Used 2002 Pontiac Sunfire Sedan

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2002 Pontiac Sunfire
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2002 Pontiac Sunfire

Pros

  • Rev-happy twin-cam engine, dealers are rebating these cars like there's no tomorrow.

Cons

  • Lack of refinement, overdone styling, old-tech engineering, sloppy handling, poor crash-test scores, uncomfortable cabin.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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 2002 Pontiac Sunfire.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Great RELIABLE car that I miss in so many ways
moed88,07/13/2014
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.
Not a bad car
therover,07/31/2010
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.
Good Deal
NarleyCarley,05/24/2006
If you want a car that's cheap to drive, and cheap to buy this is it. I have done NOTHING to this except change oil and tuneup. Yes the interior is a little cheap but what do you expect? Out of the 10 something vehicles I have owned, this has been the best bang for buck. This is a great first car for your 16 year old daughter or commute to work car. A few rattles and road noise, but again the car is under $12,000. Stereo was great
Do not buy this car used
dellis,01/17/2006
Bought this car on the cheap and that is exactly what I got, a cheap car. A litany of things went wrong with this car during the first 4 years, worst of all the rotors kept warping no matter what pads and rotors I put on. Of course the dealer told me it was because they weren't OEM parts. Interior doesn't fit together snuggly, I felt like I had to fall in and climb out of this car, speakers rattle, passenger door not aligned right which was fixed by the dealer with a sledge hammer, very sluggish turn when starting, visor broke and flaps leisurely around while driving and its so loud in the cab that there is a feature that raises the radio volume automatically while driving certain speeds.
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Features & Specs

MPG
21 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
115 hp @ 5000 rpm
See all Used 2002 Pontiac Sunfire Sedan features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver1 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    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 2002 Pontiac Sunfire
Used 2002 Pontiac Sunfire Sedan Overview

The Used 2002 Pontiac Sunfire Sedan is offered in the following styles: SE 4dr Sedan (2.2L 4cyl 5M).

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

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Which used 2002 Pontiac Sunfire Sedans are available in my area?

Used 2002 Pontiac Sunfire Sedan Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2002 Pontiac Sunfire Sedan.

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

Find a used Pontiac Sunfire for sale - 8 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $13,623.

Find a used Pontiac for sale - 2 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $9,848.

Find a used certified pre-owned Pontiac Sunfire for sale - 1 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $12,765.

Find a used certified pre-owned Pontiac for sale - 12 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $22,568.

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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.

Check out Pontiac lease specials
Check out Pontiac Sunfire lease specials