2002 Pontiac Sunfire Review

Used Sunfire for sale
List Price Estimate:$847 - $1,939
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Pontiac Sunfire model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Rev-happy twin-cam engine, dealers are rebating these cars like there's no tomorrow.
  • Lack of refinement, overdone styling, old-tech engineering, sloppy handling, poor crash-test scores, uncomfortable cabin.

An aging econocoupe that's been left behind by younger competition.

Vehicle overview

The Sunfire is available as a coupe or sedan in SE (base) trim, or as a coupe in the uplevel GT series. Base model SEs come with a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 115 horsepower. A five-speed manual is standard with a four-speed automatic transmission optional. 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. Equipped with the bigger engine and the stick shift, a Sunfire is downright speedy when compared to other four-cylinder compacts.

Sunfire SE comes equipped with standard air conditioning, an AM/FM cassette stereo, antilock brakes and 24-hour roadside assistance. GT models add the upgraded 2.4-liter engine, 16-inch performance wheels and tires, a six-speaker CD stereo, leather-wrapped steering wheel and upgraded leather/cloth interior. More options are available, but be warned, adding them to the bottom line quickly raises the Sunfire's price well into the high teens. However, a careful buyer who chooses wisely should be able to score a well-equipped version for around $16,000.

Driving the Sunfire isn't much fun, never mind all the spoilers and spats decorating the exterior. When it is pushed on a twisty road, it tends to exhibit an excessive amount of body roll and tire squeal. The steering is numb, and the rear brakes are of the drum variety rather than discs. We think that at the very least the GT model should offer a more sporting demeanor to back up the car's racy looks and powerful engine.

Inside, there's practical room for four occupants, though they might find it difficult to get comfortable. The dash is composed of surprisingly good pieces of soft-touch material, and all controls are logically located and operate with refreshing simplicity. Still, there's little here to recommend. Even the premium Monsoon audio system has taken heat from our evaluators.

We think the Sunfire has little merit in the crowded compact marketplace. If it's a nice daily driver you want, nearly every other manufacturer offers something more pleasing. If performance is what you're looking for, a revival of "pocket rockets" is underway, and for the same price as a well-equipped Sunfire GT, you can buy something like a Ford SVT Focus or Nissan Sentra SE-R. And if you're simply looking for utility, take a look at Pontiac's ownVibe sport-wagon instead. It features brilliant packaging, handsome styling and Toyota running gear for around $20,000.

2002 Highlights

All models get a tilt steering wheel and an electric trunk release as standard equipment. Three new exterior colors debut, while the three-speed automatic transmission gets dropped from the lineup.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2002 Pontiac Sunfire.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

3.75 out of 5 stars
Great RELIABLE car that I miss in so many ways
SE 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M)
Mine was 4dr automatic trans. Had for 10 years, 135,000 miles. Bought as a commuter car and I give it 5 stars for that purpose. Fit and finish not so great; and cheesy design cues like the body cladding, chrome hub caps, and spoiler weren't necessary. But this car ran like a champ. No fluid or oil leaks EVER and timing CHAIN never failed. Mileage was solid 30's in mixed driving (high 20's with a/c on). Any maintenance was very simple and inexpensive. Tires cheap to replace due to small size. Finally sold it b/c P0440 evap code came up and I decided to put money towards a small SUV (I'm very outdoorsy). Great Corolla alternative.
5 out of 5 stars
Love this car
SE 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M)
Bought car new in 2002 because I liked the body style and color. Drove car liked way it handled. Never had problems just regular maintenance. Just had to replace brake hose car has 189,000 miles I put all those miles on it. Has a surface rust spot about size of silver dollar. Always take pride in my cars and take good care of them. Just sorry not able to get a new one. When I have to trade this one in. Already have a buyer waiting.
4 out of 5 stars
Not a bad car
SE 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M)
I bought this sunfire with only 16,000 miles on it and I still have it now at 133,000. I trust this car to get me where I want to go and have had no problems with it what so ever. Yes it could be more comfortable, but the lack of comfort should be expected in this type of small car. The paint is still intact and gets great fuel mileage, 30 on the highway! My daughter wants this car as soon as I get a new one. Again, no problems so far.
3 out of 5 stars
fine daily driver
SE 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M)
i've had this car for 7 years now. the only things i've had to fix that aren't considered regular maintenance are; the wire lead to the A/C compressor (stock one is too short and loses connection, wire extension can be purchased from a dealer for pretty cheap), both window motors, and an ABS connector. other than that, the car has been very reliable. i drive it daily here in the hot texas weather. it's not quite as comfortable as my old Mazda MX-6 but a suitable choice for the 1.5 hr round trip for work every day.


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

More about the 2002 Pontiac Sunfire

Used 2002 Pontiac Sunfire Overview

The Used 2002 Pontiac Sunfire is offered in the following submodels: Sunfire Sedan, Sunfire Coupe. Available styles include SE 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M), SE 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M), and GT 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M). Pre-owned Pontiac Sunfire models are available with a 2.2 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 140 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2002 Pontiac Sunfire comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual. The Used 2002 Pontiac Sunfire comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2002 Pontiac Sunfire?

Price comparisons for Used 2002 Pontiac Sunfire trim styles:

  • The Used 2002 Pontiac Sunfire SE is priced between $5,995 and$5,995 with odometer readings between 39112 and39112 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2002 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) 2002 Pontiac Sunfire for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2002 Sunfires listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $5,995 and mileage as low as 39112 miles. 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 2002 Pontiac Sunfire.

Can't find a used 2002 Pontiac Sunfires you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Pontiac Sunfire for sale - 8 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $9,784.

Find a used Pontiac for sale - 7 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $16,343.

Find a used certified pre-owned Pontiac Sunfire for sale - 2 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $21,060.

Find a used certified pre-owned Pontiac for sale - 3 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $16,571.

Should I lease or buy a 2002 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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