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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
By RCtennis3811

2004 PONTIAC GRAND PRIX GTP W/ COMP PACKAGE


Well, I finally decided to test drive the Pontiac Grand Prix, after it received lots of fanfare here at GMI. Well, this weekend I testdrove a black 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP fully-loaded with competition package. Here's my thoughts:

Styling
What can I say, this is a big car! The side view is probably the most "breathtaking" with the upwards-sweeping rear door windows, which really adds a sporty factor. The bulges on the trunklid may look outlandish, but in darker colors it adds a sporty flair to the car. The "dual-port" mufflers on the back are a stupid idea in my opinion. I, frankly, would've liked a muffler on both sides with just a huge oval, and not a rectangular metal piece with two holes carved out in it. The front of the car is my least favorite view. The headlights and grill just don't work for me. I like the Bonneville GXP's front much better. Other than those two small nitpicks, there's nothing else that's wrong with the exterior of the car. It's stylish - period.

Interior
When I sat in this car, I immediately thought to myself, "SAAB". It's not a bad thing, but the GP's dashboard (while with no relation at all to the 9-3) has that "7" style driver-oriented look. It's really sporty. In typical Pontiac fashion, everything that lights up on the dash is red - which a sports sedan's interior seems most acceptable in. The steering wheel is one of GM's better efforts at making steering wheels, and while it's no CTS steering-wheel or even a Mazda steering-wheel, it does the job well. Here's probably the only downfall of the GP: the interior. While everything I just said is true, there are still signs of cost-cutting in this car. The center stack is put together solidly, but the plastic is shiny and cheap-feeling. It would've been better to put some metallic/silver trim there. Also, the number of vents is even more outlandish. There was too much air blowing into the empty front passenger seat and not enough for the driver. The stereo unit is GM's worst stereo design currently available. I hope they eventually use the unit from the G6/Malibu/CSVs/Equinox soon. Also, for a 28K car, you'd expect digital climate control, but that didn't bother me at all. Looking at the car from the outside, you'd expect a big interior. Nope. The front seats are very comfortable with above-average leather, but the rear seat is the worst thing to sit in. No toe space, no leg room, hard cushions, no center armrest, and no adjustable headrests add up for a place no adult will want to sit in.


Performance
The Grand Prix uses GM's Supercharged 3800 Series III V6 which dates back more than 30 years ago (the engine, not the Eaton supercharger). It's a great engine for cars like the GP, but shouldn't at all be used in a luxury Buick in my opinion. The GP is always willing to accelerate on the highway and never runs out of breath - a plus in today's busy world. The only disadvantage to a pushrod engine is the refinement. At above 60MPH, it didn't feel as smooth as a DOHC engine and vibrations were noticeable, as with engine noises. Thankfully, people who buy the GP aren't looking for refinement, but for sportiness. That's why GM has the 3.6L High Feature engine! The TAPshift system isn't to my liking. It's more like playing a GameBoy Advance than driving a car. I'd rather take the manumatic found in the SRX/STS/G6. Otherwise, the shifts are smooth and precise and the car gets great gas mileage.

Pros: 260HP supercharged V6, exterior styling, rebates, comfy front seats, low price
Cons: rear seat, TAPshift isn't really fun nor driver-engaging
Overall thoughts: If you want a lot of sport for the money, the Grand Prix is a hard car to beat!

:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Originally posted by johnd89@May 12 2004, 02:13 PM
also, you didn't mentioned nothing about the steering feeling nor the modding potential of the 3.8...
do your homework well before going for a drive, and don't leave anything aside.
it also helps when you compare (vibrations, noise level, stereo, etc) to name the car you're comparing with...
My thought was, if you have nothing bad nor good to say about something, then don't. I probably should've mentioned that first. And MODDING POTENTIAL!?! Why??? Most people won't even tune this car at all!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The funny thing is that I wanted to test drive the GTO, but the dealer was sold out of them! LOL :lol:

-Jason
 
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