- The Washington Times - Friday, February 23, 2001

GMC Sonoma Crew Cab loaded with comforts
MODEL: GMC Sonoma Crew Cab
VEHICLE TYPE: Four-door pickup
PRICE-AS-TESTED: $26,171
MILEAGE: 15 city, 18 highway

It was hard to believe that I was driving a truck. The interior of GMC Sonoma Crew Cab has the appearance and comforts of a sedan.
The size of the cab provides a stately, solid appearance, and the starlike, new aluminum wheels seem to make the statement that this pickup is something special.
When I opened the door, I couldn't believe what I saw. The seats were covered with a plush material, and the entire interior was attractive and inviting. So I climbed aboard.
This truck accommodates three adults in comfort across the back seat, with adequate leg room. Rear-seat passengers don't have to climb over the front-seat passenger to get to their seats. This four-door cab compares favorably to a sedan. If only it had tethers to secure child seats, it would be serviceable as a family sedan. But this vehicle is a workhorse that happens to be loaded with luxurious sedan equipment.
Behind the cab is a truck bed that can do most of the things expected of a pickup truck. This bed is a bit smaller compared with the bed of a normal-size pickup, but included is a box approximately 55 inches square, complete with bedliner and tie-down loops, capable of hauling a payload of 1,125 pounds. In the bumper is a convenient step for loading the box, and the trailer tow rating is 5,900 pounds when used with a weight-distributing hitch.
The Crew Cab has two other carlike features: The turning circle requires only 46 feet, and the overall length of 204 inches allows it to fit into a garage.
Under the hood of my tester was the 4300 Vortec V6 engine linked to an automatic transmission. It delivers 190 horsepower, and with its 250 foot-pounds of torque, this Crew Cab has pickup in more than one way. EPA fuel economy is rated at 15 city and 18 highway.
For those with demand for power, another engine 2.2-liter four cylinder is available. Two-and four-wheel drive, and manual and automatic transmissions are other options. Added to the base price of $25,083 for my four-wheel-drive tester were the options of a locking rear differential, better tires and a cold-climate package, bringing the total, including destination charge, to $26,171.
One advantage of the cargo box is being able to haul dirty stuff while keeping the interior of the Crew Cab clean. Included as standard equipment are numerous amenities that put this truck in the luxury-vehicle status. Although power seats are not included, it does have power windows, power door locks, cruise control, tilt steering wheel, four-wheel disk brakes, daytime running lamps, fog lamps, air conditioning, power-heated outside mirrors and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Incidentally, it has a sliding rear window, plus outside temperature and compass in the overhead console. To my surprise, it even has illuminated visor mirrors.
Another feature pertaining to the power door locks is that all doors automatically lock when the speed of 15 mph is reached and unlocked when the key is removed from the ignition.
In spite of all the carlike amenities, the Crew Cab still rides like a truck. The suspension is strong, which is ideal for carrying a full payload, but just driving the Sonoma on ordinary paved roads, the ride is not as soft and comfortable as in a sedan. Yet the cab is reasonably quiet, which made listening to compact discs and cassettes more enjoyable.
If you're interested in a truck without having to "rough it," take a test-drive in a Crew Cab. Like me, you may be pleasantly surprised.
MOTOR MATTERS


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