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
"reliable car" 2 reviews
CONS
"power" 6 reviews
"build quality" 2 reviews
"body" 2 reviews
"brakes" 2 reviews

User Reviews

Displaying 1 - 10 of 28 1996 Pontiac Sunfire reviews.

zak3nn3dy writes:
1996 Pontiac Sunfire 2 Dr GT Coupe Review
Back Seats:
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Family Car:
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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
965

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.)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Dana writes:
1996 Pontiac Sunfire 2 Dr GT Coupe Review
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2

Pros

nothing

Cons

everything

65

Dont Buy A Death Trap.. Stay Away From Pontiacs — Horrible piece of miserable GM build quality. Everything on it only works when it wants too. Bad performance, even with a V6. Glad i crashed it and ended its miserable life.. speaking of which the air bags were faulty so they didnt fully deploy.. could have killed me.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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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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KrisDeJong writes:
1996 Pontiac Sunfire 2 Dr GT Coupe Review
Back Seats:
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Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
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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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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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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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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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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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Daniel writes:
1996 Pontiac Sunfire 2 Dr SE Coupe Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
2

Pros

its fast

Cons

pourly built

25

I'd Drive Another One — its a piece of crap its about five different colors but its fast and we take it down the road to ramp it at an old intersection i recently got rid of it becuase i busted a rear motor mount.

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

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

Pros

The girls like it?

Cons

Sloww

25

Sunfire — Acceleration is horrible, has to be one of the slowest cars on the road. So far it's been pretty reliable except a fuel pump issue and the air conditioning going out. (Pretty costly repairs, but better than a tranny or something.) The body is rusting in a couple spots, but it still looks okay. More of a girl car, but whatever I average about 23 mpg so it works for me.

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Displaying 1 - 10 of 28 1996 Pontiac Sunfire reviews.

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Reviews From Other Years

1995 Pontiac Sunfire Reviews

Exceelent Commuter By Kevin

This car is 15 years old and the design was so ahead of its time it doesn't look it. In fact I have heard people say that the best years for Sunfires looks were from 1995-1999 and 2003-2005. This car... Read More

Blah By Lakin

i had so much trouble with this car, it was the first one i ever bought and it was a money pit. however, when i did actually get it fixed, it ran great and i honestly wish i didnt have to get rid of i... Read More

Read all 5 1995 Pontiac Sunfire reviews

1997 Pontiac Sunfire Reviews

Fantastic By Phillyboy18

I would def buy another sunfire. I would prefer it to be a straight drive but I'm happy either way I love my car and for its age and milage i have def gotten my money out of it time and time again. Read More

Annoying By Malice

This car is a money pit. Always having to spend money to fix something else that has gone wrong. I dont think that the car has worked properly for more than a week or so without putting money into i... Read More

Read all 34 1997 Pontiac Sunfire reviews

1998 Pontiac Sunfire Reviews

Great Little Convertible! By sle37643

This has been a great little car. Handles smooth, no noises w/convertible top, never any mechanical issues, gets great mileage, is dependable & fun to drive. If you are looking for a fun little conve... Read More

Good Looking Sporty Commuter. By Kevlar

I like the fact that they still look as good today as the first day they were introduced in 1995. They have a great variety of aftermarket parts available and there seems to be enough parts to make ... Read More

Read all 32 1998 Pontiac Sunfire reviews

1999 Pontiac Sunfire Reviews

My Car By Kayla

headlights, they dont work. -_- Well my brights dont work and its really annoying because its awfully dark without brights and i live in missouri where their are tons of animals that jump out at you a... Read More

Very Good First Car By tashasue1996

I liked having this for a starter car, got me where I needed to be, never once broke down, good fuel economy, low maintenance costs, reasonably priced when I bought it. it had a sun roof and power win... Read More

Read all 32 1999 Pontiac Sunfire reviews

2000 Pontiac Sunfire Reviews

Total Throw-away Vehicle. By Claire

This car looked kinda nice back in the day when I owned it but it was an absolute lemon. The engine went out at 70,000 miles and was replaced with a $1500 one. That too died as soon as the warranty wa... Read More

Excellent Tuner Car To Boost. By James

Performance - Acceleration; fairly good for stock. Braking; good, front are shoes, back are drums. Handling; great for a front wheel drive. Build Quality - I have done several repairs, but I also bou... Read More

Read all 31 2000 Pontiac Sunfire reviews

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