Pontiac Sunfire
Production 1995-2005
Class Subcompact
Body Style 2-Door Coupe
2-Door Convertible
4-Door Sedan
Length 180.9"
Width 68.7"
Height 53"
Wheelbase 104.1"
Weight 2500-2800 lbs
Transmission 5-Speed Manual, FWD
4-Speed Automatic, FWD
Engine 2.2L (134 cid) I4 (1995-2005)
2.3L (138 cid) I4 (1995)
2.4L (148 cid) I4 (1995-2005)
Power 115-150 hp
Similar Chevrolet Cavalier
Platform J

The Pontiac Sunfire was introduced in the 1995 model year as the subcompact car to replace the Sunbird. Not only was the name changed, but dramatic styling changes were included as well. The new styling was shared with the Chevrolet Cavalier, though Chevrolet did not change the Cavalier name. Also during this time, the J platform was updated structurally to meet more stringent safety standards. The Sunfire could initially be purchased as a 2-door coupe, 4-door sedan or a convertible. The Sunfire name was recycled from the Canada-only Asüna Sunfire sold only in 1993.

Here's a quick rundown:

1995-2005[edit | edit source]

The Sunfire was available in standard SE or GT trim. The GT package could be had on the coupe, and included a sporty front bumper, fog lights, twin exhausts, 16-inch alloy wheels and the more powerful 150 hp 2.3L (138 cid) I4 engine. The base model had the 120 hp 2.2L (134 cid) I4 engine. A 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission could be had with either engine. 4-door Sunfires would have a differing rear fascia than the coupe and convertible, in that the sedan had the license plate holder in the rear bumper with a blacked-out tail panel stretching between the taillights, where the coupe and convertible had a solid rear bumper with the license plate mounted in between the taillights.

In 1996, GTs got a slightly enlarged 2.4 (148 cid) I4, replacing the 2.3, but hp stayed the same at 150. The convertible would be available with the GT package in 1999, but it was dropped altogether after that year. Styling for 1995-1999 models remained more or less the same, but in 2000, a revised front and rear fascia was introduced, which included relocating the reverse lights in the lower valance panel, a styling cue borrowed from its larger Grand Am brother. The base 2.2L I4 took a 5 hp hit down to 115 that year also, but the GT coupe remained at 150. 2001 models were carryovers from 2000, but the 4-door sedan would be dropped after 2002 - only the coupe remained from 2003 to 2005.

In 2003, both the 2.2 and 2.4 engines were replaced by the new 2.2 Ecotec. The Ecotec was also available as an option in late 2002. 2003 models got another new nose with an actual grille with the parking lights beside the headlights and a revised taillight panel, which relocated the reverse lights beside the license plate once again. No real changes to speak of for either 2004 or 2005, which would be the Sunfire's last. It would be replaced in 2007 by the G5.

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See Also[edit | edit source]

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