1995 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP 3.4L from North America


Great student car


For the life and amount of driving (and besides the known problems with battery/alternator), virtually nothing:

- Battery change @ 195000 kms.

- Burnt oil badly - putting in more oil every 1000kms or so, fresh oil change every 5000 kms.

- Alternator @ 185000 kms & 203000 kms.

- Radiator changed at 221000 kms.

- Brakes (pads only) every 20000 kms or so.

- Cylinder shattered and blew engine at 224000 kms (about where I expected the car to die regardless of how it happened)

General Comments:

Over the life of the car while I had it (3.5 years) I put in about $2000 of total maintenance (though I did the brakes and oil changes myself, really easy). For a 15 year old car, it held together exceptionally well.

The car ran great, a lot of power up to about 110km/h, after that it was a little slow. Again, 15 years old, whatever. REALLY comfortable seats, full power. Stereo sucked, replaced it myself, and that probably had a lot to do with the alternator going so many times.

All in all though, this car was awesome to drive, was a lot of fun, and a lot of curb appeal (lots of girls stopping to check it out haha).

If you can find one with low kms, definitely a great student car, if a little heavy on gas at 17-20 mpg. Take it for a drive and see what you think.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th December, 2009

1995 Pontiac Grand Prix SE 3.1 V6 from North America


Basic transportation needs met, if looked after


Once the car was stored outside, plastic started to fall off everywhere the sun hit it.

Electrics were intermittent.

Head gasket failure at 280,000km, cost, because of driving on blown gasket: $2500.

Windows stopped and started working at random.

ABS light on for last 40,000km and ABS activates at random.

Suspension arm rot at the rear, ended the car's life with a wheel stuffed into the trunk from hitting a speedbump at 20km/h.

The exhaust system repeatedly rotted, first one side, and then the other.

General Comments:

This was first my family's car and then my brother's car. It was good for the first period of time, when my family owned it. During my brother's period owning it, it had a harsher existence, where oil changes became much less frequent, and maintenance checks went undone.

So it is no surprise that the head gasket packed it in, after 12,000 km without an oil change. The big surprise was that it took a lot of the block and head with it, resulting in a new engine for the car.

My brother's affection for the car remained undimmed, even as the headlights dimmed and the car sometimes refused to start, and windows refused to open, and A/C did a better job of fogging the interior than defogging the windows. Finally, a lack of washes to the car resulted in rust making a final attack on the suspension.

The good points: This car cruises nicely at 100-110km/h, and gets about 36 mpg on the flat. It doesn't do too badly for itself around town, either. The radio, despite losing knobs, still worked fine, as did the trunk release in the glove compartment. The power locks never failed to lock. The fabric in the car, a sort of Rubbermaid light blue, never faded. The huge trunk could swallow a lot of stuff. You can fit six people, if you like the middle front passenger.

The mediocre points: The seats aged badly. They went as flat as boards, and about as comfortable, too, after only a few years. The cassette player refused to play some tapes. The air conditioning was always fairly weak, but the heating always worked.

Now he has an '02 Toyota Corolla, and I hope it runs well on no-money-down.

Final verdict: buy this car if you are someone who knows how to take care of your car, and it should work until the transmission dies ($1400) or the ABS light goes on ($1500+, that's why we didn't fix it).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st November, 2009