AMC Pacer Reviews

1975 AMC Pacer B 258 I6 from North America

Model year1975
Year of manufacture1975
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 258 I6 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.5 / 10
Distance when acquired231000 miles
Most recent distance238000 miles


I have no doubt that it will last another 238,000 miles


Exhaust manifold needed to be replaced.

Overdrive pushbutton switch needed to be replaced.

Brake master cylinder went about 1000 miles after I acquired the car.

Interior is definitely starting to show its age.

General Comments:

This is one of the few Pacers with the 3 speed manual with overdrive.

The car get's excellent economy (21 MPG City, 34MPG Highway).

The engine is a strong runner and has never been rebuilt, and it doesn't leak or burn oil.

Car is extremely comfortable with great visibility.

Lots of cargo room with rear seat folded down.

Seats 4 full sized adults comfortably.

It has RWD, and combined with the limited slip differential, it never spun the wheels or got stuck during the winter on icy roads.

I bought this car as a novelty, and ended up using it as my daily driver (as a commuter car) because of its comfort and reliability. I have driven it in heavy city traffic daily, and have never had one problem with it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th January, 2010

1976 AMC Pacer Base 4.2L Inline Six from North America

Model year1976
Year of manufacture1975
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 4.2L Inline Six Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
10.0 / 10
Distance when acquired106500 miles
Most recent distance111900 miles


Has a few quirks here and there, but overall it's a very well built car


Trunk lifts wore out and had to be replaced.

Brake light switch had to be replaced.

General Comments:

The Pacer has been the most comfortable car I have ever driven.

It may lack acceleration power (0-60 takes 14 seconds), but I have had no trouble getting it up to about 80+MPH on the freeway.

The handling on it is absolutely wonderful.

Fuel economy is also very good. It averages around 20 MPG in the city, and about 26 highway. However if I am not lead footed I have gotten it to get 31 MPG highway.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th May, 2009

26th Sep 2009, 18:25

Hmm, I enjoyed my 2 Pacers but wasn't impressed with their MPG. If you take into account the car's weight (over 3,000 pounds), it's easy to understand why the old AMC power plant didn't sip fuel. The car was an engineering compromise but had an outstanding design.

1978 AMC Pacer D/L 4.2 Liter (258 inline 6) from North America

Model year1978
Year of manufacture1978
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 4.2 Liter (258 inline 6) Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired71002 miles
Most recent distance74520 miles
Previous carChevrolet Caprice


This is the classic for those who want to get noticed!


Fan Blower Switch ($23 for the part and $65 for the repair)

Windshield wiper Motor and Sprayer Pump ($19 for parts and easy self Install)

Steering Wheel (to replace a smashed horn Assembly) ($19.00 for part and about $25 for Installation kit)

Install of AM/FM Cassette radio ($49 for AMC Radio; have not installed yet)

Driver Seat Support (have not fixed yet)

General Comments:

This car is the MOST unique vehicle you will see on the road; bar none.

The use of present-day technologies in this 1978 continues to amaze mechanics and others helping me with the restoration.

As comfortable as a car several times it size and a kick to drive.

So many modern cars have been influenced; from Porsche (911/928 rear end anyone) to the "new" Dodge Ram trucks (1978 grille design all the way).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th August, 2005

29th Aug 2005, 01:22

You've got to be kidding about Porsche and Dodge copying anything from the Pacer. The hood was like that for the V8 to fit. Dodge's Ram (mainly the earlier ones) resemble the big International trucks in my opinion. American motors always was a space shot when it came to styling, no wonder they went out of business. I had to use an Eagle once and hated it!!

1976 AMC Pacer D/L from North America

Year of manufacture1976
First year of ownership1990
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance0 miles
Previous carAMC Pacer


A collector's car for eccentrics


Rubber parts (for example motor mounts) needed replacing after a while.

Rack and pinion steering leaked and was replaced.

Exhaust manifold leaks are the biggest problem with a generally reliable and interesting car.

General Comments:

One of the most unique cars ever produced. Extremely roomy and comfortable to drive.

With the curved glass in back, it's great for parallel parking in crowded cities.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th June, 2004

10th Jan 2005, 17:01

I have a 1977 AMC Pacer D/L and have many of the same problems as mentioned in the past review. However, None of them out-weigh the fun I've had owning and restoring my 77 pacer. As I have picked away at the few areas that my pacer lacked in, I have found ways to use todays tech. support to improve as I go. The 258 engine has a wealth of untapped H.P. The two toughest areas to overcome have been the motor mounts and the rack and pinion problems. Both solved with time and a lot of patience. I am currently doing a frame off on the pacer as I have been in Pearl Harbor H.I. for the past four years and the salt has taken it's toll. This has been my daily driver for the past 15 years and I still turn heads every time I roll out of the driveway. It's not a belly button car that everyone has, but I take a great deal of pride in ownership and it still looks great. My son recently brought home his first car and to my great surprise, it was a bright orange 1975 AMC Pacer with a three speed and white leather interior.

Average review marks: 8.4 / 10, based on 6 reviews