1993 Pontiac Bonneville SSEi 3.8L Supercharged V6 from North America


Don't go out of your way to buy this car, but if a good example presents itself..


Interior is falling apart, with dramatic driver seat wear, loose panels, and worn controls.

EGR valve failure.

Weak fuel pump.

Cracked radiator.

Leaking windshield.

Broken tranny mount.

ABS/TC system failure.

Worn pulley bearings.

Peeling clearcoat.

General Comments:

...but with 220,000 miles, what can you expect? It runs and it isn't dangerously rusted, unlike most northern Bonnevilles.

It's a large, reasonably safe four-door car that you can buy for about $1000-$2000. Build quality is poor, materials are second-rate, especially in the interior. The instrument panel is ugly, secondary controls are not logically positioned, and the cruise controls are just awful. Much of the "technology" is just gimmick, like the overwrought digital compass display.

On the positive, the interior is spacious, the front seats are reasonably comfortable, with a wide range of adjustment (though the steering wheel always seems to be in the wrong place), the rear seats are wide (but too low, forcing your knees up into the seatbacks), and the trunk is more than ample. Exterior styling isn't beautiful, but also isn't ugly.

Performance is above average for an early 90's large sedan, and the torquey V6 makes the car feel lighter than it is in a straight-line, but the car can't match the fun, communicative steering and handling of the much smaller Honda Accord from the same period. The ride is decent, avoiding most of the disconcerting "float" typical of American cars, and allowing some feel of the road. The brakes on the SSEi version are inadequate for a "sporty" car.

Fuel economy is typical mid 20's in the real world, but supercharged versions require Premium fuel.

Watch for rust (especially where the front sub-frame connects to the body).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th October, 2011

1993 Pontiac Bonneville SE 3.8 from North America


The luck of the draw, I got a good one


Engine has not had anything done to it, transmission shot, has also had AC compressor clutch, alternator, master cylinder, runs great, very well maintained, painted parts of the body that started flaking off.

Transmission was saved for $1500.00.

General Comments:

Very important please - subframe, mine was rusted out. I thought only Buicks had this happen. However, junkyard subframe and new bolts for $200 and I feel safer too. Still looks good, seems like it moves effortlessly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th February, 2011

20th Aug 2018, 16:50

What do you mean "luck of the draw?" Luck of the draw implies that most of these were garbage and that you managed to find a good one. The fact is, these are great cars.

21st Aug 2018, 10:33

You could actually make the exact same comment on any used car. I remember I bought a barely new 2006 Trailblazer that was only actually privately owned for 8 months. Even with that I wondered why they were selling it so fast. Seemed too small and they simply bought a new Denali.

I have had good used cars and also lousy ones. Even with diligence and a skilled mechanic along, parts and issues crop up that can fail. Even happens with new cars that may be a lemon. So luck is part of any mechanical purchase. That also has included new/used motorcycles and boats I have owned.

One major issue, with even low hours or mileage on these, is ethanol issues with untreated fuel. They look new, but internally are a disaster.

1993 Pontiac Bonneville SLE 3.8 naturally aspirated from North America


Best car I ever owned


Broken interior parts.

Fan relay harness short.

General Comments:

I just replaced my Bonneville with a 99 Camry, and seriously miss the old girl. I drove it down to Mexico from Canada at least a half dozen times, and she never let me down. Plenty of power from the reliable 3.8, and not a car that draws a lot of attention.

A/C finally packed it in at 300,000 kilometers, and I had some rust issues with it spending so much time on the coast of Jalisco, Mexico.

I find the 99 Camry I bought to replace it not much car for the money in comparison to my Bonnie. I find the Camry seriously lacking in the creature comfort and power departments. The Bonneville had surprisingly good fuel economy for the H.P., and I find that the Camry has disappointing power for its economy. Somebody got a good reliable beater when they bought the old girl.

Comparing the two vehicles, I would have to say that yes, Pontiac does built excitement, and Toyota builds boring, expensive, albeit reliable vehicles. How much more reliable than the old Bonnie only time will tell. I am not looking forward to the $800 bill when it comes time to replace the rubber timing belt on the 2.2 litre engine in the Camry at 150K. Never was an issue with the Bonnie.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th January, 2011