Used 1999 Pontiac Sunfire Coupe

1999 Pontiac Sunfire
List price range
1999 Pontiac Sunfire

Pros

  • Racy styling, comfy interior, rev-happy twin-cam engine, good value.

Cons

  • Option list can overpower sale price, body roll apparent during hard cornering.

Used 1999 Pontiac Sunfire Coupe for Sale

Pontiac Sunfire 1999 GT 2dr Convertible
184,956 miles
Used 1999
Pontiac Sunfire
GT
Diehl's Ford Sales
98.3 mi away
List$3,995
Est.Loan: $82/mo
View Details

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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 a well-rounded package. The '99 Sunfire is available as a coupe, sedan or convertible in SE (base) trim, and as a coupe or convertible in the GT (uplevel) series. Dual airbags, ABS and an anti-theft system are standard equipment. A 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine, which last year received a boost in low-end torque, powers base models. Power is rated at 115 horsepower, and can be fed through the standard five-speed manual or optional three- and four-speed automatics. GT models get a slightly larger 16-valve four-cylinder, good for 150 horsepower. The GT's 2.4-liter twin-cam motor 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 bigger engine 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, watch the price soar to the mid-18s, and suddenly the Sunfire isn't such a strong value. Creative fiddling with the options sheet should result in a well-equipped sport coupe priced around $16,000.

Other than offering the convertible in GT trim, Pontiac hasn't changed much for 1999. Improvements to the 2.4-liter twin-cam engine include fuel injectors, fuel injector rails, exhaust manifold and catalytic converter. A decklid spoiler, standard on coupe models, is now optional on sedans, and one new color is available. Sunfire has nooks and crannies in the console and on the door panels to store things like compact discs or cassettes, and sports a huge, 12.7-liter glovebox, big enough to store and average-sized purse or even a 12-pack of soda and an ice pack. For the more musically oriented buyer, a six-speaker sound system is available.

We drove a Sunfire SE Convertible for a week, and had complaints only about excessive body roll, an ineffective climate control system when the top was down and weak stereo speakers (perhaps we should recommend the six-speaker sound system to cure this malady). Otherwise, our twin cam-powered 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 carried an affordable price tag.

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 small but sporty coupe, sedan or convertible is on your shopping list, check into the Sunfire.

1999 Highlights

After Sunfire coupes got a rear spoiler last year, this year it's the sedan's turn, only as an option. The top-line 2.4-liter twin-cam engine is revised to improve breathing, including new fuel injectors, injection rails, exhaust manifold and catalytic converter. Fern Green Metallic is added to the paint color chart.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1999 Pontiac Sunfire.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

3 engines! 2.4 L
terror 6,04/09/2010
My sunfire, while fun to drive, has had nothing but problems. It had a wiring issue that 12 "technicians" at RON TONKIN LIARS AUTO sales could not find. Pontiac said there wasn't any known issues or recalls. I bought this car with 60,000 miles. It had already had a motor replaced with another used one that the LIARS at R.T.K. didn't tell me about. Since I bought it I have had to replace the 2.4 engine at 80,000 and now I have a rod knocking at 100,000. The vehicle gets routine oil changes, has never been over-revved and has never overheated. But yet I am looking at yet another engine swap. I baby this 4 cylinder and it still went pear shaped. Where is the Pontiac of old?
I like my car!
Melanie,10/17/2007
I have to say that I have enjoyed this vehicle and was pleased with its reliability. Do buy the extended warranty, though, as things can go amiss. Muffler still new however I've had to replace the big muffler brackets a couple of times. Bit of a gas guzzler. This past year leaves me with a problem with the driver's side door lock - any cold or condensation makes it virtually impossible to unlock. Apparently this is an ongoing issue with the Sunfire. After replacing the tumbler, then the hinges and lubing the door clasp, I am hoping this winter will be better and I won't have to climb in over the stick shift through the passenger side. I trust my car and it's been very good to me.
Lemon City
MaryBeth ,01/02/2005
I purchase this car brand new. I had the car for a week and the speed gauges went out. I had to change the oxygen sensors three times. The battery went dead after three months. The electrical system had to be rewired after 3 mos. The front windshield cracked after two years. The car burned up a full tank of gas in three days. The car began to overheat and a component was added to regulate the temperature. Four years later the transmission went out and left me stranded on the side of the road. The trans would cost me $1900 to fix with a warranty. To top it off the moonroof went out. I had 50,000 miles which is low mileage because it stayed in the shop broken down. MS residents beware
love it!
brookany,06/17/2008
Overall a great car... loves the cold weather, fun to drive, handles great, looks great. Sometime starts funny in hot weather. The ABS kicks in at weird, inappropriate times.
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Features & Specs

MPG
20 city / 30 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
150 hp @ 5600 rpm
MPG
21 city / 31 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
115 hp @ 5000 rpm
See all Used 1999 Pontiac Sunfire Coupe features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver1 / 5
    Passenger2 / 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
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Poor

More about the 1999 Pontiac Sunfire
Used 1999 Pontiac Sunfire Coupe Overview

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Find a used Pontiac Sunfire for sale - 2 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $12,258.

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Should I lease or buy a 1999 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