The Pontiac Sunfire is an automobile that was introduced for the 1995 model year by Pontiac as the compact car to replace the Sunbird. Not only was the name changed, but dramatic styling changes were included as well. The new styling was shared with the redesigned Chevrolet Cavalier. Along with the fresh new look the J platform was updated structurally to meet more stringent safety standards for the 1996 model year.
The Sunfire could be purchased as a sedan, coupe, or convertible. All three variations came in the standard SE trim level. An upscale GT trim level was available on the coupe and convertible. The GT trim level came standard with the 2.3 litre LD2 engine in 1995 or the 2.4 litre LD9 "Twin Cam" engine (1996–2002), 16-inch alloy wheels, dual exhaust, and a more aggressive looking front fascia. The SE trim was the standard for the Sunfire which included the 2.2 litre 2200 OHV Engine. The 2.3/2.4 DOHC Engine was optional. Both the SE and GT trim levels were dropped after the 2002 model year, along with the 2.2 OHV and 2.4 DOHC engines. The 2.2 litre Ecotec was the only available engine as of the 2002 model year.
Originally the convertible was only in the SE trim level until the 1999 model year where it became only available in the GT trim. The convertible was discontinued after the year 2000. All Sunfire convertibles were assembled at the "Genesis" Lansing, Michigan Plant.
The Pontiac Sunfire went through two facelifts in its 11-year run. Once in 2000 which was a small redesign featuring the heavy plastic cladding look that was prevalent with Pontiac at the time, and more streamlined update in 2003. In the US, the coupe was the only model available from 2003 to 2005. The sedan continued to be sold in Canada and Mexico until the end of production on June 22, 2005. GM replaced the Sunfire with the G5 for the 2006 model year in Canada and the 2007 model year in the United States.