1988 Pontiac Bonneville LE 3.8L V6 from North America


I sincerely wish I could go back and time and get one when it was new


The Radiator went out soon after I got it.

The Thermostat had to be replaced.

It ended up needing new calipers.

The Serpentine belt fell off mysteriously.

Burns oil.

Gas tank has recently sprung a leak.

The Body is showing it's age, for certain.

Brake line went out after sitting unused for a year.

Interior head-liner had to be removed (It no longer adhered to the ceiling), leaving rotten foam dust everywhere.

Front seats are bent backwards to an awkward angle (Prior to my owning it)

Manual window crank is oddly tight to operate, and sometimes impossible.

The shifter linkage has been replaced 5 times previous to my ownership (according to the documentation I received)

Bad starter. I sometimes have to open the hood and use a jack handle to force the starter to initiate. I will be replacing that soon.

The Plug that powers the interior fan has melted, and therefore the fan works inconsistently.

The switch for rear defrost is selective about whether it chooses to accept your order to activate.

General Comments:

Overall, I love this car. Yes, it is agreeably showing me its age and will have to be replaced, but I'm never throwing it away.

It handles over an hour of highway commuting per day.

It's not too large, but not too small (Interior wise)

It's moderately stylish without being garish (Mine is now sadly in bad shape as its appearance goes)

Before the tank leak, it got great gas mileage, for an 88.

Handles very well in the snow and ice.

Stereo is so-so sounding, but really durable. I have factory speakers, and I have put them through their paces. I think I may have finally blown the front passenger speaker, though.

Great headroom! I find myself having to "limbo" into many other cars, or perform exotic contortionist moves to eviscerate myself from them without banging my head. Not the Bonneville, it's comfy.

It handles like you'd expect a car of its size to handle. I wouldn't call it "Turning" as much as I would call it "strafing" in the Bonneville.

It went 29,000 miles without an oil change from the previous owners. (They lied about the last oil change)

Thanks to myself and my father, repairs to this car have only tallied about $400. Well worth it for a vehicle as reliable as it is.

It has a pleasant smell. I'm not kidding. Something about the foam drying out and crumbling gives it a sort of charming odor. It's hard to explain.

After all these years, the Bonneville still has an impressive amount of 'get-up-and-go', as it were. There are a lot of situations (usually merging onto a busy highway) that require just a drop of turbo, and the Bonneville can provide, within reason.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th September, 2005

9th Sep 2005, 00:00

Good report. I love old cars too. Mine has 200,000 kms on it.

A spray of silicon release spray on the window runners may make the winder easy to turn.

All the best.

9th Sep 2005, 00:48

"I sincerely wish I could go back and time and get one when it was new"

I feel the same about my wife.

15th Sep 2005, 05:18

Yes, it could be considered a rolling pile of junk, but it is MY rolling pile of junk. Compared to the significantly longer list of problems I had with my previous car (1994 Chevy Corsica), this is a dream vehicle. Maintenance is maintenance, and someday I will have to go new, but until then, I will adore and appreciate my bonnie. Besides, I happen to know a relative who has a 2002 Cavalier, and she's had twice as many repairs as me. :p

31st Jul 2006, 22:26

Great to see that you can appreciate the car for what it was. I had an a 1987 That was abused a lot before I acquired it, and then a lot more afterwards. I learned to respect that car. We had to replace the transmission, rebuild the motor, had body work on each door, fender and bumper. But, it still was as powerful as my 340 Challenger, got 30 miles per gallon while carrying six people, and looked respectable.

I wish that I still had mine. Look after yours.

26th Nov 2006, 12:08

I have a 87 bonnie and I love it to death it has the 231 v6 3.8 with overdrive and man does it run smooth everybody tells me it runs smooth and it has 144,231.

1988 Pontiac Bonneville SSE 3.8L from North America


Great first car for an eager teen (as myself)


Mostly small electrical things that have gone wrong. The electric seats work only on occasion, as do the electric supports in the seats.

The computer in the dashboard says that the driver door is always open, resulting in an annoying *beep beep beep* every 5 seconds.

The antennae is broken.

The electric windows move unbelievably slow.

All interior lights don't work.

Seats have wear and tear where the electrical bits are, and I can't find seat covers that are large enough to cover the comfy cozy seats.

General Comments:

Great looking car, very pimping car. Custom candy apple red paint job. The 3.8L auto is quite quick for a car of its weight. Great trunk space, makes for room for a large sound system.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th May, 2004