1997 Pontiac Firebird Reviews

1997 Pontiac Firebird Formula 5.7 V8 from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 5.7 V8 Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired73000 miles
Most recent distance82000 miles
Previous carFord Escort

Summary:

Modern Day Pure American Muscle

Faults:

The car has chronic oil consumption, about one quart per 1,300 miles, most likely due too bad valve seals. I just live with it.

Air injection system check valve became plugged, which turned on the check engine light. Got a new one at the parts store for $10.

Four different speakers blew out, common problem due to the powerful amplifier used with the premium sound system. Around $40 each to replace.

The top of the dashboard is cracked, also a common problem with these cars. A new one would cost about $150.

General Comments:

All the negatives about this car tend to be related to cost cutting measures GM used to build such a high performance car for such an inexpensive price. There are a lot of cheap plastic parts in these cars (Firebirds and Camaros) that break easily. They are notorious for problems like cracking dash pads and blown speakers, which mine has experienced, as well as failing headlight motors (on Firebirds), cracking door panels, bad power window motors, leaky door and t-top seals, and various clunks and rattles. Refinement is not the F-body's calling card.

There are also some issues related to the captivating shape of the car: the doors are very long, not good for tight parking spaces, and their heavy weight can cause them to sag over time. The low seating position and large rear fenders and sail panels also limit visibility somewhat.

Now on to the good stuff...

Power, power, power. The V8 powered F bodies (Z28, Formula, Trans Am) dish it out in spades. Heart pounding acceleration is never any farther away than your right foot. And along with it comes a rumbling exhaust note, best appreciated with the windows down and the t-tops out. The fourth generation F body cars shared their engines with Corvettes, 93-97 cars getting the LT1 and 98-02 cars getting the even more powerful LS1. Nothing can touch the price to performance ratio of these cars. They are also surprisingly agile and handle very well for 3,500 pound cars.

These cars are truly the modern realization of the classic muscle car, keeping the spirit of raw power for the everyman while adding modern reliability and comfort. They also are able to return decent fuel economy for a high performance car, mine can achieve 25 mpg on the highway.

These are relatively comfortable cars for cruising, once you get used to the low seating position. The removable t-top roof panels are great in the summer. The premium sound system is excellent.

The bottom line: Faults and all, I wouldn't trade this car for anything.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st October, 2007

1997 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am 5.7L LT1 from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 5.7L LT1 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.8 / 10
Distance when acquired101000 miles
Most recent distance105000 miles
Previous carDatsun 280Z

Summary:

A beutiful POS

Faults:

We'll the computer is constantly throwing codes (check engine light comes on) I've replaced a cat, EGR valve, basically every emission control device on the car, plugs, wires, opti-spark, the list goes on.

General Comments:

This cars been an absolute nightmare, once I fix one thing another breaks. Its fast, but not anything special, my 01 mustang convertible GT is a little faster.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th February, 2007

1997 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am LT1 350 from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission LT1 350 Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired108000 miles
Most recent distance111000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Malibu

Summary:

Pure muscle

Faults:

When I bought the car the check engine light was on, but it was a bad censor.

Also the power steering pump was bad.

General Comments:

This car is very fast. It will make imports run scared. Put a flowmasters on it and your set. With that great deep roar. It handled like a dream and took curves very well. It would also burn a lot of rubber. be careful in the rain or snow because it will slide!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th December, 2006

1997 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am WS6 5.7 liter 350 from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 5.7 liter 350 Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired62000 miles
Most recent distance116000 miles
Previous carDodge Stratus

Summary:

Oh yeah!

Faults:

New fuel pump, serpentine belt, tires, and water pump. All expected problems.

General Comments:

What an awesome car. If you can't handle power, then don't buy one of these. It's got everything, including a chip, shift kit, and Flowmaster duals. It's pushing about 350 hp, and wow does it fly. This is by far the fastest car I've ever gotten for 11 grand. You can take a 30mph curve in this car at 80mph.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd September, 2005

Average review marks: 7.7 / 10, based on 15 reviews