2002 Pontiac Grand Am Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • Lots of standard features, available five-speed manual transmission, crisp handling.
  • Price creep has followed sales growth, true sport sedans need a five-speed with a V6, cheap interior pieces.
List Price Estimate
$1,164 - $2,877

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Edmunds' Expert Review

A viable import alternative, but don't expect Camry- or Accord-like resale values or build quality.

Vehicle overview

Boasting bold styling and a wide stance, the sporty Grand Am bears a strong family resemblance to its big brother, the Grand Prix. But with slightly more compact dimensions and a standard four-cylinder engine, the Grand Am is more of an Accord alternative than a true sports car. Available as a coupe or sedan, the Grand Am offers two versions of the base SE model and two versions of the upgraded GT. Both SEs come standard with an all-new 140-horse, twin cam 2.2-liter four-cylinder. Ultra compact and efficient, this new powerplant offers smoother power delivery and exceptional mileage (25 city, 33 highway). For a little more get up and go, the SE1 comes with a 3.4-liter V6 rated at 170 horsepower, but unfortunately this engine can't be mated to the five-speed manual (a four-speed automatic is standard). Both the standard GT and the upgraded GT1 models come with the 3.4-liter engine along with a stiffer sport suspension, variable assist power steering and larger 16-inch aluminum wheels.

On the inside, Grand Ams feature traditional Pontiac design cues. Though they're intended to mimic a jet fighter cockpit, we don't recall F-16s having numerous cheap plastic knobs that looked like they were swiped from a toddler's toy. Interior room is comparable to your average four-door sedan's, with nicely bolstered seats that offer solid support. All Grand Ams feature next-generation airbags for both the driver and front passenger in addition to air conditioning, a tilt steering wheel, power door locks and an AM/FM cassette stereo. SE1 models add cruise control, power windows and mirrors, a split folding rear seat and cast aluminum wheels. GT1 models further upgrade the Grand Am with a six-way power driver seat, remote keyless entry, steering wheel audio controls, a Monsoon sound system and available leather seating.

With a solid list of standard features and a suspension that favors more spirited driving than your average family sedan, the Grand Am is a viable alternative to some of the more pedestrian four-doors on the market. Although we're not particularly fond of the space-age interior design, those tired of the inherent blandness of import cabins may find Pontiac's theme refreshingly different. Factor in the very reasonable sticker price and solid drivetrain, and the Grand Am makes a solid case for itself in the crowded family sedan marketplace.

2002 Highlights

Base model SEs get a new 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine, while GTs get newly styled 16-inch wheels. All models receive a console upgrade and two new exterior colors.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2002 Pontiac Grand Am.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Passlock problems
Ali2681,05/15/2010
Until this year I have never had a problem with my Grand Am. I loved the car....that is until I started getting stranded all the time. Everyone says to wait 10 min with the key on but I always end up waiting at least 40. And it's not always my security light that goes on it's the service engine soon, trac off and ABS. I am getting really tired of having to sit in parking lots for up to an hour waiting for my car to start, how will I go grocery shopping when it's hot!? This is a BIG problem and GM needs to do a recall on this issue. I have always had a problem with the brakes on this car too.
been great so far!
alan2123,05/06/2013
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.
ROLLING UP DASH PAD
wsteadman,12/10/2011
I have a 2002 grand am se sedan 4cyl AT, AC, CDAMFM RADIO, MANNUAL SEATS. I have a problem tha Pontiac has refused to take resposiblity for. The dash pad has started to roll up, has broken the plastic defrost deflectors now the window will not defog properly (safety hazzard). The passenger side air bag is in the dash under the loose dash pad. The airbag is designed to punch thru the pad but with pad being loose it will not function properly and the loose dash pad will impact the passenger instead of the airbag..(safety/deadly hazzard) would like to know how to fix this problem. 9 of 10 gran ams I have looked at have the same problem. The subquality glue is letting go.
Timing Chain eats engine
Cracky,02/08/2010
So much for regular maintenance and synthetic oil. The 2002 2.2L ecotec has a child's bicycle chain to drive the cams and it, like thousands of others , have failed. GM knew this. They made improvements in 2003. They sent dealer bulletins but not a word to the owners. I think this is a very poor way to do business. I visited the dealership and got a world class cock and bull story with an offer to take my car in trade for $125 dollars. I'm done with GM... forever.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2002 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
    Driver1 / 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
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
    Poor
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Poor

More about the 2002 Pontiac Grand Am

Used 2002 Pontiac Grand Am Overview

The Used 2002 Pontiac Grand Am is offered in the following submodels: Grand Am Sedan, Grand Am Coupe. Available styles include SE1 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M), GT 4dr Sedan (3.4L 6cyl 4A), SE 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M), GT 2dr Coupe (3.4L 6cyl 4A), SE1 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M), GT1 4dr Sedan (3.4L 6cyl 4A), SE 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M), and GT1 2dr Coupe (3.4L 6cyl 4A).

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Which used 2002 Pontiac Grand Ams are available in my area?

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Should I lease or buy a 2002 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