AMC Spirit Reviews - Page 2 of 3

1980 AMC Spirit AMX 258 from North America

Model year1980
Year of manufacture1980
Engine and transmission 258 Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired220000 miles
Most recent distance235000 miles

Summary:

Unique old fashioned rear wheel drive compact

Faults:

Brakes.

Radiator.

Dimmer switch.

Tires.

Alternator.

Rear main seal.

Lifters ticking.

Carb.

Hood hinge sprung (due to not latching hood all the way down).

General Comments:

This was my first car. I paid the princely sum of 200 bucks for this gem. Over the course of 8 years it has served me well. It sits around a bit during the snowy winters common up in the Wisconsin north woods due to the extreme lack of traction.

I get quite a few comments on the car. It is a unique design and there weren't many Spirits with the AMX appearance package. It has a pleasing shape for an early 80s car.

Car handles decent for being nose heavy. Brakes stop the car well enough.

The engine I think is pretty well used up, it ticks and even before the main seal went out it used some oil. The 1 barrel carb doesn't do much for performance and gas mileage isn't the best. After taking the carb off I found it wasn't the original. Some hillbilly had filed the bolt holes on the carb to get it to fit.

It seemed like every spring the car kept getting worse mileage, this year it was down to a big block like 12 mpg. I finally swapped it out for one off of a 77 ford with a 300 six, mileage improved to about 20 mpg if I really baby it. Still not that great when compared to my AMC Eagle that gets 25 mpg out of the same engine in a heavier car. I think this may be partially to due with the fact that the carb is too big for the motor, and the motor itself is just plain worn out.

Seats are comfortable enough, but the vinyl really sticks to the body on a hot humid day, making long trips a back drenching affair. The rear seat is not comfortable at all unless you're either a midget or a child.

As far as reliability goes, it hasn't been too bad considering the amount of miles and the age of the car. I probably have about 400 into the car total for the past eight years, so I can't complain. The car has left me stranded once, and that was because I jumped it on a very rough road and the fan decided to kiss the radiator. It had just made a 3 hour trip prior, and had zero problems beyond the usual oil consumption.

Bottom line, if you want a car that is easy to work on and reliable, plus unique looking, this car may be for you.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st August, 2008

1981 AMC Spirit GT 360 from North America

Model year1981
Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 360 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Previous carAMC Eagle

Summary:

Gathers more admirers than a new Corvette

Faults:

The usual replacement parts > brakes > exhaust.

General Comments:

The AMC 258 6 weighs nearly as much as their 540 lb. V8.

By trimming out weight via Alum. Intake / Alum. Heads / etc. > you can bring the V8 weight to below that of the AMC Inline 6 > a realization that stunned me into swapping out the 6 and building the 360 I had in storage.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 9th November, 2006

1980 AMC Spirit Base Baby! 2.5 from North America

Model year1980
Year of manufacture1980
First year of ownership1983
Most recent year of ownership1986
Engine and transmission 2.5 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired38000 miles
Most recent distance87000 miles
Previous carHonda Civic

Summary:

Reliable/Comfortable/Dependable - AMC Spirit!

Faults:

Well, the day I picked up the Spirit I was rear ended, locking the brake calipers. Fun.

The seat latches were broken, giving you the "I'm in the space shuttle" seating position.

Super cheap plastic grip assembly were EXPENSIVE to replace. (This prior to AMC going to Chrysler)

General Comments:

Considering what the AMC Spirit was, it was a comfortable, reliable car. Started EVERY time on the first start. The Borg/Warner trans shifted perfectly (including a backfire from inital shift from 1st to second. Always called it a 'fart').

The Iron Duke 4 wasn't a great engine, as some claim. If was VERY touchy on the settings, and if you stripped it, you were toast. Thus the reason I got rid of it.

Hindsight being 20/20. I should have fixed the carb, and kept the car. I was a great performer, and was my favorite car for YEARS after. It has since moved down a notch to my 1997 Chrysler Cirrus.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st September, 2006

Average review marks: 7.4 / 10, based on 9 reviews