2001 Pontiac Sunfire Reviews

2001 Pontiac Sunfire SE 2.2 from North America

Model year2001
Year of manufacture2000
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 2.2 Automatic
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 0 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
2.5 / 10
Distance when acquired120000 miles
Most recent distance144000 miles


The biggest waste of money I have ever encountered


Transmission blew at 122k.

Passenger seat stopped being adjustable at 123k.

Starter went out at 124k.

Rear speakers blew at 127k.

Stereo stopped working at 130k.

Fuel pump stopped working at 142k.

Engine cradle rusted, cracked, and bending at 144k.

General Comments:

I bought this car for 1800, and have put easily 4 times as much money into this car as I spent on it.

I drove the car for about two months before the transmission went out with absolutely no warning, and in retrospect, I should have gotten rid of it then.

A few months after getting the trans fixed, a lot of little things started going wrong with the car (passenger side seat wouldn't adjust forward or backward, speakers suddenly stored working due to bad wiring, stereo went out for the same reason, heat and air conditioner only work when the fan is at its highest setting).

Somewhere in between all these smaller problems, my car wouldn't start due to a bad starter.

After a few good months where I thought maybe this car wasn't a big of a piece of crap, the fuel pump went out.

Almost immediately after replacing the fuel pump, I had to replace the tie rods and ball joints. Took my car in to get an alignment afterwards, and was told that the cradle is rusted and cracked pretty badly, which has caused the driver side tire to be about three inches further back than the passenger side, and my car is unsafe to drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th April, 2011

12th Apr 2011, 16:36

You get what you pay for unfortunately. A great deal of 1800 dollars turns into a great deal of auto repairs. I usually stay away from those "great deals". Don't blame the manufacturer for your misfortune, blame the original owner or the used car salesman who bent you over... Next time, take a used car to a reputable mechanic that you trust and have them look it over before you buy it.

2001 Pontiac Sunfire Sedan 4 door from North America

Model year2001
Year of manufacture2001
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired90000 kilometres
Most recent distance350000 kilometres
Previous carFord Escort


Well worth it for its value


The catalytic converter when I got it, but the dealer covers the catalytic converter for the first 7 years of the car's life, so it was a free repair.

A recall with the starter possibly causing fire; fixed by dealer free of charge.

The alternator at 200,000km.

The fan blower motor for inside the car at 300,000km.

The fan cooler for the engine under the hood. 300,000km.

Driver seat replaced faulty mechanism at 300,000km.

CD player acting-up. 200,000km.

Speakers front left and rear left static. 200,000km.

General Comments:

This car is great. It's very reliable, and I believe I was able to make it last this long because I stayed on top of the maintenance. Oil changes on time, full tune-ups every other winter.

Please note I used synthetic oil 99.9% of the time, however I changed synthetic oil every 8000km instead of 5000km.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st November, 2010

22nd Nov 2010, 21:02

Yes, these cars are known to run past 300k with no issues when well maintained. My friend's Sunfire was sold with over 350k when he got rid of it, it's probably still running, it was not burning or leaking any oil!

Like you said, pretty good value for your dollar with this car. Much cheaper to fix than imports too.

26th Jan 2011, 00:03

I just got my first car, it's of course a Pontiac Sunfire =) It had only 50k miles on it, so I'm very happy to hear it should last a good 250k more! Thanks for helping me settle my worries!

26th Jan 2011, 14:52

The Sunfire/Cavalier are not known for their reliability. They have a lot of mechanical issues. Consumer Reports summed them up as 'crude, outdated, and unpleasant."

2001 Pontiac Sunfire Coupe 2.2 from North America

Model year2001
Year of manufacture2001
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 2.2 Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.6 / 10
Distance when acquired85000 miles
Most recent distance110000 miles
Previous carPontiac Sunfire


Cheap! Not worth the time and money! Don't buy!


- The fuel injection went bad.

- The back defroster doesn’t work.

- The back speaker went bad, as well as the front driver side speaker.

- The muffler rusted and broke off.

- The radio/CD player started to stop working.

- The gas meter isn’t accurate, it moves all over the place.

- The water pump went out.

- Killed my car battery.

- Brakes and brake drums went bad (very touchy in the rain).

- Transmission isn’t smooth anymore.

- A/C isn't cold anymore.

General Comments:

The Sunfire is an OK starter car for the first few years. It’s a very cheap car, and that’s what you pay for. The car ran nice for me for a while, but now I am having more problems.

There is always this dripping sound over by the passenger seat under the glove compartment. I’ve got it fixed before, but it's back again.

There’s always some type of problem with the car. You’re always going to be spending money on it. It’s good for maybe the first few months or year, but when one problem happens, more will follow. You’re going to end up spending more money on the car than what you’re supposed to.

I don’t think the car is worth the money. Don’t buy a Pontiac Sunfire! You’ll regret it in the end! Trust me, I did! DON’T BUY!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st July, 2010

Average review marks: 6.8 / 10, based on 31 reviews