I have been trying to post an annual review of this car just to let folks know what was good about these cars and what was not so good. Granted, they are no longer produced but there are some things that are quite good about this vehicle.
I bought this new in June of 2003. It has the German made 3 liter V-6 and has auto trans. It came with a sun roof, power windows, air, power driver's seat, folding rear seats with a pass through to the trunk and fog lights so a reasonably outfitted car.
1. The car has over 128,00 miles on it and has survived the salt of 13 Pennsylvania winters with essentially NO RUST anywhere on the body. The exhaust system shows rust but it is still the original system! The underbody paint from the factory has been outstanding in its ability to keep the vehicle rust free in that area.
2. The DOHC German engine has been fed a diet of Mobil 1 5W-30 or 5W-30 EP for its entire life with the exception of Pennzoil Syn for the first oil change back in 2003. The engine routinely goes 7000-8000 miles between oil changes (about one year now) and there is NO measurable oil consumption, at least detected by the dipstick. Around town this car still delivers about 24-25 mpg and about 30 mpg highway.
3. Major maintenance has been minimal. AT around 90,000 miles, I had the timing belt, water pump, tensioner and some other parts in that area replaced as a preventive measure. Plugs were replaced around the same time. By the way, this engine uses the 4-prong Bosch plugs and runs like a champ on them. When replaced, the mechanic said they could have gone another 50,000 miles. The brake rotors are still original but pads have been changed twice in 13 years. At about 100,000 miles I had the shocks replaced. By the way, the fuel pump is still the original pump. I really never let the tank go below 1/3 full, however.
4. Paint and clear coat are still in excellent shape. There is no clear coat peeling anywhere on the car. The plastic panels are really good in absorbing blows from grocery carts, etc without showing any dents or marks in the paint.
1. At about 94,000 miles, a pressure solenoid had to be replaced in the automatic transmission. This seems to be a common problem with these cars.
2. While Under warranty, the original AC-Delco battery shorted internally and wiped out the engine computer. This was replaced under warranty. Really a battery issue, not a car fault.
All in all, a very good vehicle that has been dependable and fun to drive. I feel that I have received very good value for the money (local dealer allowed me to use 3000 GM card points!!!). I intend to keep driving this car until it makes no financial sense to continue with it.