2000 Pontiac Sunfire Review

Used Sunfire for sale
List Price Estimate:$618 - $1,446
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Pontiac Sunfire model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Racy styling, comfy interior, rev-happy twin-cam engine, good value.
  • Option list can overpower sale price, body roll apparent during hard cornering.

A ghastly looking attempt at a low-budget sport coupe, the Sunfire is hopelessly outclassed by both its foreign and domestic competition.

Vehicle overview

Pontiac's Sunfire is poised to take on the Cavalier, Escort ZX2, Neon and assorted import compacts by offering value, sporty styling and capable performance in a well-rounded package. Wearing revised front and rear fascias with integrated lamps, Sunfire is available as a coupe or sedan 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. Base models come with a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine. 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 this year's new, smoother-shifting Getrag five-speed manual transmission.

Equipped with the bigger engine and a stick shift, a Sunfire is downright speedy when compared to other four-banger compacts. The automatic raises acceleration times by about a second in the dash to 60 mph. Options on the Sunfire include sharp new alloy wheels, a power sunroof and a variety of uplevel sound systems, including the 200-watt Monsoon unit. Equip an SE Coupe to the gills, watch the price soar to the mid-18s, and suddenly Sunfire isn't such a hot deal. But fiddling with the options sheet should land you a sporty, well-equipped coupe priced at around $16,000.

The move to more aggressive-looking fascias and rocker-panel moldings was intended to boost Sunfire's image with young buyers. That goal also fueled the move to better sound systems, as well as improvements in interior functionality, features and storage space for things like compact discs or cassettes. And Pontiac even adds a racy decklid spoiler (optional on sedans).

Our only complaint about driving the Sunfire is that when it is pushed to its limits, it tends to exhibit an excessive amount of body roll, especially the heavier convertible version. We think the ragtop and GT models should offer a more sporting suspension to back up the car's sporty looks. On the plus side, all the well-equipped models we've tested so far carried an affordable price tag.

We think the Sunfire has what it takes to succeed in the crowded compact marketplace. Feature for feature, 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 you're interested in a Sunfire Convertible, this'll likely be you last chance, as it is rumored to be dropped later this year. But even if you're left to choose from only the coupe or sedan, the Sunfire deserves a look.

2000 Highlights

Redesigned front and rear fascias for a sportier appearance, a new five-speed manual transmission and the availability of the premium Monsoon audio system lead Sunfire's upgrade list for 2000. There are also restyled rocker-panel moldings, new wheels and exterior colors, as well as a revised instrument panel cluster, floor console and upholstery.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2000 Pontiac Sunfire.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4.38 out of 5 stars
Fun and Reliable
justin_c_wood,08/02/2013
SE 4dr Sedan
I bought this car with 198 000km on it and it now has 218 000km. This is my first car and I'm very happy with it. All I've done besides regular maintenance ( tires, brakes, spark plugs, oil and e.t.c) is replace a heater fan van vent motor and an idler pulley. Both were cheap to replace. I also find it accelerates decently for a pushrod 4 cylinder motor with the manual 5spd. When driven easy, it's not too hard to attain around 32mpg highway.
4.88 out of 5 stars
Love It
Giggles,10/05/2008
SE 4dr Sedan
I love my car and I love everything about it. I have had it for over 8 years and have never had any mechanical problems at all. It is one of the most reliable vehicles I've ever had. Even though it is a small car it handles better than a lot of 4 wheel drive trucks. I don't think I can say enough good things about it. I love the look of it and the interior. I would recommend this car to everyone.
3.38 out of 5 stars
Good car
banbam,10/06/2014
SE 4dr Sedan
My dad bought this car for my sister. She was rear ended and then decided she didn't want the car so I took it. I'm not a fan of the styling at all. The engine is really underpowered for my liking, and I have the 4 speed auto. It's a good car though. I've had it for over a year now and all I've done was replace the tires, when we bought the car, replace the brake pads, replace the starter, replace the battery, and an oil change. Maintenance really. I've added a sound system and tinted windows and its a pretty enjoyable ride now. And being 6'2" I can say that I can fit somewhat comfortably, no longer than 2-3 hours though. I'd say as a girls first car this would be great.
3.88 out of 5 stars
Great Reliable little car
Lesley Draper,08/07/2003
SE 4dr Sedan
Bought the car in 1999, and during the almost four years I have had it, it has cost me, one battery f & R Brake jobs, 2 sets of tires, new T-stats. This car is prone to heat up when on hard pulls in hot weather. Even rund over half hot in cold weather. Have had no major problems, still gets good gas mileage, and handles great. Good in snow too. It could be a litle more comfotrable, but seems equal to many cars in it's catagorie. Keep tranny fluid up, and change the oil every 2k. I use synthetic oil and it gets better performance. I would buy another...For the price it's a winner!

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 2000 Pontiac Sunfire

Used 2000 Pontiac Sunfire Overview

The Used 2000 Pontiac Sunfire is offered in the following submodels: Sunfire Sedan, Sunfire Coupe, Sunfire Convertible. Available styles include GT 2dr Coupe, SE 4dr Sedan, SE 2dr Coupe, and GT 2dr Convertible. Pre-owned Pontiac Sunfire models are available with a 2.4 L-liter gas engine or a 2.2 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 150 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2000 Pontiac Sunfire comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.

What's a good price on a Used 2000 Pontiac Sunfire?

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Which used 2000 Pontiac Sunfires are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2000 Pontiac Sunfire for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2000 Pontiac Sunfire.

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Should I lease or buy a 2000 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.

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Check out Pontiac Sunfire lease specials