2002 GMC Sonoma Reviews

2002 Sonoma New Car Test Drive


GMC Sonoma can be a hard-working commercial truck, a pre-runner-style sport truck, a hardy off-road scrambler, or even a comfortable sedan with a pickup box out back. More standard equipment, more options, and a simplified model lineup all enhance Sonoma's value for 2002. 

Anyone shopping for a cost-effective midsize pickup should be able to find a Sonoma to serve his or her needs. A quietly handsome appearance, healthy V6 torque, and a myriad of options all argue in the Sonoma's favor. 


The Sonoma line ranges from reliable work trucks to capable off-road machines. GMC offers a huge selection, with two- and four-wheel-drive; Regular, Extended and Crew Cabs; short and long beds; Sportside and Wideside styling, and a half-dozen different chassis packages. 

Base SL trim ($13,756) now includes air conditioning. Starting at $14,874, SLS adds interior upgrades, a chrome grille, body-color bumpers and just about everything that used to be included on the top-level SLE, which has been discontinued for 2002. 

All Sonoma Crew Cabs ($24,373) wear the SLS badge, but carry additional standard equipment, including a V6 engine, automatic transmission, cruise control, leather-wrapped tilting steering wheel, power locks with remote keyless entry, deep-tinted glass, four-speaker CD stereo, chrome bumpers, fog lamps, a limited-slip rear axle and a bed liner. 

A 120-horsepower 2.2-liter inline-four is standard on 2WD models. An alternative-fuel version is available that burns gasoline, Ethanol-85, or any mixture in between. The Vortec 4300 4.3-liter V6 is standard on 4WD Sonomas, where it is rated 190 horsepower. The same V6 is optional on two-wheel-drive models but rates only 180 horsepower in that variation. 

Five-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmissions are available. 

Regular-cab 2WD's come with a Smooth Ride Z83 suspension and P205/70R15 tires. Extended-cab and four-wheel-drive models come with the Z85 Heavy-Duty suspension, designed for high payloads and towing. Regular-cab 2WDs can have Z85 for $64. 

Or, buyers of 2WD Regular and Extended cabs can choose the ZQ8 Sport suspension, which enhances handling and goes a long way toward making the Sonoma drive like a car. This is accomplished with shorter ride-height springs, high-performance deCarbon gas shock absorbers, urethane jounce bumpers, front and rear stabilizer bars, specially tuned variable-ratio power steering and wide 8-inch aluminum wheels with Goodyear P235/55R-16 tires. 

Off-road enthusiasts may opt for the ZR2 Highrider suspension, with Bilstein gas shock absorbers, 31x10.5R-15 all-terrain tires, and special springs, shocks, wheels and tires for a higher and wider stance. ZR2 Sonomas also come with a shield package, wheel flares and, new for 2002, identifying decals. 

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