Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
Pros: powerful engine and sporty look
Cons: cheap interior
Advice: If you take care of itOutside, the '03-'05 Sunfire is beautiful. The exterior styling of the 2-door coupe couldn't be better. It looks much more sporty than it's sister the Cavalier. The silver paint job on my car is very shiny when clean and I get a fair amount of heads to turn as I drive down the street. Most cars in this class aren't about unique style, this one is. The interior design is nice, but feels somewhat cheap. That is to be expected on a car of this price, however. So far the only problem I've found is that the door handles began to rattle over bumps after a couple months. The front seats feel very comfortable, and I have no strains or aches after driving for even two hours at a time. In front there is more than enough room (for myself), although tall people may not think so. The back seats are for children or luggage only. The engine is great. It comes standard 2.2L 16-valve DOHC producing 140hp and 150lb of torque. If that doesn't mean anything to you, then neither will a 0-60mph time of 6.98 seconds. Compare that with the competition. The engine wants every ounce of gasoline you're willing to give it, and in return it'll give you quick acceleration and a governed top-end speed of 110mph in 4th gear at about 5000rpms. This car has enough power to get you moving, but you will feel it when you've got more than one passenger. To further stress that I really think the engine's much better than average, I have won several races on the open road with my Sunfire against other cars in it's class, namely the Tiburon, Scion tC, Civic, Corolla S, and Eclipse. The Sunfire handles well, and the 5-speed manual transmission is forgiving to novice drivers, making it easy to learn. It shifts smooth, and the drive isn't near as bumpy as you'd expect from a car this size. The steering is responsive and smooth but not overly sensitive. Turning the wheel slightly isn't going to send you into the next lane unless you're meaning to. Dodging potholes is a piece of cake, but if you hit one, you'll feel it. Steering at speeds higher than 80 or 90mph isn't any more sensitive than you'd expect. The trunk space is adequate. The 6 speakers it comes with sound great but the radio is a different story. Overall, I'm very pleased with this car, and I'd reccomend it to anyone. It's fun to drive and looks great.
Pros: 100% Red/Orange Lighting Inside
Cons: Light Bulbs Last a Week
Advice: Do The Maintenance or RegretWasn't too serious about buying initially, but one test drive and it bought me, had no choice. The orangish/red lighting inside is very pleasant and upbeat, although the bulbs burn out very easily, which is fine since Pontiac made them extremely easy to replace. I love that GM did away with mechanic odometers all together. Even Cavaliers have them. I do wish these had oil and volt gauges, though. It does have a service light, but have never had mine come on for anything. Daytime Running Lights are a pain and kill bulbs quickly. The blue enhanced light bulbs dont work too well since the casing for the bulbs is black. I wish foglights were std on the SEs. The ETS traction system works exceptionally well on water. Just wish there were more performance mods available. Mine is a 2.2L A/T, BTW.
Pros: Roomy Interior
Cons: I dont like where the front cupholders are. If you sit a drink in them it blocks the air conditioning controls.
Advice: This is an excellent car for first drivers. It is sporty, yet it isnt too fast for a heavy footed teenager.I enjoy driving my Sunfire. It is my sixth small car. I have owned a 2002 Civic, 1996 Sunfire, 1995 Eclipse, 1999 Eclipse, and a 2002 Mustang. I would say that the Civic and Sunfire tie, but the Civic was a lemon (I think). I would recomend the Sunfire to anyone who doesnt want to spend a fortune at the gas pump. The car does not look very roomy, but it is, the front seats are very comfortable, and the back is just as long as you arnt very tall or the person sitting in front of you isnt.
Pros: The comfort of the interior.
Cons: The cheap metal used for the body.
Advice: Get the car fully loaded.The care drives very good. The car has pretty good pick up. The car is worth what you pay ($10,000 to 16,000) For the price you are deffinetly getting what you pay for and just that. The dealerships are bad when it comes to the maintenance to your car. My advise is to gain some friends that are mechanics and let them work on your car. IU have been to five different dealerships and all of the mechanics are horrible. They forget to grease your struts before reinserting them...
Pros: gets good gas mileage when it's driveable
Advice: it's okay when you don't get a lemon, but keep record of everything that happens on the car if anything acts up.I bought my 2003 Sunfire brand new and have had nothing but problems with it since I purchased it. It's been back at the dealership for the car dying at any speeds, whenever I so much as tapped on the brakes. Finally, it was fixed after I got into a wreck because of the car dying. I took it to another dealership and there had been a bulletin out about the issue in the electrical system since November 2003. I've had the taillights fixed, the trunk door latch sticks, and most recently, my rear brakes fell apart while I was on the highway. I would not reccomend this car for anyone!
Pros: body style
Advice: buy it it rocks!I love this car its great
Pros: Great paint and body look
Cons: It's a cheap car, period.
Advice: You get what you pay for!I'm sorry I bought this car. It looks great, and the gas mileage is decent, but that's about it. In two years, with 41,000 miles on it, I've already spent hundreds in repairs, culminating with a copius transmission leak at the pan and front axle that cost over $300 to fix. It's had one minor thing after the other go wrong - windshield washer failed, light on the stereo went out, *entire* stereo had to be replaced (covered under warranty, thankfully), the color on the cloth seats is wearing off, the trunk carpeting peeled off weeks after I bought it. Drums, rotors and pads replaced. It's VERY 'slippery' in wet weather, scary in Florida. Blind rear vision. Noisy interior from day one,witha mysterious cracking I never figured out. Brakes sometimes 'slip' and braking is compromised.