A great and reliable car when adequately taken care of
The alternator's voltage regulator burnt out, causing the replacement of the entire alternator. The dealer explained this was due to a recent change in the placement of the alternator. The rotation was reversed causing the fan to draw air through the unit to cool it in lieu of forcing the air through. This decreases it's life.
The paint began peeling after first year of ownership, but was repaired by the dealer under warranty.
Head Gasket cracked allowing the seepage of coolant into one of the cylinders causing a giant blue cloud to erupt from the exhaust every time the accelerator was depressed.
The car does not seem to be very well though out technically... and on one point cosmetically - The chrome accent molding that runs the length of the car above the body-side molding is cheesy, and constantly shifts, making the owner slide it back into position periodically. This leads me to believe it was an afterthought. Yet it remained on Grand Ams until 1996.
This car is very innovative for the time period it was released. It still remains competitive in today's market. The car has excellent handling, wonderful power, and extensive versatility. It also averages 25 MPG in the city, and 35 MPG on the highway. I would like to see stats like this from ANY S.U.V. crazed American.
My particular car is a hybrid model. (LEs) It is the base LE Grand Am, but with all of the amenities short of the Pontiac Gran Touring Aero Package making it then, an SE. I preferred the looks of the LE more, but did not want to strip the car of the options it gains as an SE; including the High Output QUAD 4.
The stock sound system is stellar, and so is the climate control system, as well as the Driver Information Center.
The braking system unfortunately, is incredibly futile for stopping the car. The car has great power, and rides well at high speeds, but the braking system is inferior for stopping it safely. It requires more than double the stopping distance than a comparable car with ABS, so if you do not want to redesign the front of the car on the back of someone else's, do not tailgate.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 14th August, 2003