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RoadTests Sedan Motor Trend Buyer's Guide

First Look: 2005 Pontiac G6
Pontiac's G6 Grand Am replacement is aimed at Japanese targets and high sales volumes...

By Ron Sessions
Photography by courtesy of the manufacturer
Motor Trend, February 2004

In the 2005 model year, we'll say adios to that billboard of plastic body cladding, the Pontiac Aztek. We'll also bear witness to the first of a new wave of Pontiacs with cleaner, unfettered lines, in the form of the G6 sedan. It arrives this summer and replaces the long-running Grand Am, Pontiac's best-seller for the better part of two decades. The production G6 is very close in appearance to the concept shown at the Detroit auto show last year.

Shorn of the fussy details that festered on recent Pontiacs, the new G6 has a purity of form that's almost Audi-like. The G6 is perched on the long-wheelbase (120-inch) version of the Epsilon platform shared with the Malibu Maxx and sports muscular wheel arches and short Euro-like overhangs. The generous wheelbase provides for a roomy interior, especially for rear-seat occupants. Materials used in the G6's cabin are considerably more upscale than those chosen for the Malibu.

The G6's cabin is a big improvement in terms of both design and quality, but it faces tough competition from the best Japanese-branded offerings.

Following in the footsteps of the four-door G6 will be a coupe appearing in early 2005 and a convertible dropping its top that summer.

The G6 sedan will launch with a workaday drivetrain borrowed from the Malibu. It'll consist of an Ecotec DOHC four-cylinder SE model (bumped up to an estimated 170 horsepower) and a "high-value" OHV V-6 GT model with 200 horses, both teamed with a four-speed automatic. Later on, a GTP performance model will join the lineup with a 3.9-liter, 250-or-so-horsepower OHV V-6 and an available six-speed manual transmission shared with the top Saab 93 powertrain. Coupe and ragtop iterations are to be powered solely by V-6 engines; the four-cylinder, four-door model holds down the fort for rental and fleet sales. Early G6s will be available with manumatic (tap up/tap down) shifting on the center console, but Pontiac will update those with steering wheel controls (not the same as used in the Grand Prix).

Price range $18,000-$26,000 (est)
Vehicle layout Front engine, fwd, 5-pass sedan, coupe, 4-pass convertible
Engines 2.2L/170-hp (est) I-4, DOHC, 4 valves/cyl; 3.5L/200-hp V-6, OHV; 3.9L/250-hp (est) V-6, OHV
On sale in U.S. Summer 2004 (4-dr sedan); winter 2004-2005 (2-dr coupe); summer 2005 (2-dr conv)

Though G6 SE and GT models will continue to use the Malibu's somewhat artificial-feeling electric steering, the GTP reverts to a full hydraulic system preferred by most enthusiasts.



Expect G6 suspension tuning to start out with stiffer springs, shocks, bushings, and anti-roll bars than the Malibu's. Other Malibu features, such as four-wheel disc brakes, remote starting, OnStar, and XM Radio, spill over to the G6. The G6 convertible will be one of a few true four-place droptops available in the U.S. market, and it'll offer a feature exclusive in the segment: a self-covering tonneau.


http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedan/..._first_pontiac/
 

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Every time I see tenths of Toyotas and Hondas everywhere,I dream of something like Pontiac - a true American brand.But GM doesn't care.I see the only solution would be to immigrate to the USA <_<
 

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It seems like a worthy sucessor to the Grand Am. Nice interior too! Can't wait for the GTP with the 6 speed manual.

:afro:
 

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ditto regarding the GTP!

I am just itching to test drive that 3.9L with a six speed. I would likely buy it too if Pontiac wasn't building the Solstice. (I know they are very different cars, but they are new and stylish and what I want to buy).

It's about time that GM has decided to build cars that people WANT to own! I will go out on a limb (sarcasm) and predict that the G6 will be a very hot seller!
 

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Originally posted by stewacide@May 30 2004, 01:25 AM
It doesn't sound like they've actually driven the car or even sat in it.
Yah not really a good article at all...yesterday's news.
 

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i like what i hear, but the design of the interior is much to bubbley for me. remindes me of the extreamly soft designs of the later part of the 90's. other than that it sounds like it will be an all around good car. cant wait for them to give a full artical on it, or someone for that matter.
 

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:bounce:

Having just bought a van, the next replacement is our car in about 3-4 years. The G6 seems like it's exactly what I'm looking for in a midsize car so I watch with great interest. I had almost given up on GM sedans till I saw this car. The new Grand Prix isn't bad either, but the G6 looks like it will be a better and more modern car in every way.

3.9L looks like it's coming early next year. too bad it won't be out right away. I guess the 3.5L will be the volume leader.
 

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I think that this car will DEFINATELY sell well. It's not the ugly plastic-cladded ugly-nosed Pontiacs of yesteryear. Solstic then GTO and now G6, Pontiac is comin on back!
 

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Originally posted by stewacide@May 29 2004, 08:25 PM
It doesn't sound like they've actually driven the car or even sat in it.
Since this article was from a February Motortrend, that would be very true. This is an OLD article.

Mark
 

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I am just glad that Pontiac finally is planning a manual tranny for their midsize car. We have been asking for that for looooong time.
 

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The exterior is clean and the interior looks nice.
I cannot wait to go test drive them. I would be
in the market for the V6 sedan. I'm glad to see
OHV being used to describe the engine still. :)
 

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i'm surprised there won't be a 4-cyl / 5-speed version of the G6. i guess they wanna force manual drivers into the more expensive 3.9L / 6-speed combo, but i won't be in the market for a top-level G6. 170hp ecotec and a 5-speed would be perfect for me. if pontiac wants to compete with the japanese, they should really sell comparable cars.
 

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Originally posted by titan@May 29 2004, 05:57 PM
It seems like a worthy sucessor to the Grand Am. Nice interior too! Can't wait for the GTP with the 6 speed manual.

:afro:
Sorry, but the Grand Am isn't worthy of being succeeded. It's everything bad that GM has stood for in the last 20 years. Good riddance.

The G6 appears to be in a whole new league, thankfully.

The only missing part of the the equation are the engines. As good as they may be, they're inevitably going to be derided as cheap, ancient holdovers by the automotive press. There's nothing wrong with these engines, to be sure, but GM has to face up to the fact that they're going to hold back the reputations of these cars.

GM really needs to find a way to sell the opinion makers on the virtues of OHV engines. Do something amazing and high tech with them and trumpet the accomplishment. Demonstrate their virtues more effectively. Talk about how durable they are. Something, anything.

Telling the motoring public that most buyers are indifferent to their cars' engines -- even though it's true -- fails on two fronts. First, it insults your buyers as numbskulls. Second, it concedes inferiority.

Stop being old GM, and get it right, guys. Your cars are now fully deserving of better treatment.
 

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Originally posted by AMcA@Jun 5 2004, 11:48 AM
GM really needs to find a way to sell the opinion makers on the virtues of OHV engines.  Do something amazing and high tech with them and trumpet the accomplishment.
http://www.auto-report.net/index.html?tonawandav6.html

"The new engines feature an advanced powertrain control module, improved fuel injection system, a redesigned exhaust manifold and a new catalytic converter which contribute to reduced emissions and improved efficiency and performance characteristics. Previous information released by GM indicates the 3.9 L V6 could produce up to 240 hp / 179 kW, as much as the supercharged 3800 Series II. Improvements in cooling, sealing and the accessory drive system add to the overall quality, reliability and durability. Displacement on Demand technology for the OHV V6s will be introduced in the 2005 calendar year and will help to increase fuel efficiency about 8 percent. Future upgrades announced for GM's OHV engines include an increase to 3-valves per cylinder, as previewed on the Global XV8 concept."

Sounds like a great new high tech engine to me, oh wait, it's got pushrods <_< Now it's up to GM to let buyers know what they're putting into these engines.
 

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G6 looks like a great vehicle. Id like to see a few changes in the interior like a sportier steering wheel but overall I look forward to seeing them at the dealerships this fall.

AMca- I dont agree with your opinions of the Grand Am Ive only had mine for 2 years but its been a great car. I purchased my grand am in 2002 Because it was reasonably priced spoirty styling compaired to the alero and malibu. If I wouldnt have gotten my grand am I would have ended up purchasing an import. So I dont see how keeping a GM buyer inside GM could be bad. My former car before it was a 2001 Saturn SC2. Just as a side note
 

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i think you'll find in general, the people that knock a vehicle or engine don't have that engine and have never driven that car. i can't tell you how many people i've heard sayin that the 3800 is an old, outdated engine that gm should be ashamed of, blah blah blah. my 96 is still silky smooth, and everytime i give my friends (many of whom own imports) a ride, i always get at least one comment on how quiet it is, or how powerful it is...

but so it goes...
 

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Originally posted by Dumb_Ass_2003+Jun 6 2004, 05:20 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Dumb_Ass_2003 @ Jun 6 2004, 05:20 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-AMcA@Jun 5 2004, 11:48 AM
GM really needs to find a way to sell the opinion makers on the virtues of OHV engines.  Do something amazing and high tech with them and trumpet the accomplishment.
http://www.auto-report.net/index.html?tonawandav6.html

"The new engines feature an advanced powertrain control module, improved fuel injection system, a redesigned exhaust manifold and a new catalytic converter which contribute to reduced emissions and improved efficiency and performance characteristics. Previous information released by GM indicates the 3.9 L V6 could produce up to 240 hp / 179 kW, as much as the supercharged 3800 Series II. Improvements in cooling, sealing and the accessory drive system add to the overall quality, reliability and durability. Displacement on Demand technology for the OHV V6s will be introduced in the 2005 calendar year and will help to increase fuel efficiency about 8 percent. Future upgrades announced for GM's OHV engines include an increase to 3-valves per cylinder, as previewed on the Global XV8 concept."

Sounds like a great new high tech engine to me, oh wait, it's got pushrods <_< Now it's up to GM to let buyers know what they're putting into these engines. [/b][/quote]
When Pontiac released information about the 2005 G6, they included this picture:

http://autodeadline.com/detail?source=Pont...059235&mime=JPG
autodeadline.com

Obviously there is going to be a manual offered on at least one model. The picture is of a 6 speed manual (presumably to be offered with the 3.9L V6).

If Pontiac can get the 3.9L V6 to market with the manual by next May they they will be able to generate a lot of summer buyers - or at least a lot of summer enthusiasm for this car.

The only thing that I am worried about is that the GTP package may come standard with so many things (leather, sunroof, etc...) that it will drive the price too close to $30K. Pontiac needs to offer this car in the mid twenties and it will be a huge sales success.

I can't wait to test drive one!!
 
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