Pros: Few cars can give you this kind of appeal for the same amount of money.
Cons: Not as stylish as the 98-02 models. Cheap 90s GM materials.
The styling of the 4th generation Firebirds is a love it or hate it affair. Personally I love the over the top muscle car look. Its a sleek and curvy beast and looks like its ready for the racetrack. Its a good echo from the muscle cars of the late sixties and early seventies but modernized and refined for the nineties. I put a magnaflow dual exhaust on it to give the V6 Firebird a more thrilling look.
Although the V6 model is lacking the aggresive ram air hood scoops it is still a sexy car in its own right. Its hard to miss any Firebird drive by as its a very flashy looking car. The 1997 is the last year of the 4th generation Firebirds before the final 1998-2002 model year exterior make over. Personally I think the 98-02 models look better but that doesnt mean the 93-97 Firebirds dont have their own beauty.
The 1997 Pontiac Firebird V6 is powered by a Buick 3.8 liter series 2 V6. It produces 200hp and 225 torque. Although by todays standards that's nothing above average it is still more than adequate as this is not a slow car. I have beat Monte Carlo SS's with ease. Along with the Magnaflow dual exhaust I also stuck a cold air intake in it to increase the performance and to give it a louder and more aggresive exhaust note. The engine has been very reliable and with over 130,000 miles on it I have only had to replace the alternator and a tension pulley.
I put Micheline Pilot Exalto AS tires on it and this car hugs the road very well. I have taken very sharp corners at speeds of over 90mph and have never even felt it slide or feel like it was going to lose control. They also grip very well on wet surfaces. At 3,300 pounds and having back seats this car isn't the most gracefully handling car in the world but it handles more than well enough for whatever type of driving you want to do.
The passenger side does have an intrusive little hump on the floor but as I never sit there it doesnt bother me. The interior is made of typical 1990s general motor cheap materials but it isnt too bad as long as youre not comparing it to European exotics(which would cost a fortune more for something that hardly matters). The cup holders work fine enough for drinks and I have never had an issue with them. The rear seats are small for an adult but I consider them more as luggage holders than passenger room which helps the practicality of this car a lot.
Although I wish my car was a Trans Am WS6 with a 6 speed manual and t-tops with leather seats and a V8, I cannot complain because this car has treated me great through the years and it is an excellent entry level sport car for anybody. Easy to live with as a daily driver(rear wheel drive so id recommend parking it for the winters) and sporty enough to be a fun ride. Its really hard to beat the value of this Firebird.