Picked up this car on the cheap for driving down to the lake and back with my buddy. It had been sitting for 4 months so we knew it would take some to get it back up to speed. Typical stuff; Changed fluids, head gasket, fixed the brake lines, new stereo and cosmetic work later it has become a good car for us.
The top works great, everything electric works for being such an old car, and we get 30 mpg in the old 2.0 4 cyl with the automatic. It's nothing special, but its gets the job done.
If you take care of this car, it will take care of you.
Convertible top, great mpg, $35 to fill a tank at $3.30 a gallon, rides well for an old compact, fun car, good value if you can get it for the right price, it fits me well and I'm 6'4"
Get cruise control, back seat is one person only, fit and finish is an after thought,
I finally retired my old Sunbird at 237,000 miles. I really appreciated how good a car it was when I tried to replace it and couldn't. There is simply nothing comparable out there. Pontiac directed me to Chevy who tried to sell me a Cobalt. Real piece of junk in comparison. It is 1000 pounds heavier, has a bigger engine (not necessary) and doesn't ride as well. Fuel economy is advertised much less. (I got over 36 MPG on my Sunbird (5- speed) until about 3 years ago; I'm sure my compression was bad at the end.) Finally bought a Hyundai Elantra, but it doesn't ride as well, has a smaller trunk, and takes up more space in my crowded garage.
"Big car" ride and trunk space and "Small car" economy and overall size.
I paid $500 for this car. It needed everything. I had been seriously neglected. Rebuilt the motor, and tranny and gave it a tune up. I added a bigger turbo, and a few other goodies. It is seriously quick almost keeping up with my 04 SRT4 neon (almost). Interior is cheap, but it makes an awesome winter snow car. It even handles pretty darn good. With big exhaust is sounds alot like an old school muscle car when compared the the new honda's. The 2.0 is a very torquey motor. There is absolutely no lag when the stock turbo is being used. There's a million of them in junk yard so parts are cheap.
Turbo motor hands down, make sure the maintainence has been kept up. Oil changes on turbo cars are a must-- turbos aren't cheap.
Go for the 5 speed models, there is absolutely no cup holders and there really isn't a lot of interior space. trunk is big though for what it is.