1996 GMC Sonoma Reviews

1996 GMC Sonoma SLS 4.3 from North America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1995
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 4.3 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10
Distance when acquired173000 miles
Most recent distance225007 miles
Previous carGMC Sonoma

Summary:

Get something better if you can

Faults:

Just to name a few:

Exhaust replacement after owning a few months.

Timing chain replacement ($669.00) after owning five months, leaving me stranded.

Alternator went out costing ($100.00) to rebuild, leaving me stranded.

Brake cylinder broke ($110.00), other additional brake damage left unrepaired.

Front axle broken ($177.00)

Air and heating unit blew, left unrepaired.

Engine finally blew.

General Comments:

This truck for the most part was reliable I must admit. This was my first vehicle, purchased by my parents for me for high school. The truck was stylish, compact, easy to drive, smooth, comfortable.

Maintenance was difficult with this truck though as so many things seemed to go wrong at once. I wouldn't have minded repairing these things, but I was on a very limited income as a college student working only part-time. Things went wrong so fast with this truck that I was relegated only to patch-work rather than full, routine repairs. I would have liked to do some modifications to the truck, but repairs kept me on my toes to the point that my plans never came into fruition.

Finally, the truck said her last hurrah in August, leaving me stranded once again, this time only forcing me to purchase a different vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 20th October, 2007

1996 GMC Sonoma SLS with the camper on back 2.2 four-cylinder from North America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 2.2 four-cylinder Automatic
Performance marks 2 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired124000 miles
Most recent distance126500 miles
Previous carChevrolet Camaro

Summary:

This is the best truck in the world!

Faults:

I am the one with reviews about that 1998 six-cylinder Camaro I used to have for those 5 and a half years from back in December of 2000. My two reviews were "six-cylinder sports cars suck" and "I hate it".

Nothing yet. I guess the previous owners took good care of it and the fluids looked fine when I checked them.

The flatbed camper on the back leaks around the upper area closest to the cab whenever it rains heavy.

That's about it it for the things that've gone wrong with the vehicle.

The only other thing that bugs me about it a little bit is that they don't make a whole lot of floormats, steering wheel covers, or seat covers with the GMC logo on it, yet I've seen countless items like that with the Ford, Chevy, and Dodge logos on them in several different auto stores and supermarkets. I got GMC floormats, but not without special ordering them through a dealership. As for steering wheel covers, the steering wheel is too big for me to fit any kind of cover on, and I'm sure there are no GMC steering wheel covers or seat covers because I think GMC isn't as popular as Ford, Chevy, or Dodge. The biggest steering wheel cover I've seen has a 15 1/2 inch outside diameter, yet the outside diameter of the Sonoma's steering wheel is just a quarter of an inch too wide to fit that 15 1/2 inch on there.

The one thing I really like about this compact truck as opposed to a full-sized truck is that it's better on gas mileage and also if the flatbed camper isn't on, I can just reach in on the side to get stuff out of the truck rather than have to open the tailgate and climb up in there like with the bigger trucks.

General Comments:

I am so glad I got rid of that damn '98 six-cylinder white Camaro and got this '96 dark green GMC Sonoma. It's slower than the Camaro, but unlike the Camaro, it's serves it's purpose. It runs fine and has all that hauling capacity and I'm proud to say I've used it for that a few times already. The Camaro is SUPPOSED TO have some serious get up and go power, a V8, the Camaro didn't serve it's purpose, but this truck does. I LOVE THIS TRUCK.

When I got rid of the Camaro though, it was a horrible surprise once I happily drove it to the junkyard. I thought they were gonna let me totally mash it up with things like hammers, pipes, crowbars, sledgehammers, etc. and then with them letting me watch the car go into a crusher and watch them crush into a tiny cube. NONE OF THAT WAS THE CASE. it turns out that as soon as I brought it there, they said I couldn't do a thing to it because it was officially on there property. The car really did have some bad engine and transmission problem that would have been very expensive to replace, so the value on it along with the mechanical problems were too poor to get a good deal, so I figured why not get some money out of it and mash it up before it gets crushed for good. I couldn't do ANY of that stuff there. I was the one who felt crushed because I was so bummed out that I couldn't have my jollies with it one last time. They were gonna give me $150 for the car, but they saw how bummed out I was because of what I couldn't do to it that they gave me $200 instead. I was looking forward to having my jollies with that under-powered "performance car" for a long time, yet I couldn't do any of that...

But now, I have a vehicle I can be happy with. I'm just as happy with this 4-cylinder Sonoma as I'd be if I finally got that 8-cylinder sports car at some point. For now, I'm fine with this for now, but will get that 8-cylinder Sports car eventually.

And as for not having my jollies on that Camaro I've hated for the longest time, maybe I'll eventually buy an old junker for $300 and mash that up and pretend it's the Camaro from a year or two before.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd November, 2006

Average review marks: 7.6 / 10, based on 9 reviews