The 1999 Pontiac Sunfire has several things going for it: good value (as long as options are minimal), sporty styling, and decent performance with the upgraded 2.4-liter engine. It can easily compete with other cars in its class.
Body Styles: sedan, coupe, convertible
Engines: 2.2-liter four-cylinder, 2.4-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: three-speed automatic, four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Pontiac Sunfire SE, Pontiac Sunfire GT
The 1999 Pontiac Sunfire has some upgrades to its 2.4-liter, twin-cam engine, including new fuel injectors, injections rails, an exhaust manifold, and a catalytic converter. The sedan now has an optional rear spoiler. Fern Green Metallic has been added as a new exterior paint color.
The 1999 Pontiac Sunfire’s wheel size is contingent on the body style. The coupe comes equipped with 14-inch wheels but has optional 16-inch alloys. The convertible comes with 15-inch alloy wheels standard. The sedan comes with 14-inch wheels with optional alloys. The GT trims come with a rear spoiler, while the SE trims have it as an option.
The 1999 Pontiac Sunfire seats up to five. Cloth-covered bucket seats are standard. Other features include tinted glass, power steering, and an AM/FM/CD audio system. The convertible comes with standard keyless entry and air-conditioning, while it is optional in the coupe and sedan. The same is true for cruise control, tilt steering wheel, and power windows, locks, and exterior mirrors. All body styles have an optional leather-trimmed steering wheel and premium, six-speaker audio system. The coupe and sedan have an optional power moonroof. The convertible has optional steering wheel-embedded audio controls. Aside from the usual console and door pockets for storage, the Sunfire boasts a remarkable 12.7-liter glove box.
Performance & Handling
The Sunfire SE models come standard with a 2.2-liter, four-cylinder engine. This gets 115 horsepower with 135 lb-ft of torque. The GT model has a 2.4-liter, twin-cam engine, which is optional in the SE and gets 150 horsepower with 155 lb-ft of torque. Manual or automatic gear boxes are available. The 2.4-liter with manual gear box is pretty zippy. Problem areas in the convertible include excessive body roll, ineffective climate control with the top down, and weak speakers in the standard audio system. The Sunfire’s 2.2-liter engine is painfully slow on the highway.
All 1999 Pontiac Sunfire models come standard with driver and front passenger airbags, four-wheel ABS, power brakes, daytime running lights, remote trunk release, and an anti-theft alarm system. Traction control is standard on four-speed automatic models. Ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration were not available for the convertible Sunfire. The coupe received four out of five stars for passenger safety, three stars for driver safety, two stars for side impact rear, and a single star for side impact front. The sedan fared better overall, receiving four stars for passenger and driver safety, three stars for side impact rear, and one star for side impact front. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the Sunfire ""poor"" for frontal offset crashes.
EPA Fuel Economy
Pontiac Sunfire, 2.2-liter: 24/34 mpg city/highway
Pontiac Sunfire, 2.4-liter: 23/33 mpg city/highway
- Good value
- Comfortable interior
- Sporty styling
- Plenty of interior options
You Won't Like
- Body roll on turns
- Weak standard SE engine
- Poor safety
This car is not quite on fire.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Chevrolet Cavalier
- Ford Escort
- Nissan Sentra
- Suzuki Esteem