1988 Pontiac Sunbird Reviews - Page 5 of 5

1988 Pontiac Sunbird LE 2.0L I-4 from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1988
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 2.0L I-4 Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired0 kilometres
Most recent distance147562 kilometres

Summary:

A great car that just won't die!

Faults:

A woman in the family cooked the engine.

Needed a Head Gasket at 135000 KM.

Gone through 4 Mufflers

Gone through 5 Starters

Gone through 3 Alternators.

General Comments:

This car has not cost us that much according to some other people. The old motor had died after a woman in the family literally cooked the engine, but we made a 1987 GT motor fit. The starters and mufflers tend to go, but the car doesn't go very far, but does it very often. Old motor had a dead Valve Lifter, but that didn't hinder the performance much. Its got a little rust on the rear passenger door underneath the trim, and tons of paint scratches, but it still looks great. My mother has the car, and she won't give it up, and I'm buying a 1994 Sunbird LE. These cars are extremely fun to drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th July, 2002

1988 Pontiac Sunbird SE 2.0 from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1994
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 2.0 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired39000 miles
Most recent distance130000 miles
Previous carNissan Sentra

Summary:

It's a great car if you want to draw little attention

Faults:

Clutch replaced once.

Fuel pump relay failed.

Computer failed.

Water pump replaced twice.

Replaced Timing belt twice. Car has a clearance engine, no damage when the belt broke.

Driver and passenger window guides and seals wore out.

Upholstery and headliner replaced.

Headlight actuators failing.

Interior plastic fading and cracking.

General Comments:

This car keeps me on my toes, but the cost of keeping it running isn't too much.

There's not too many of these cars on the road, and people take a look when they see one. (Why do they laugh?)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th January, 2002

1988 Pontiac Sunbird SE Standard from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission Standard Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired110000 miles
Most recent distance140000 miles
Previous carToyota Celica

Summary:

A nice looking, quick car that's good for the guy who likes to work on cars

Faults:

Well, the guy who owned this car before me did not treat it well at all.

So far, I've had to replace:

- the muffler

- the catalytic converter

- the front bumper

I still have to replace the latch assembly on my passenger side door (it froze in the lock position, so the door doesn't open).

The car has no air conditioning, possibly needs to be recharged.

The fabric on the ceiling is starting to fall, creating odd looking bubbles.

Also, there's a bit of rust along the bottom of the doors and the wheel wells.

Most of this would not be a problem if the previous owner had taken care of it better.

General Comments:

All-in-all this car is a great way to get from point A to point B.

The acceleration and the handling are great, almost like a newer car.

This car was a steal at under $1000.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th August, 2001

1988 Pontiac Sunbird SE Coupe 2.0 liter from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1988
Most recent year of ownership1998
Engine and transmission 2.0 liter Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.6 / 10
Distance when acquired33 miles
Most recent distance113000 miles

Summary:

Great first car that served me well between 18 and 28 years of age!

Faults:

Water pump blew one week after the warranty expired (1992).

This car chewed brakes! Replaced them 6 times in the ten years I owned her!

Replaced various portions of the exhaust system (especially mufflers) about four or five times over the ten years I owned her.

Had to replace the head gasket at about 85,000 miles (1995). Dealer mishandled the replacement and I was left stranded along the Baltimore Beltway waiting for a tow truck the following weekend!

Transmission got "confused" when accelerating uphill... wasn't sure if it wanted to stay in second or shift up to third. Solved by forcing a downshift (also gave more power).

Trunk developed a leak in the spare tire well that caused the bolt to rust... rendering the spare tire "stuck" in its home (1996).

Cassette player broke the first year of ownership... bumper-to-bumper warranty covered a new unit (1989).

A/C system (entire works) had to be replaced at 6 years of ownership (approx. 70,000 miles, 1994).

Oil gauge malfunctioned at 50,000... was told by the dealer the cost to fix it was not justified by its usefulness (1991).

General Comments:

Nice looking car. Very appealing lines. Designed before American cars started looking so tacky and ugly!

Engine was quick for a little four-banger... but really noisy under heavy acceleration.

Decent fuel economy, even with automatic transmission and air conditioning. Generally 25 city/35 highway.

Comfortable on long trips, and the nimble handling made it really easy to wind through city traffic.

Very airy greenhouse! Passing, lane changing and parallel parking were really easy with this car!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th May, 2001

1988 Pontiac Sunbird SE 2.0 Liter 4 Cyl from North America

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 2.0 Liter 4 Cyl Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired110000 miles
Most recent distance173000 miles

Summary:

A reliable car to get you from one place to the next: great starter car

Faults:

The only thing that has ever gone wrong with my car is the transmission had to be re-built (because I was trying to speed shift) so that was my fault.

General Comments:

I got it rusty and it has gotten worse, that is the only downside about my car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th June, 2000

1988 Pontiac Sunbird GT 2.0 L turbo (4 cyl) from North America

Year of manufacture1988
Engine and transmission 2.0 L turbo (4 cyl)
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.4 / 10

Faults:

Surprisingly little!

The two major issues both have to do with air-flow and climate control.

The AC (evaporator core) developed a leak within 3 years.

The mesh guarding the entrance of airflow into the interior is prone to clogging.

General Comments:

Amazing performance for a North American product. It is at 323,400 Kms and the engine (and turbo) are still performing excellently.

The body has started to rust a bit along the bottom of both doors as is usual.

Overall... a really super car! I wish they were still in production.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th August, 1999

17th Dec 2000, 11:12

I have had nothing but trouble with mine since I bought it.

1st Jan 2001, 20:12

I love my Pontiac Sunbird GT Turbo. It was my first car and I've had it for close to 6 years now.

It easily out performs just about any other car I've ever lined up against. I can never see myself getting rid of this vehicle, although I do have another car on the side. All in all, I must say this is the most exciting car I have ever driven and I just wish that they would get a little recognition for their performance, I mean, how many stock four bangers rip on 5.0 Mustangs, huh?

Average review marks: 7.8 / 10, based on 21 reviews