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Pontiac Grand Prix - 2000-2005

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  • L8_ApexL8_Apex Posts: 187
    One of the benefits of the new software is the ability to modify the titles of existing discussions. In some cases this is not necessary or even desired by the original author or those frequenting the discussion. However, we no longer need to recreate discussion at 500+ posts so the "Chapter this..." or "Part that..." is no longer necessary. So... as part of a topic title cleanup, those portions of the titles are being removed. The respective original topic in the archives is simultaneously being modified so that confusion isn't caused while searching.

    I'm also taking this opportunity to "more generalize" some topic titles to broaden their scope. For example, when the trim level, powerplant or transmission/transaxle option isn't pertinent to the comparison, I'm removing it for the purposes of making the topic applicable to the situations in which more buyers find themselves.

    Thanks,

    L8_Apex
    Host
    Sedans Message Board
  • bidness44bidness44 Posts: 1
    I'm in the market for a new (to me) car for 10k or less and my brother has a wholesaler friend that can accomplish that. after a few tries, now I have the 97 GT to test drive. I'm going out in 10 min to do so...drove it home from the shop last nite, and so far so good...but let's see what happens driving around more today.

    I like the interior just fine, don't have a problem with the controls the way they are, and I like the seats much better than the Bonneville I've test driven, much firmer. I hadn't considered a 2 door, but I am now. It's the dark green color with the grey interior, I can live with it just fine. Such a far cry from what I actually had them looking for for me, a white 97 Buick Regal LS with about 52k on it. It's much sportier looking than what I'm used to by light years (my beloved 1984 Subaru GL 4D 2WD wagon.)

    Has lots of bells and whistles on it that I could care less about, like the overhead console, would rather have the quality moonroof my Subaru has, and something called traction control, which the tame way I drive probably will never turn on! I can actually see out the windows in this car, when in the Bonnie it was an issue, I'm pretty short, 5'3". My Subaru has better 360 degree viewing area tho.

    Car is in excellent condition cosmetically, not a scratch or ding, absolutely clean and they haven't even detailed it yet, interior appears brand new!!! with the exception of a worn spot on the carpet on the driver's side. So what's not to like? The 75K mi on it. I am worried about of course transmission issues, etc. (they haven't looked at the engine yet either, what my bro and I can see so far is it is clean clean clean, but we'll see) The seats moving seems to give me pause also. Seems to drive just fine so far. I also wonder what the funny rattling noise that seems to come from the steering wheel is. That at the very least MUST go.

    I just need a decent commute car with more metal around me than my Sub., and can do a road trip or two a year. Willing to sacrifice the excellent mpg on my Subaru for a good reliable engine for the next 5-7-10 yrs. (My Subaru is the best car I have ever had, but would not buy another one now, they are far too overpriced and over-thought IMO, seems with all the new toys and redesigns they just put more stuff on them that can break.)

    Soooo....PLEASE someone out there with one of these 97's let me know what your experience is/was. I've just spent 3 hrs reading every single post on this board and surfing Edmunds. Most of the posts were about the 2000's, didn't see much on the 97's.

    When I get back from my more extended test drive, I'll let you know how it went. Hope to see some posts to help me decide if I want to pursue or not. Even with the mileage on it, if the engine/tranny is ok, 10k is a deal, based on the options it has. Whatever is wrong on it will be fixed before I buy it also, something to consider.

    Look fwd to hearing from some of you guys...THANK YOU.
  • engine12engine12 Posts: 17
    like you i am buying a Grand Prix but a new one,i'm lucky enough to afford a new one after years of used vehicles,anyway,97 was the first year of the current style and past experience has taught ME to stay away from new model years,just a little advice from someone who has lots of disappointments from vehicles in the past.
  • rover3500rover3500 Posts: 11
    Hi Folks,

    Well, it looks like I will be buying a Grand Prix at the begining of next month. Is this a good idea? Are there any problems that I need to know about? It can't be any worse than the 98 Taurus I have now. Nothing bu problems with that car. The transmission has not worked properly since the day I bought it. Had it serviced 13 times in 2.5 years, for the same problem. I finally got a straight answer out of the sewrvice manager of the second opinion dealership I brought it too. He told me that the transmission has an engineering flaw, but since this was designed in, it wouldn't hurt the tranny. Needless to say the part about it not hurting the tranny was bull!I had the 2 FWD clutch pistons replaced twice, the lock up torque convrt clutch bands replaced 3 times, the pump replaced, the valve bodies in the tranny replaced twice, and neumerous other irritances looked at. Every bloody time I have taken that car in for an oil change, I end up having the shop take a look at a few other things that are still wrong. It has probably been one of the worst cars I have ever owned. My 1990 wagon never did these things. The thing had 168,000 miles on it when I had it, and it looked great (not one bit of rust or fading) and ran better. The air went out, so I traded her in. The last time I took my 98 to the shop, the gave my a Grand Prix GT to use. I loved it. As soon as I got the car back, I went to the local Pontiac dealer and priced them. So, next month I am gonna buy one up. I am hoping that I have better luck with this car.

    Happy motoring,

    Aaron
  • greywolfgreywolf Posts: 51
    You can't find a better, more unique car for the price. Get at least a GT though. Also, test drive a GTP for kicks if you can. Check out gp-owners.com - there are tons of posts about the car.

    Most people don't have major issues - it seems the most common problems are squeaks, rattles and the automatic windows. Although none of these have beeen a problem for me.

    bidness - avoid 97/98 model years. There were a number of issues which were resolved with 99 onward.
  • mskaren17mskaren17 Posts: 1
    What was wrong the 97-98s? I was looking between a 98 & a 99 and there was a significant price difference. Just curious. Thanks
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    I'm looking to buy a new car myself and noticed that Consumer Reports gave bad scores for the Grand Prix for '97 and '98. The reliabilty rating dropped below average. It went back up to average for '99 and 2000. That's a little tidbit of information for you.

    I'm going to try to test drive a Grand Prix SE tomorrow. I've had to eliminate a number of cars because the headrests seem to hit a bit above my head giving me a blind spot when looking over my shoulder to check traffic (if changing lanes). I sat in a Grand Prix and it may work out but will have to drive in traffic to make sure.

    I've been bouncing around from one car forum to the next while making up my mind. If I like the test drive and can see okay, I hope to buy SOON!
  • ruskiruski Posts: 1,566
    I had a 98 GTP Coupe and it did not have any problems.
  • cudaboycudaboy Posts: 2
    I've put just over 9,000 miles on my Grand Prix and have yet to find anything to complain about. Haven't had a single problem with the car. No rattles, leaks, electrical or drive train problems... nothing.

    I got the car loaded for only $24,000. Well worth the money. Anyone who's had major problems, either got a lemon or just doesn't know how to take care of a new car (i.e. bad driving habits, poor matenence, lack of mechanical knowledge...).

    I think it's a damn good car, you get a lot for your money. The car is no BMW or Mercedes. You want a car like that, fork out 40 grand.
  • 96gs96gs Posts: 86
    You HAD a '98 GTP? Did you sell it? Haven't heard from you in awhile.
  • greywolfgreywolf Posts: 51
    I know because I've read a lot of comments of GP owners on web pages, and basically the consensus is to go for 99 or above.

    There are little things like the headlight seals going, 97 doesn't have ABS standard, and some other things. 97 + 98 have a lot more TSB's.

    This is reflected by consumer reports, which took the grand prix off the recommended list, only to put it back on after the reliability improved.

    Thats probably why the 99 is much more than the 98, because the demand for the 99+ models will be higher.

    Also, it's a general rule of thumb to wait 2 years whenever a new GM product comes out to work out any bugs.
  • ruskiruski Posts: 1,566
    lease ended in January 2000
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    I just bought a new Grand Prix SE yesterday. It sure is good to have a new car. It has the option package 1SB and CD player.

    I guess I'll be reading my owner's manual today. I don't even know how to adjust the clock yet. I'll have the clock and radio settings figured out before I leave the house today.
  • roderacerroderacer Posts: 311
    I ran into a friend last night while coming home from work. He was admiring my 2001 Impala LS. He owns a '97 (I think) GTP. I asked him how it was doing and he told me that he had just gotten the car back from the shop for a 'bad capacitor' and that he shelled out $4000 in the past month or so for electrical problems.... needless to say he is not happy. He bought it new and babied that car - I mean BABIED it.

    The car still looks new on the exterior and he says that it runs OK. His faith in Pontiac has been shattered. But I believe that the '97 model year was the first one with the "Widetrac" stance...

    For what it's worth, I guess.
    RR
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Congratulartions on your new car! Isn't great to open that driver's door to the aroma of a new car interior? ;-)

    Glad that you decided to stay with GM and most importantly that you got exactly what you wanted it. The GP is a very nice looking automobile.

    Pls share you experiences!

    Congrats again!

    TEO
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    I had a blind spot in most of the cars I looked into when looking over my shoulder to change lanes. It seemed to be caused by the headrest being too high and the location of the back corner pillar.

    I can see in the Grand Prix because it has a hole in the headrest and I can see through that hole. I love the car too!

    Stacy

    P.S. I looked into the Impala again but had the same problem. Hope you're enjoying your car!
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Stacy - welcome to the Pontiac family!

    I have the Bonneville, not Grand Prix, but share your enthusiasm for that new ride! Best wishes to you for many years and miles of enjoyable driving experiences with that brand new sparkling car.

    By the way - what color did you choose?

    Ken
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    I went with the Dark Bronzemist. I guess GM really loves Bronzemist because they have Light, Medium and Dark.

    I saw a Light Bronzemist in the Bonneville and it was really pretty--more of a gold color. Then Chevy has the Medium Bronzemist.

    I don't think you have a problem with this up North but we have lovebug season twice a year. They do a number on your car. I imagine those black covers they put on the front of a car can be bought at Pepboys or someplace like that. I can wash the bugs off of the front, but the grill will be a problem.
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    P.S. I just called Pep Boys and they have the cover I'm looking for.

    Stacy
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Stacy - some of those "bras" are pretty hard to install from what I've heard - don't have one on my car but have read posts to that effect. Good luck with yours - hope it does the job well.

    Ken
  • kdstankdstan Posts: 17
    I am a owner of a 97 Pontiac Grand Prix GT and I am thinking about upgrading to a 2001 GTP. I have a few questions-Has anyone had any major problems with this car seeing how the GTP has a high performance engine? Is superunleaded the only gas you can use for this car? What kind of gas mileage does the GTP generally get?
  • dulingduling Posts: 1
    Hello All.

    I'm looking into purchasing a 1999 Grand Prix GTP sedan (w/ 35000 miles). I've heard people say that only 93+ octane could be used with the supercharger. However, I've also heard the hobby "mechanics" say that I can put regular in, which will cause the car to run rough initially until it reprograms itself for the reduced octane. Any information on this issue would be appreciated. Also, any GTP owners out there that are dissatisfied with the fuel economy on the supercharged version of the 3.8?

    Thank you!

    Joshua
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    I checked my owner's manual and it says the 3800 Supercharged requires Premium Unleaded, 91 octane or higher.

    Hope this helps!
  • ruskiruski Posts: 1,566
    actually fuel economy is very nice even on the GTP. I regularly got 26mpg on highway.

    City was a different story. It depends a lot on number of lights, number of hills, and one's mood.
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    My radio stays on when I turn off the engine. Is this normal? I haven't bought a new car in a while and was wondering if this was a Pontiac feature. I read the owner's manual and it doesn't say anything.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    My radio works till a door opens. Buick Regal, basically the same thing as GP.
  • spin360spin360 Posts: 8
    I have a 2000 GTP. 90% of my miles are highway, and I regularly get around 25-27 MPG. If I set the cruise and drive between 70-80MPH (using my patented speed limit + 7 MPH rule of thumb) down the interstate, I can get over 27 MPG pretty easily. On my last 1000+ mile trip, I actually got 29.8 MPG on 93 octane Texaco. Of course, your mileage my vary. :-)

    I have put 87 and 89 octane in my car before. I didn't notice any rough idle or shuddering with the 87, but it did feel like I was pulling an extra 700 lb load. I suspect my mileage would have been lower as well, especially in stop-and-go but that tank was mostly highway, and frankly once I was "up to speed" I didn't notice much. I figure though, since I shelled out the extra $$ for the supercharger, why not spend the extra $0.20/gal for the premium.
  • sdasda Indian Land, SCPosts: 311
    Knowing that the Grand Prix shares the chasis of other GM cars such as the Olds Intrigue and Buick Regal, does the Grand Prix suffer from the same problems that plague the Intrigue? My main concern is the steering system that seems to make clunking noises and is routinely replaced. Also of concern is disc brake rotor warpage. Is this a problem, too? The 3800 v-6 is a good engine. How does the base 3100 compare? I like the looks of the Grand Prix and prefer the crisper driving characteristics it provides vs. the Regal. I also like the Intrigue, but if I find a cherry GP, I'll certainly give it serious consideration.

    2010 Pilot EXL-RES, 2013 Accord EX

  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Retained Power Accessory feature on these vehicles allows you to operate power sindows, radio, etc for 10 minutes after engine turned off, then it will shut down everything. If you open a door before the 10 minutes elapse, everything shuts down. I have this on my Bonneville as well - nice feature.

    Ken
  • stnelstnel Posts: 338
    Thanks for the input regarding the radio. I went to my car and started the ignition and turned on radio. Once I turned off the ignition and opened the door, the radio went off.

    That's a pretty neat feature. One I would have never figured out on my own. I've been reading my owner's manual but I jump around. I would have never thought to look under Retained Power Accessory--didn't even know that existed.

    I've been enjoying my first week of owning a new car. I do have that pinging noise that a lot of people have written in about when I turn off my engine. I guess that's just the newness.
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