Image credits: © Pontiac. GM Corp

2004 Pontiac Sunfire news, pictures, specifications, and information


The 2004 Pontiac Sunfire carries on the tradition of a sporty, aerodynamic design wîth a high level of standard equipment, power and torque. It is an example of how Pontiac offers style, fun and excitement in this youth-oriented §egmènt.

Sunfire's exterior lines show off the Pontiac-style cat-eye headlamps and integrated turn signals extending further into the hood. Inset fog lamps and a split-grille further accentuate the coupe's sporty looks and highlight Pontiac's heritage of excitement and performance.

Emphasizing the sporty look is a 15-inch, three-spoke wheel cover design available in a painted finish on Sunfires equipped wîth the basic equipment group. Sunfire customers can upgrade to 15-inch aluminum wheels wîth the 1SB equipment group or move to the 1SC for 16-inch Chrome Tech aluminum wheels and P205/55R16 blackwall performance tires.

The Ecotec 2.2L I-4 engine is standard power on all 2004 Sunfire models. Quiet operation is one of the engine's chief attributes, accomplished by using twin balance shafts located in the cylinder block. These cancel the shaking forces inherent in an inline four-cylinder engine, resulting in a smooth engine from idle to maximum engine rpm. The Ecotec I-4 generates 140 horsepower (104 kw) at 5600 rpm and 150 lb.-ft. (203 Nm) of torque at 4400 rpm. Other features that help make the DOHC engine smooth and quiet include a die-cast lower crankcase and a structural cast-aluminum oil pan, which stiffen the block and reduce radiated engine noise. The engine also features an isolated cam cover that reduces the transmittal of valvetrain noise.

At 305 pounds (138 kg) fully dressed, the Ecotec 2.2L is the lightest and most compact engine GM has produced in its class. It's also more powerful and fuel-efficient than major competitors, according to published output figures and EPA mileage ratings. When mated to the manual transmission, it delivers approximately 33 mpg on the highway. Just as important, thanks in part to its high-compression application (compression ratio 10.0:1), the Ecotec 2.2L delivers superb performance for its size, wîth a broad, flat torque curve that produces strong response at almost any speed.

Putting that performance to the pavement is a five-speed Getrag manual transmission on the base model, while a Hydra-Matic 4T45-E electronically controlled four-speed automatic is standard on the other models. The Enhanced Traction System, packaged wîth the four-speed automatic transmission in the top-of-the-line Sunfire, aids wîth safety and performance. The system also is available in the mid-level group when ABS is ordered wîth the automatic transmission. (posted on

To ensure that it handles as well as it looks, the 2004 Sunfire's available sport-tuned suspension features firm shocks and large sway bars, resulting in optimal handling.

Sunfire buyers are young, active and tend to use their vehicles for various tasks. The 2004 Sunfire addresses their needs wîth a 60/40 split-fold rear seat. This gives owners more cargo-carrying flexibility and seating options. The split-fold rear seat also extends Sunfire's cargo-carrying capacity by enabling longer items - such as skis or snowboards - to be conveniently transported inside the vehicle.

Few things are more important to younger buyers than a vehicle's sound system - and Sunfire delivers a wealth of audio packages to suit the budget conscious as well as the audiophile.

New for 2004 in Sunfire is the CD/MP3 player wîth equalizer and Radio Data System. Playing a CD wîth MP3 format files can provide hours of customized music on just one CD.

For those wanting only the basics, the Sunfire features a standard AM/FM stereo. An optional sound system wîth integrated CD player and six speakers is available for those who want more out of their system. They will enjoy the convenience of Radio Data System (RDS) and speed-compensated volume in their standard sound system. RDS lets listeners seek and scan stations by their preferred musical programming type, access up-to-the-minute traffic and weather information, receive text information on the radio display, or even have CD play interrupted for emergency traffic broadcasts.

Top-level audio quality is available wîth the 200-watt, eight-speaker Monsoon system, which has been tailored specifically to this vehicle's acoustical environment. With eight speakers placed optimally to maximize sound, Monsoon delivers top-level audio quality. The eight-channel amplified system wîth active crossovers directs low, midrange and high frequencies to the appropriate speakers. The optional Monsoon sound system is ideal for those who place a premium on high-quality sound output.

The 2004 Sunfire also offers XM Satellite Radio as an option on all models (continental Ú.S. only). XM Satellite Radio provides 100 coast-to-coast, digital-quality channels of original music, news, sports and talk. Consumers can subscribe to the basic service for $9.99 a month - less than the cost of a single CD. In addition, GM customers wîth GMAC financing can choose to include the XM subscription in their car payments.

For safety-minded consumers, the 2004 Sunfire has additional features and options. In addition to standard front driver and passenger air bags, Sunfire offers optional seat-mounted side air bags for front-seat passengers. The available Protection Package features side air bags and the OnStar communications and security service, available as an option on the Sunfire. A three-point seatbelt is standard for the rear center position in all Sunfires.

Available on all models, OnStar is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information services in the Ú.S. and Canada. Úsing the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite network and wireless technology, OnStar services include automatic notification of air bag deployment, stolen vehicle location, remote door unlock, emergency services dispatch, roadside assistance, remote diagnostics, route support, convenience services and OnStar Concierge. OnStar Personal Calling allows drivers to make and receive hands-free, voice-activated phone calls through a nationwide network in cooperation wîth Verizon Wireless. Virtual Advisor (Ú.S. only) gives subscribers access to personalized information in a hands-free, voice-activated manner wîth no screens or displays.

Source - Pontiac
With frugal buyers in mind, Pontiac launched their budget-friendly Sunfire to shoppers interested in cheap, basic transportation. Debuted for the 1995 model year, Pontiac introduced the Sunfire as the compact car that would replace the Sunbird in the compact car segment of Pontiac's lineup. More than just the name was changed, but very dramatic styling changes were also unveiled. The all new styling was shared with the Chevy Cavalier, but General Motors didn't change the Cavalier name. The J platform was also updated structurally to meet the more stringent safety standards of the time.

Initially the Sunfire was offered as a 2-door coupe or convertible in either base or GT trims. The Pontiac Sunfire was available as a coupe, convertible or as a sedan, and all three types came in the standard SE trim level. The coupe and convertible offered an upscale GT trim level. This trim level came standard with the 2.4 liter LD9 engine, dual exhaust, 16' alloy wheels and a front fascia that ‘more aggressive looking'. After the 2002 model year the GT trim level was dropped. Until 1999, the convertible was only available in the SE trim level, but it was then offered in the GT trim. After the 2000 year the convertible was discontinued.

The base Sunfire had the 2.2 L engine from 1995 until 2002 with a 115-hp I4 engine and the GT upped to a 2.4-liter 155-hp I4. An optional, much more powerful 2.3 L Quad 4 engine was available on the GT trim level in 1995 and was replaced by the 2.4 L LD9 engine in 1996. Both the 2.3 and 2.4 liter engines were optional in the 2 and 4-door SE trim level. The 2.2L and the 2.4 L engines were replaced by the 2.2 L Ecotec engine. This would be the only powertrain available for the remaining production period. This Ecotec engine was also an option for the 2002 model year.

Until 2004 the Sunfire was constructed in Lordstown, Ohio and in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico. Lansing, Michigan was the home of the convertible production. More than 36,000 Sunfires were sold in the U.S. and a total of 33,724 units were sold in Canada in 2004. Each of these models was priced around $11,500.

The Sunfire was especially popular with the younger shoppers, more specifically, young women. Sharing a platform with the Cavalier, the Sunfire had a very sport look with a rear spoiler and low roofline. It was also popular with its low price tag and good fuel economy. The Sunfire also was extremely light, and it didn't take much for this peppy little compact to go fast.

The Sunfire underwent major updates, once in 2000 and once again in 2003. The coupe was the only model available in the U.S. from 2003 until 2005. In 2000 the convertible was dropper, and once the Firebird was dropped, the Sunfire filled the role as Pontiac's only two-door car until the GTO arrived in 2004. The Sunfire was now only available with a 2.2-liter I4 that achieved 140-hp and had only few standard features beyond AC, rear defrost , and a rear spoiler. Plenty of convenience options were available though.

In Canada and Mexico the sedan continued to be sold until the end of the production run in 2005. In June of 2005 production of the Pontiac Sunfire coupe ended and was replaced with the G5 for 2007.

By Jessica Donaldson
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