Used 1997 Pontiac Grand Am

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1997 Pontiac Grand Am
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1997 Pontiac Grand Am

Pros

  • Cheap thrills, sporty image, fun Twin Cam engine

Cons

  • Aging platform, poor handling, uncomfortable seats
Pontiac Grand Am years

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Last year, Pontiac gave the Grand Am a fresh exterior look and an all-new interior. This year, changes are limited to the addition of air conditioning to the standard equipment list for the SE, and the addition of three new colors. Despite the Grand Am's six-year-old design, and decade old chassis, it is one of the hottest sellers in the GM stable. We doubt the dearth of updates will cause sales to nosedive in 1997.

Under the hood, a twin-cam 2.4-liter engine is standard on all models. A 3.1-liter V6 is optional, but requires an automatic shifter. Traction control is included with the automatic transmission. Antilock brakes are standard equipment. Daytime running lights were added to the Grand Am last year, and they remain for 1997. You can defeat them by pulling up the hand brake handle one notch, though when we did this during a recent test of a Saturn SL2, the brake engaged ever so slightly. Be sure you aren't damaging your parking brake using this method. PASSlock theft deterrent is standard on all Grand Ams. Variable effort steering is available on both trim levels.

We drove a Grand Am SE sedan last year, and weren't impressed. Nose-heavy handling, uncomfortable seats, and a generally displeasing interior were to blame for our malaise. The twin-cam engine, though boomy at higher revs, was a fun engine, even when connected to an automatic transmission. We came away from our test drive non-plussed, unable to understand what makes this car so popular, aside from its low price.

In its sixth year on the market, the Grand Am is sure to remain Pontiac's best-selling model. It offers stylish good looks and reasonable performance, yet remains a decent value. These attributes combined can be the only explanation for the Grand Am's continued popularity. The SE model is our pick, because it can be equipped to GT specs without the false performance pretensions and higher price of that premium trim level. Budget minded shoppers may want to investigate the twin-cam Sunfire, which offers more equipment and better performance for less money.

1997 Highlights

Very minimal changes this year as Pontiac concentrates on Grand Prix and Trans Sport launches. Air conditioning is now standard. Also, three new colors are added.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Pontiac Grand Am.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Impressed
StellaGomez,11/06/2010
I bought this car used from a friend who had bought it used. I have no idea how well it was taken care of before I bought it, but I assume not very well. I have owned it for three years and have yet to have a problem with it. There are interior/cosmetic issues from previous use but it has never been a problem for me. I've driven two hour trips across Michigan several times and never had a problem. This is one tough car. Perfect for a student/young driver who just drives in town and who is on a budget.
1997 Pontiac GRAND AM SE 2 dr 2.4 ltr Automatic
larrytauch,01/21/2014
We purchased the GRAND AM SE 2dr 2.4 ltr Automatic with 39k January 14th 2014. Runs, Drives, Handles, and Comfortable Vehicle!
Best car ever owned
tom,10/14/2010
I bought this 97 grand am in fort hood, tx back in 2005, mind you car already 8 years old. Make a long story short 13 years later and 182,000 miles the only thing I have majorly replaced was the cooling intake and flex pipe by manifold. I see a lot of complaints about this car, make a long story short reason this car is at 182,000 and still going change oil right at 3000 miles. Injector cleaner every other fill up, plugs done at every 5000 miles and etc. Once again best car I ever had
Never will buy again!
cheerjill23,06/04/2008
I got this car as a gift and have had nothing but problems with it. Replaced brakes too many to count, alternator 2X, front shakes all the time, coolant constantly low and over heats. Never sure if I would make it to where I needed to go. Didn't even make it to 115,000 miles. Coolant would leak and have to refill every 7- 10 days.
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Features & Specs

MPG
20 city / 30 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
150 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
20 city / 30 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
150 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 1997 Pontiac Grand Am 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
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    0

More about the 1997 Pontiac Grand Am
Used 1997 Pontiac Grand Am Overview

The Used 1997 Pontiac Grand Am is offered in the following submodels: Grand Am Sedan, Grand Am Coupe. Available styles include GT 4dr Sedan, GT 2dr Coupe, SE 4dr Sedan, and SE 2dr Coupe.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Pontiac Grand Am?

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Which used 1997 Pontiac Grand Ams are available in my area?

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Find a used Pontiac Grand Am for sale - 9 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $12,075.

Find a used Pontiac for sale - 2 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $13,722.

Find a used certified pre-owned Pontiac Grand Am for sale - 3 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $10,888.

Find a used certified pre-owned Pontiac for sale - 9 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $24,779.

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Should I lease or buy a 1997 Pontiac Grand Am?

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 Grand Am lease specials