL 2dr Regular Cab LB, SLS Sport 2dr Regular Cab LB, SLE 2dr Regular Cab 4WD SB, SLS Sport 2dr Regular Cab 4WD Stepside SB, SLS Sport 2dr Regular Cab 4WD LB, SLS Sport 2dr Regular Cab SB, SLS Sport 2dr Regular Cab 4WD SB, SLE 2dr Regular Cab SB, SLS Sport 2dr Extended Cab Stepside SB, SLE 2dr Extended Cab 4WD SB, SLS Sport 2dr Regular Cab Stepside SB, SL 2dr Regular Cab SB, and SLS Sport 2dr Extended Cab 4WD SB.
What's a good price on a Used 1999 GMC Sonoma?
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Which used 1999 GMC Sonomas are available in my area?
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Should I lease or buy a 1999 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.