The Sunfire loses its convertible body style for 2001, while the two-door coupe and four-door sedan versions of this front-drive compact return with minor changes. The Sunfire is built from the same design as the Chevrolet Cavalier, which also drops its convertible body style.
The Sunfire is Pontiacs lowest-priced model, and the automaker is considering whether it needs a small passenger car. The Sunfire may be replaced around 2003 by a car-based sport wagon along the lines of the Aztek.
The Sunfire has different front and rear styling than the Cavalier and presents a sportier personality. All models have a standard rear spoiler, and the SE coupe and sedan come with side ribs and rocker-panel moldings. The GT model comes only as a coupe and has standard fog lights.
All models have seats for five, a floor-mounted transmission shift lever and a standard center console that includes a padded armrest; storage slots for coins, tapes and CDs; and two cupholders for the front seats. A cassette player is now standard on the SE models, matching the GT.
Under the Hood
SE models come with a 115-horsepower 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine. A dual camshaft 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 150 hp is standard on the GT coupe and optional on the SEs. Both engines are shared with the Cavalier and are available with a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission.
The Sunfire and its Cavalier cousin arent the most refined or best performing subcompacts, but both are good values among small cars. They come with a generous helping of standard features, including antilock brakes, air conditioning and a rear window defogger items that are optional on some rivals.