2003 Sunfire New Car Test Drive
The Pontiac Sunfire is an agile compact coupe that's enjoyable to drive.
Changes improve the Sunfire for 2003. Revised front and rear styling freshens its appearance. GM's 2.2-liter Ecotec engine offers quieter operation, improved efficiency, and substantially more power than last year's base engine. Interior revisions improve comfort and convenience. Optional side airbags and the OnStar telematics system enhance safety. A retuned sports suspension offers quicker responses.
In spite of updates for 2003, it lacks the refinement of some of the latest models from the competition. Its base price looks attractive, but options will likely be needed to add desirable safety and convenience features.
For 2003, the Pontiac Sunfire is only available as a two-door coupe. One trim level is available, the Sunfire SE ($14,910). It comes standard with air conditioning, power rack-and-pinion steering, and 15-inch tires. A couple of options packages add more features, many of which are available as standalone options.
Sunfire is powered by a 2.2-liter overhead-valve four-cylinder engine rated at 140-horsepower. A five speed manual transmission comes standard. A four-speed automatic transmission is optional. Anti-lock brakes ($400) are optional.
Package 1SB ($1100) adds the automatic transmission, AM/FM/CD audio with six speakers, an easy-entry front passenger seat, a console cupholder, floormats, a tilt steering column, dual vanity visor mirrors.
Package 1SC ($3050) comes with the 1SB equipment, plus anti-lock brakes, Sports Suspension, P205/55R16 tires with aluminum wheels, a cargo convenience net, reading lights, overhead storage, power door locks, remote keyless entry, content theft alarm, XM satellite radio with RDS and equalizer, digital clock, leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather wrapped shift knob and parking brake handle, driver lumbar adjuster, intermittent wet-arm wipers