1995 Pontiac Bonneville SSE 3.8L from North America


Good performance and looks; poor reliability


Blown engine at 76,000 miles., (despite detailed scheduled maintenance)

Complete brake job, including Master Cylinder @ 82,000. (prematurely)

Rack & Pinion Assembly wearing prematurely (TWICE)

Front Wheel Bearings wearing prematurely (2nd time)


General Comments:

I bought a lemon! I bought this car originally for the performance, looks, and reliability. I've received many complements for the looks and I am reasonably satisfied by the performance, but the lack of reliability has disappointed me greatly. I am now leaning toward a Lexus or Infinity.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th November, 2002

25th Apr 2003, 00:53

At 65,000 miles my 1995 Bonneville SSE had the pulley bearing on the air conditioner compressor fail causing the seal to leak and vent the refrigerant and ruining the compressor.

At 83,000 miles the transmission failed.

At 95,000 a speed sensor failed in the ABS causing the brakes to lock up, had to have it towed on a flat bed from the grocery store parking lot.

At 108,000 the front bearing hubs both bad.

Purchased car at 54,000 miles and have been making two payments regularly for four years, one for the loan and one for parts and service.

1995 Pontiac Bonneville SE 3.8 from North America


Worth every penny put in to it!!


My master cylinder went out about 98000 miles. Ever since I got my car the trunk leaks, but I also have speakers in the back. Sometimes the passanger window won't go down unless I turn the car off again and then start it back up.

General Comments:

This car has got awesome grip.

It takes turns like nothing.

If you where to go out and buy one I would suggest that you get leather interior because it is so comfortable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd November, 2002

1995 Pontiac Bonneville SE 3.8L from North America


A very sporty family car that gets high fuel economy


An internal pump in the transmission failed at 60,000 miles. (a $500 repair)

The intake manifold plenum ruptured at 108,000 miles (a $425 repair)

The car had a small electrical problem that caused the car to shut off occasionally. It took a few trips to the dealer, but they finally found a bad ground and I haven't had the problem since.

The clear coat began peeling off it earlier this year. The dealer and Pontiac tell me that there is nothing they can do to help me.

General Comments:

This car had been a real pleasure to drive. It has a lot of power, handles very well and it gets 32 miles per gallon on the highway.

The paint issue is the one that really sticks in my crawl. GM knows they have a problem with it. I wish they would repaint my car. I would probably keep it for another 100,000 miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th August, 2002

12th Apr 2004, 07:53

I thought you owned my car. Exactly same problem same mileage. Had same transmission problem at 70,000. I am in the middle of the manifold problem now at 110,000 Would like to converse with this owner. I think he is one problem ahead of me. Would love to know what happens to our cars next. I think it would save me money and time if I could just fix it early.

27th Jun 2004, 20:42

The plenum rupture is a chronic problem, and at that mileage from what I've seen, also. The problem is that they mounted the EGR sensor, I believe it is, on a different part of the engine with the Series II than with the Series I. The result is that it corrodes through the intake manifold until, eventually, oil mixes with the water and the engine croaks. It's a trouble spot, and one that, if left unchecked, will ruin the engine. Sucks, but luckily it was fixed later on.

1995 Pontiac Bonneville SSE 3.8 Series II V6 from North America


Luxury with attitude


The automatic leveling system (rear air struts) seems to have a leak, so the rear end sits a bit lower than it should.

The electronic front struts broke; I replaced then with normal (non-electronic) struts.

The weatherstripping had to be replaced.

Trunk leak around tail light, fixed by putting RTV silicone around the gasket.

General Comments:

I love this car. I previously owned a different Bonneville ('93 SSE) and liked it so much that I bought another Bonnie.

I have never had any major mechanical failures. Even at 148k, everything is running well.

My Bonneville is roomy yet has plenty of 'go' when requested.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th August, 2002

22nd Oct 2010, 14:01

I fully agree with the review written here. I own a 1995 Bonneville SSE with 178,xxx miles. I bought it from a rental agency in 1998, and nothing major has happened to the car. The transmission finally blew a week ago, but I am sure the strain of driving it up a 150 ft. driveway at 45 degree angle in reverse caused it to go sooner than if it hadn't been forced to have that kind of strain on it.

The Blue Book may not be very high, but because I love this car so much, I am trying to repair it for less than Blue Book. If not, I am heart broken. A 16 year old car with almost 200,xxx miles sounds like a reliable car that I would definitely buy again.

24th Oct 2010, 00:26

"I bought it from a rental agency in 1998, and nothing major has happened to the car."

You are a smart buyer. Rental car agencies are always your best choice for really good used cars. My family has bought 3 former rental cars (a Buick, Pontiac and Toyota) and all were absolutely flawless. Rental car vehicles are much better buys than private individual's cars or lease vehicles.

The Buick lasted a whopping 277,000 miles with virtually no repairs, the Pontiac was sold at 85,000 miles because we had too many cars, but it had been totally flawless in every respect. The Toyota was traded at 100,000 miles because it was just so boring (what can I say, it was a TOYOTA??)