Last post on Jul 23, 2010 at 5:36 PM
You are in the Pontiac Bonneville
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Pontiac Bonneville, Sedan
#3864 of 4400 CR doesn't like the Bonneville any more!
Mar 13, 2004 (2:50 pm)
No more recommended check for the Bonneville. Perhaps this isn't news - the last time I bought their annual car issue was '02 and they recommended the Bonnie back then. Further, the '00-'03 Bonnevilles are now listed as "used cars to avoid"! Yikes!
I note, btw, that CR hasn't actually tested a Bonnie for four years (Feb. 2000) - it was an SE - and they still use that summary in their '04 car issue.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not making excuses for the Bonnie - it has a number of "issues" but you have to read this year's CR. For the MY 2000, it reports the following being negative: electrical (could this be LEDs dying?), suspension (could be the vibration that many sense at 70 mph), body/integrity (rattles?), pwr equipment (windows dying?), body hardware (?).
My own sample of one contradicts these findings and is hardly statistically significant. Still, I wonder if the Bonneville owners who do respond to the CR survey are over-represented by those who have an axe to grind. I just find it interesting that a car that sells as poorly as the Bonneville (what, 25k a year?), still has enough '03 MY owners to meet CR's 100 response minimum to list a reliability history for that model year.
And yet CR had insufficient responses from owners of even bigger sellers: Chrysler Concorde, Chrysler Sebring, Lincoln LS, Pontiac Sunfire, Mitsubishi Galant, Dodge Stratus, Dodge Intrepid, Olds Alero, Dodge Neon, Chevrolet Cavalier (all outsold the Bonnie last year - most three to four times as much and ten times as much in the case of the Cavalier!) for CR to post a rating.
Perhaps just as interesting, CR was able to get sufficient responses from owners of low volume MY 2003 sellers like the Toyota Prius, Audi A6, Saab 9-5 and 9-3, Infiniti I-35, BMW 7 series, Jaguar S-Type, Lexus LS 430, and the Buick Regal (almost on par with the Bonneville in terms of sales last year) to post reliability histories for the 2003 MY for those cars.
Understand, as well, how CR's ratings work: it only takes 9.3% of this small sample reporting a problem to get a black half-circle; 14.8% or more nets the car a full black circle. CR doesn't publish its sample size for individual cars.
I don't want to dismiss the findings but I do find it all a little curious. However, since I have long viewed CR's survey as less-than-scientific, I find that I cannot rely on their conclusions. That's unfortunate given the effort they put into this entire affair.
Mar 13, 2004 (3:05 pm)
And thanks for the clarification bunky.
#3866 of 4400 Possibly Re-Painting the 98SSE
Mar 14, 2004 (11:37 am)
Need some info- anyone have their vehicle repainted by a major chain org like MAACO instead of local auto-body shops etc and if so was the cost and work satisfactory and are you happy with the results? I'm thinking of having my car re-done, but in Bright White, the car is presently colored Dark Cherry.
Mar 15, 2004 (5:33 am)
I wouldn't recommend that drastic a colour change by any of the major chains.
My one experience with Maaco is about 20 years old so likely doesn't count any more. But I've seen a few of their recent paint jobs and they don't get in the door and trunk sills, under the hood, etc. IMHO, this is absolutely essential for any colour change - and especially so for an abrupt one. Perhaps Maaco will do it at an extra charge and the jobs I've seen are because the owners weren't willing to shell out the bucks.
OTOH, if you're going to stick with dark cherry, I'm sure anybody will do. My instincts, though, would still lead me to a local, quality shop with a good reputation. After all, it's really hard to recover a car from a botched job or poor quality paint. Expect to pay about $3-4k for the job - a little less if you stick with dark cherry.
I suspect this isn't what you wanted to hear.
Mar 15, 2004 (11:54 am)
I did get a price of around $3000 to do it in White from my local shop- based on just what you said- its very labor intensive to go from one colour to a different one especially going to White. I know having MAACO or a chain do it is the CHEAP WAY out and you get what you pay for, but I'm still not sure if I want to spend the extra bucks on a 98SSE with 86,000 miles or invest in a newer car. The car needs some cosmetic work on it- a couple of dings/door dents etc- the hood has the typical chips in it up front from pebbles
hitting it etc- but overall its a good strong running car with all the bells and whistles except the Supercharged engine and Perform ride/Touring Ride buttons.
Thanks for the info.
#3869 of 4400 Painting 98 SSE
Mar 15, 2004 (11:59 am)
Wasn't the dark cherry paint special for the Bonneville's 40th anniversary?
#3870 of 4400 40th Anniversary Edition comes in a variety of colors.
Mar 15, 2004 (1:01 pm)
Originally I thought so also but I found out from
members on Bonneville Club.com that the 1997 40th Anniversary was not exclusive to Dark Cherry-It came in a variety of colors- Black, Silver etc-not just Dark Cherry.
As a matter of fact, Prestige Motors in Upstate New York was selling a Silver 40th Anniversary SSE Edition a while ago.
Mar 15, 2004 (1:31 pm)
Three large is indeed a lot to pay for a six y.o. car that's worth maybe a tad more double that. Up here, Maaco is what you do when you want to spruce it up to sell it - not if you want to keep it and certainly not if you're thinking of going to white. I just wouldn't recommend it - although it is a crap shoot (I have seen 1/2 decent Maaco jobs - not many, mind you).
Another couple of options:
1. Take what you would've spent on a decent paint job, add it to what you could get on your '98 and look for a decent '99 or '00 which is already white and in decent shape.
2. Get the Maaco job but keep it the same colour (it is a nice colour!) - but don't let them skimp on the surface prep work and masking (those are their big weaknesses - them and that Scheib guy). If Maaco paint jobs turn out well initially, they usually don't look all that great beyond a year or two. So, plan to sell/trade it before then.
Mar 15, 2004 (8:46 pm)
Thanks again for the info- got time to decide which way i want to go with this.
*check out the 1958 BLACK BONNEVILLE, with 9,697 miles on her, for sale on Ebay right now- its up to $32,200.00 and the RESERVE IS STILL NOT MET!!!) Beautiful pictures!!!
IF ANYONE IS INTERESTED-YOU GOT 2DAYS, 2 HOURS TO BID!!!!!
Mar 16, 2004 (2:31 am)
That's one sweet '58 to be sure. I'd prefer mine in another colour but this one looks straight enough. I'm guessing that mileage is since a resto job but the description is silent on that issue. Interesting that the bids would go that high without a clarification that this is numbers matching and the tri-power was original with the car.
Check out this one: '65 Bonneville CV. I'm mighty tempted as the '65 Bonnie is one of my faves. But "90% restored" 9 years and 20k miles ago means $$$ and Calif. is a long way for me to go kick tires...