1997 Pontiac Grand Prix Review

Used Grand Prix for sale
List Price Estimate:$491 - $1,201
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Styling, performance, standard dual airbags, standard anti-lock brakes, standard traction control
  • No traction control when GTP Package is ordered. Base engine could use more oomph.

Vehicle overview

Ford should worry about the new Grand Prix. Loaded with standard safety features, and available in a potent supercharged, 240-horsepower edition, Pontiac's new Grand Prix successfully blends form, function, and performance into one very appealing and affordable package.

Buyers can select from one of three available Grand Prix models: SE Sedan, GT Coupe or GT Sedan. The SE Sedan is powered by a 3.1-liter V6 engine good for 160 horsepower. Optional on SE Sedan and standard on GT Coupe and Sedan is GM's 3800 Series II 3.8-liter V6, which kicks out 195-horsepower while delivering 19 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, figures that nearly match the base powerplant. GT models can be equipped with the GTP package, which includes a supercharged 3800 V6 that makes 240 horsepower. The penalty for selecting a GTP? Traction control is not available with this powertrain. According to Pontiac, the engine generates too much power for the enhanced traction system to handle. A beefed-up version of ETS is due soon. All GT models also feature standard battery run-down protection.

Included with the GTP package is a new transmission that allows the driver to select "Normal" or "Performance" shift modes. A revised antilock brake system includes heavier brake rotors and improved brake calipers. Increased body stiffness and revisions to the front and rear suspensions provide better handling while filtering out harshness. Steering wheel vibration is reduced thanks to the addition of a cross-beam steering column support structure. All Grand Prix models benefit from long-life fluids and parts, such as coolant designed to last five years or 50,000 miles, and platinum-tipped spark plugs that last 100,000 miles under optimal conditions.

Interiors have been redesigned, and feature analog instrumentation and large, easy-to-use controls. The dashboard is busy looking in the Pontiac tradition, and is lit by a soothing red glow at night. An integrated child seat with a removable wash-out pad is optional on all models. Newly optional is the Eyecue head-up display, which projects data for speed, fuel, radio, and turn signals onto the windshield for easy viewing. Increased front seat track and track width improves comfort for passengers front and rear. The standard driver information center includes a tire-pressure monitoring system. Standard on GT Sedan and optional on GT Coupe is MagnaSteer variable effort steering, which uses magnetism to vary steering effort.

Dual airbags, antilock brakes, and traction control are standard on every Grand Prix, though ordering the GTP package on a GT model will knock traction control off the list. All 1997 Grand Prix models boast improved side-impact protection, and bumpers front and rear are designed to withstand a five-mph impact with no structural or lamp damage. Sedans feature child-safe rear door locks, and an integrated child safety seat is optional for all models.

Yes, Ford should be worried. Interest in the Taurus and aging Thunderbird has waned in recent years because buyers have been drawn to more attractive and often more affordable alternatives. With the introduction of the new Pontiac Grand Prix, we predict that the Ford battleship will take one more serious hit from the competition.

1997 Highlights

Pontiac redesigns the Grand Prix for 1997, giving buyers slick new styling, a longer and wider wheelbase and supercharged V6 power on GTP models. Traction control, antilock brakes, dual airbags and side-impact protection are standard. Optional is a built-in child safety seat.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4 out of 5 stars
97 Grand prix coupe
GT 2dr Coupe
Needless to say, I absolutely Love this car! I enjoy destroying others on the street and absolutely confident on back country roads, does not shy from bends, twists or any kind of roads, even goes nicely down dirt or gravel roads.
4 out of 5 stars
Great First Car
GTP 2dr Coupe
I absolutely enjoy my GTP. It's such a good car. It has been reliable throughout my 3 years of owning it. While it is a big car it drives like a sports car. I've done alittle bit of engine work to mine though. The 3800 is a great platform to build and work on. They will take the abuse and building power is easy and relatively cheap to reach higher power outputs.
5 out of 5 stars
Great car to own
SE 4dr Sedan
This is the first time I have ever done a review but I wanted people to know that Pontiac Grand Prix was a blast. I purchased the car in 1998 with 30,000 miles on it. I have never had any problems other than replacing the alternator several times and the usual brakes and oil. Last week the car was at 323,800 when the car finally gave up. I have owned the car for 12 years going from coast to coast in it for family vacations. It will be truly missed.
4.75 out of 5 stars
Loved this car!
GT 2dr Coupe
I bought this car with 17,000 miles on it as a program car. It's absolutely been the best car I've ever owned. I have 76,000 on it now and I doubt if I've put over $1,000 in it, including regular maintenance. It's time to think about buying a new one, but I keep trying to wait until something goes wrong with this car, and it just keeps going and going!


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

More about the 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix

Used 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix Overview

The Used 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix is offered in the following submodels: Grand Prix Sedan, Grand Prix Coupe. Available styles include GT 2dr Coupe, GT 4dr Sedan, GTP 2dr Coupe, SE 4dr Sedan, and GTP 4dr Sedan. Pre-owned Pontiac Grand Prix models are available with a 3.8 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 240 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic.

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

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

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Can't find a used 1997 Pontiac Grand Prixs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Pontiac Grand Prix for sale - 6 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $16,199.

Find a used Pontiac for sale - 2 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $21,350.

Find a used certified pre-owned Pontiac Grand Prix for sale - 4 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $14,792.

Find a used certified pre-owned Pontiac for sale - 1 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $22,223.

Should I lease or buy a 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix?

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 Prix lease specials