so i got the car when it was 8 years old with 5,000 miles on it, previously owned by my grandmother as an extra car.
haven't had to do anything major on it since owning it, biggest annoyance is that every time i have something break and i can't figure out what is broken to cause my problem i find the answer online telling me that this crap happens all the time on this model. lots of interior pieces broke or warped due to gm using plastics that deteriorate after 5 years, as i was told by a gm employee.
lots of little quirks, but car has never left me stranded.
would be a solid first car for some teen, as fun to drive as a honda, which is saying something.
abs and traction control is standard, and works well, in the south at least, never driven on snow or ice.
have definitely abused this car and it has taken it in stride.
replace the entire interior with metal or plastic that doesn't fall apart after 5 years... :(
and make it comfortable for tall people, i had to remove the sun visor so i could see, my head is constantly in the ceiling.
*Note this is a "sports" car your insurance will be expensive
I bought it May 2013 (MY first car :D) $1,800 and 147K miles. Mine is a Canadian car (I live in Michigan) so everything is metric/km :S
But yeah good mpg, very rust resistant, lots of power for lil' 4 cyl, after 9 months still reliable.
Problems: The seats and various useless plastics are breaking. The previous owner wore down the springs, catalytic converter went (I hear this is a common problem, I bought mine online $75 and had Tuffy put it in $45.
12 years old and most everything on the car is factory gear! (Although not good in some cases..)
That I dont have to keep fixing it :P
chain is in the engine >:0
So DO NOT LET YOUR OIL GO DOWN!
and the dipstick comes sideways out the engine so its hard to tell, frustrating.
2002 Pontiac Grand Am SE1 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M)
I bought mine used in 2005 with 60k miles on it.
I am just now (in mid 2013) through steps to fix it up a little to resell or trade in.
I was attracted to it because I could by afford it, and it had a pretty sexy looking body style, an ergonomic interior design, and a nice little dose of low end torque.
It was a bright red car and I dubbed it 'the Ferrari.'
I have been through a lot with it and have kept it so long that I have spent almost as much insuring it as I did to buy it.
The downside is that it is a General Motors car from an era where the passenger cars where he trim, plastics, and electrical systems suffer from poor design and durability.
Mechanically the car is perfectly capable with proper maintenance.
I was able to drive around on it for two years with a damaged tie-rod end, so It will survive some abuse.
The 3.4L V6 engine had a pretty decent amount of torque, giving you the option of speeding away from some situations instead of slamming on the brakes.
The powertrain configuration had surprising fuel mileage on the highway, with the cruise set at 70 mph it averaged a little over 30 mpg.
For a smaller mid-size sedan it has a healthy amount of space including decent leg room for rear passengers, including a large amount of trunk space that could be combined by dropping the rear seats for light cargo.
The dashboard in car should never have to be replaced.
This is one of those models where the vinyl is glued down and the glue gives up, the vinyl rolls back, and then all the plastic fittings start popping out.
This effect is difficult to manage, and a replacement dash costs over 1k installed.
I describe the electrical systems in this car as 'awful.'
Over time, the cruise control, horn, passlock III ignition system, CD player, and other items had all ceased functioning properly.
All those repairs would require overpriced diagnostics for cheap parts at a dealership.
The window regulators have faulty clips that cannot be replaced without purchasing the entire unit, simply a poor design.
We have owned this car since it was brand new. it now has 209400 miles on it! I've out in an alternator, window wiper motor, and a new ignition. it still needs a couple things, like a new indicator switch because it makes a ticking noise while off, but for how long it's lasted and the little work its needed, it has been a great car! it still runs great, and I'll probably get it up to 250000 miles before I sell it.
I don't have any of the options, and I don't really have any favorite features. I got the base car with the 4cyl. and automatic trans. it goes pretty fast though, and is decently comfortable. I guess if I had to pick a favorite feature it would be the engine. decent power, great gas mileage, and it's really durable.
nothing really. I better indiator switch would've been nice, and a radio with all the leds working. but that's it really. as long as you let the car warm up before driving it, it can last a really long time. I'm hoping for a few more years and a few more miles even though I'd love to have a new car.
2002 Pontiac Grand Am SE1 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M)
I have a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am SE, 4 door, 4 cylinder automatic. This is/was my first car that I bought back in april 2009 I believe. This has been a reliable car for me. Mostly daily driving - school, work, etc. Mostly a town driver, then drove about 25 miles away daily for college. The only serious problem I had was a misfire and a new coil pack fixed that. Routine oil changes, brake pads and tires have been all this car has needed. I drove this car from Wisconsin to Tennesee and back at about 130,000 miles and it did wonderful. I get 24-26 mpg city and probably 30-32 highway. All in all, no big complaints. I do think the car is kind of ugly on the outside but oh well :)
Power windows, power locks, comfortable driver and passenger seats.