The 1999 Pontiac Firebird receives a handful of upgrades over the previous year, as well as an incredible 30th Anniversary Limited Edition Trans Am model. Befitting a muscle car, all upgrades are based around performance. These upgrades are aimed at transferring the power from the engine to the road and getting the most out of the muscular engines. The Firebird continues to be a bare-bones muscle car. In a niche market segment, the Firebird has demonstrated staying power as a less expensive, yet highly capable platform. As many competitors have disposed of their high-performance models in favor of economic models, this car demonstrates why the brand has stuck it out for over three decades.
Body Styles: coupe, convertible
Engines: 3.6-liter V-6, 5.7-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual, six-speed manual
Models: Pontiac Firebird, Pontiac Firebird Formula, Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, 30th Anniversary Limited Edition Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
With the 1999 model year bringing about the 30th anniversary of the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, it was expected that General Motors would have a special edition available. The 30th Anniversary Limited Edition Pontiac Firebird Trans Am mimics the original 1969 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. It is only available with a white interior and exterior with blue highlights. The Limited Edition comes standard with the Ram Air induction, leading to the 320-horsepower engine. Pontiac has anchored it to the road with a performance suspension and 17-inch tires. To keep the passengers out of the rain, the 30th has a choice of the convertible or the T-Top coupe. All models receive larger gas tanks, and electronic traction control is now available on all models. The V-8 models all receive a Torsen limited slip rear axle and the option for a power-steering cooler. The limited slip rear axle is also available on V-6 models.
The 1999 Pontiac Firebird has a ""love-it-or-hate-it"" exterior. The overall lines are smooth and flowing, and the base models are fairly modest. The Limited Edition model opts for a large wing on the deck lid, aerodynamic skirting, and louvered side scoops. This combination creates a vastly different appearance from the base model.
It appears that Pontiac’s cost-cutting to provide a low price tag comes from the interior. Front bucket seats and a tiny rear seat create a cramped interior. The cockpit’s ergonomics are not well thought out, and the materials used feel very cheap. Plastic inserts seem to dominate the passenger cabin. Visibility is slightly limited due to pillar size and placement and a long, sloping windshield. In the Limited Edition, it is further hampered by the Ram Air intake on the hood.
Performance & Handling
Even the Firebird’s base model provides adequate performance, giving a zero-to-60-mph time of 5.2 seconds. While the V-8 engines provide a slightly slower zero-to-60-mph, they have greater top-end acceleration and a higher maximum speed. New handling features make the model less unwieldy than in previous years, but it still falls near the bottom of the high-powered sport coupes.
All 1999 Pontiac Firebirds come standard with four-wheel anti-lock brakes, and dual front airbags. Daytime running lights and fog lights make the Firebird even more visible to other drivers on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the car high marks for front impact protection, but only average for side impact. A theft-deterrent system comes standard.
EPA Fuel Economy
Pontiac Firebird, V-6, automatic: 17/26 mpg city/highway
Pontiac Firebird, V-6, manual: 17/28 mpg city/highway
Pontiac Firebird, V-8, automatic: 16/22 mpg city/highway
Pontiac Firebird, V-8, manual: 17/26 mpg city/highway
- High performance
- Above average power
- Turns heads
You Won't Like
- Cheap, uncomfortable interior
- Exterior design is a bit outrageous
- Incredibly high insurance rates
A classic American muscle car with raw power.
If You Like This Vehicle
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