1997 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2L V4 from North America


Runs forever without seeing a shop


Back strut ball bearing makes weird noise, never had it fixed, doesn't bother me (labour on it would be like $500)

Door got a rust spot and chipped a bit at about 120000km.

Front struts broke/replaced 140,000 km.

Temperature control knob broke at about 160,000 km.

General Comments:

Unbelievable car. VERY VERY little work on it. We have had it for a long time, 120,000 km.

We don't even treat it nicely, late on oil changes, try to extend maintenance on everything.

Nothing seems to stop this car, it's awesome. Cheapest car to maintain I have EVER had.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th August, 2007

1997 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2L 4 Cylinder from North America


Great fun car to drive, good strong little motor



General Comments:

My first car, I have made a great choice good looks, good on gas, good little motor, I would recommend this car to anybody.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th July, 2007

1997 Pontiac Sunfire 2.2 from North America


It has been good me. Lucky I guess!


I hit a deer with it, so I had to replace the hood, right fender and right door. The water pump cracked shortly afterwards and I had to replace that. I recently replaced the gas tank, as it had a leak in the top quadrant (small, but I nipped it in the bud), the gas line (the smell of gas freaked me out more than a little!) and because the gas line was so close to the break line, they had to replace that as well, as they would have messed that line. I replaced the drive tires because...well...they needed it I guess. No real reason other than they were worn out.

The thermostat needed replacing once, but I figure that's normal, since this car is 10 years old. Keep in mind I live in Canada and only recently moved to the city, so all my driving has been country driving, which means I beat up the poor car with rough roads and salty snow.

General Comments:

The body has held out very well for it being 10 years old. All it needs is a rust patch up near the wheel well, which I will do shortly as it is a very simple job for a 24 year old woman to do. I give it oil changes every time its required and with Pontiac models that makes a huge difference in performance.

This car performs exactly how I expect it to: safe stops and quick acceleration. It is small, meaning in the city I can move around the traffic much better than if I owned a pick up truck. It's good on gas too, when it isn't leaking. I have a small oil leak because the bolt got stripped when I was putting the oil pan back on. I just keep an eye on the levels by peaking at the dip stick once a month or so. No big deal.

I remind myself that this is a Pontiac, and not a Honda or a Mercedes. It will never perform like a Ferrari, Lexus, or a Formula One Racing Car, so never expect it to do more than what it's given. It is a low-end economy car. Remind yourself of this if you choose to purchase one, because that is all you can expect of it.

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

Review Date: 21st July, 2007

22nd Jul 2007, 20:37

I am looking at a 97 Pontiac as a used car for my 18 year old son. I sounds like with your experiences with yours that it has been worth the cost. We live in Canada as well, I am curious how it handles in Canadian winters?

16th Aug 2007, 23:22

It doesn't handle bad I don't think in winters, I mean a front wheel drive is a front wheel drive.. what can you expect.

1997 Pontiac Sunfire from North America


Pretty good little car


I own a 97 Pontiac Sunfire and bought it brand new in 97. It will be 10 years in August and I can't say really anything bad about the car. It currently has 150,000 miles on it.

Conditions in which it has been driven: stop and go California traffic (daily for me) and several long distance trips including 3x from California to the Midwest.

After having the car for 150,000 miles you can expect form problems over the years. The following is what I've experienced:

1. About a month after I bought the car the ETS light came on. I brought it in and was informed it was a sensory problem, and would be difficult to fix. I got a second opinion from a co-worker who happens to be an auto shop teacher in which he confirmed it was just a simple sensory problem and it wasn't worth it to get it fixed. It was probably covered by the warranty, bu for some reason I didn't even look at the warranty.

Over the years I has the remaider fixed:

2. Fuel filter- partially my fault because my air filter was never changed. It was extremely dirty and I don't know why it was never looked at. It completely ruined my fuel filter system. Luckily the school's auto teacher replaced it with an older fuel filter system his students located off of an older pontiac found in a car junk yard. The auto shop teacher has taught mechanic class for 20 something years and seemed to know a lot. He decided to replace the filter with an older type of filter because the newer one was more difficult to change. He mentioned that the filters on the older pontiacs were designed much better. Easier to change the older ones.

3. Gasket replacement. (after about 8years)

4. air compressor replacement. (after about 4-5 yrs)

5. water pump. (after 9 years)

General Comments:

My ABS light came on last year when I had to get my brakes changed. I was concerned about that and an auto shop said it was again, a minor senory problem- but nothing to worry about. It only comes on when I make sharp turns or run over a bump in the road.

Just recently noticed the paint is coming off a little on the roof of the car. I'm sure if the car was in a rainy/snowy state I probably would have saw some signs of peeling after 5 or 6 years. I guess I'm lucky to live in a warm dry state, although the carpet in the back window is now yellow due to the stong sun's rays. Need darker tinted windows all over the car. My front dash is a little discolored due to the intense direct sunlight as well. Although not too noticeable.

Good notes about the vehicle:

Great gas mileage and that's for a 97 car.

It has get up and go for a 4 cylinder.

Modern interior for a 97. I think it looks even more modern than many of the new cars out there today.

I love the folding back seat, it's amazing the stuff you can fit in this little car.

Very areodynamic, I don't experience much windshear.

If I see a symbol pop up on my drivers information panel, it's been right everytime. For example I've never had a complete flat on the road. The "low trac" symbol pops up on the panel when I have a flat and it's been 100% accurate each time. I've had 2 flats while driving and have never had to be towed into to the shop.

If something is wrong with the battery the symbol will pop up. Again accurate every time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th July, 2007

17th Jan 2008, 04:20

Think the Low Trac is for Low traction. Means your tires are spinning and your engine will lose power to stop the spinning. Something like that. It has nothing to do with the tire pressure. Although there are tire pressure monitor systems out there. You get 4 devices that take the place of the air caps on your tires and a monitor that sits inside your car where you can see.

17th Jan 2008, 10:44

I don't care how much EASIER it is to get to, changing out a fuel filter with a filter from a junkyard is NEVER EVER a good idea, especially for an older one??? What kind of logic is that???

12th Feb 2008, 16:32

I own a 1997 sun fire SE. It has been the best car I have EVER had! I bought it with about 76,000 and a scrap title. It had been broadsided and repaired. Poor paint from the repair clear coat peeled. It currently has 207,000 miles. And still runs great. The only time it has ever been in the shop was for a coil. I was unsure why it was missing. Other than that I have done tuneups and brakes myself. I have not even had to replace the clutch.

27th Mar 2008, 23:48

The TRAC system works with the ABS. When the computer picks up wheel slipage from the sensor on each wheel it lightly applies the brakes on the spinning wheel. Engine power stays the same.