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1996 Pontiac Sunfire User Reviews

1996 Pontiac Sunfire Review Ratings

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Average Ratings from 28 reviews

  • Performance:3.6 out of 5 stars3.6 out of 5 stars3.6 out of 5 stars3.6 out of 5 stars3.6 out of 5 stars 3.6 / 5
  • Appearance:3.5 out of 5 stars3.5 out of 5 stars3.5 out of 5 stars3.5 out of 5 stars3.5 out of 5 stars 3.5 / 5
  • Build Quality:3.8 out of 5 stars3.8 out of 5 stars3.8 out of 5 stars3.8 out of 5 stars3.8 out of 5 stars 3.8 / 5
  • Overall: 3.9 out of 5 stars3.9 out of 5 stars3.9 out of 5 stars3.9 out of 5 stars3.9 out of 5 stars 3.9 / 5

Review Highlights Click to filter reviews below

PROS
"fuel economy" 14 reviews
"ride" 12 reviews
"speed" 5 reviews
"power" 3 reviews
"big car" 2 reviews
CONS
"power" 6 reviews
"brakes" 2 reviews
"body" 2 reviews
"build quality" 2 reviews

User Reviews

Displaying 1 - 10 of 28 1996 Pontiac Sunfire reviews.

Joshua writes:
1996 Pontiac Sunfire 2 Dr SE Coupe Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
3

Pros

It runs. it turns, it stops. when i want it to, It's "cute"??  decent mpg. plenty of help resources and lots of owners to talk too.

Cons

Not a great amount of fun....poor body....poor resale.Head gaskets like to go....

65

A Green Coupe For Josh — Well it must be made known that i never wanted to own either the Sunfire or it's corporate twin the Caviler. I heard their reliability and performance sucked....now having had one for about a year...i can say only one half of that statement is true..and even then, it's only partially true. The handling and acceleration of my car is crappy..but it's steady and predictable when pushed which is great It's also great in the snow and ok in ice, it doesn't like to slide a lot. As for build quality....yea...American made cars in the nineties and early 2000's sucked. Don't get me wrong the car doesn't have a lot of squeaks and rattles from the interior, but that's only cause it wasn't used heavy before me(only 49k when i got it). The exterior tho....leaves a bit to be desired. there's rust and cracks at couple places on the unibody, there's a myriad dent and ding not to mention spot where the top layers of paint have worn off and the rear appliqué scratches VERY easily.. but on the whole it's little things. On the mechanical front only one major thing has been wrong with it....a blown head gasket, and apparently from normal wear and tear cause i wasn't racing it at all(it'd lose every time so what's the sense?). At $750 and two days down, it wasn't cheap....but on a good note it seriously increased average mpg and power. In talking with other owners and going through various J-body websites i found this was a fairly common thing, once and done problem with the 2.2 ohv engines. Now on the MPG war...i get between 29 and 31 for mostly highway and staying below 75...i go above 75 it drop to 26-29. other than, that, basic maintenance was needed when i first got cause it wasn't done right by the first owner. Fuel filter, trannie flush, coolant change(done with the headgasket) and the rest of the regular stuff.. i haven't had to do anything but an additional oil change since then. And the fun factor is not entirely lost on this car....it does tricks The hand brake is right next to the drivers seat( where it should be in a sporty car), it makes backroads more fun than if u were driving some suvs or trucks or worse, a Chevy Aveo. I'm also sure that with the addition of a few of the widely available suspension and performance parts and a good set of wheels and tires the car could be changed into a decent little sports coupe. And I would recommend this car to any first time driver/owner. It provides reliable transportation, yet requires the kind of maintenance that everyone should know how to do and is still somewhat fun. So this fun, cute (yes ladies and gentleman, sadly that's the word that's been used) and simlple coupe can get the job done and keep u rolling efficiently.. if ur willing to give it some love()cough() ok and a lil money.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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zak3nn3dy writes:
1996 Pontiac Sunfire 2 Dr GT Coupe Review
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
Looks/Style:
Overall:
3

Pros

great little car when it runs, great fuel economy about 7-800kms to a tank. excellent grocery get'er not much more then that

Cons

2.4L engine is the worst motor chevy ever made. with its zero tolerance heads and slacking/breaking timming chains, weak tensioners and soft bottom ends that loves to spin bearings and throw rods through the block. i have replaced 2 motors in this car and there will not be a third.

zak3nn3dy
465

Ok Starter Car Not A Reliable One When It Comes With A 2.4 — these cars came with 2 motors the 2.2L and the 2.4L both are 4 bangers. mine had the dreadfull 2.4L when equipped with a 5spd standard transmission it can be a quick little car. mine had a fully rebuilt head, cold air intake, short throw shifter, header, full aftermarket exhaust, lowered suspension with wide 18" tires. a great peppy good on gas car that runs like a top with enough power for the average teenager. although these 2.4L motors will leave you stranded with no warnings as it has done to me twice. these motors are famous for spinning bearings and throwing rods. do not expect to get much more then 200,000kms out of these motors. i HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU BUY A 2.2L. if you see a good deal on a 2.4L walk away you will thank me later

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Melanie writes:
1996 Pontiac Sunfire 2 Dr SE Coupe Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Shiny red paint

Cons

Manual roll-down windows, electrical wiring isn't superior, as a leak from the top of the driver's side door.

45

1996 Pontiac Sunfire — Performance - accelerates well, breaks well, sharp steering Build Quality - Has needed lots of repairs, makes lots of squeaks but it's not the belts. Appearance - Has had a new paintjob, interior is clean, exterior has a few scratches and paint chips on spoiler, but no rust. Cost of ownership - 23 mpg on average. Maintenance cost is low. Fun Factor - fun to drive with the windows down!

Primary Use: Commuting to work

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Nick writes:
1996 Pontiac Sunfire 2 Dr SE Coupe Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

its a good looking car

Cons

kinda weak engine

35

Rambling — The car is great on gas, but very slow on the acceleration, and greatly lacking in the higher top speed. But for looks i haven't seen a car much like it, the interior is a matching color to the body which makes is really stand out! The handling is like a go kart which makes it fun to drive but not all down the highways.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Eric writes:
1996 Pontiac Sunfire 2 Dr GT Coupe Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

Has good pick-up, decent on gas mileage and looks nice.

Cons

Water pump when I first got it and a small leak with coolant. Had to put a new engine in it at 130,000 miles.

35

Nice Little Car. — I have pretty much enjoyed owning this car. It has pretty good pick-up for a 4-cylinder and just has been a joy to own. However, I have had to make some major repairs to the car such as a water pump and putting in a new-used engine at around 130,000 miles. Otherwise, the car runs good and is fun to drive.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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KrisDeJong writes:
1996 Pontiac Sunfire 2 Dr GT Coupe Review
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
Looks/Style:
Overall:
5

Pros

drives nice

Cons

timing belt went twice

KrisDeJong
55

Totally Sweet — this car drove nice even in the winter, its fast, reliable and couldn't ask for more from this car, it was a 5 speed manual that never let me down and it was a very peppy car! i miss this car and i would own one again

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

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Alvin writes:
1996 Pontiac Sunfire 4 Dr SE Sedan Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Dependable, fuel efficient. Cheap maintenance.

Cons

Not so roomy.

95

Good Teenager Car. Very Dependable. — Ecellent car. Got me to and from a lot of places. I bought it used with 136,000 miles on it and owned it for almost 3 years. I replaced the waterpump and the starter in that period. I probably wouldn't have traded it in, however, the alternator went out and the new one didn't get installed correctly, thus causing problems in the electrical.

Primary Use: Family transportation

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Shawn writes:
1996 Pontiac Sunfire 4 Dr SE Sedan Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

great to beat on

Cons

the rear brakes lock up when cold

35

Great Overall Car — great car to beat on and sound system is awsome, just has one issue, when the brakes are cold they lock up, iv spent some money fixing but now it runs great for 307000, this car has a cherry bomb

Primary Use: Family transportation

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James writes:
1996 Pontiac Sunfire 4 Dr SE Sedan Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
3

Pros

Comfortable, Can Take a Beating...

Cons

Slow, Faulty workmanship Engine-wise

25

Sunfire: Down In Flames — My first car, well it just looked like crap. The 2.2 liter 4 cyl. was a dog with a manual, and with only 62,000 miles on it everything went wrong with it. A point A to point B car. Very Simple, they were made to be an affordable cheaply made car.

Primary Use: Family transportation

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Joseph writes:
1996 Pontiac Sunfire 4 Dr SE Sedan Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

space

Cons

lack of pick up and go

25

Pretty Good — Its a nice car goes fast... handles really good and fits my friends. Could use some more power under the hood cause it gets a little slow to respond when you go to pass. Super easy to park as it has large windows..

Primary Use: Commuting to work

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Displaying 1 - 10 of 28 1996 Pontiac Sunfire reviews.

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Reviews From Other Years

2005 Pontiac Sunfire Reviews

Very Nice, Clean, And Dependable. This Car Always Starts And Everything Works. By CostaWalker

I really like the way this car drives - it is a good, sure start and they used very good steel - it feels very solid - doesn't blow around like a lot of the more recent model cars. I was suprised at ... Read More

Very Nice, Clean, And Dependable. By CostaWalker

This car is really dependable - it has no problems with cold weather - starts quickly and always. There are some minor scratches, but overall the appearance is very nice. It is especially cool with ... Read More

Read all 19 2005 Pontiac Sunfire reviews

2004 Pontiac Sunfire Reviews

Value Car By dmdixon88

I like everything about this car besides it's small size - not much room for luggage! It is very reliable, though, and all maintenance for it has been quite cheap. I average between 25-30 mpg with a m... Read More

One Of The Worst Cars Ive Dorve By Matt

This was my first car, it was free so i wasn't going to pass it up. The build quality was absolutely horrible as most american cars are. The performance was horrible. The interior wasn't too bad to ... Read More

Read all 18 2004 Pontiac Sunfire reviews

2003 Pontiac Sunfire Reviews

Fun Car! By Ran322

I've owned this car for 6 years and I still like it tremendously. There have been a few problems with it. There were some recalls that I was unaware of until my tail-lights kept burning out and meltin... Read More

I Love The Car By Justin

It looks sick, good gas mileage, fun to drive, Relatively good acceleration, great braking and handling I haven't had to repair it at all, though Iv only been driving it for the last 10 000 kms (I n... Read More

Read all 8 2003 Pontiac Sunfire reviews

2002 Pontiac Sunfire Reviews

Meh... By Shelby1405

got this car in March 2011 as my first car. Took it to my mechanic to look over he said it would be $500 to safety. turns out Pontiac is horrible with their wiring and $1300 later the car was good to ... Read More

Very Good. Not Much To Complain About. By nwhite34

Problems hapenning out of no wheres like a possible fuel filter issue that can cause your car to not fire and you thinking its a dead battery when its not or when something else could be possibly be w... Read More

Read all 32 2002 Pontiac Sunfire reviews

2001 Pontiac Sunfire Reviews

Fast Sporty And Fun To Drive By untaimedspirit09

I havent found nothing that i dont like about my car :) Shes my ought one and she has never left me stranded... Got to find some parts for her but shes still a good looking car :) 38mpg and lovin it :... Read More

Great For Its Price, But You Get What You Pay For. By 7sevin7

Over all its a good cheep car, living up to Pontiac's nick name of the poor man's Cadillac, It has many of the stock issues seen in any Pontiac of its era, with Faulty door locks that give over time a... Read More

Read all 23 2001 Pontiac Sunfire reviews

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