It was the first car I ever owned, and I think it was a good place to start, in that it was a cool looking car, fast, chicks dug it, and I learned more than I ever wanted to know about car repair. when it threw a rod and shredded the engine, I had it rebuilt. I would've exchanged the engine, which would've saved a lot of time, but the company couldn't find that engine anywhere.When i got it back, the company had tightened the valve cover too tightly, which bent the tabs that keep it from squishing the gasket out of line. I got rid of the cork gasket, installed a rubber one, problem solved.
The turbo version was the most powerful engine in the grand am line at the time, with 165 ponies, more than the six cylinder even. I beat a lot of cars off the line. when the turbo spooled up, you better be prepared.
The exhaust was a lame attempt at a dual exhaust: one pipe ran to the back into a muffler on the drivers side, then a pipe branched out of that into a separate resonator or something on the passenger side. looked nifty from behind, though. every single connection, from the manifold to the tips, broke apart at one time or another.
The dashboard electronics (Driver info center, gages, stereo) still work today as far as I know, besides the Odo, they were working when I sold it.
I always thought it was a fairly comfortable car, I'm 6' 3", and it was slightly cramped, but I'm cramped in a lot of bigger cars as well. (Malibu's, for instance.) the seat hugged you. The back seat was OK.
I think its one of the best looking small sports cars there are. The air dam in front with the fog lights built in looked nice, the slotted, body color matched rims were cool, the stripes on the taillights were sweet, and the color was great until it caught leprosy.
The headliner falling off was a pain. It was right over the drivers seat, and it would rub your hair until the static electricity made you look like one of those little troll dolls.
Overall, it was more pain than it was worth then, and its only sort-of fast compared to the cars around now. I liked the car a lot, which was the reason I stuck with it as long as I did, but in retrospect, I could've started off with a talon tsi or something, and had more power and less problems.