1986 Pontiac Sunbird Station Wagon 1.8 SOHC from North America


Not perfect, but practical and below average reliability


Starter, thermostat, and battery around 30k.

Alternator around 55k.

Engine overheated without warning due to the belt breaking and seized at 83k.

Water pump around 129k.

Engine mount around 142k.

Power steering pump at 147k.

General Comments:

The car was decent. The only things that were remarkable were the space inside, and the gas mileage. You could sleep in this car very easily by putting the back seats down; you could also fit a lot in the back.

This car is not powerful by any means; the engine makes pinging noises, and sounds strained when pushed to the limit. Gas mileage is over 30 MPG on the highway and between 23-28 MPG in the town. The 3 speed automatic transmission can sometimes jerk, and it mostly always locks in 3rd gear around turns unless if I take the turns under 15 mph, then it goes into 2nd gear.

I ended up giving this car to my sister since she has kids; she drove it for 6 years until the transmission went out. I bought a Saturn and had it for over a decade.

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

Review Date: 21st April, 2016

1986 Pontiac Sunbird GT Turbo 4 cylinder turbo from North America


GM deserves applause for this 80's sleeper!


Don't remember anything significant. Too long ago.

General Comments:

Wow! What a happy sleeper! Husband & I bought the Sunbird to be grown-up & practical when we were expecting our baby. My Fiero was terribly low for a pregnant woman to enter & exit, and had only 2 seats! I was at first despondent to trade my sporty looking Fiero for such a boxy light blue sedan. Who knew my memories of the Fiero would be so mediocre compared to the Sunbird!

In summary, the Sunbird was THE fastest accelerating auto I had ever driven (& I was a Muscle Car Ford Fan before marriage to a Pontiac fanatic.) It was a real sad day when we traded it for a Chevy Astro Van to accommodate growing family.

I now drive my dream car: 2004 Thunderbird V8, which is very luxurious, & quick, but that 4 cyl Turbo Sunbird could be a contender off the line!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th December, 2007

1986 Pontiac Sunbird Base Sedan 2.0L OHV I4 TBI from North America


Cheap, run about at 2 MPG and unreliable


Ummmm, right, pretty much everything.

Got it with a blown tranny, replaced it.

The replacement tranny is on its way out, "gets stuck in 3rd and torque converter jams."

Engine self distructed this summer, had to replace the Gaskets, rings, bearings, and timing chain.

ETc, Etc, Etc.

General Comments:

Uncomfortable, unreliable, garbage, would never get another one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th November, 2002

2nd Sep 2004, 20:14

I don't think you give this car the respect it deserves. I have the same car and it has never let me down. Also this car is not really a sports car, so you really can't hammer the performance like you did. You don't realize that it is very peppy for a sun bird. As far as reliability goes, you might have pushed your car too hard while driving it.

1986 Pontiac Sunbird GT Hatchback 1.8 from North America


Excellent gas economy and space


Other than the A/C leak, the clutch had to be rebuilt after 170,000km. The head gasket was replaced after 200,000, my fault for letting the car overheat too much.

General Comments:

Overall, this has been my first car, and I still drive it, it runs great and has very little rust (2 spots). The gas economy and space (hatchback) is one thing I like about my car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th July, 2000

26th Dec 2000, 21:51

I've got the same car, 86 Sunbird J2000 GT hatchback. I got it with 228,000km's, replaced the motor at 244,000 and the clutch, and now at 251,000, I've got another blown motor. The 1.8L's were never all that powerful, or reliable.

I found the car to have great handling and good gas mileage when the motor ran, but none the less, the car did look good.

12th May 2003, 19:29

A car has an engine. And many motors. You are talking about a "blown engine" When you say motor, that makes me think of the windshield wiper motor, or the starter, or the heat/AC blower motor.