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1997 GMC Sonoma

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1997 GMC Sonoma Review

A solid compact pickup with a thrifty price tag.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1997 GMC Sonoma is a compact pickup truck based on the S-Series design. Compact pickup trucks can be a more convenient option for many drivers, especially when a lower price tag, better gas mileage, and a smaller frame are in the picture. The smaller Sonoma can be more easily parked in more crowded areas. However, despite the smaller size, it can most likely do anything a truck can do.

The 1997 GMC Sonoma is a solid choice for drivers that want the power of a pickup truck but are a bit wary of the inconvenient bulk of a full-size pickup. The lower base price and higher fuel economy also make it an excellent choice from a financial standpoint. Some drivers are going to need the extra power and capacity that only a full-size pickup truck can provide, but those are few and far between. Overall, the Sonoma is a solid pickup truck option, even for people not specifically looking for compacts.

The Range

Body Styles: pickup truck
Engines: 2.2-liter four-cylinder, 4.3-liter six-cylinder, 5.2-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: GMC Sonoma SL, GMC Sonoma SLE, GMC Sonoma SLS Sport

What's New

The 1997 GMC Sonoma is now equipped with a driver airbag and running lights as standard equipment. Keyless entry is also available as an option.


The 1997 GMC Sonoma measures 189 inches long with a wheelbase of 108.3 inches, which is fairly typical for a compact pickup truck. It's available in a regular or extended cab; however, the SL is only available as a regular cab model. Additionally, alloy wheels are optional equipment.


The 1997 GMC Sonoma is similar to many pickup trucks on the market because it doesn't provide much in the way of creature comforts. An AM/FM radio is the only really notable standard feature. Available optional features include a cassette player, CD player, cruise control, power windows, power locks, leather trim steering wheel, and air conditioning.

Performance & Handling

The 1997 GMC Sonoma has solid performance and handling. It's not particularly amazing compared to its peers, but it's not noticeably weaker either. The six-cylinder gives ample acceleration, and the maneuverability and turning is adequate. The Sonoma is not a difficult vehicle to drive, but there is a marked difference between operating a Sonoma and an average passenger vehicle.


The 1997 GMC Sonoma has a driver’s side airbag, traction control, and four-wheel anti-lock brakes as standard equipment.

EPA Fuel Economy

GMC Sonoma 2.2-liter four-cylinder: 18/25 mpg city/highway
GMC Sonoma 4.3-liter six-cylinder: 15/21 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Standard four-wheel anti-lock brakes
  • Four-wheel drive options
  • Extended cab option
  • One of the best values available for compact trucks

You Won't Like

  • Is outperformed by competition
  • Weak standard equipment list

Sum Up

A solid compact pickup with a thrifty price tag.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Dodge Dakota
  • Ford Ranger
  • Toyota Tacoma

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