I bought this car in 2002 when it had less than 30,000 miles. By the time I got rid of it at 130K, both side mirrors were held up with glue, the bottom of the car was held up with a clothes hanger, the front dash was cracked, the security system cut off the fuel system at random times, the fuel gauge was broken, it burned a quart of oil every 200 miles, the power steering fluid would spill out about once every few months, all windows were broken, the shocks were shot, the fan would only work on settings 3, 4 and 5, the knob for the fan was broken and ABS light would come on went I made sharp turns and the car would skid on dry ground regularly. In short, this car was a piece of garbage.
Have has my Grand AM since 2007. Was given to me by my parents who bought the car in 1999 with 12,000 mi. The car has always had regularly scheduled maintenance and now has almost 130k mi.
I overhauled the engine at around 120k due to a spun #2 rod bearing. The 2.4l has marginal oil supply and this is fairly common. As far as doing major repairs, the car is relatively easy to work on.
The interior in this car was the absolute worst of any I have ever owned - it started to fall apart when the car was only a few years old. Power windows all broke. Central locking and climate control switches broke. Vinyl peeling off the door panels. Dash warped. Seat padding breaking down.
I do like the exterior styling of the vehicle, otherwise it leaves a lot to be desired.
As far as basic mechanical reliability, it is above average. Have replaced all the usual wear items, but have had little in the way of unexpected repairs. The spun rod bearing only occurred after I bottomed out and bent the oil pan, causing a leak and resultant drop in oil pressure.
These cars do handle reasonably well and acceleration is not bad.
The 2.4l engine is perhaps one of the worst GM ever made - Noise Vibration and Harshness is very high and at its age, everything in my car rattles when I am stopped at a light. Having said that, Power is decent, but acceleration is hampered by the balancer assy.
Could have used much better quality of interior parts.
Avoid getting the 2.4l motor
This is a fine, cheap car if you just want something that goes reliably and don't care if it looks like crap.
8 months ago, I bought a Grand Am off my friend at 140,000 miles. Turned out to be the worst decision I've made since. If I wasn't friends with a mechanic, this car would already be in the scrap pile. I've had to give it new wiring, a new starter, 2 new engine belts, a new mechanism that turns the engine belt, a new rear arm bar, and I had to remove the horn because it was faulty. The car also has a fuel pressure problem so now I pay out the nose for gas. I hate everything in this car down to the cup holders! It's cars like these that ruined Pontiac. This car is breaking my bank and my patience level. Hopefully getting a new car this week to get rid of this nightmare
It steers pretty comfortably, and I like that the back seats fold down for extra trunk space.
-To say the quality of the parts were disappointing would be the understatement of the year.
-Worst cupholders in existence.
-Awful on gas.
-Not meant to last past 120,000 miles.
I have owed this vehicle for a long time. It look goods nice interior design except for cup holder placement. The vehicle is reliable overall but requires intake manifold gasket replacement every 2-3 year. Back window motors stop working at 100k miles. Front brakes do all the work. Car has good ride a control on road. Major engine issue at 165K if you don't count gasket replacement mention above every 2-3 years.
I've had this car since it was nearly brand new and I have never had anything major go wrong with the engine. However, various stupid things go wrong with it, instead. Design flaws include: The back wheel wells were designed so rocks chip the corners of the back doors and it rusts like crazy, the security system will randomly cut off the fuel so it won't start, the exterior mirrors will break off if a light breeze blows past, there is something in the front doors that scratches the windows, and the brackets that hold up the power windows are flawed and break easily. Also, many parts are flimsy plastic that break. Other than that it's a solid vehicle that's a good size and drives well.
If you take good care of it this car runs very well. The turning radius is good for a car of its size. Great acceleration. Stops well if you keep the tires/brakes in good shape. It gets decent mpg if you don't drive it like a moron. The climate control is really good. Fairly roomy.
It would be a great car if they had just fixed the major flaws. My friend owns a 2000 and hasn't had nearly the number of problems that I have. The dealer was none too quick to do any work under warranty, so I think they knew it was a crap car from the start. Good performance, unreliable. Get a '00.