Introduced as the S-15, the smaller GMC pickup truck officially adopted the Sonoma name in 1991. In 1994, an all-new version of the GMC Sonoma featured modernized styling, improved suspension and a refreshed engine line-up. Offered as a three-passenger regular cab or a five-passenger extended cab, the GMC Sonoma could be moved by rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The 1998 model year Sonoma featured some minor styling enhancements that included improved brakes and next-generation dual front airbags. Engine choices for the 1998 GMC Sonoma consisted of a 120-horsepower 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine or a 4.3-liter Vortec V-6 producing 180 horsepower. The pickup truck could be equipped with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.
Towing capacity for the four-cylinder model of the 1998 GMC Sonoma was rated at 2,000 pounds whiles the six-cylinder could pull up to 6,000 pounds. On four-wheel drive models of the 1998 Sonoma, the optional ZR2 package enhanced the off-road performance of the vehicle with features such as protective skid plates, Bilstein monotube shocks and a higher ground clearance. For 1999 GMC Sonoma, the four-wheel drive system was enhanced with the addition of AutoTrac. In 2001, the GMC Sonoma was offered with a four-door crew cab variant for the first time.
Offered only in SLS trim with four-wheel drive, the 2001 Sonoma Crew Cab included standard features such as air conditioning, audio system with CD player and power windows. During the final year of the GMC Sonoma in 2004, the crew cab was the only version of the truck available. In 2005, the GMC Sonoma was replaced by the larger Canyon mid-sized pickup truck.