1989 Pontiac Tempest 2.8 EFI from North America
Market price not representative of value
The radiator sprung a leak at 170,000 km.
The turn signals went out a long time ago, but I didn't bother getting them fixed.
That's it, except for regular maintenance.
This is and has been a great car. In seven years the only thing I had to spend money on was maintenance and a new radiator ($200). The car has been extremely reliable, enjoyable, and versatile.
I've used it as a student car, a kennel, a grocery getter, and a daily commuter.
Mine has quite a pick up, even with 190K km on it! I have caught many unsuspecting people by surprise. With its small displacement, you get the gas mileage of a four banger with the low-end torque of a V6. The best of both worlds!
The stock stereo is amazing. Don't expect to use it to win any competitions, but the bass is unbelievable for something without a subwofer. The radio reception is quite poor. I have a hard time picking up a station 40 km away, on a hill. But it is loud enough to suppress the squeaks and rattles.
But who needs a stereo when you can listen to the sweet sound the engine makes when you floor the accelerator at 100 km/hr... 60 mph for our American audience. '89 was the last year for the 2.8 and all the kinks seem to have been worked out by then.
To be fair, I have heard some bad things about the 2.8. Such as the head gaskets blowing, timing belts shredding, and many other things asymptomatic of a neglected power-train. If you change the oil, monitor your other fluids, and clean the fuel system once and again... I don't see why you wouldn't have as care free and enjoyable an owners experience like mine.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th November, 2002
13th Jun 2007, 23:22
I love my "89" pontiac tempest. Has anyone had the problem with the transmission --I can drive forward, but no reverse, any ideas Thanks Pat J. (this has just happened)
13th Oct 2008, 14:20
My dad had a 1989 Tempest 2.8 V6 with 560000 km. He got it new from GM.
He had to park it because of the rust, the motor was still going strong. It would knock when cold, but when it warmed up it was OK.
We never change the fluid transmission, never had any problem.
We changed minor things like alternator, disc brakes, heater core, plugs, belt tensioner, nothing major.
I now have a 1991 3.1 V6 Corsica with 320000km on it, and like the Tempest it will go a long way before it dies.
The best cheap car there is out there.