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January 5, 1998


On The Road With Carol- 1998 SONOMA Extended Pickup

  A pickup is a wonderful vehicle to have. It is versatile, handy for hauling, and with the 1998 GMC Sonoma Extended Cab 4-wheel drive pickup, you can go almost anywhere. And as an added bonus, the car manufacturer has a feature on this pickup that is nice to use - a third door that opens on the driver's side to access the back. Two fold-down back seats allow for a total of four people to ride safely. The back seat passengers have easy access through the third side door and you can readily reach anything stored in the back. The Sonoma is a compact truck that is ready for off-road driving with lots of driver control and comfort
   With the Vortec 4300 V6 gas engine package there is plenty of power. Add in the 5-speed manual transmission with overdrive and the suspension package and you have a nice driving experience. You can choose from four suspension choices - all purpose, heavy duty or two off-road packages. The Sonoma's new four-wheel disc brakes are designed to give the driver a better brake feel and faster response time.The clean lines make this a respectable vehicle for town or country. New this year are standard composite headlights which puts the headlights, fog lights and parking lights into a single unit. Also new is the step cutout in the back rear bumper for easier access in the cargo area.
   The Truck Body Computer that comes standard with the Sonoma controls the passlock theft-deterrent system, remote panic alarm/vehicle locator, battery rundown protection, retained accessory power, lockout prevention, remote door look/unlock feedback, automatic head lamp control, exit lighting and turn signal reminder. Inside, the controls are easy to read. The center console, that also serves as an arm rest, has a number of features: spring-loaded coin release, dual bin storage, CD/cassette storage and cupholders.
   The Insta-Trac¬ allows the driver to engage the 4-wheel drive with just a touch of the button on the dashboard. You can carry a big load in the 6.1-foot box, or tow up to 5,500 lbs. with the V6 engine. New this year is a suppression switch for the passenger air bag. Located on the dash, the key-operated switch allows the air bag to be deactivated for child safety seats or other concerns. It is always nice to have more than one power outlet, and the Sonoma has two right below the ash tray.
   As with most GMC trucks, you can order different options with the Sonoma, either 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive in regular cab or extended cab in different lengths and widths. Although GMC demographics detail that this is a truck that is primarily bought by married males at the average age of 40, this pickup would work well for anyone. The 1998 base pricing for the Sonoma 4-wheel drive extended cab is $19,773 or $20,223 with the Sportside Body Chassis. The estimated mileage in city is 18 mpg, andon the highway is 25 mpg. GMC covers the 1998 Sonoma with their standard three-year, 36,000 mile warranty, roadside assistance, courtesy transportation for same-day warranty work and travel benefits.