1993 Pontiac Sunbird LE 122 cid 4, 100 hp from North America
A steaming pile of ordure, but reliable
There have been no mechanical or electrical failures during my ownership of this car.
Where to start, where to start...
It's dog slow on the highway. I know that a car that's near the end of the line won't be especially quick, but a maximum speed of 78 miles per hour is totally ridiculous.
Second, it rides like some form of buckboard. The suspension is not only unable to absorb small bumps without upsetting the car, but it bottoms out on anything much bigger than a cigarette butt.
Third, it handles like a derailed locomotive. The limits are very low, very poorly marked, and exceeding them leads to truly terminal understeer. Of course, a discussion of the handling cannot be complete without a description of the steering. At parking-lot speeds it manages to be both slow and heavy. As speed increases, the power steering kicks in and deprives you of what little handling precision you had. During cornering, the fuel sloshes round the tank... away from the fuel pump.
The car was not screwed-together well. There are fewer components that aren't rattling than those that are.
The interior is ergonomically disastrous. To turn the lights on, you hit a switch on the left side of the instrument panel. To switch between low and high beams, you pull a stalk on the steering column. The steering wheel is gigantic and blocks your view of every gauge aside from the speedometer, unless you either raise or lower it, in which case it blocks your view of the speedometer. The seats are all very uncomfortable and the seatbelts are twisted.
It seems that the car was designed by someone other than an engineer. The leading-arm suspension in the rear is a sad-sack example of where GM went wrong; there are literally dozens of items that five bucks more per car spent at the factory would provide massive improvements in the driving experience. A small sedan with a curb weight of 3200 lbs indicates a complete failure on the part of the design staff.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 16th June, 2003
26th Feb 2004, 15:16
It sure is too bad that you have had such bad luck with your 'bird! I myself own a 1993 sunbird and I am overjoyed with it. I paid 250 for it and it didn't run at the time so I replaced the head gasket and I had a decently running car for under 500. I keep it maintained and she treats me well. I don't think it is underpowered of too heavy as you say. the only problem I have with mine is the rust on the doors and various spots on the car, but I don't regret buying one in the first place!