Pros: It's style, price
Cons: fuel consumption, engine power, resale value
My 1997 Pontiac Sunfire was purchased accidented from an wholesale auction. My father purchased it for me for the price of 3,900$ CAN. The car needed several reparations, such as the air bags, front bumper and several mechanical parts. Once the car was in good state, I took it for a test drive and loved it. It only took days to discover it's several flaws...
Yes, the car is very affordable and looks good. Don't let yourself be fooled by the commercials, this car is NOT a gas saver... Filling the car would cost me around 30-35$ CAN, which I consider ridiculous for a car it's size. I don't understand why Pontiac emphasizes so much on the fuel economy of the sunfire.
Another factor to consider when buying a sunfire is it's performance. I took it for a test drive on the highway... and my reaction was "Is that it?". The car drinks gas like a hole, but yet, the engine is lazy. If you have the intention to pass big trucks on the freeway, my advice is to look elsewhere. Past 70-75 Miles per hour, the engine makes you understand very well that it can't take no more.
Another weakness of the Sunfire is it's handling in the snow. The car is equipped with a.b.s. brakes, which I consider very worthless. When braking on snow, the car seems like it will never stop. I had many incidents where I thought I wasn't going to stop on time. In short, this car is very scary to drive in rough conditions.
I decided to get rid of this car when it started to really get me angry. I remember the mornings where I would jump in my car to go to work, and it wouldn't start. Also, that one time where the engine actually started, but the driver's door refused to close. All these little incidents that happened too often pushed me to sell this car. Needless to say that I jumped to the ceiling when I saw how much these cars sold for. My sunfire in which i had invested a lot of money became a car which no one was interested in. I had an offer for 5,000$ CAN... and I decided to get rid of it once and for all.
Now that I reflect upon this mistake in my life, I realized that Sunfires aren't good cars at all. The money you'll put into it, the reparations, the usual maintenance plus all the hassle that comes with it adds up to too much. Now I realize that american cars haven't improved. They are the same as they used to be, great gas consumers and value losers. My advice is to go look for an imported vehicule, which is much more reliable and has a much better resale value.
As you may have noticed, my review focuses mainly on the cons of the Sunfire. It would be stupid of me to not cover the good sides of the Sunfire. Here they are, good handling, great stereo, seats are comfortable, good interior finish.
In short, if you're looking for a car that will last and that won't lose too much value, look elsewhere. The pontiac sunfire has nothing for you. On the other hand, if you are mainly interested in the price and look of your car, and that fuel efficiency and reliability is of no importance, the sunfire might be for you!