Pontiac Transport

Like many American car makers that founded in the early 1900s, Pontiac had some rough moments in the beginning. Pontiac Buggy Company founder Edward Murphy wanted to take his company into the new era and start manufacturing automobiles. Many carriage and buggy makers were considering the same thing. Murphy needed a design to get started with, and found what he needed from engineer Alanson Brush, whose two-cylinder automobile design had been turned down by several noted industry leaders, including Cadillac.

More on the Pontiac Transport
Pontiac Trans Sport Origins

As it turns out, Cadillac was right to reject the design, and the new Pontiac car company didn’t sell many of its first cars. The company’s luck changed on the second attempt. Brush designed a four-cylinder car that did appeal to the masses and Pontiac’s business future suddenly became more secure. Unfortunately, Edward Murphy unexpectedly died during the production phase of the four-cylinder and didn’t live to see the success his company became.

Pontiac is well known for its attention to detail and performance vehicles ever since. Due to economic pressures, the company went out of business in 2008, but not before offering a long list of notable vehicles, including the Trans Sport.

About the Pontiac Trans Sport

The Pontiac Trans Sport was a minivan model offered from 1990 through 1999. These vans were a part of a new wave of minivans with dramatic and modern body styles than some of the earlier renditions. These stylish accents made the Trans Sport popular with young families looking for comfort and space as well as good looks. The idea was to offer a modern, almost sporty look while providing all the practical benefits of the minivan class.

The Trans Sport minivans were popular and well received in part thanks to the design’s many technological advances. Rave reviews hit the media when the concept of the Trans Sport was first released to the public in 1986. Consumers were excited by some of the extra features of the Trans Sport, in addition to its stylish and innovative body style. When the Trans Sport went into production, it offered a mid-ranged price option, along with the Lumina APV, for the budget crowd, and the Oldsmobile Silhouette for higher-end consumers.

Pontiac Trans Sport Features

There were some drastic changes made to the minivan for its final model year in 1999. While the Trans Sport was always known as a modern take on the minivan, Pontiac decided to create a more traditional and conservative body style for this model. There were fewer plastic panels and sleek design elements. The 1999 Trans Sport took on a new look with a conservative steel body construction that more closely resembled some of its competitors in the minivan class.

For its final appearance on showroom floors as a new model, Pontiac chose to outfit the Trans Sport with a 3.4-liter, V-6 engine capable of 180 hp and 205 lb-ft of torque. The powertrain package offered a four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive capabilities. Fuel economy for these vans was considered to be adequate, especially given its large engine. Buyers found several useful extras standard on the 1999 Trans Sport model, including air-conditioning and power-lock doors. The different trim levels offered additional features as well. The Trans Sport had three doors and could comfortably seat eight passengers. Safety features included driver-side airbags, front and side airbags, and anti-lock brakes.

Pontiac Trans Sport Evolution

The first generation of the Pontiac Trans Sport was produced from 1990 to 1996. These minivans are most well known for its dramatic, modern appearance that was so different from other vans of its class at the time. Each year in the generation, there were changes made to the appearance of the Trans Sport. Body color options were improved and more features were available as standard and on specific trim levels. Items like tinted windows and remote control options for the van’s sliding door became popular.

The second generation of the Pontiac Trans Sport was offered from 1997 to 1999. This generation marked the shift back to the more conservative body styles favored by many of the Trans Sport’s competitors. These vans were of three- or four-door construction and were equipped with a 3.4-liter V-6 engine. The four-speed automatic transmission completed the powertrain package. Pontiac chose a U-body platform for this generation of minivan. There were some concerns with the Trans Sport’s safety ratings, as the van did not hold up well in some 40-mph crash-test scenarios.

Select a Pontiac Transport Year

1997 Pontiac Transport


The 1997 Pontiac Trans Sport launches the vehicle’s second generation.

1996 Pontiac Transport


The 1996 Pontiac Trans Sport is a minivan manufactured by General Motors that has two other siblings: the Oldsmobile Silhouette and the Chevrolet Lumina APV.

1995 Pontiac Transport


The 1995 Pontiac Trans Sport is a minivan that is available in only one model with a choice of two six-cylinder engines.