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.
Broken tranny mount.
ABS/TC system failure.
Worn pulley bearings.
...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