1988 Pontiac Bonneville SSE 3.8 Litre V6 from North America


The Mafia Sentinel


The Hydra-Boost went out for the brakes.

Seats worn out.

Paint faded and sun burnt.

Seat massager's went out.

Replaced steering wheel cover.

General Comments:

The car looks just like a mafia sentinel, even though the paint is faded out. Sleek shape for a four door car.

The car responds at the drop of a hat and corners like it's nobodies business. The tires grip the road on hard turns without a hint of a squeal.

The trusty 3.8 liter v6 runs flawlessly, and starts on a seconds notice, even on the coldest days.

The transmission is a little rough going into second and third gear, but it doesn't slip or kick.

Gas mileage is golden-I get back and forth to work twice on 3 bucks! (That's alitle less than 2 gallons here)

The interior is more luxurious than my friends brand new Cadillac, and the dash has more lights and gizmos than a space shuttle. The digital compass and driver information report any problems that come up; if a turn signal bulb goes out I'll know about it. Thick leather bucket seats with built in seat massager's in 8 places provide premium comfort for passenger and driver. The wood grain dash is pimp.

Nice secret compartments in the headrests for stowing small items.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st April, 2004

1988 Pontiac Bonneville SSE 3.8L. VIN (C) SFI from North America


Truly a High Performance Sports Car.


This SSE has been good to me. Very few problems, more of annoyance type, nothing major.

No paint or rust problems. Thank god!

The awesome Radio and power antenna stopped working about 4 months after I bought the car. $400 & $150 from GM Respectively.

Front drivers side stabilizer bar link was broken when I got the car, but my previous '88 Bonneville LE was the same. Could it be a common Defect???

The headlight washers didn't work either. Because someone, who shouldn't even be allowed to own tools, tried to fix it. (Was Relatively easy & cheap to fix)

Air Conditioning went bad 1 month after purchase. (Evaporator core & Compressor) under $1,000 if I do it myself. I'm a HVAC/R Student so I can.

Most recently the compressor for the Air Ride suspension went out. ($450 from Pontiac)

Other misc. stuff like gages, fog lights, rear defroster croped up, but that was just bad/incrocet fuses or simple crap like that.

This is not the easiest car to work on, I have seen better, but also seen worse.

TIP: if you should ever have ANY kind of moderate electrical probilem, (Doubtful) take your time! These cars are full of wires. If you know your stuff you should be OK. I plan on getting the GM repair manuals for this car due to this.

General Comments:

I Absolutely love this car. I previously owned a 1988 Bonneville LE that I bought as a temporary car for the winter for $450. It had 226,226 miles. on it. When I read the owners manual and saw all the options the SSE's had, I knew I had to get one!

This SSE has been good to me. Very few problems, but since I spent all my cash getting the car, I haven't been able to fix that much. So it may seem like a beat up old thing to others, but really just needs about $3,000 invested in it. The "Standard Catalog of Pontiac" puts its value just under $7,000 so what's a few thousand.

I plan to add this car to my Permanent collection. I will fix whatever crops up in the future.

I see the LE's & SE's everywhere, but few SSE's, I've got like one of ten in a 30 mile radius.

This car handles like a dream, with the variable ratio power rack & pinion steering, & 32mm front roll bar & 20mm Rear. (Rally-Tuned Suspension)

I have taken mine up to 115 MPH. now that I got the original tires on it.

"Goodyear Eagle GT+4" P215/60 R16

A bit pricey, but well worth it.

Unfortunately mine didn't come with the power sunroof, or alarm system, but I am working on adding these.

I highly recommend getting and hanging on to these cars, Very comfortable seats, & dashboard is really cool too.

With so many options this car is worthy of the title (SSE).

"Super Sport Edition".

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th February, 2004

22nd Jan 2005, 17:51

My 17 year old son has had a black 88 SSE for a year, and he and I both just love it. Unfortunately he spun out on some ice last week and broke the left rear wheel off, damaging everything that holds it on. Everything else is in very good condition. The best deal we've found is $100 and they haul it off. I hate to do it. Plus it has new tire, battery and alternator!