1999 GMC Sonoma Review
This truck works hard and plays hard.
We enjoyed driving the Sonoma 4x4. The ride quality was a bit jouncy with the Heavy Duty suspension package. This suspension is at its best when hauling a heavy load or pulling a trailer and rides better with a cord of wood in back. The Smooth Ride suspension is more comfortable for everyday use and works well for the light-duty work most pickups perform.
Two different 4.3-liter V6 engines are offered. Ours came with the more powerful optional engine, which served up a robust 190 horsepower at 4400 rpm and 250 pounds-feet of torque at 2800 rpm. It delivered healthy throttle response across the power band, which made everyday driving enjoyable and assisted with passing maneuvers.
The standard 4.3-liter V6 offers 180 horsepower and 240 pounds-feet of torque. Both use sequential central port fuel injection and offer an excellent combination of horsepower and torque. The base 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine delivers 120 horsepower at 5000 rpm and 140 pounds-feet of torque at 3600 rpm.
Our STS was equipped with an electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, a $1,070 option.
Sonoma's electronic transfer case called Insta-Trac is a dream to operate. Simply push a button to shift into low-range and you're ready for the toughest terrain. A high ground clearance, a locking differential, aggressive tires, gas-pressure shocks and heavy-duty multi-leaf rear springs produced positive results during our off-road excursions. The Off Road Package is designed for serious off-roaders. Four-wheel disc brakes come standard on four-wheel-drive models.
We particularly enjoyed the feel of Sonoma's capable brakes. Brake pedal travel is relatively short with improved pedal feel, all of which instills confidence.
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