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Pontiac Grand Am, Sedan
#1071 of 2589 Pontiac Grand Am GT, Chevrolet Impala Base, or Oldsmobile Alero GLS? Which is the best buy?
Jul 04, 2001 (10:56 am)
My dad is looking at these three cars. He currently drives a 1999 GL Alero with a 2.4 four cylinder. It has standard items like power doors, windows, and mirrors nothing extra. He has decided to buy the next car because of this great deal where you turn in your lease car and pay nothing as long as you buy another GM vehicle and these three have come up as possible candidates. He is unsatisfied with the performance of the alero but said that it was comfortable and good looking. So he is looking at these cars all of which have and a sunroof, with a high grade sound system and cd player and good looking wheels and bigger tires. He likes all three, but I want him to get something different than an Alero even with a V6. I like the Grand Am the best with the sleek lines and ram air V6. The Impala doesn't do anything for me and the Alero gave him problems which is certain to be the engine. So he thinks that given time and a more proven engine will help the reliability. His main concerns are reliability, performance, and safety. All three will have the 3400 V6 engine. Which is the best buy? Which has the best performance, safety, and reliability? If you have any thoughts on which is better or if there are better GM cars for the money please write back. Any thoughts, suggestions, or comments will be helpful. Thanks!
#1072 of 2589 Homer61388
Jul 07, 2001 (8:44 am)
I would get the Impala. The looks aren't much, but it is a lot more car for the money. The Canadian plant where the Impala is built produces some of GM's highest quality cars. The car was designed to be a police car, with heavy duty brakes, stronger frame, plus it is almost as roomy as a Crown Victoria.
#1073 of 2589 1000+ messages later
Jul 08, 2001 (5:08 pm)
Greetings one and all. This will be my first post here so please be kind with respect for my newbieness Anyways, I've read this whole blasted thread of messages so that I can go into buying a new car having done my research.
I've narrowed the field down to three cars, the Mercury Cougar, the Dodge Stratus R/T, and the Pontiac GA GT. I test drove all three and immediately following the Cougar test drive my field was narrowed to two. The Cougar's interior is very plasticky feeling and the ride was infinitely more jarring than the GA or the R/T. The dang thing is so small too and I'm not by any means a Ford man so pfffft on them and their Cougar.
I like the advertised gas mileage of the GA, but having read this board I see results vary, but are usually lower than the sticker, probably the same for the R/T.
I'm not a fan of the cladding so I'd likely get a GT w/o the Walmart shield, I'm not afraid of taking up two spaces or walking from the bottom of the lot if that's what I have to do.
The R/T is more expensive and I'm already overextending myself somewhat for a Grand Am so money matters might end up making the choice for me. Dodge is infamous for transmission problems so if I have to choose between the GA's brake woes and the Dodge's trannie fiascos I'll take the brakes.
I do have some questions I'm hoping you all can answer for me.
1) Are the water leak woes present on 01 GTs? I read the whole dang board but I didn't take notes so I can't remember if those problems were pre-01 or if they were SE only or what.
2) Somebody said the brake woes are only on 15% of the cars, does that mean the seeming over-representation on this board is due to a vocal minority or are the brake problems more widespread?
3) I read over the TSBs and one says that when the Service Engine light is on the trannie shifts are more harsh. Has anybody experienced this when dealing with the "gas cap" issue?
4) The TSBs also mention an erratic fuel gauge...any experience with that?
5) The TSBs also mention ATF leaks at either the cooler line seals or at the axles...again, any experience?
6) Another TSB mentions problems with the keyless entry features...last time I swear, any experience?
7) My local dealer said Pontiac doesn't offer 4 or 6-disc in-dash CD changers(Mercury and Dodge do), has anybody installed aftermarket products of this nature?
8) Is the monsoon system all it's hyped to be by the dealer? I didn't have a cassette or cd with me on the test drive so I didn't get to try it out.
9) Timing belt or chain on the GT? My guess would be belt(heaven only knows why makers have forsaken the chain).
Both the R/T and the GAGT are sexy cars, but I'm thinking the GA gives better bang for the buck, even if it is 20 less ponies with the 3.5 ram air.
Thanks in advance for any info and what do you all think...biased opinions expected...R/T or GAGT?
#1074 of 2589 Re: 1000+ messages later
Jul 08, 2001 (8:17 pm)
I've had my 2001 GT for a few months and I am quite pleased with it. Here are some answers that I have to a few of your questions:
1. My car hasn't leaked water at all. I've gone through car washes and washed it myself, never with a drop of water inside the car.
2. I haven't had any brake problems either. I find the brakes to work just fine.
4. My fuel gauge has worked just fine also, I find it very accurate. However, I have experienced less than desirable gas mileage (about 23mpg with many highway miles, but maybe I'm doing more city driving that I realize? I don't know).
6. My keyless entry works just great. I can set the alarm or unlock the doors from quite a distance too, I've noticed.
8. I used to have a nice stereo in my old car, but now I have the monsoon stereo with CD. I like the sound. I usually listen at a sound level of about 1 or 1.5. I think it goes up to 10 or so, so I would say it is rather loud and doesn't distort. I like the stereo, for being a factory installed one.
The only stratus I've been in is my friends and I'd say that I like the GA GT quite a bit more. The stratus is nice, but I like the styling and I think the GA feels a bit peppier. I hope this info helps you in your decision. Please let us know which you pick and how you like it. Thanks.
Jul 09, 2001 (5:01 am)
You can't really compare the two. A better comparison would be Impala and Grand Prix. Impala WAS designed to be a police car, but now they are FWD and have lost many of the other police package features. As for getting more for your money, the GA comes standard w/ more features than the Impala. But then again they are different cars...
Jul 12, 2001 (1:34 pm)
DECIDED ON THE 195 70 14'S BEING THAT THIS IS WHAT THE FACTORY REQUIRES. I SAW A 88 GRAND AM WITH THE 215 60 14 AND IT DIDN'T LOOK RIGHT. THIS IS A VERY LARGE TIRE AND IT TAKES UP MOST OF THE WHEEL WELLS. I THINK SOME RUBBING MIGHT OCCUR. MY QUESTION IS I'M LOOKING FOR A PERFORMANCE TIRE THAT'S IN THAT SIZE STATED ABOVE THAT IS SOMEWHAT INEXPENSIVE, BUT GOOD QUALITY. HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS.(FIRESTONE IS OUT OF THE QUESTION)
Jul 20, 2001 (5:09 am)
I'm coming up on 32K mileage on my 99 GT. Haven't had any problems since a few minor warranty things were fixed over a year ago. I had the rotors replaced and the inside fabric on the front doors replaced (near the windows).
Other than a minor squeak when closing the driver door window, there aren't any problems with the car now. I'm averaging 24-25 mpg in mixed driving.
I still get compliments on the car all the time, and usually from people my age (40). And the bright red color just makes the 2-year old car look brand new. People think I wash it every week even if it goes unwashed for a month.
And my neighbor just told me that his 16-year old daughter wants to buy my car from me. Apparently the GT is all the rage with high school kids in my area. Guess I won't have any trouble selling it when and if I do!
#1078 of 2589 Signal Lights out of wack!!!!!!!!
Jul 20, 2001 (3:09 pm)
I hope someone can help me resolve a problem I have with my 1999 Grand Am SE. The car in general has been problem free except for a few small, rather irritating problems. The latest problem has been with the turning signals or flashers. Whenever I go to signal left or right (it doesn't matter which way), after about 30 seconds I can still hear the ticking of the flashers. It drives me nuts!!!! I brought it to the dealership and they told me that it was a bulb that was gone. they fixed it and 2500kms later I have the same problem!! The problem I have is when they fixed it, the car was under warranty 58,000kms, now have 62,500kms and the warranty has run out!!. Does anyone know what I can do to resolve this problem?? I would appreciate any quick responses
Jul 20, 2001 (6:47 pm)
hi...i'm going to be turning 16 and me and my dad + mom have talked about what kind of car i should have. i think i want about a 95-97 2 door grand am gt. i think red looks pretty cool and i want a sunroof...but my dad told me that if i get a sunroof, i have to get a shifter (manual i think is what you're supposed to call it), and if i wnat an automatic, no sunroof!! but that doesnt really matter...so anything i should know before deciding on a grand am gt?? thanks everyone for your help!! oh and is the manual better/worse on gas mileage than the automatic?
Jul 22, 2001 (5:03 pm)
I recently acquired a 2000 GA SE1 (used). The car drove nicely the first few days, then I noticed that when I pressed the brake all the way down, car would not immediately stop. Pontiac suggested that I take it to a nearby dealership, but the earliest they could look at my car was 2 wks.
There was a problem with the calipers, and I had the brakes redone. It works just fine now. Very nice ride and have gotten plenty of looks and compliments.