Used 1998 Pontiac Sunfire Sedan

1998 Pontiac Sunfire
List price range
1998 Pontiac Sunfire

Pros

  • Racy styling, great value, rev-happy Twin Cam engine, comfortable interior

Cons

  • Body roll in corners

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Pontiac has a winner here. The Sunfire is poised to take on the Neon, Cavalier, Escort and assorted import compacts by offering excellent value, sporty styling and reasonable performance in one well-rounded package. For 1998, Sunfire is available in coupe, sedan and convertible body styles.

Dual airbags and ABS are standard equipment on the Sunfire. Base models are powered by a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine, which receives a boost in low speed torque for 1998. GT models get a twin-cam motor good for 150 horsepower. The twin cam is optional on the SE, and we highly recommend it, particularly mated to a five-speed manual transmission. However, one benefit of the four-speed automatic is the standard traction control system that comes with it.

Equipped with the twin cam and a manual transmission, the Sunfire is downright speedy; about as quick as the Neon Sport Coupe. The automatic raises acceleration times by about one second in the dash to 60 mph. Options on the Sunfire include sharp alloy wheels, a power sunroof and a variety of sound systems, among others. Equip an SE Coupe to the gills and suddenly the Sunfire isn't such a value at about $18,500. Creative fiddling with the options sheet should result in a well-equipped sport coupe priced around $16,000.

Pontiac hasn't changed much for 1998. All coupe models get a rear spoiler this year, and one new color is available. In an effort to appease youthful buyers, a new six-speaker sound system is available.

Recently, we drove a Sunfire SE Convertible for a week, and only had complaints about excessive body roll, an ineffective climate control system when the top was down and the windows were up and very weak stereo speakers (perhaps the new sound system will cure this malady). Otherwise, our twin-cam five-speed test car was a hoot, prompting a friend with a 1991 Mustang LX 5.0 automatic to quip, "I better get some different gears in this thing. I can't have Sunfires keeping up with me." Best of all, our well-equipped test car was very affordable.

We think the Sunfire has what it takes to succeed in the crowded compact marketplace. If anything, the Sunfire makes a strong argument against purchasing its slightly larger stablemate, the Grand Am, or its more pedestrian twin at Chevy dealers, the Cavalier. If a sporty coupe, sedan or convertible is on your shopping list, check into the Sunfire.

1998 Highlights

All coupes have a rear spoiler, a new six-speaker sound system is available, the base four-cylinder gets some additional low-end punch and Topaz Gold Metallic is added to the paint color chart. Second-generation airbags are added as standard equipment.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1998 Pontiac Sunfire.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

What will I drive next
Tea,05/28/2010
i like the car for its gas mileage, but when i go on trips that are 50 mi. or more, it's not fun to drive.
Don't Buy This
megan,11/24/2010
This was my first car purchase, I have had this car for 6 years now. It has worked alright. Shabby build I was going about 15mph and had a deer run into the side of the front fender crumpled it up completely and broke the drivers side a-arm and trashed the front clip. Master brake cylinder has severe issues replaced it 3 times and still shorts out. worst economy gas mileage a lifted pickup with a 350 gets better mileage. WASTE OF MONEY!
dint buy this car
boo,06/28/2008
I bought this car from a family friend who's mother never drove it, and had recently became too ill to use it. When I purchased it it had less than 70,000 miles. Since then I have had to replace the alternator, radiator, all four tires, the ac, the fuel injector, along with the usual upgrades. Not to mention the window cranks fell off along with the stereo knobs. This car is the worst investment and I wouldn't even want my worst enemy to drive it! I don't drive a lot and use public transportation for work and school yet somehow this car breaks down without fail once a month! Do not purchase!
Very good car
pontiac1234,01/29/2009
I have had my 98 Pontiac Sunfire for about 5 years. It only had 48,000 miles when I got and i have had no mechanical problems what so ever and I'm hitting about 150,000 miles. If you are looking for a good reliable car pick a Pontiac Sunfire or any Pontiac
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Features & Specs

MPG
21 city / 31 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
115 hp @ 5000 rpm
See all Used 1998 Pontiac Sunfire Sedan features & specs

Safety

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 1998 Pontiac Sunfire
Used 1998 Pontiac Sunfire Sedan Overview

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Find a used Pontiac Sunfire for sale - 9 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $23,662.

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Should I lease or buy a 1998 Pontiac Sunfire?

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 Sunfire lease specials