1984 Pontiac Fiero SE 2.5 4 cylinder from North America
A street legal go-kart. Wheeeee!!
I have experienced a few significant problems with my Fiero since I bought it when I turned 16 back in '95. Most of these problems were due to the previous owner not knowing how to store a car. My Fiero was in storage for 6 years before I bought it, so it looked like new, but had lots of seal and gasket issues (like the oil pan gasket, which requires removal of the engine to fix $$$$).
The only other major breakdown that I have experienced was when the timing gear shredded inside the motor as I was going about 65mph. That cost about $600 to fix and left me stranded on the side of the road for a while.
The Fiero is a great car for someone who does not need to drive the fastest car on the road to have fun driving. I have driven many different cars since buying my Fiero and I still have not driven anything that is more of a blast to drive down winding roads.
The brakes are decent, too, for a car that is 18 (!!) years old. My daily driver now (A Ford Focus 3-door) has noticeably more stopping power than my Fiero however.
I love the lack of power steering and the precise go-kart like handling that goes along with it. It makes every otherwise boring drive an adventure.
You also don't see a lot of Fieros on the road any more. It seems to stand out more than many expensive cars because it isn't as common to see a nice Fiero as it is some other "nice" cars.
One other comment I would like to make is about the transmission. Every car I've ever owned with the exception of my Fiero has been a manual. When I was shopping around for my Fiero, every manual trans Fiero I drove had either a shift linkage that felt like a screwdriver in a box of nails, or needed to be shifted with BOTH hands because of binding in the linkage. So, for reliability's sake I got mine with an auto and have had zero problems with it.
Overall, this car is so much fun that I would never consider selling it. Next up is a Chevy small-block or maybe even a North-Star. Strap up and hang on tight!!!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd December, 2002
24th Jul 2008, 02:06
Very few Fieros "burned up" when first released (less than ~50, and the "problem" (CONSTANTLY OVER-REVVED ENGINES running LOW OIL LEVELS leaked oil AFTER the engines exploded.) would be a problem in ANY car that was over-revved repeatedly while simultaneously running it low on oil.
The "problem" was recalled shortly after release, and splash shields were installed to catch the oil near the exhaust manifold in case idiot drivers blew the motors by repeatedly revving them far over redline RPM, while running them 2 quarts low on oil.
"Most" Fieros being prone to catching fire is therefore nothing more than a dumb rumor that perpetuated long before the Internet was available to look up real data to refute the rumor. "Most early Fiero's catching fire" is in no way a statement of fact.
- Lack of trunk space is factually incorrect also. Besides a video easily available on Youtube demonstrating the surprisingly large capacity of a Fiero's trunk (I suggest you watch it if you don't believe me), you can fit 2 full sets of Golf Clubs in it too. (Which is more than I can say for several much larger cars I have owned...)
Fieros aren't perfect cars by any means, but some comments on here based totally on rumors instead of facts are exactly the reason why GM hasn't built anything like the Fiero since 1988. It was a FUN car, and in an age like today where information to refute rumors is 10000 times easier to find (the Internet is great!), and where fuel mileage is becoming more important, a modern version of a "Fiero" could easily succeed where the 1980's version ultimately failed.
17th Oct 2008, 11:54
I have around 20 of these between my kids, wife and brother. They all run and drive. It cost me 100.00 per year to insure, tag each one. They run well, fun to play with, 5 star safety rating, and the kids can't pile a ton of other kids in the car. It makes me laugh to hear people talk about how unsafe or that they are fire hazards. Most of them have never driven one. The 88 handles the best but by no means do the earlier ones handle poorly. If you compare 80s tech to 2008 tech, yeah they may lack a bit, ABS, power assist steering on new cars. but compare apples to apples for the years and they were ahead of their time.
17th Nov 2009, 13:24
Well I've owned 10-12 Fieros in my life. Just bought another one two weeks ago, love them, fun little car. I'm 54 and not going to sell this.
27th Mar 2010, 15:57
Not luck, you must have been running low on oil and you may not have even known it. Some of the Fieros had dipsticks that were not marked correctly, which lead drivers to think they had enough oil when they were actually running 1-2 quarts low. This would also cause the rod to get brittle and break, and go through the engine.