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1997 Pontiac Grand Am Coupe

2dr Cpe SE

Starting at | Starting at 23 MPG City - 33 MPG Highway

1997 Pontiac Grand Am for Sale

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  • Average Retail is not available
  • $14,809 original MSRP
Printable Version

1997 Pontiac Grand Am Coupe

Printable Version

1997 Pontiac Grand Am Coupe


Pre-Owned Profile: 1992-1998 Pontiac Grand Am

Source: AutoTrader.com

Pontiac produces cars with exciting looks, and the Grand Am is no exception.

Pontiac's ad slogan is "we build excitement," but it hasn't always been appropriate to all of its cars. In the case of some of its performance models, such as the Trans Am and Grand Prix GT, performance and looks go hand in hand.

With the Grand Am compacts sedans, the excitement is generally more visual than visceral. But the Grand Am is no slouch, especially if it comes with a V-6 engine (about half do). So equipped, it outpaces most cars in this price range which have to make do with a four-cylinder engine.

The Grand Am looks most sporty as a two-door coupe, though some reckon the four-door model is more attractive and obviously more convenient if you need to carry more than one passenger.

If you don't mind doing your own shifting, take a look at the four-cylinder model. The Quad 4 engine fitted as standard since 1995 provides almost as much power with better fuel economy.

If you want a small car with more style than other models in the same price range, the Grand Am is worth investigating. It's been one of the best selling cars in the past ten years, so there are plenty on the market and at more affordable prices than some other similarly sized cars. The Grand Am might not have the same enviable reliability reputation as some imports, but it does offer more excitement - for the eyes, at least.


What You Need To Know:

1. Review of a 1995 Pontiac Grand Am

2. Summary of Good and Bad Points by Owners

3. History of Grand Am

4. Review of Current Model

5. Basic Facts

6.Changes Year-to-Year

7.Safety Information

8.Value Guide

9. Option Installment Rate

10. Sales History

11. Awards and Commendations Earned

12. Other Reviews

13. Recall Information

14. Price of Spare Parts


1. Pre-Owned Vehicle Evaluation - 1995 Pontiac Grand Am SE Coupe

Likes: stylish looks, zippy V-6 engine even with automatic transmission

Dislikes: so-so handling, plastic interior

Competitors: (on same platform: Buick Skylark and Oldsmobile Achieva), Chevrolet Corsica, Ford Contour, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima

Miles: 61,100

Condition: B

Price when new: $15,500 (est.)

Posted Price: $9,160

The first thing I noticed when I drove this Grand Am coupe was that it had much better performance than most small cars. That's because it had a 3.1-liter V-6 engine instead of the off-the-shelf 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine. Even with an automatic transmission, it had plenty of power for safe passing and for accelerating up freeway on ramps.

The other noticeable feature of the Grand Am is its looks - like it or not, it does have a unique character that differentiates it from its competitors. The stylish look has become a signature of Pontiac for many years.

This particular pre-owned Grand Am had a fairly high mileage for a three-year old car but was still in reasonably good condition. The inside was clean and the cloth upholstery was ship shape. I was disappointed to note how much hard plastic was used for the interior, although it still like new. One has to remember that this car's basic design dates back to the mid-1980s, when interior design wasn't as advanced on less expensive cars.

In keeping with the exterior design, the interior also has unusual styling cues. The curvy dashboard has uniquely designed ventilation vents but all the gauges and controls are efficiently placed. The sculptured design flows through the trim on the front doors as well. The trim in the rear is made from a large one-piece plastic molding that feels utilitarian.

Space inside is fairly good even in the rear despite being a two-door coupe. Although the trunk provides decent storage space, it's not easy to get luggage in and out. Blame it on the narrow opening that results from the large rear taillight clusters.

Because the Grand Am still lacked dual airbags in this model year, it had to be fitted with passive seatbelts attached to the door. In reality this is not as annoying as other passive restraint systems because the lap belt is at least attached to the shoulder belt. However, if the door flies open in an accident the occupant could be ejected as the belt would no longer be effective.

Anti-lock brakes are fitted as standard on all Grand Ams - an unusual feature in lower-priced cars. GM bet that this would become a more important safety feature than dual airbags, to mixed result.

The Grand Am I drove was not loaded with any options other than air conditioning. It had manual window winders and had even been retrofitted with an aftermarket radio.

As mentioned the performance was good and the engine was quiet enough while driving. I found the starter motor rather noisy at first giving a coarse first impression. The steering feel and handling are adequate but not up to the standard of most imports.

If you like a snazzy-looking car and have a limited budget, the Pontiac Grand Am with a V-6 engine is a good choice.

2. Summing It Up - Owners' Views

Good: N/A

Bad: N/A


3. History of Grand Am

Pontiac introduced the first Grand Am in 1973 and it was just that - grand. In fact it was not a success as it was just too big and ostentatious for the period when the first fuel crisis hit. Three years later the model had gone. The Grand Am name was resurrected in 1978 when it was plastered on another large car. This lasted only until 1980.

The first use of the Grand Am name on a small car was in 1985. It quickly became the best-selling model in the Pontiac line, a position it still enjoys. It has on occasion been the best-selling compact car overall and has finished among the top twenty best-selling cars in the U.S. in most years during the past decade.

A revised model with new sheetmetal gave it a fresh look in 1992. A completely new model went on sale in 1998 as an early-1999 model.

As with most GM models, the Grand Am shares its basic design and floorpan with other division models. The sister models between 1992 and 1998 were the Buick Skylark and the Oldsmobile Achieva. The latest version introduced in the spring of 1998 as a 1999 model shares its underpinnings with the brand new Oldsmobile Alero.


4. Review of Current Grand Am

The latest version of the Pontiac Grand Am maintains the strong family look of Pontiac cars. However, it is much more than just a reskinned car. It might follow the looks of the previous model but is quite a bit more refined. Although it is much the same size as the previous model it has a longer wheelbase and is two inches wider. It also has a much stiffer body structure and improved suspension, which results in a car with greatly improved handling and ride.

Overall the new Grand Am is a considerable advance over the previous model. The four-cylinder engine is still a bit too noisy and rough for my liking. The V-6 engine is slightly larger than before and provides the car with good performance. All models come standard with an automatic transmission and anti-lock brakes.

The biggest area of improvement is the interior. Gone are the acres of hard plastic. Instead the interior has a much softer more upscale look and feel to it. The rear seat can fold down for access to the trunk. As before, though, access to the trunk through the deck lid is tight. One neat new standard feature is a rear cornering light which lights up at a 45-degree angle in concert with the backup lights to provide enhanced illumination at night when reversing.

I'm sure the new Grand Am will continue to be Pontiac's most popular model and it should manage to maintain its position as one of the most popular cars on the road.


5. Basic Facts: 1992 - 1998 Grand Am

Vehicle Type: Compact Sedan/Coupe

No. Passengers: up to five

Origin of assembly: Lansing, MI

Engine: (standard): 2.3-liter 115 hp SOHC I-4 ('92-'94); 2.4-liter 150 hp DOHC I-4 ('95-'98)

( optional): 3.3-liter 160 hp V-6 ('92-'93); 3.1-liter 155 hp V-6 ('94-'98)

Transmission: 5-spd manual, 3-spd. Auto ('92-'93) 4-spd Auto ('94-'98); front-drive

Length: 187 inches

Wheelbase: 103 inches

Width: 69 inches

Height: 53 inches

Curb weight: 2900 lbs. (approx.)

Cargo volume: 13 cu. ft.

Fuel tank capacity: 15 gals.

Fuel Economy (EPA City/Highway): 22/32 (2.4-liter, manual); 20/29 (3.1-liter, auto)


6. Changes in the Pontiac Grand Am Line 1992 - 1998

1992 Model Year

New model introduced

1993 Model Year

Minor cosmetic changes

1994 Model Year

Driver side airbag standard

3.1-liter V-6 replaces 3.3-liter V-6

Four-speed automatic transmission replaces three-speed

1995 Model Year

Quad 4 engine with balance shaft standard on all models

Rear suspension modified

Variable effort steering offered on GT version

1996 Model Year

Dashboard redesigned with dual airbags

Revised grille and taillights

New 2.4-liter twin-cam engine in base models

1997 Model Year

Minor changes including air conditioning as standard

1998 Model Year

De-powered airbags installed


7. Safety Notes

NHTSA Crash rating (‘95 model year): Driver NR; Passenger NR (5 is best)

ABS standard on all Grand Am models

Driver side air bag standard from 1994, dual air bags standard from 1996


8. Value Guide

Prices listed are for base models. Options can add considerably to the lowest price listed as these are usually "stripped" models. In many cases, very few vehicles are ever sold at the lowest price listed! Source: Kelley Blue Book

1992 Model Year

New: $12,374 to $14,247

1993 Model Year

New: $12,990 to $14,499

1994 Model Year

New: $12,999 to $15,599

1995 Model Year

New: $13,599 to $15,649

1996 Model Year

New: $13,999 to $15,999

1997 Model Year

New: $15,259 to $16,499

1998 Model Year

New: $15,399 to $16,999


9. Option Installment Rate

Generally, when you order a new car you have a choice of factory-installed options. When you buy a pre-owned vehicle the choice is limited to what was actually installed on vehicles sold in that model year. Use this option installment rate as a guide to the chances of finding particular options on a pre-owned vehicle. Source: Ward's Automotive Yearbooks

1992 Model Year

Installment Rate


2.3-liter 4-cyl 69%

3.3-liter V-6 31%


Auto 3-spd 93%

Manual 7%

Body Style:

2-door coupe 42%

4-door sedan 58%

Air Conditioning: 99%

Cruise Control: 96%

ABS Brakes: 100%

Power Windows: 38%

Remote/Keyless Entry: 0%


1993 Model Year

Installment Rate


2.3-liter 4-cyl 58%

3.3-liter V-6 42%


Auto 3-spd/4-spd 93%

Manual 7%

Body Style:

2-door coupe 39%

4-door sedan 61%

Air Conditioning: 100%

Cruise Control: 81%

ABS Brakes: 100%

Power Windows: 40%

Remote/Keyless Entry: 0%


1994 Model Year

Installment Rate


2.3-liter 4-cyl 58%

3.1-liter V-6 42%


Auto 3-spd/4-spd 36%/59%

Manual 5%

Body Style:

2-door coupe 40%

4-door sedan 60%

Air Conditioning: 100%

Cruise Control: 81%

ABS Brakes: 100%

Power Windows: 49%

Remote/Keyless Entry: 3%


1995 Model Year

Installment Rate


2.3-liter 4-cyl (DOHC) 49%

3.1-liter V-6 51%


Auto 3-spd/4-spd 31%/64%

Manual 5%

Body Style:

2-door coupe 38%

4-door sedan 62%

Air Conditioning: 100%

Cruise Control: 81%

ABS Brakes: 100%

Power Windows: 53%

Remote/Keyless Entry: 15%


1996 Model Year

Installment Rate


2.4-liter 4-cyl (DOHC) 54%

3.1-liter V-6 46%


Auto 93%

Manual 7%

Body Style:

2-door coupe 37%

4-door sedan 63%

Air Conditioning: 100%

Cruise Control: 79%

ABS Brakes: 100%

Power Windows: 53%

Remote/Keyless Entry: 17%


1997 Model Year

Installment Rate


2.4-liter 4-cyl (DOHC) 57%

3.1-liter V-6 43%


Auto 95%

Manual 5%

Body Style:

2-door coupe 34%

4-door sedan 66%

Air Conditioning: 100%

Cruise Control: 87%

ABS Brakes: 100%

Power Windows: 59%

Remote/Keyless Entry: 20%


10. Production/Sales Volume History

Normally a model year runs from October to September. Often though, when a new version is introduced it hits the market before October. Legally, a model year can start as early as January of the preceding year. Accurate model year sales counts are almost impossible to collect as different model year vehicles are regularly sold side-by-side for several months. Production figures, when listed, often include vehicles made for export to Canada, Mexico and overseas. Source: manufacturers

1992 Model Year (first year of new model)

Production run: Oct. 1991 through Sept. 1992

Total number produced: 190,025

Total no. sold in U.S.: 198,596 (includes some '91 models)


1993 Model Year

Production run: Oct.1992 through Sept. 1993

Total number produced: 224,255

Total no. sold in U.S.: 211,544


1994 Model Year

Production run: Oct. 1993 through Sept. 1994

Total number produced: 224,511

Total no. sold in U.S.: 243,682


1995 Model Year

Production run: Oct. 1994 through Sept. 1995

Total number produced: 262,734

Total no. sold in U.S.: 246,778


1996 Model Year

Production run: Oct. 1995 through Sept. 1996

Total number produced: 206,406

Total no. sold in U.S.: 224,530


1997 Model Year

Production run: Oct. 1996 through Sept. 1997

Total number produced: 210,965

Total no. sold in U.S.: 210,516


1998 Model Year

Production run: Oct. 1997 through March 1998

Total number produced: n/a

Total no. sold in U.S.: 174,812 (includes '99 models)


11. Awards and Commendations

No significant awards



" . . . there's the Grand Am GT, a practical, well-equipped American coupe that offers decent handling, generous interior proportions’especially in 4-door form - and a modicum of comfort at a reasonable price." - Road & Track, April 1992.

"Think of the Grand Am as a spaceship for the masses. It can't hurtle along at warp factor eight. Nor can it do battle with the Klingon's Camrys or Accords. If George Jetson likes its style, though, it's a sure winner." - Car and Driver, Jan. 1992


13. Recalls (Only major recalls listed)

ID Number: 96V250000

Component: flasher: hazard warning

Potential Number of Units Affected: 270,014

Year: 1996

Manufactured From: Apr. 1995 To: Dec. 1995

Year of Recall:'96

Summary: The front and/or rear hazard warning lamps (four-way flashers) do not flash when the hazard switch is activated. This fails to comply with FMVSS No. 108, when the hazard switch is activated.

ID Number: 96V257000

Component: lighting: courtesy lights

Potential Number of Units Affected: 249,421

Year: 1996

Manufactured From: APR 1995 To: OCT 1995

Year of Recall:'96

Summary: These vehicles were built with the potential for the interior lamps to come on unexpectedly while the vehicles are being driven.


14. Cost of Parts (relative to other vehicles)

Headlight unit: $190 (above average)

Side marker lamp: $55 (average)

Door (left front): $802 (above average)

Fender (left front): $225 (average)

Note: these are estimated retail prices for commonly replaced body parts on a 1995 model. Prices are current as of mid-1998 but will vary from region to region and are subject to change at any time. Source: ADP Collision


The Rettie Report and Pre-Owned Profiles contain objective information from a variety of sources. The subjective comments are those of John Rettie.


Printable Version

1997 Pontiac Grand Am Coupe

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade

No consumer rating

Rate & Review
Passenger Crash Grade

No consumer rating

Rate & Review

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Std
Fog Lamps Std
Intermittent Wipers Opt


Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

1997 Pontiac Grand Am Coupe

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles NO Deductible
Drivetrain 8 Years/80,000 Miles
Corrosion 3 Years/36,000 Miles

Pontiac Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

2-year/24,000-Mile1 CPO Scheduled Maintenance Plan.

12-Month/12,000-Mile2 Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty.

5-year/100,000-Mile3 Powertrain Limited Warranty

1Covers only scheduled oil changes with filter, tire rotations and 27 point inspections, according to your vehicle's recommended maintenance schedule for up to 2 years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. Does not include air filters. Maximum of 4 service events. See participating dealer for other restrictions and complete details.

2Whichever comes first from date of purchase. See participating dealer for limited warranty details.

3Whichever comes first from original in-service date. See participating dealers for limited warranty details.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 2010 model year / Under 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 172-Point Vehicle Inspection and Reconditioning
Download checklist
Return/Exchange Program 3-Day 150-Mile Satisfaction Guarantee
Roadside Assistance Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $0

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

1997 Pontiac Grand Am Coupe

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