It is based on the 1979-1981 Pontiac Firebird but the round taillights are similar to 1970-1973 Chevrolet Camaros. The front portion was resembling 1973-1975 Vauxhall Firenza, especially the Droopsnoot version. It has varied slightly throughout the games, with a rear deck lid blackout panel in GTA San Andreas, and a thinner stripe in GTA Vice City Stories.
The Phoenix is one of the fastest cars in the game, and has excellent torque, and handling. The Phoenix drives and sounds as if powered by a large V8 engine, and also features a large airscoop for the carburetor. It can also be modified in TransFender in GTA: San Andreas with nearly all of the available options for customization, but most of of the catagories have only one option as with most car customization in San Andreas. The Phoenix in GTA San Andreas is an excellent vehicle off- road and the best sports car for off-roading in the game and it is better at off-roading than some of the SUV's in the game. Like most muscle cars, it has a two person capacity. On the downside, the brakes are not as good as the other sports cars in GTA San Andreas.
While common on the streets of GTA Vice City and GTA Vice City Stories, the Phoenix is a significantly rarer car in GTA San Andreas.
GTA Vice City
- Commonly driven all around Vice Beach.
- Parked at the north-western mansion on Starfish Island.
- Common on Starfish Island.
GTA San Andreas
- In San Fierro, the Phoenix can be found by entering the San Fierro Hills street race located at the checkered flag behind Wang Cars. Take the Phoenix to the Doherty Garage instead of racing it to keep it.
- In A Home In The Hills, It is the escape vehicle of Big Poppa who seized Madd Dogg's house. You can kill him and retrieve the car, although its quite hard since he will constantly try to drive away, and isn't stopped easily.
- Very rarely parks in the parking lot next to the pier at Santa Maria, where the Lowrider Race ends.
- Can rarely be found driving in rich residential districts in the three main cities (like Richman in Los Santos, Calton Heights in San Fierro, or Prickle Pine in Las Venturas). Most likely to appear if the player is driving a Cheetah or Turismo, especially when it's modded.
- Can be found during the Vigilante missions 1 and 2, and Firefighter missions 1, 2 and 3. (Although it is difficult to find. Higher levels feature 4-seated cars/vans.)
- Can rarely be found across the street from The Strip.
- Spawn often more if the cheat "Fast cars" is activated.
GTA Vice City Stories
- Parked along the road that extends along the beach on Ocean Beach.
- Parked behind Malibu Club in Washington Beach.
- Parked on the side of the road in front of a building, northwest of the Vice Point Mall, Vice Point.
- Car Color 1 (body) – $150
- Car Color 2 (stripe) – $150
- Oval Hood Vent – $150
- Square Hood Vent – $100
- Large exhaust – $250
- Twin exhaust – $300
- Upswept exhaust – $350
- Square Fog Lamp – $50
- 2× Nitrous – $200
- 5× Nitrous – $500
- 10× Nitrous – $1000
- Roof Scoop – $80
- Win – $550
- Fury – $350
- Side Skirt – $500
- Import – $820
- Atomic – $770
- Ahab – $1000
- Virtual – $620
- Access – $1140
- Off Road Wheel – $1000
- Mega – $1030
- Grove – $1230
- Twist – $1200
- Wires – $1560
- Bass Boost – $100
- Hydraulics – $1500
- In GTA San Andreas, the default radio station in the Phoenix is Playback FM.
- In GTA San Andreas, the two storyline missions which involve the use of the Phoenix have the word "Hills" in it (A Home in the Hills and San Fierro Hills. Note that these two missions are the only missions in GTA San Andreas wherein "Hills" is part of the mission name. However, this is most likely pure coincidence.
- In GTA Vice City, the butterflies in the hood scoop open when accelerating; however in GTA San Andreas they are stationary, and in GTA VCS the butterflies are eliminated altogether. It is also noteworthy that the GTA SA version of the Phoenix is the only one with three-dimensional butterflies in the scoop: the ones in Vice City were 2-D (flat), despite the fact that they moved.
- When the health cheat is activated or the car is taken to a garage the butterflies will be stuck open due to a glitch.
- It's name is misspelled "Pheonix" in GTA Vice City's internal files.
- The Phoenix is likely an Imponte car, as the Phoenix is based on a Pontiac car and Imponte is based on Pontiac.
- In GTA San Andreas, it is one of the rarest cars in the game along with the Hotknife and the Euros.
- A Phoenix is a legendary mythical bird said to set fire to itself and arise from its ashes in a new form. It is also 1 of 4 vehicles in San Andreas to be named after a mythical creature, the other 3 being the Hydra, Leviathan and Banshee.
- A muscle car very similar to the Phoenix appears in the Grand Theft Auto V trailer.
- Strangely, Pontiac had actually sold a compact car called the Phoenix from 1977 to 1984.
- Phoenix is a possible play on Firebird, the car it is based off.
- Even though Phoenix is a muscle car, its engine sound is similar to a Supercar except in GTA San Andreas where it sounds more like a Muscle Car than a Supercar.
- In Saints Row there is a muscle car also named the Phoenix also based on the Pontiac Firebird.
- Phoenix was named after the capital city of Arizona.