• (3.9) 17 reviews
  • MSRP: $445–$5,569
  • Body Style: Coupe
  • Combined MPG: 28-29
  • Engine: 140-hp, 2.2-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel Drive
2002 Pontiac Sunfire

Our Take on the Latest Model 2002 Pontiac Sunfire

2002 Pontiac Sunfire Reviews

Vehicle Overview
Essentially the same in design as the Chevrolet Cavalier, the front-drive Sunfire subcompact is Pontiac’s lowest priced model. Soon after the 2002 model year begins, the Sunfire will gain a new 140-horsepower, 2.2-liter four-cylinder Ecotec engine, which becomes standard in the Sunfire GT and optional for SE models. A tilt wheel and electronic trunk release are now standard, and an auxiliary power outlet will be installed on later models.

The Sunfire is available as a coupe and sedan, while the sporty GT model comes only as a coupe. Both the Sunfire and Cavalier may receive face-lifts for the 2003 model year and will be in GM’s lineup for a while longer before brand-new models replace them.

The Sunfire wears Pontiac’s sportier personality and features different front and rear styling than Chevrolet’s Cavalier. A rear spoiler is standard, and the SE coupe and sedan display side ribs and rocker-panel moldings. The GT coupe has standard fog lights.

Mounted on a 104.1-inch wheelbase, the Sunfire sedan measures 181.8 inches long overall, and the coupe is just a hair longer. Sedans stand 54.7 inches tall vs. 53 inches for two-door Sunfires.

As many as five occupants fit inside the Sunfire, with its front buckets and three-place rear seat. The Sunfire has a floor-mounted transmission shift lever. The standard center console includes a padded armrest, two cupholders for front occupants, and storage slots for coins, tapes and CDs. A cassette player is standard on both models. Air conditioning and a rear-window defogger also are standard.

Under the Hood
The SE model comes with a 115-hp, 2.2-liter four-cylinder, and the GT coupe will gain a new 140-hp, 2.2-liter dual-overhead-camshaft four-cylinder Ecotec engine, which will be optional in the SE. A 150-hp, 2.4-liter twin-cam four-cylinder is optional for both models. A five-speed-manual transmission is standard, and a four-speed automatic is optional. Antilock brakes are standard, and side-impact airbags are not available.

Driving Impressions
Decked out with extra body trim, the Sunfire may look sportier than its Chevrolet Cavalier cousin, but the driving experience isn’t much different. Both models have been around for a long time. They aren’t the most refined or the best-performing small cars on the market, especially since so many competitors have been introduced recently.

Acceleration with the GT is considerably stronger, as expected, but handling with any model leans more toward the ordinary side. Even so, a reasonably spacious Sunfire still qualifies as a good value for shoppers who seek sensible transportation and don’t demand the latest in technology, safety features or fashionable styling.


Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2002 Buying Guide

Consumer Reviews


Average based on 17 reviews

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Pontiac Sunfire

by Montreal, Quebec from on September 9, 2017

This car has been a real gem! Havent had any repairs done to it in 10 years other than general maintenance. It still runs super well, has no rust and is very comfortable. Now that its 15 yrs old & nee... Read Full Review

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3 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2002 Pontiac Sunfire trim comparison will help you decide.

Pontiac Sunfire Articles

2002 Pontiac Sunfire Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $5,000 per year.

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Warranty Coverage

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.


Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

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