1998 Pontiac Sunfire Reviews - Page 4 of 11

1998 Pontiac Sunfire SE 2.0L 4 cylinder from North America

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 2.0L 4 cylinder Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired35000 miles
Most recent distance60000 miles

Summary:

Cheap looking, but will get you from A to B

Faults:

Rotors replaced at 50k, my fault for not changing brakes.

Air conditioner went out at 58k.

Alternator and serpentine belt at 55k.

General Comments:

Take this car for what it is, a cheap econo-box. It rattles, it is slow, and it is cheap looking. My biggest problem with this car is the three-speed automatic. It makes for tough passing in traffic and on the interstate.

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

Review Date: 7th November, 2007

1998 Pontiac Sunfire SE Convertible 2.4L 4 cylinder from North America

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 2.4L 4 cylinder Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.6 / 10
Distance when acquired85000 miles
Most recent distance130000 miles

Summary:

130,000 miles and Still running Strong!

Faults:

The only things wrong with this car so far are:

-The water pump went at about 115,000

-The trunk leaks a bit, due to the convertible top.

- Water comes in the passengers and driver door, also due to the factorys cuts made for proper folding of the top.

General Comments:

Other than that, Nothing. I love my car. Yeah, its looks feminine, but I'm a girl, so who cares.

I love it. The suspension isn't so smooth and the paint dulls and chips easily, but all and all, no major problems. 130,000 miles, and still running strong. Plus my father is a Pontiac mechanic, so that helps some.

Only bad though about the convertible top is that if I roll over, I'm screwed. But eh, I'm pretty cautious.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th November, 2007

1998 Pontiac Sunfire 2.1 Liter from North America

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 2.1 Liter Automatic
Performance marks 0 / 10
Reliability marks 4 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 0 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
1.0 / 10
Distance when acquired104000 miles
Most recent distance105000 miles
Previous carDodge Intrepid

Summary:

What a piece of junk!

Faults:

The car overheats for no apparent reason. I have changed every component of the cooling system including the thermostat (twice), the water pump, the head cylinder, the head gasket, and the radiator. It is STILL overheating and now the mechanic has no idea what to change or what to do.

General Comments:

I spent $1500 on the car and thought I was getting a deal. I have now spent over $2000 on parts and labor. What a rip off. I will never buy a Sunfire again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th September, 2007

16th Oct 2007, 21:36

I FINALLY got the car fixed when we replaced the heater core. The mechanic poopooed this idea, but I had read somewhere else that this was the fix when nothing else worked, and it was! It actually stopped the overheating, even though very little coolant runs through this component. The car is still a piece of junk in my opinion, though. When I see other Sunfire owners, I think, "Sucker! You bought a Sunfire." The cooling system is so poorly designed that the smallest quirk makes the car overheat. What crap!

6th Jan 2011, 14:43

Hey, your Sunfire heating up doesn't make it crap.

First off, take it to a different mechanic. For one, you didn't mention ever replacing the radiator.

Two, don't let just anyone replace internal motor parts, and if you have quite a bit of miles on it, the over heating can be caused by old/dirty/burnt transmission fluid, because if the transmission fluid is old/burnt, all the cooling ability of the fluid is gone. Transmission fluid degenerates with age, and if you used any kind of engine coolant, other than Dexcool, that will cause overheating. All Sunfires, and almost all GM vehicles, require Dexcool antifreeze to cool the engine properly. My advice to you is make sure there is Dexcool antifreeze. You can tell if it's Dexcool by opening the antifreeze reservoir cap, and if it's orange looking fluid, it's Dexcool. If it's green, it's the wrong kind of coolant.

Another recommendation is to take it to a different mechanic, preferably a GM dealership or at least a certified GM mechanic (don't just trust any mechanic; there are some mechanics that are only qualified to change tires and oil, and some rip people off by replacing parts that don't need fixed, and by prolonging problems within a vehicle).

1998 Pontiac Sunfire from North America

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired64000 miles
Most recent distance77000 miles
Previous carFord Explorer

Summary:

Nice looks, handles well, EXTREMELY delicate cheap shoddy body

Faults:

The brakes had to be complete redone, both front and back, at about 76k miles, didn't come on slowly at all, within 2 weeks of hearing squeaking brakes I took it to the shop where they told me I needed new pads, shoes, drums, calipers, and rotors for both front and back breaks.

The seats get a bad look to them after a while, they fade in color very quickly and once they do, they never come back. The seats look very dirty even when they have just been cleaned its just the cheap material pontiac used that makes them look this way.

The front of the car has NO STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY WHAT SO EVER you can dent the fenders, hood, or bumpers with a light kick. My brakes failed to work at 76k miles relatively spontaneously causing me to rear end someone, I was going only about 10 miles per hr, but it demolished my front bumper bent down my hood, and put two large dents in the right fender. I was moving so slowly that there was not even a bit of scratched paint on the other car, but mine ripped apart.

Later my a friend was driving it and rear ended a lady going about 20 while she was going 10, (meaning that he was only moving about 10 MPH at in relation to her) and the car was totaled, the hood bent complete up lights bumper fenders and front body were trashed the radiator dropped out of the car and the frame bend!?!?! the lady he hit lost a tail light, and that's it.

This car is made out of the cheapest sh*t material that GM could find and was put together with some pretty shoddy constructants.

General Comments:

The car has very little space inside it only seats 4 only has 2 seatbelts in the back (?) it has pretty decent acceleration for a 4 cylinder and can make some pretty tight turns.

The shifter (automatic) is cheap looking, it has the knock off manual look to it and you can't put anything in the cup holder while its in park.

There is only 1 cup holder in the entire car and its two small to hold most drinks.

You can't pop the trunk from the inside.

It's a nice sharp and sporty looking car that handles well has an attractive set of gages, but the rest of the interior is cheap looking and the entire car is made of cheap brittle fiberglass.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd June, 2007

7th Nov 2007, 12:29

I agree with several of your points; however, your view on the brakes is flawed.

1) If the first time your brakes were replaced was at 76k, you should consider yourself lucky. Fronts should be replaced every 35k-40k, and rears at about 55k-65k.

2) I had my brakes replaced at about 50k. I too waited too long. When my brakes were replaced, they were down to the metal. The car still stopped flawlessly. Other people who had driven my car were surprised to find out how bad they were.

As a side note, if you steam clean the seats they will look good again. Lastly, there are two additional cup holders in the back. They are behind the center console. Press on the square and they will pop out.

Average review marks: 7.3 / 10, based on 47 reviews