1995 Pontiac Firebird Formula 5.7L V8 from North America
Best bang for your buck, reliable and fast muscle car
Normal maintenance like tires/brakes.
Fuel pump went at 147k, the fuel filter looked like it had never been changed so it probably had something to do with it, plus I had let it almost run empty when it went. That cost a pretty penny to fix though, $600ish total, but I had connections for parts. I hear there is a cheaper way if you cut an access door through the top, too late now though for me.
Headlight went bad at 144k. It actually wasn't the motor like most complain about, at least I think. The headlight would go down and up, but it would never stay down. Had to manually put it down. Eventually trying to fix it, we snapped it. Never fixed it and sold it like that.
Other than that, nothing really went wrong with the car which I thought was pretty amazing for its year/miles. Engine/tranny (LT1/T56) were perfect and were never touched from what I had been told. They still had plenty of life in them.
I loved the car, I had moved up from my 3.8 Camaro and never looked back. I only got rid of it after nearly 2 years for an LS1 99 Trans Am.
Fuel economy wasn't bad for me either, I averaged about 20-24 with mixed city/highway. Lowest I ever got was about 17, which I only got once (19+ every other time), during the winter and me having a little too much fun with it :P.
Performance wise, I loved the car, in some ways I liked it more than my new found LS1. It was super quick, or at least felt it at lower RPMs, obviously this had to do with more torque at lower RPMs in the LT1.
This car was quick, previous owner had done minor bolt ons, cat delete, exhaust, thermostat, ram air etc. It wasn't as fast overall as the LS1, but don't underestimate these LT1's. They are a great engine and very reliable/durable. Even though my LT1 had bolt ons, I know my basically stock LS1 would win against my LT1, but it would have been a decently close race until higher end. The LT1 was super fun around town, and it felt much easier to kick out the rear end.
Handling seemed alright. I took turns pretty quick, and it was super easy and fun to turn that thing side ways. Of course this meant turning sideways sometimes when you don't want too.
It sucked terribly on snow. Yes I drove on summer tires in the snow... and lived. It honestly isn't that bad once you get moving... but that's the thing, you have to get moving. I had it stuck several times on flat ground, with just packed snow on the road. I know how to drive too, I wasn't gunning it and saying why am I stuck? Then gunning it some more. I had the trunk filled with salt bags and it just didn't want to move. Get a winter beater if you can would be my advice, although it is workable if you can't, just harder, plus you risk rust.
Seats are comfortable enough. Noise was loud in mine, but it was mostly exhaust so I liked it, wasn't bad at all in lower RPMs in 6th either so very live-able. This one was old though and had developed rattles/shakes. The glove compartment never seemed to be on tight enough and always shook. Also other small things rattled, but it was mostly that glovebox or something around it. It wasn't terrible, but it should be mentioned. My new T/A doesn't rattle though and I intend to keep it that way.
Car looks great too IMO, at least with Ram air, but I had to have the newer ones for style and engine so I eventually sold it. If I didn't sell it, I wouldn't of minded living with this great car though. I do miss it.
I would recommend this car to anyone looking for a fast fun, stylish car. Try and find one in good shape though, as I'm sure they are starting to get rare to find. I drove 5+ hours one way for this one.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 22nd March, 2009