Compare Dealer Clearance Prices and SAVE
1999 GMC Sonoma Review
Good bang for the buck.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 1999 GMC Sonoma is a compact pickup truck that was introduced by General Motors as the S-15 in 1982. This pickup is also rebadged and sold by Isuzu as the Hombre. This pickup truck was sold as the GMC S-15 for nine years until its name was changed to Sonoma in 1991. This change also came with the discontinuation of the GMC Sierra packages in order to avoid confusion between the Sierra and the Sonoma. The 1999 GMC Sonoma belongs to the second generation of the vehicle, which began in 1994.
Engines: 2.2-liter I-4, 4.3-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: GMC Sonoma SL, GMC Sonoma SLS Sport, GMC Sonoma SLE
The 1999 GMC Sonoma is available in four new exterior color schemes and has also undergone other changes. These changes include a new steering wheel with a mini-module depowered airbag, heated up-level power mirror, and stronger outside rearview mirrors. The airbags have been depowered, and a new electronic push-button two-speed transfer case called AutoTrac comes standard with the four-wheel-drive versions of the vehicle. All models of the 1999 GMC Sonoma get a new content theft alarm system, as well as remote keyless entry and a flash-to-pass headlight feature. Strong four-wheel-drive versions of the 1999 GMC Sonoma can also get composite skid plates.
The 1999 GMC Sonoma uses a lot of the same chassis components that were used in the first generation. For example, the A-frame for the first and second generation of the pickup is the same, even though they were sourced from the G-body vehicle lineup of GM. Other similar components include the leaf springs, steering knuckle, and differential assembly.
The 1999 GMC Sonoma offers a decent amount of space up front, and the seats themselves are fairly comfortable and firm. The option of an extra rear door is a good one because it makes entry and exit into the extended-cab Sonoma much more convenient. However, the addition of this door comes at the sacrifice of one jump seat at the rear. With the addition door, the rear jump seats offer an adequate amount of space for three adults to sit comfortably, although they may feel a little cramped. Entry and exit, however, is difficult in the absence of the extra door. The dashboard on the 1999 GMC Sonoma is that of any typical GMC pickup: simple but effective. All the controls are within reach and easily readable. The instruments are also easy to read and don’t require the driver to take his or her eyes off the road.
Performance & Handling
The 1999 GMC Sonoma has three engine choices available. The first one is a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 120 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque. The second engine choice is a 4.3-liter V-6 engine that delivers 180 horsepower and 245 lb-ft of torque. The third option is an enhanced version of the same V-6 engine that delivers 195 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. All three engines can be mated to either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic transmission. The base four-cylinder engine offer adequate power, but only if it is mated to a manual gearbox and so long as the truck stays away from even occasional hauling jobs. In all other cases, the V-6 engines deliver more than enough power for light-duty chores.
The 1999 GMC Sonoma tends to be a little bumpy, and it tends to hop over sharp jumps and ridges when it has an empty cargo bed. Regardless, the suspension of the pickup truck manages to absorb most small bumps and keep the ride smooth. The Sonoma does tend to lean a lot while turning, but it still feels balanced and poised for most purposes, even when faced with strong crosswinds. The power steering feels quite natural, and the four-wheel anti-lock brakes are an added advantage.
The 1999 GMC Sonoma comes with a four-wheel ABS. It received three out of five stars in terms of driver and passenger safety during frontal impact tests conducted by the NHTSA.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Sporty looks
- Powerful V-6 engine
- Fuel-efficient I-4 engine
You Won't Like
- Poor interior quality
- Low seating position
Good bang for the buck.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Ford Ranger
- Chevrolet S-10
- Isuzu Hombre