I bought my 2.8 V6 brand new in 1988, it was the only manual transmission they had on the lot in Phoenix. The stick helps the acceleration dramatically. A chip didn't bring much improvment. The AC was great and needed in AZ when I moved to the NW the lack of a rear defroster was felt immediately. Car looked awesome when new, great now. 1988 cars if still on the road look outdated, not the Firebird. It was my daily driver for many years. Once I got more cars, and the Firebird was parked for extended periods, problems began, now I fixed them and try to rotate my cars so all get street time. 4 studded tires was the only way to drive in the snow. Love it today just as much as I did 24 years ago
It has my favorite driving position.For fast driving, the seat, wheel and most importantly the shifter are perfectly placed for my liking. Four studded tires made winter driving fun, drifiting this car is so easy and the car is so predictable. Not too user friendly, but predictable. Great car to teach rear wheel drive techniques.
Not great for long trips, low driving position may be good for fast driving, but my back never enjoyed long trips. Engine sounds great, car looks good, driving for two it's a lot of fun. I always trust this car that it will start in the morning, and most importantly, it will bring me back home every time.
120K miles since 88.
The ignition module is one thing that went out several times, have no idea why, I assume it happened after the car was parked for long periods.
Radiator, two clutches, fuel pump, cold temp sensor, starter,that's about all that went wrong with it.Pretty easy to work on, did most of the things myself. I had to change the fuel injectors in 91 or 92, when they were using oxygenated fuel or something like that during winter months, lot of cars had simlilar problems.
I had a 1990 Firebird with the small 3.1 v6 and preferred the styling and handling over my 1992 Camaro z28 5.7 liter. It does not have good acceleration with the v6 but has amazing sound, comfort and control. The overall interior and exterior design was the best of any car I've seen (other than early Challengers) and was fun to drive even though it couldn't go nearly as fast as the Camaro.
Body design, interior, suspension, and sound (with flowmaster exhaust)
Transmission was very rough and fuel gauge wiring was faulty.
Repeatedly broke headlight motors.
I have had the pleasure of owning several versions of GM's popular Firebird/Camaro platforms. All from 1985 thru 1990. I loved each one in there own right, but the one I really do miss is my white 1990 Pontiac Firebird Formula 5.7 liter. It was fully loaded with every option in the book.power windows,power locks,cruise control,power hatch release,anti lock brakes,climate control, T-Tops, TPI 5.7 liter engine, 700R4 transmission, disc brakes, and posi rear. It was a great daily driver with awesome reliability and power. I could work on it in my driveway with basic tools and a general maintanence manual from your local auto parts store. It was a perfect mix of power and comfort for daily use.
Ease of maintanence,lots of comfort,great cruiser on highway and long commutes. Hatchback space is generous. The T-Tops for the open air cruising. The stealthy unique design looks timeless and can't be mistaken for something else.
Picking up chicks, roaring on main street, gliding threw the curvy back roads like a magic carpet. only a few thing that these car do excellently. most of the v8 Firebirds and Camaros have been BEATEN!!! and are now rusted and have more parts around them on the lawn than in them. If you want a car to burn the rubber off the wheels and leave a strip on the pavement get one with a v8 in it already (specifically a 350 (5.7 L) not a 305 (5.0 L) but if you want a car that you can say "I made this car the way it is" get a v6 (which will not been beaten!!!) and take the time and money to get a great engine and drop it in. the parts that these cars came with were not specifically made for performance
There's nothing quite like rolling threw town with the T-tops down and embarrassing a mustang
These are not improvement directed towards the manufactures but the consumer* these cars were made right after the emissions and gas crisis so a lot of minor thing have been done wrong in the right ways to make these car good fixer uppers but not pick up and go cars