1991 Pontiac Firefly LE 1.0 from North America


It was a great little car


Exhaust systems.

Drivers window hardware.

General Comments:

I bought this car from a friend. The car ran and ran and ran and got almost 60 mpg! I replaced exhaust systems constantly, and the drivers window NEVER worked right, but otherwise it was a great car and I bought 2 more after it.

It was not fast, nor was it pretty, but in its 12th year it just died over a 2 week period and was scrapped.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th March, 2006

1991 Pontiac Firefly 4 dr hatch 1.0L from North America


The best mini car ever built.


Alternator failure at 267000km.

Original clutch replaced at 289000km - still running the original 5 speed transmission.

Head rebuilt at 339000km due to three burned exhaust valves, piston rings and bearings replaced at this time.

Original front brake rotors replaced at 349000km - $20 each.

Various plastic bits have broken over the years.

Minimal surface rust starting to appear around drivers door.

Hatchback struts recently replaced, heater core due for replacement.

General Comments:

This car is quite simply the most reliable and efficient vehicle I have ever owned. The first significant problem recorded - besides plastic bits breaking - was an alternator failure at 267000km.

The 1.0L engine was recently freshened up (head rebuilt and new rings/bearings) and amazingly enough only one piston skirt exhibited a tiny scratch - the cylinder bores showed absolutely zero wear. No ridge in the bore after 339,000km is quite amazing considering the mixed city/highway driving the car is subjected to. I attribute this to regular (5000km) oil and filter changes since the car was new. I also use 15-40 diesel oil in the summer (5-30 in winter) for its high detergent characteristics and additive packs and Napa Gold filters - and have since the car was purchased in 1991. I will easily get 600000km on the original pistons/bore if the rust doesn't get the car first. Even if it does, I'll just drop the engine into another body and keep going.

At 120-130km/hr highway cruise the Firefly consistently achieves 57 miles per imperial gallon. I am a long distance commuter and rack up over 50,000km per year so the fuel savings are tremendous.

The car is excellent in winter driving conditions when fitted with good winter tires. It is very nimble in traffic and really fun to drive in any season.

The car is very comfortable with great front seat leg room. I'm 6'4" 210lbs and have room to stretch.

Thieves do not target Fireflys. This is a good thing.

The safety of these mini cars is uncertain. With a Firefly defensive driving is required in a world dominated by SUVs and other land barges. This car is not much bigger than a motorbike and should be driven as such.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th July, 2005

28th Mar 2009, 13:07

That comment is very very close to being exactly how it is with these Pontiac Fireflys (Canada) or the Chevy Geo's (USA) with the 1000 cc. 3 cyl engines and manual transmissions. The cars are easy to mass produce, light in weight, with not very many extras, but very functional to own. The 12 in. tires can only be bought from the Orient, which is a shame.

The simplicity of the engine area has a lot to be praised. With new technology (2008 plus..) this kind of car would make the N. American problem of foreign oil, not go away, but it would do miracles to lessen it. The answer doesn't lie in the car itself, it lies in the general publics rendition of what they want-tell me, in all honesty-who in the hell, in this country NEEDS an SUV -- UNLESS you either want to keep up with the 'Joneses', or you have a ton of money in your bank account and don't really care about conserving oil, that comes in from the far east. This little car is the answer to a lot of auto problems - pay attention!