1997 Pontiac Firebird Reviews - Page 2 of 4

1997 Pontiac Firebird Base Convertible 3.8 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 3.8 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired25000 miles
Most recent distance35000 miles
Previous carAudi Cabriolet

Summary:

Fabulous!

Faults:

Nothing since I have had it.

General Comments:

The best looking Firebird in my opinion.

Very economical on fuel and packed with luxury features compared to my 93 Audi Cabriolet. I adore this car and would only change for another Firebird Convertible or a C5 Corvette.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th July, 2004

28th Dec 2010, 06:02

Yes, I agree with you, these Firebirds are great. I have a 1997 Trans Am in black; it is awesome.

1997 Pontiac Firebird base convertible 3.8 litre gas engine from North America

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 3.8 litre gas engine Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10
Distance when acquired91000 miles
Most recent distance95000 miles

Summary:

The perfect car if you love convertibles

Faults:

Nothing as long as I've had it.

General Comments:

I bought this car to drive on the weekend and boy did I make the right choice. If you buy a sporty car like this I guarantee you will love it.

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

Review Date: 12th May, 2004

1997 Pontiac Firebird 3.8L V6 from North America

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 3.8L V6 Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired25 miles
Most recent distance105000 miles
Previous carMazda RX7

Summary:

There is no better car than a late model Firebird!

Faults:

The number 6 plug wire burns once a year.

The first three years replaced the alternator 3 times.

The Dexcool II Antifreeze (?) turned to gunk at 60,000 miles.

The daytime driving lights shorted because water could get in, but not get out.

The window seal leaks under high water pressure.

Headlight sticking in the standard Fbody wink position (one stuck open).

General Comments:

Given all of the above. I must say that I love my car!

To address the above mentioned problems :

#6 plug wire - My mechanic (when I don't do it myself) changed the routing of the wire to be away from the exhaust manifold and so far it seems to be working well.

Dex-cool II - JUNK! - had it removed, the radiator rodded out and completely flushed. Now running the good old "green stuff" - no problems!

Daytime driving light shorts - drilled a drain hole on the light housings - no problems since.

Window Seal leaks - I stay away from high pressure water.

Headlight motor problems - There is a nylon gear inside of the headlight motor. This gear connects to a metal gear... (the nylon wears out, Duh!).

Replaced the nylon gear with CNC machined brass gears (available on the web) at a cost of about $40 each motor (A replacement motor runs about $150.)

I have had absolutely no problems since)

From a performance perspective it needed some tweaking and tuning in the airflow area. The addition of an SLP Cold Air Induction and a FlowMaster exhaust REALLY added to the Seat-Of-The-Pants kick that this car has.

I drive my car hard and fast all of the time (it is my daily driver). I maintain it meticulously (pure synthetic oil and high grade filters).

When the engine and/or tranny finally let go, I will put either a short-block 350 or an LT1 in it and just keep going.

This is simply the best car I have ever owned!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd March, 2004

1997 Pontiac Firebird Coupe 6 cylinder. from North America

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 6 cylinder. Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 4 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.8 / 10
Distance when acquired78000 miles
Most recent distance110000 miles
Previous carSubaru XT

Summary:

Will never buy another

Faults:

I have to replace the number 6 plug wire every 6 months or so.

I've had to replace both headlight motors.

I've had to replace each headlight.

I've had to have the timing belt replaced.

The driver side door fell and cracked the left front quarter-panel.

The driver side door-lock button has been replaced.

T-tops leak.

Center console has recently cracked.

Radiator had to be flushed of gunk from the dealer.

General Comments:

The car handles excellently, but is very undependable. In the two years I've owned it, I've put over $8K in repairs into it to keep it looking like new. I only paid $9K for it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th April, 2003

11th Apr 2003, 06:46

Your car sounds like a re-build or something man. How the hell did the door fall off and the console crack? As for the door button, ya that happens on all Firebirds/Trans Ams. I'd replace the plastic contact nub inside the button with a piece of metal.

If the same plug keeps needing replacing, i'd find out why instead of just replacing it all the time. Check your optispark (the distributor).

27th Jul 2003, 13:03

I have the same problem with my driver side door-lock button. But where can you get just that replaced -how do you get a metal one?

Also had same problem with both headlight motors. Other than that I cannot complain. I own a ram air convertible. No leg room, but great fun to drive.

24th May 2004, 12:35

I thought Firebirds had timing chains, not timing belts.

5th Dec 2006, 15:00

Wow, must be a 6 banger car...

25th Jan 2007, 22:22

Yeah who buys a thunderbird with a 6 banger and an automatic transmission??

26th Jan 2007, 08:24

...They have timing chains, not timing belts.

26th Jan 2007, 10:33

<<Yeah who buys a thunderbird with a 6 banger and an automatic transmission??>.

Probably most people who bought the car.

Like it or not, a lot of "performance" cars like the Thunderbird, Camaro, Firebird, etc. were bought with six cylinders and automatics - an option known as the "secretary car".

If it wasn't for these options these brands would not have survived as long as they did, and the Ford Mustang to this date is still successful because of them.

Put simply, the majority of these cars are bought for looks not performance. I'm not saying that's a good thing, but that's what the marketplace dictates.

15th Aug 2007, 16:13

I own a Firebird & LOVE it. It handles so smoothly. It'll kick you back in your seat at the drop of a hat. Power on command. I'll never forget it if I have to get rid of it. It's been the best car I've ever had. Not built for anything more than 2 people really, but it's worth it!

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