2001 GMC Sonoma Review

Pros & Cons

  • Sporty styling, fuel-efficient base engine, powerful optional V6.
  • Cheesy interior plastics, low seating positions, spotty build quality.
List Price Estimate
$946 - $1,918

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Edmunds' Expert Review

We know the value of an old trusty pickup, but in the Sonoma's case, it's just plain old. A redesign is on the way in a couple years, but if you need a compact truck now, better check out the competition first.

Vehicle overview

With an aggressive look, available sport suspension, third-door extended cab, snazzy Sportside bed and a strong 4.3-liter V6 under the hood, GMC's Sonoma has been positioned as a more versatile alternative to the traditional sporty coupe. But with the addition of a true, four-door Crew Cab model this year, Sonomas can be configured to suit just about any driving requirement, from people or utility hauler to off-road bruiser. You can choose from three wheelbases, four cabs (regular, two- or three-door extended, and now four-door crew), a short box or long box in Wideside or Sportside versions and two- or four-wheel drive. Then, you still have to consider three trim levels (SL, SLS and SLE), two engines (a four-cylinder or V6), a manual or automatic transmission, and no less than five different suspensions (three for 2WD and two for 4WD models). Whew!

Four-wheel-drive models, which have four-wheel disc brakes and GM's electronic InstaTrac transfer case standard, are motivated by a 190-horsepower Vortec 4300 V6 (with 250 foot-pounds of torque). Opt for the 4.3 in a 2WD Sonoma, and it'll deliver 180 horses. The base powertrain is a 120-horse, 2.2-liter four-cylinder mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. A four-speed automatic is optional on all but the new Crew Cab, where it's standard. Two-wheel-drive buyers can choose from an all-purpose "smooth-ride" suspension, a firmer "heavy-duty" setup, or a handling-oriented ZQ8 "sport" version. With a "high-payload" suspension standard on 4WD trucks, you'll want to order the High-Rider package if serious off-roading is part of your driving mix. Tagged the ZR2 option, High-Riders boast a bigger, reinforced frame, beefy shocks and three-ply all-terrain tires.

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 a toy company. On extended-cab trucks, an optional left-side access door makes loading/unloading a breeze, but choosing the three-door cab eliminates one of the rear fold-out jump seats.

Outfit a Sonoma with the 180-horse V6 and five-speed stick and add the ZQ8 sport suspension, and this little truck performs as energetically as some sports cars did a decade ago. The curvy Sportside box and sharp, new five-spoke alloys nicely complement the package, turning the Sonoma into a true factory sport truck. Sure, competitors from Ford and Toyota come across as more refined than Sonoma, and the one from Dodge feels large enough to be in a class by itself. But if you're looking for a sporty hauler or just a compact that can carry the whole crew, Sonoma's the hot ticket.

2001 Highlights

An all-new model has been added to the Sonoma lineup for 2001, a four-door Crew Cab, complete with Vortec 4300 V6, automatic transmission, InstaTrac four-wheel-drive system and SLS trim. Powertrain improvements incorporate an advanced control module for the V6 and flex-fuel capability for the four-cylinder. There are also new aluminum wheels with the sport suspension, and programmable automatic power door locks.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2001 GMC Sonoma.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

What once was, California ruined
Lar,05/07/2010
I purchased my black beauty, SLS crew with 50 miles on it. I never had a moments problem with it, until I moved to California. The gas destroyed my engine. From 25 hwy/18.5 city to 14.5 hwy/12.5 city. In 9 months. The roads are so crappy they shook the speakers off their mounts and the asphalt ripped up my tires. They were pristine at 15,000 and needed replacing when I traded it in at 25,000 in 2006. It broke my heart to let it go but I couldn't afford whatever would happen next. Sparkplugs, EPA accessories, hoses, and belts were all replaced at 23,000, but the MPG didn't recover. WARNING!! Don't bring a midwest vehicle to California, sell it and buy one made for out here.
2001 GMC SONOMA Crew Cab
Dave M.,07/10/2003
Simply put, this is the best truck I have ever owned. It has all the bells and whistles, it rides like a luxury car and it is very ergonomic. The Vortec V-6 has ample power to tow a boat or small trailer and the on-the- fly 4 wheel drive is hard to beat. I reccomend this truck to anyone.
Great Truck.
super sonoma,05/03/2004
My experience with this vehicle has proved to be a very reliable one. i have not had one problem with it. GMC, keep up the good work. My Anti-locks have proved to be very reliable as well. If it is in your interest, add a dual exhaust like me for great performance and looks. Mine look great
:)
Bart H,05/05/2003
I bought this truck new for less than $10,000 and It has been great. I have used it for work and play. I have 40,000 miles on it now and it still makes me smile even when I make the payments! For the money I give it a 10! - Bye

Features & Specs

See all Used 2001 GMC Sonoma features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    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
    Marginal

More about the 2001 GMC Sonoma

Used 2001 GMC Sonoma Overview

The Used 2001 GMC Sonoma is offered in the following submodels: Sonoma Crew Cab, Sonoma Regular Cab, Sonoma Extended Cab. Available styles include 4dr Crew Cab SLS 4WD SB (4.3L 6cyl 4A), 2dr Extended Cab SL 4WD SB (4.3L 6cyl 5M), 2dr Extended Cab SLS 4WD SB (4.3L 6cyl 5M), 2dr Regular Cab SL 2WD LB (2.2L 4cyl 5M), 2dr Regular Cab SL 2WD SB (2.2L 4cyl 5M), 2dr Extended Cab SL 2WD SB (2.2L 4cyl 5M), 2dr Regular Cab SLS 2WD LB (2.2L 4cyl 5M), 2dr Regular Cab SLS 2WD SB (2.2L 4cyl 5M), and 2dr Extended Cab SLS 2WD SB (2.2L 4cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2001 GMC Sonoma?

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Which used 2001 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) 2001 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 2001 GMC Sonoma.

Can't find a used 2001 GMC Sonomas you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used GMC Sonoma for sale - 5 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $13,946.

Find a used GMC for sale - 10 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $25,166.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC Sonoma for sale - 8 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $9,136.

Find a used certified pre-owned GMC for sale - 2 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $20,155.

Should I lease or buy a 2001 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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