We've had Saabs and VWs, Olds and Buicks, Dodges and Triumphs. This Bonney, now at 237,000 miles, is the best car I've ever had (even though it's being a sedan kept us from being able to move furniture in it). Time, distance, and New England winters are finally catching up with it -- no major repairs ever needed until this past year -- and I'm finding that I cannot find anything near as good and as responsive and comfortable to drive (while being affordable) as the Bonney nowadays. Massive, major mistake to deep-six Pontiac and Oldsmobile.
I purchased my 1998 Bonneville SE in 2004 with 76,000 on it, now it has over 143,000. Being that it was sitting on a Chicago used car lot for I don't know how long, I didn't know if it was a good deal or not buying through Ebay. After I got it, I have several things done to it. It's still a good over all great car. In 2011 I had the anti-freeze problem fix with gaskets replaced, upper plenum (Upper air intake) replaced, water pump, radiator, spark plugs, wires, all hoses, all sensors, and starter replaced. Even though nothing was wrong, I still wanted to be safe than sorry. The new radiator sprung a leak and I fixed that with Bar's Leak. I also replaced the stock muffler with a Flowmaster.
I did replace the stock air box with a Secret Weapon-R intake. It comes with a washable filter and sounds great with a heavy foot. Replaced all the tires to Sumic GT 60's, 225/60R16's. Still have the Walmart battery I put in, that was in 2004.
Make sure you check your rear brakes because they do freeze up if dirty.
I still plan on keeping my Bonneville for several more years. It's fun to drive !
I bought this car with 155,000 miles on it for a straight $2000 in 2008. I loved my Bonnie, but I was a pretty brutal driver. Although some things broke (lever for high beams, speakers, side mirrors, etc), I'm actually surprised more didn't break under some pretty heavy use. The only engine problem I had was serpentine belt snapping that lead to a few other problems such as a blown radiator and teaked power steering. I took this car to DC and back a few times and had an extremely comfy ride. This car is HUGE and great for moving. Has great pickup and gets to 100 easily. Bad city mpg, but great hwy mpg approaching 28-30mpg (lazy 5th gear). Heavy handling, but fun enough to drive. Great Car.
Huge!! Lots of room in trunk and back seats! By far more room than any vehicle I've seen. Responsive accel. Highway mpg. Strong engine for some decent towing. Comfortable for long distance driving. Engine Reliability. Really easy to fix for most problems. Only reason it quit was an accident that totaled the car at 190,000 miles. Nothing hinted at it quitting before 200,000 and beyond.
Awkward interior design. Inconsistent durability (some things broke easily, others could take a beating). A little heavy handling. A little tough to park. Turning radius really sucks. Side mirrors don't give and suck to fix. City mpg is terrible. Resale value. Get an independent mechanics opinion since lemons still squeeze through.
I bought my Bonneville with 140,000 miles on it. It now has 158,000. The person I bought it from replaced the transmission and struts. It's a really great car. I had to replace the water pump (really cheap part, and fairly easy to repair). I love driving it. It's been extremely reliable, and it's nice and roomy.
It's comfortable, it gets good gas mileage, it has been extremely reliable. If something needs to be fixed, parts are pretty cheap, and it is fairly easy to work on. The 3800 engine is hands- down one of the best engines ever made.
There is a horrible whistling wind noise when I have the driver's side window down. I wish I could raise the drivers seat up higher. I'm five feet tall, and I have a problem finding a comfortable position for the seat.