1997 Pontiac Sunfire from North America


Small things on the inside break. A seatbelt cover here, a volume knob there.

My radiator will not keep coolant.

The display on the radio works sometimes, and sometimes it doesn't.

The cup holder gets in the way when I shift. Bad placement.

The rear defrost doesn't work.

General Comments:

Please save yourself some money and frustration, and don't buy a Pontiac Sun-fire. Don't buy a Pontiac period. The quality is super poor.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th May, 2005

12th Dec 2010, 20:44

Yes, condemn Pontiac because you don't like where they put the cup holder, LOL.

1997 Pontiac Sunfire GTX 2.2 from North America


I will never buy a GM product again - I consider this car my hunk of junk!!!


Theft system light came on 2 weeks after purchasing the car. That was fixed at a cost of approximately $500 and then it came on again two months later. The light stays on constantly now.

A bracket that holds the serpentine belt broke at approximately 100,000 km.

Head gasket blew at approximately 110,000 km.

Whole engine needing replacing at 146,000 km. A year later I had a cracked head on the new engine!

The alternator needed replacing at approximately 130,000 km.

Headlamp switch stopped working therefore I had no headlights. 6 months after replacing the headlamp switch, it needed replacing again.

The gas line started leaking in three places at about the same time as the headlamp switch blew.

The back struts needed replacing at 170,000 km. Two days after picking up the car I realized one of the struts was defective and had to be replaced again - the other new strut needed replacing after 5 more months.

General Comments:

The car looks good, but it is a lemon mechanically!

GM had a recall on head gaskets for the 1995 and 1996 models, but stated they had fixed that problem for the 1997 models - I beg to differ as I have spoken to many people who have a 1997 and have had the same problem.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th February, 2005

20th Feb 2005, 16:01

Hi, I also own a 1997 Sunfire here in the midwest, and so far have not had the severity of problems you have had. The engine is the 2.2L 4Cyl.

The car now has 131K miles on it, has received regular trans axle, automatic transmission and engine oil changes with no problems other than oil leaks from the valve cover. That stopped after I changed the rubber gasget. I also switched to hi mileage engine oil that is supposed to help all of the major engine seals from leaking and it works! Buy it and use it for your engine too.

I did have to change the water pump last week after the seal blew, so I changed all of the hoses & thermostat too. It took 7 hours of my labor, but it's done for just $140 in parts.

I just gave it a tune up, after 127K miles on the orig plugs, & fuel filter. The car has it's 3rd serpentine belt, K&N air filter and still has the original brake rotors too. They're a little thin, but still functional until I change them tomorrow.

The struts, joints, tie rods, & steering linkage are worn, but far from replacement..yet.

The body is beginning to show some cancer, but stays dry with no window or door leaks, runs fine in heavy downpours.

I've driven the car daily for 7 years and for the last year and a half commuted 85 miles round trip to work.

It is a fine car in my opinion.

13th Mar 2010, 11:20

I have a 1997 Sunfire here, bought it in 2008 and never had any problem with it. Pretty damn good car.. probably you were just not lucky, because me and my dad own the same model and year Sunfire, and never had any problem with them.

1997 Pontiac Sunfire SE 2.2 from North America


Never again


It was fine until... warranty ended:

- Right strut replaced at 65,000km (300$)

- Brakes rotors scratched at 65,000km (200$)

- Left strut followed at 75,000km (300$)

- Oil leak from engine at 75,000km- sealed (120$)

- gasket blew at 100,000 km.

- Brakes rotors replaced at 110,000 km (400$)

- AC blower lost two speeds at 115,000 km.

General Comments:

It is a reasonably good car before the warranty gone. If you want to keep this car after that - you would be better to sell it before or be prepared to pay a big bucks!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th July, 2004

30th Jul 2004, 13:58

Sunbirds are a competent car sold a rock bottom price. If you went through the first 30,000 miles (let alone the first 65,000) without problems, I'd say you more than got your money's worth!

30th Aug 2004, 05:43

Sunfires are an amazing model Pontiac makes. I have had mine for 5 years and put over 157,000 miles on it. I've never had a car longer than this one.