Pros: Good looking truck, comfortable with style.
Cons: Weakest thing I've ever drove, very poor craftsmanship.
I went with the Sonoma because it really is a great looking truck. With my job I travel a lot, on average at least 800 miles a week. I was looking for a smaller truck with a 4 cyl, something just to put miles on. When I saw the new body style that came out in 97 I new that was what I wanted. My thoughts were, it's just what I'm looking for with a little extra comfort and style. I've always been a fan of GM and had great experiences in the past. Where I made the mistake is that my great experiences were with the 350 cu in motor and it's great transmission, not with the smaller more economical pieces of junk GM has to offer. Knowing when I bought this truck that I would be putting a great deal of miles on it, I was dedicated to taken very good care of it. I've kept the oil changed and all maintenance required and then some. In the Atlanta rush hour I'm the one that everyone curses because instead of over driving the extremely weak motor to try and keep up with the average drivers I'll take it easy as to take care and extend the life of the truck. Enough babblin and on to the facts. At 9,000 miles my rear brakes were shot, heavy braking was like sitting on one of those beds in a cheap motel that takes change. At 22,000 miles it's time for new tires because the front two tires are wearing only on the outside. These tires should have lasted another 15,000 miles easy. Keep in mind that I'm the only person that has ever drove this truck and I have not hit any curbs or big bumps to knock the front end out of line, it came from the factory out of line. (I know 2 other people with the same trucks that had the same problem) At 38,000 miles it's time to have the front brakes done (thats normal) but when I take off the right front pads only one has worn, the other is like brand new. Turns out the caliper was bad from factory. I just remembered back at 5,000 miles it would only crank half the time because of a security feature malfunction. At 40,000 miles my windshield wipers got a mind of their own. When you can get them to work, 9 times out of 10 they won't stop, or they'll stop when your on the freeway driving 70mph in 10 lanes of traffic at night in the heavy rain. It's been to the dealer 4 times for that one and it's still not right. The driver and passenger seats were always extremely hard to recline, eventually the handles broke off of both of them. Scheduled spark plug and wire changes at 100,000, yea right, at 45,000 I broke down because one of my wires was ran too close to the engine (from factory) and melted. Leaving me stranded in a country town in south Georgia at least 50 miles from any civilization and of course there was no cell phone coverage. The passenger door lock broke on it's own, the glove department won't shut, my dash lights short out all the time and blow fuses. At 82,000 miles I'm hearing a roaring sound coming from my manual transmission (which the owners manual says there is no maintenance needed) turns out to be the throw out bearing in the clutch. As much care that I've taken not to burn the clutch (and I know how to drive a clutch) (and the clutch plate itself is still in good shape) it just really irritates me that a part failure not a part wear-down leaves me with this costly repair. (I mean just the shame in being cursed at for 82,000 miles in rush hour when I was trying to save a clutch and it turns out that I should have rode the clutch and got much faster start ups because the piece of junk transmission was going to tear up anyway) Not a real big point but it matters to me, I'm now at 99,400 miles and I've been through 4 cigars lighters. Only one last thing to complain about. I bought the best extended warranty that was available (100,000 miles, zero deductible, BUMPER TO BUMPER) and payed good for it, but you know out of this whole list only two things were covered under it. The security problem at the beginning (it actually got fixed) and the wipers with a mind of their own that still aren't working properly AFTER FOUR VISITS TO THE DEALER. Just what does bumper to bumper mean anyway? But all and all the best thing that I've got to say about this truck is that it has a great air conditioner. I'm sure I will eat those words come summer.