1988 Pontiac 6000 LE Safari 2.8 MFI from North America


The most reliable car I've ever owned


The PROM (Pre-programmed Read-Only Memory) chip went out a month after I bought the car and it took two tries to get it corrected. That was because the parts depot shipped it in shrink-wrap, and when it was installed, the residual plastic fried the chip. Since then, it's worked fine.

The water pump went out at 98,000 miles and again at 229,000.

The alternator has been replaced three times; the second and third ones were re-builds; the latest is NOS.

The idle-speed motor caused intermittent stalling and baffled two dealers in two states. I finally found a shade-tree mechanic who replaced it for $50.

The rack (as in rack-and-pinion steering) has had leaking seals for years, and the power steering pump was replaced at 225,000 miles.

The air conditioning system was replaced with the new non-Freon system at 223,000 miles.

The woodgrain applique on the trim molding is peeling off.

General Comments:

I've begun my fifteenth year with this car and I have no intention of getting rid of it. It has been a reliable and trustworthy car since the day I picked it up. It gets great gas mileage (over 20 mpg), it has good get-up-and-go even when fully loaded and with the A/C on, and it has plenty of room for friends and hauling stuff home. Given the miles and the places I've lived (the Colorado mountains, northern Michigan, New Mexico, and now Florida), its performance has been remarkable.

It's my daily driver, but this summer it will get a well-deserved retirement and go in for restoration so that in a few years I can show it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th March, 2003

4th Jan 2010, 23:27

I loved reading what you and the Pontiac have been through. As I have been reading all of the reviews on the 6000 in the Car Survey, one item keeps coming up: I will not sell my car; or what a reliable car; I wish GM still made them (they almost did, but the design was not up to snuff). I hope you love Florida and still still enjoy your wagon.

1988 Pontiac 6000 No designation 2.5 from North America


The most dependable car I have ever had


Electric fan, alternator both went bad at about 175,000 mile. Both were original equipment. I fixed the fan with one from a junk yard for $20.00.

General Comments:

When I bought the car with over one hundred thousand mile my family thought I was crazy. I told them that I would make go to 200,000 if I had to push it. I have never had to push it yet. I have bought two new cars while I've owned the 6000 that have had troubles. Other than the fan and the alternator, this car is unstoppable. At 200,000 miles I can still reach through the window and turn the key and the car fires right up. It is great on gas and after 14 years it is trouble free. This car has saved me thousands of dollars by not having to pay car payments on another new car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th September, 2002

1988 Pontiac 6000 2.8 from North America


I love this car, it just makes sense to drive it


When I first purchased the car in 1997 it had 50,000 kilometers and the original Tiger Paw tires. I had a tire blow out and lost control on the 417 (Ottawa, Montreal).

I replace the front brakes once a year. They wear very fast, so I've learned to replace them myself, but I also drive more aggressive than the average driver in Quebec.

I replaced all the shocks (normal wear, I assume). And purchased Monroe Sensa-track.

Replaced the alternator, water pump, brake lines to front calipers, front bearings.

General Comments:

This car is a tank! I've had a few fender benders with it on Montreal bridges and I've always driven away with zero damage. Can't say the same about the guy in the Passat or the other guy in the Audi. They both left the scene with dragging bumpers and plenty damage.

I've never needed a recovery in this car. I've even run out of gas with the thing and it still finds it's way to the service station on fumes. It has never broken down on the road, and you never see these things lined up on the side of freeways.

Montreal taxi drivers drive Pontiac 6000's and their sister cars. I always get asked by Montreal cab drivers if my car is for sale. The answer is no, because I know I'm driving gold. If I sold my car, I'd have to buy something else, people usually don't give up their 6000's easily.

I just have to say that I've fallen in love with my car. It's not the most pleasant to the eye, but I've been told that it has 'character'. The thing is dirt cheap to run, and it's been part of my life for the past 4 years. I'll cry when I have to give it up. Maybe I'll never give it up and drive it forever.

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

Review Date: 22nd July, 2001

14th Apr 2003, 14:34

You are totally right about 6000's. I drive an '86, and ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! I've had mine for about a year and had to replace a few things, but mostly periodic maintenance (apart from the cracked windshield). I have to change my hood, headlight retainer, bumper, and grille thanks to a recent accident; but the car faired better than I expected, and still drives and runs semi-perfect (hey give it a break its 17 and has 204,367 miles on it).

19th Dec 2003, 18:21

You're totally right! These cars can handle a lot. I recently had an accident in my 6000, in which one of the rear wheels were ripped off, causing the whole axle to break, and the car is still running extremely well. The car still needs a lot of work to fix that though, but it will be done soon. Too bad GM doesn't make them anymore.