1985 Pontiac Fiero GT 2.9L MPFI V-6 from North America
Built right, an inexpensive but world-class sports car
As I was starry-eyed, 17, and made a fairly quick deal, I bought a former SCCA SOLO II race car and did not check it out enough mechanically. BIG mistake!
The guy I bought it from HAD upgraded the pads (Carbon Metallic) and calipers (reman AC Delco), X-drilled the front rotors, put in new clutch disks, rebuilt the engine with a rumpier cam and ported heads/ intake/ exhaust manifolds, AND put in Eibach springs, poly bushings, and KYB shocks... THAT I knew and could see...
But otherwise, the car had the hell beaten out of it, and I had parts breaking every week.
The car was an absolute rustbucket - the rear upper framerails were almost gone - so before you buy YOUR Fiero spend two seconds and take off the rear fenderwell plastic covers. If I had I would not have bought this thing to begin with.
The clutch blew twice in like 500 miles.
The brakes always felt scary-weak.
The tires had NO tread and I almost got into two serious accidents due to that.
The engine had problems with stalling, gumming up the throttle body, and delivering VERY poor fuel economy.
And I more general tough-shifting problems.
The water pump, battery, and alternator all went in less than a month.
ALL of this was mainly because the tranny was abused before I bought it, the car had 100,000 miles on it (things WILL need replacing around this point on any car), and the guy who had modified it did NOT put all back together as well as he said he did.
'84-87 Fieros had fairly crappy suspension designs grabbed from the Chevette and Citation. And mine had bald tires. That said, it handles like nothing else - the steering is ultra-precise (manual), the ride is very controlled, it is rock-stable up to any speed you want. 50/50 balance and 4w independent suspension means you will never go back to anything less again.
The interior, in a word, is perfect. Comfort and ergonomics are top-notch.
Visibility is bad, and there are dangerous blind spots - especially if yours has 5% limo tint all-around... You can't have everything!
With the 3.65 final-drive Muncie 4-speed and the modified 2.8L screamer that pushed 175hp, acceleration was VERY fun. With such deep gears and NO power above 5400rpm, you weren't gonna destroy people on the highway, but you still had plenty of go in the 1:1 4th gear. Destroyed any of the local imports and the boulevard races, and even took an auto 5.0L 'Stang. If I ever had taken it to the drags, I bet I could've dipped into the very high 14s.
The Fiero has its clutch and brake problems, however they are solvable...
Buy an unabused, rust-free southern '88 with its better suspension, have patience with the clutch and brake bugs, and have the choice to convert it to at least a dozen or so different engines, including the similar 3.4L V-6 and the all-aluminum, torque-monster Cadillac 4.9L V-8... all for not too much!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th January, 2002