1987 Pontiac Fiero Reviews - Page 4 of 6

1987 Pontiac Fiero GT 2.8 V6 from North America

Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 2.8 V6 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10
Distance when acquired140000 miles
Most recent distance153000 miles
Previous carPontiac Fiero

Summary:

A sweet little car that performs as good as it looks!

Faults:

At 145,000 miles the crank shaft broke, locking up the motor. Bought re-manufactured motor for $1200 and installed it. The new motor would start backfire and die. Turned out that the coil wasn't sending a powerful enough spark, but it cost less than $30 for a new one. Bad problems with the paint fading.

General Comments:

I would give my Fiero the award for best bang for the buck. It has enough power to be fun just don't race a Mustang GT and expect to win. It handles better than you would expect, but can get you in trouble in a hurry if you aren't careful. Zipping around 90 degree bends in the road at about 35mph is pretty fun, but if you try and change lanes to quick at 55mph you will end up in the ditch like I did. I love that it's a 2 seater and has power everything and its actually quite rare to see one that's in good shape inside and out. Don't be afraid of working on them because there is actually more room in the engine compartment than appears. Parts are dirt cheap in comparison to any newer car and there is very large aftermarket following. The inside is close and comfy, not unlike a Corvette. A larger person may feel cramped, but I'm 6'1" and the closeness of everything gives me a feeling of control. It does sit very low, but that's part of the fun. All in all it's a cheap, reliable, and slightly rare little sports car that is a world of fun to drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th January, 2003

1987 Pontiac Fiero SE 2.5 from North America

Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership1987
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 2.5 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance268000 miles
Previous carPontiac Nissan Maxima

Summary:

Best running and most fun to drive vehicle I've ever owned

Faults:

Replaced the timing gear. Rebuilt the head light bushings. Replaced the starter a few times till I found out about the heat shields.

General Comments:

268,000 miles and the head-gasket has never blown. Good ride.. In process of rebuilding from the bottom up, inside and out. Still gets around 29 to 32 MPG.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th November, 2002

1987 Pontiac Fiero GT 2.8 V6 from North America

Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership1986
Most recent year of ownership1992
Engine and transmission 2.8 V6 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance85000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Malibu

Summary:

Disappointing

Faults:

Exhaust manifold leaks at tube-to-flange welds at 20,000 miles. Fixed by dealer under warranty.

Totally plugged catalytic converter had to be replaced @ 51,000 at my expense. (The symptom is a rattling sound like a bag full of coat hangers.)

Shift cable needed replacing @ 54,000. (The symptom is tennis elbow-like pain in right arm.)

Cracked diaphragm in clutch pressure plate at 62,000 miles resulted in damage to flywheel bolts (!) and required replacement of bolts and new clutch. (The mechanic is a friend and showed me the damaged bolts. Unbelievable.)

General Comments:

How can a mid-engine sports car with four-wheel disk brakes, fully independent suspension and rack and pinion steering be this disappointing?

Simple:

The antique solid-rotor disk brakes are lousy.

The A-arm front suspension is cobbled together from junk Chevette parts.

The McPherson strut rear suspension from the Citation can't keep the back wheels pointed in a consistent direction. A slight change in pressure on the gas produces direction changes that are way out of proportion. (Poly Urethane bushings could help a bunch here.)

With fast steering, sloppy suspension and a short wheelbase, this car corners like it's on rails, but where those rails are is anybody's guess. Finessing the steering wheel to maintain your line in a hard, fast corner is impossible since the car has no road feel whatsoever. Try driving this thing on a truly fast stretch of winding road and you could get dead in a hurry.

The rear spoiler blocks out the headlights of following cars. Be VERY careful changing lanes at night.

The massive center console (it hides the gas tank) always gave me an intimidating crushed-up-against-the-door feeling.

Quick evasive maneuvers were hindered by elbows hitting the door and console.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th July, 2002

13th Feb 2003, 16:27

Original author responds to above comment:

I DID NOT buy the car knowing of it's short-comings. I bought it new, lived with it quite a while, then tried to figure out why it was so unsatisfying. (I had been hoping to recapture the magical relationship I had had years ago with a 1965 Corvair Corsa: lowered, quick steering arms, 4-speed: an absolute blast). The Fiero came up way short in the grin-on-your-face department, and had other weird downsides that were totally unanticipated. (Like not being able to comfortably stick your elbow out the window because the glass doesn't go down all the way. What were they thinking ?) It's not without it's good points, but others on this site have covered those. I just thought that potential owners needed to know some of the negatives before making a buying decision.

I hope you enjoy your '87. If you haven't already, try removing the steering dampener. This will vastly improve low speed steering effort and road feel.

I drove a friend's 4-cylinder '88 and it was kinda puny power-wise, but my 2.8 V6 wasn't much better. If you're considering an engine transplant, I'd go with the 3.4 4-cam motor myself, but think long and hard before you start: probably 50% of any engine transplants never actually get running. Good luck.

Average review marks: 8.0 / 10, based on 23 reviews