2001 Pontiac Firebird Review

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful V6, spectacular V8, true muscle-car performance at a bargain price.
  • Boy-racer-in-gold-chains image, cheesy interior plastic, V8 nets sky-high insurance rates.
Other years
List Price Estimate
$2,862 - $6,452

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Although were not thrilled by the cheap plastic interior and poor visibility, the Firebird never fails to serve up plenty of cheap tire-smokin' fun.

Vehicle overview

The Pontiac Firebird is a car meant to convey sex appeal. Its blend of angular greenhouse lines and softly bulging sheetmetal creates the automotive equivalent of a supermodel in a silk nightgown. Unfortunately, the bespoilered Trans Am (with its aero skirting, decklid "batwing" and louvered side scoops) ruins the effect. Not to worry; the midlevel Formula provides all of the T/A's hardware and go-fast goodies in a more restrained-looking, lighter, less costly package. The Firebird's cockpit is a futuristic blend of style and function, and is better executed than that of its corporate twin, the Chevrolet Camaro. Dual airbags and antilock brakes are standard, and the optional traction-control system can be ordered on all models. Additionally, convertible versions of Firebird and Trans Am are available (but not Formula), for a corresponding boost in price. Performance from the Corvette-derived LS1 V8 is nothing short of astounding, providing enough grunt to get the Firebird to 60 mph faster than your 10-year-old can get to 40 yards. The pushrod 5.7-liter that comes standard on Formula and Trans Am now makes 310 horsepower (up five from last year), and a more-important 340 foot-pounds (five more than last year) of tire-blistering torque. Want even more? A Ram Air WS6 performance and handling package for the T/A is available (the Formula version has been dropped for 2001), featuring twin hood scoops that force cool air into the engine, resulting in 15 extra ponies. WS6 suspension tuning and 275/40ZR-17 rubber keep the Ram Air Firebird planted to the ground, while a dual-outlet exhaust system is the last thing most poor souls trying to catch you will see. All V8 models come standard with a four-speed automatic transmission; a six-speed manual is a no-cost option. Base Firebirds are powered by a 3800 Series II V6 that makes a peppy 200 horsepower, and can be optioned with a performance package of their own. This "insurance special" includes bigger tires, a limited-slip differential, dual exhaust and uplevel steering. A slick-shifting, five-speed manual transmission is standard on the V6.

With world-class powertrains and hot-looking sheetmetal at a low base price, the Firebird fries Ford's Mustang, not only at the stoplight but also at the racetrack. Problem is, Ford's beloved pony car is pummeling Pontiac's performance flagship in dealer showrooms, outselling this GM F-body at better than a 3-to-1 clip. While Mustang's packaging and refinement may have earned it a wider audience, Firebird wears its modern-day muscle-car crown well. If this powerful pony car legend has been on your wish list for a while, the time to act is now. The current F-body's days are numbered, with 2002 as the last model year. If the Camaro/Firebird nameplates live on into the new millennium, look for them to be reborn in a vastly different form on an all-new platform.

2001 Highlights

For 2001, V8-equipped Formula and Trans Am receive five more horsepower and five more pound-feet of torque, new exterior and interior colors join the palette and the Ram Air Formula is dropped from the lineup.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2001 Pontiac Firebird.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Luv my weekend toy
crazygrrrl,08/01/2010
At 45,000 miles, this is the only car I've ever bought new that I've never regretted buying. I would buy one again in a heartbeat if GM sells them again. The v6 may be an old design but it is strong and reliable, and my car has never left me stranded. I get compliments all the time. I love the fact that you can see the engine and all hoses, belts, etc. newer cars have that awful plastic cover that hides everything. This car is easy to work on, aftermarket parts are readily available even after GM killed Pontiac. This is definitely an enthusiast's car. It's fun to drive and comfortable too! I love this car. I'm going to keep it until I get too old to drive.
Best Car Ever
01TransAm,09/21/2010
A more beautiful (yet mean looking), fun to drive, and comfortable car has never been made. I have the WS6, automatic, and it is still practically like new. The only thing it really needed that is not stock is subframe connectors to get rid of the body roll. I completely disagree with the Edmunds review about the interior. The interior plastic is not cheap. It it much better looking than any new car interior, plus the lumbar support leather seats are top notch. The proportions are perfect - low profile, long hood, enough of a back seat to put stuff in. Millage is 17 city, over 25 if all highway, which is not bad, but who really cares anyway.
trans am ws6 review
t/a man,12/12/2003
Though minor problems have been experienced, such as mass airflow sensor,this car is a joy to own, and even more fun to drive. Reliability has never been an issue,nor has ride quality, as some might think. The ws6 ram air package is also worth it's weight in gold. In summary, I would most definately recommend this car to anyone in the market, and I plan to still have this car for many, many years to come.
LOVE THIS CAR!!!!
ksford1,02/03/2014
14 yrs. ago I was in a Pontiac dealership having a repair on my 1990 Sunbird, it was already at 150K mile. So as I was wondering around the showroom and spied a Red T-Top 75th Anniversary Edition Firebird! Can you say IMPULSE BUY?! Well I've never been disappointed with her. She sits in my driveway right now, looking just as good as she did the day I drove her home, and a few offers to buy her. Sure, there could be more room in the back seat, have replaced EGR Valve, a headlight issue I solved, and recently a new ignition cylinder, but she's got almost 140k miles and I've Loved every one of them! I plan on giving her to my great-nephew in 3 years for his High School Graduation, or not...

Features & Specs

See all Used 2001 Pontiac Firebird features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2001 Pontiac Firebird

Used 2001 Pontiac Firebird Overview

The Used 2001 Pontiac Firebird is offered in the following submodels: Firebird Hatchback, Firebird Convertible, Firebird Trans Am. Available styles include Formula 2dr Hatchback (5.7L 8cyl 4A), 2dr Convertible (3.8L 6cyl 5M), 2dr Hatchback (3.8L 6cyl 5M), Trans Am 2dr Convertible (5.7L 8cyl 4A), and Trans Am 2dr Hatchback (5.7L 8cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2001 Pontiac Firebird?

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Which used 2001 Pontiac Firebirds are available in my area?

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Should I lease or buy a 2001 Pontiac Firebird?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Pontiac lease specials
Check out Pontiac Firebird lease specials