1988 Pontiac Firebird Reviews - Page 5 of 6

1988 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am 5.0L TPI from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 5.0L TPI Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired110000 miles
Most recent distance120000 miles
Previous carPontiac Firebird

Summary:

A fun car that performs as great as it looks!

Faults:

My alternator went when I put a stereo system in. $90-

Had to replace the front calipers, pads and hoses *cheap fix though* $75 for everything.

Headliner has worn around t-tops. Didn't fix that yet.

Tires on the back needed replacing. $96 a piece. (it's hard not to have a little fun)

General Comments:

I have owned 2 3rd gen Camaro's (1 RS, 1 Z28) and this is my second of the Pontiac make (1st was a WS6 Formula.) This car outperforms and out-handles all of them.

The manual transmission is a must, automatic is just no fun in these cars.

With a good aftermarket exhaust (Hooker is an excellent choice) the car sounds as great as it looks.

Many people will not like how low the driver sits, personally, I like it.

All in all, I love my '88 Trans Am, wouldn't have bought anything else!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 3rd September, 2002

4th Oct 2003, 19:43

I don't know about the trans am out performing the formula, as they are the same car, but the formula is lighter.

8th Mar 2007, 21:49

I just bought my 88 today. 70k original mileage, 5.0 liter V8, beautiful interior (6 cassette tape deck and all!!!) with brand new tires, garage kept, and I'm lovin that pur every time I turn the key!!!

5th Mar 2014, 12:29

I just got my Formula last year and I love it. She has 118k miles on her and she purrs.

1988 Pontiac Firebird 5.0 V8 from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 5.0 V8 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.4 / 10
Distance when acquired170000 kilometres
Most recent distance270000 kilometres
Previous carIHC 1010 Automatic

Summary:

Fast off the hop, with lots of high-end

Faults:

Wiring was bad when I bought it Aug 99.

Fuel Filter Sep 99.

Tore off Transmission Pan Dec 99.

Replaced thermostat Feb 00.

Replaced Alternator 3 times April 00.

4 new tires May 00.

New starter Aug 00.

New brakes Jul 01.

New ignition cylinder May 02.

Tore off transmission pan again May 02.

General Comments:

This car is fast.

On the highway I can get 500 kms to one tank of gas. In town, I cannot brag about the gas mileage.

For the past two years it has been very reliable, and has not broken down in a mechanical way. I have not been afraid to drive it across the country at all.

I now live in Ontario, but my car is plated in Saskatchewan. I have to have it inspected soon, and I figure I'll need new back tires, new windshield, catylitic convertor, e-brake cable and new front brakes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd May, 2002

1988 Pontiac Firebird Formula 350 5.7 Litre from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 5.7 Litre Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
10.0 / 10
Distance when acquired145000 miles
Most recent distance175000 miles

Summary:

Nothing but stock superiority!

Faults:

The alternator failed at 150,000 miles.

The Mass Air Flow sensor failed at 152,000 miles.

General Comments:

My bright red beauty still as the original engine and transmission although I believe it was painted before.

My interior is as perfect as the exterior, what a beautiful ride.

Although not driven in northern Michigan winters, the summers are well driven.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd March, 2002

1988 Pontiac Firebird Formula 350 5.7 V8 TPI from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 5.7 V8 TPI Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.4 / 10
Distance when acquired48900 miles
Most recent distance58960 miles
Previous carNissan 300ZX

Summary:

The right Formula

Faults:

The water pump gave way at 56K ($225).

The driver's seat is showing some age.

The right front wheel has scuff marks from curbs on the outer lip.

General Comments:

This car is amazingly fast, but not too much faster than my 1987 Nissan 300ZX turbo that I had before this.

GM really needs to keep the F-Body alive or it will start losing customers.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th October, 2001

1988 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am GTA 5.7 TPI from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 5.7 TPI Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.3 / 10
Distance when acquired73000 miles
Most recent distance149000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Camaro

Summary:

The best

Faults:

Transmission started to slip at 120,000, the day after I got back from the race track.

The most annoying problem is the VATS security system. It failed a several times, each time past its previous warranty. I hot wired the car because I was tired of paying for it.

The front end is also a headache, I have replace the tie rods, power steering gear, lower ball joints (twice), and it still doesn't feel right. Expect these problems around 90k miles.

The foam rear spoiler is cracked beyond repair due to the sun.

General Comments:

Aside from a couple of minor headaches, I love this car.

It has awesome acceleration. I can still drive at 100mph+ and feel like I am moving slow.

The handling is unexpectedly great for a car of this size.

The exhaust sound from the Flow-master system is sweet, though I do get pulled over for it. It always sounds faster than I really am going.

The gas mileage is good if you don't stop on the freeway. It is poor around town.

After a new paint job last year, people always stop and ask if I want to sell it. Never!!! I plan to be the last owner of this red bird.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st August, 2001

Average review marks: 8.2 / 10, based on 21 reviews