Pontiac G6 4-Cylinder Test Drive

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Thread: Pontiac G6 4-Cylinder Test Drive

  1. #1
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    Pontiac G6 4-Cylinder Test Drive

    The Pontiac G6 was introduced in 2005 as a replacement to the popular Grand Am. The G6 is offered as a sedan, coupe and sexy retractable hard-top convertible. Iím looking at leasing a G6 SE Sedan with the 3.5L V6, but unfortunately none were available at the dealership. I drove an Aura XE (see my review) which is based off the same platform and has the same 3.5L V6 and 4-Speed Automatic transmission as the G6 that Iím looking at. After driving the Aura, I can say that the 3.5L V6 is a great engine and worth opting for if you desire more power. I was able to drive a base 2.4L ECOTEC L4 and Iím basing my experiences on that trim level.

    The exterior styling is conservative compared to some of the Pontiacs of the 90ís and early 00ís, but looks much classier while still looking like a Pontiac. I noticed the new G8 looks a lot like a larger version of the G6 which works well for Pontiacís recent design theme.

    The interior is styled nicely and has a sporty look and feel to it. The seats are very comfortable and wrap around you. There is lots of room inside, but rear headroom with the sloping roofline might be tight for some. The materials are surprisingly quite nice. Theyíre soft touch and rubbery feeling and is one of the few interiors that isnít covered in hard plastics. While the new Saturn Auraís interior looks classier, it has a lot more hard plastics than the G6.

    The G6 is based off of GMís Epsilon platform that was introduced in European GM models in 2002. The G6 benefits from that European chassis design with good handling and a solid structure. Also European is the 4-cylinder. The 2.4L ECOTEC VVT L4 that powers the base models was designed by GM Powertrain, Opel and Saab engineers and is a strong performer and feels smooth compared to the Quad IV of the past, but like that engine, loves to growl. Mated to the L4 is GMís ubiquitous 4-Speed Automatic transmission that does the job well. Standard features on the base model include A/C, power group, 6 airbags, DIC and some other goodies, sadly ABS and ETS are not available on the stripped down base, but optional on the SE models.

    The 2.4L ECOTEC VVT L4 is good for 169 HP and 162 LB-FT of torque. Thatís about average for the class. I was surprised with the amount of get up and go the engine has. It needs to rev up to about 4000 RPM to get good use of those 169 horses but has no problem doing so. I would still get the 3.5, but if youíre on a super tight budget, then the 4-cylinder is worth a look. While the ECOTEC doesn't vibrate a lot, itís quite growly sounding most of the time. I actually found it quite fun to rev and felt torquier than you would expect. The electric power steering, which is only in the 4-cylinder models is superb and has the best calibration out of any GM that has this system. It feels nice and firm at normal to high speeds and is light at low speeds to make parking super easy. I actually was surprised how great it felt considering my momís Saturn Vue Redline, which has the EPS feels so artificial. Handling is quite good and the base 16 inch tires seem to grip well. Brake pedal feel is nice and firm and has good modulation.

    Overall, I came away quite impressed with the G6. If the base model drives this good, then I canít wait to see how well the 3.5 drives. The G6 is light years ahead of the Grand Am it replaced and I think is definitely a great midsize car. Iím actually leaning towards this over the Aura, which ironically won car of the year. The G6 may not be for everyone, but if you love sporty cars or like the option of getting a coupe or convertible trim level, the G6 is definitely worth a look.

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    Re: Pontiac G6 4-Cylinder Test Drive

    Thanks for the review, it was a good read. I had the pleasure of driving a G6 6 cylinder rental a few weeks ago. I liked it overall, and the styling seemed ok, but it was silver with non sporty wheels; performance models of the G6 look much, much better.

    I liked the inside, I thought it was sporty and well designed. However, I have a few issues with it; I think there is too much plastic. It's everywhere..on the unforgiving hard doors, the dash, center stack. Some of it is soft plastic, but it isn't textured very well. It felt a bit cheap overall in the inside to me, but it was a low end, rental model without leather, etc. It's not that there was bad plastics...the dash was ok as well as the center stack. But it didn't particularly impart a feeling of quality overall. I think GM would do well to have some better plastics and leather or padding or something on the doors..basically thatever they can do to get rid of that plastiky feeling that I felt in the G6 and for some reason didn't in the Aura.

    The driving experience is good, I liked the way it handled and it was sporty to drive around. I'd definitely like to get a hardtop..I think a 2-door hardtop with two tone interior would look good and not get the feeling I got from this rental car. I'm going to the dealer to check one out pretty soon, so I'll be able to tell better then.

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    Re: Pontiac G6 4-Cylinder Test Drive

    I've driven several G6's and also a Malibu. All had the 3.5 except one of the G6's which was the GTP coupe with the 3.9 with the automatic. They are great cars. The ones with the 3.5 were the 200 HP engines, so I don't know how different the VVT ones are, though all had plenty of power, the 3.9 was a blast to drive.

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    Re: Pontiac G6 4-Cylinder Test Drive

    My sister agrees as she just bought a new G6.
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    Re: Pontiac G6 4-Cylinder Test Drive

    The only thing I don't like about the G6 is that options like climate control are only available with the 3.6 and auto. I'd really like a 3.9, 6MT, loaded up with all the options.

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    Re: Pontiac G6 4-Cylinder Test Drive

    I agree, I'm suprised that you can't get the 3.9 with auto, but I suppose the 6MT is probably better suited to it anyway. I do like that little 4-cylinder I must say, it really has a lot of pep to it, but the thrill of driving it would die down after awhile and it probably doesn't perform well on the highway like the V6. I'd definitely take a 3.5L VVT V6 for sure on the lower models, it really has great power and the VVT does improve it a lot compared to the original 200 HP engines.

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    Re: Pontiac G6 4-Cylinder Test Drive

    we have the 2005 malibu maxx with the 3.5 201hp and 220 torque. and thats a nice motor. it moves the car right along no proplem. and the maxx is the heavy car out of the bunch so it must move the other ones pretty nice.

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    Re: Pontiac G6 4-Cylinder Test Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by theantigeist
    The only thing I don't like about the G6 is that options like climate control are only available with the 3.6 and auto. I'd really like a 3.9, 6MT, loaded up with all the options.
    I wouldve too, but they dont make them anymore. It was only offered as a 'package', not even a trim level. If you search AutoTrader, you might be able to find one in a 100 mile radius.

    Such a shame

    As a coupe with the 3.9 and a 6-speed, it definately qualified as a sports car, they shoudlve done alot more to set it up to compete with FWD imports like the Eclipse, Tiburon, and RSX.

    But they didnt.
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    Re: Pontiac G6 4-Cylinder Test Drive

    Is the 2.4 the same as the one in the Solstice?
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    Re: Pontiac G6 4-Cylinder Test Drive

    yup its the same motor thats in the Solstice

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    Re: Pontiac G6 4-Cylinder Test Drive

    Can anyone explain the insanity of a 4-way "power height adjustable seat" on a G6 with cloth seats?

    How much could it possibly cost for a proper 6-way seat?

    There are alot of buyers who do not want leather, wonder how many sales were lost to this decision?

    I agree with the comments about some of the interior plastics, GM still has some improving to do here.

    I do like the visability of the Coupe, almost forgot how much those sedan posts block.

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    Re: Pontiac G6 4-Cylinder Test Drive

    mmm yes, G6 GT coupe with the Sport package. I test drove one a while back and it was awesome. Mmmm, putting it through all those gears
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