1994 Pontiac Trans Sport SE 3.1L from North America


One of the worst GM cars in history


- Transmission blew at 65,000 miles, 4600$ at GM Goodwrench 2422$ for the transmission and the rest for other faulty thing (like over-rusted oil pan!)!!!

- Engine blew at 75,000 miles! 2.821.35$ for a rebuilt (714$ of prior tune-up at GM Goodwrench didn't save it)

- Two alternators; 276$ each.

- Door latch + trunk broke at 80,000 Miles.

- One tie rod 52$ at 80,000 miles.

- A/C never worked well, cost more than 600$ in reparation over time (compressor, cooling fluid, etc.)... windows does better job.

- Wiper motor broke.

- You have to fight with the seat-belt... the problem is common on the Trans Sport.

- Transmission oil cooler broke (excessive rust) at 120,000 miles; 216$

- The rebuilt engine start to burn oil after 35,000 miles.

- About 3 sets of brake used, 3 batteries, 2 windshields (very expensive; 550 to 700$), 2 alternators, and of course 2 engines and 2 transmissions.

- So many little problems that you just forget because of the major things!

General Comments:

The van was driven carefully and slowly... but anyway the 3.1L is not able to deliver adequate power. Hills are hard to climb.

In its actual condition: the suspension works like a trampoline, the engine runs OK but the exhaust fumes smell horrible, and the MPG is not that good... but tolerable. It always starts in cold conditions, and I found the windshield broken after removing snow on it.

Good for camping and outdoor activity (except off-road driving!)

The heater is still super hot after 13 winters.

My family had over time: 3 Impalas, 3 GMC C15/Sierra trucks, a Rabbit, a Jetta, a Barracuda, a Toronado, a Jaguar XJ6 and a Mazda 3. And I can honestly say that the Trans Sport is the worst of them all on every level.

I've got it for free from my mother who paid for all those repairs. The only rational thing to do with it is to drive until everything broke down... which will come soon.

On the positive side, you will never ever see rust on it, but don't look underneath!

Excellent beater if you pay less than 250$ for it...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th March, 2008

14th Aug 2008, 21:08

I don't know what you talking about, my Trans-Sport runs good, it is a 1993 3.1L w/o overdrive, 150,000 miles, excellent shape, excellent performance.

I own a Chevy Camaro, a Toyota Corolla and a Toyota Camry. I never have problems with my Pontiac van, all maintenance schedules are followed as is in the owners manual, believe it or not, I do not have any major problems as you describe.

1994 Pontiac Trans Sport 3.8 V6 from Germany


I've found the car that fits with my needs; won't sell it anymore..


I bought this car in first place to take it apart for spare parts, therefore it was quite cheap. For some reason I decided to keep this one, and take my old one (92 Trans Sport) apart, which might have been a mistake: Engine broke at a (mileage) of about 217,000 kilometers, only 3,000 kms after I had started using it. The plastic intake manifold had been partially dissolved, the parts had been soaked into the engine.

Various electrical problems: broken light bulbs on the run, broken power cables, bad connected cables, etc.

Control arm joints seem not to last very long, even though they look like they are made for trucks. The shocks are quite weak, which makes them not long lasting.

Many other little problems have come up, but I have to say that many broken or inoperable car parts have been the result of bad maintenance of the former owner.

General Comments:

A mostly reliable minivan with minor problems; its already my second-one in a row, after I was used to sedan cars before.

The design is unbeatable beautiful in my eyes; here in Germany people either hate it, or love it like crazy. Even though this car is still some modern car, people start caring for them as something special, something that one day will be an eye catcher because of its style, and worth to possess it.

The car is a soft cruiser for nice, long distance travels, its versatility is one of a kind as long as its been used for human transportation. Some parts should have gotten more attention in development, to make it more comfortable for utilization, i.e. the backrests in the rear area cannot be flipped into a more comfortable position or put backwards. Also, for European taste, the brakes are quite weak; I would not recommend to drive much faster than 70 - 80 miles/hr. to avoid black-outs of the brakes in emergency situations.

The quality of the lacquer coating is unexpectedly outstanding great. Even 15 year-old Trans Sports can look like brand new, dents are quite impossible because of the plastic body, and little park damages might not even scratch it.

Engine: A powerful V6, which can become vulnerable at bad maintenance. It's not really necessary to check oil every time it's used, but "forgotten" oil changes with filter can easily damage the crank-shaft and other vital parts. If well maintained, the engine will last for more than 300,000 miles.

One more thing about the interior: Many of the plastic and rubber-kind parts like dashboard cover, handles, switches are quitting to work, or become un-even at an age of more than 10 - 15 years. It needs good practical skills to keep it look nice and keep it all work. Also, the carpet is hard to clean; kids can really mess the car up in no time, and it can drive the tears in your eyes if you have to clean it later...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st October, 2007