I apologize for the delay of the rest of this review.
The first thing I noticed when sitting in the leather and suede power bucket seat was the machined gauge background that brought me back to my youth and my dad's 1979 Trans Am. The silver accents are a common trait of some hot rod customizers and of second generation Firebirds. It's a subtle hint of the past that will most likely go unnoticed by some.
I found it very easy to get in and out of the Grand Prix GXP and to get comfortable, though a friend who is over 6 feet tall found front seat ingress to be tricky, but found the nearly 90 degree opening rear door helped getting into the back seats. He also found head and legroom to be suitable in the rear for his frame. The driver-side seat is a six-way power unit with power lumbar control while the passenger gets to do everything manually. Both seats are heated.
The Heads Up Display (HUD) unit seems like a frivolous item, but I found myself enjoying the digital display, especially for the XM Radio station display. When the GXP is put into TAPShift mode, the speedo display gets smaller and the HUD broadcasts what gear you?re in.
If I had a gripe about the interior it would be an overabundance of gray. A little silver or carbon fiber accent could give the center stack less of a drab look. The HVAC control was easy to use and the Driver Information Center has many settings, though the control buttons are not all that attractive on the center stack. This GXP had the standard CD player with 6 speakers and I would suggest upgrading to the 6 disc with 9 speakers and an amp. It?s not hard to max out the capabilities of the base system if you really like to blast music. The GXP comes standard with a year of OnStar and side curtain airbags are optional.
Trunk space is huge, made even more useful by a larger (than 2003) passenger compartment pass-thru and a fold flat passenger seat. That lets you fill the car with longer items without having to chew apart the back of the seat or having 2x4s share center console space with your right arm. The steering wheel is huge also, even getting a comment from my wife. Once behind it, you don?t notice it as much, but from afar it looks bigger than it should be. The TAPShift buttons are located in a good position and I didn?t get a ?poor? quality feel from them as one reader commented. You just tap them (not just a clever name) to shift, not slam them.
The interior of the Grand Prix was standard fare. The design doesn?t jump out at you and could be brightened up by some well-placed trim pieces. Take the same inspiration that created the gauge package and sill plate and apply that to the dashboard. While my 5'9" frame had no problem getting in and out of the Grand Prix GXP, the problem could be a major stumbling block for taller drivers.