The 1998 Pontiac Firebird offers everything drivers look for in a sports car. Even the base model engine, a 3.8-liter six-cylinder, provides excellent acceleration and top speed. The Firebird maneuvers and handles gracefully. In addition, it makes for a beautiful and unique car, although the distinctiveness might not appeal equally to all drivers. Despite having the power, maneuverability, and image people expect from a sports car, the Pontiac Firebird remains relatively inexpensive compared to its competitors.
As a day-to-day vehicle, the Firebird makes for somewhat of a weak offering. The power and maneuverability get largely wasted in normal driving. In addition, while the interior amenities seem more robust than what’s available many sports cars, the Firebird still lags behind passenger vehicles in the same price range in terms of comfort. Overall, it seems like a good vehicle to ride in, but the Firebird definitely focuses more on speed than practicality.
Body Styles: hatchback, convertible
Engines: 3.8-liter six-cylinder, 5.7-liter eight-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Pontiac Firebird, Pontiac Firebird Formula, Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
The front end of the 1998 Pontiac Firebird is slightly restyled. The airbags have been upgraded. Pontiac offers two new colors and modifies some of the option packages this model year.
The Pontiac Firebird comes as a two-door hatchback or a two-door convertible. The Firebird looks like a sleek, graceful vehicle with distinctive styling that sets in apart from other vehicles. Both body options remain fairly similar, excluding the roof design, so drivers can choose based on preference rather than performance. Alloy wheels and a rear spoiler mark standard equipment. The Firebird Formula includes power mirrors. Chrome wheels remain available as an option.
The Firebird offers a decent range of standard equipment, even on the base model. Air-conditioning, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel, an AM/FM radio, and a CD player come standard on all models. The 1998 Pontiac Firebird Formula adds power windows, power locks, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel as standard equipment. The Firebird Trans Am has all of the standard equipment found on the Firebird Formula, plus an anti-theft alarm system, leather seating, and a power driver’s seat.
Performance & Handling
Performance remains one of the hallmarks of the 1998 Pontiac Firebird. Even the base model with no optional equipment provides fast acceleration and feels extremely maneuverable. The Firebird Formula and Firebird Trans Am improve on the already impressive performance, with a more powerful engine to further improve acceleration. Drivers still looking for more can add the Ram Air WS6 Performance and Handling package, which boosts engine power further and augments the handling. Fully opened up, the Firebird seems as fast, agile, and graceful as it appears.
The 1998 Pontiac Firebird comes equipped with dual front airbags and four-wheel anti-lock brakes as standard safety equipment. Traction control is optional for the Firebird Formula and Firebird Trans Am.
EPA Fuel Economy
Pontiac Firebird 3.8-liter six-cylinder: 17/26 mpg city/highway
Pontiac Firebird 5.7-liter eight-cylinder: 16/22 mpg city/highway
- Sporty design
- Inexpensive price for this level of performance
- Excellent performance across the board
You Won't Like
- Aesthetics might not appeal to all drivers
- Some cheap-looking interior materials
- Not practical for day-to-day driving
A lesser-known American icon.
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