• Sep 18th 2008 at 1:12AM
  • 73
Click above for a hi-res gallery of Pontiac G3 Wave

For a little while there, it looked like Pontiac was getting its mojo back. The G8 is terrific, the Solstice GXP Coupe is ready to join the roadster, and the even more awesome G8 GXP is waiting in the wings. All rear-drive. All meant to be fun. And then GM goes and does this.

Behold, friends, the 2009 Pontiac G3 Wave. Yes, that's an Aveo5 with Poncho nostrils, and it reeks of product strategy that's more 1989 than 2009. Why not just call it G3 Le Mans? You know, in honor of the last Daewoo-sourced trashback that helped turn that whole "We Build Excitement" thing into a punchline. By comparison, this makes the equally distressing Pontiac G5 look like a Corvette ZR1 on the cool meter -- and trust us, this is the only scenario in which you'll ever see those two models mentioned in the same sentence again.

The press release after the jump explains that, "More than ever, fuel economy is an important factor in Pontiac's formula of style and performance." In the G3 Waveo, "performance" means red gauge lighting and 106 horsepower channeled through a 5-speed manual or cutting-edge 4-speed automatic. It also gets over 30 mpg highway, so we're supposed to bust out the Veuve Clicquot and celebrate this new era of efficiency at the Pontiac division. Thanks, but we'll skip this party.

The G8 and Solstice are genuinely exciting, desirable cars that had restored some luster to the Arrowhead, but this...

[Source: Pontiac]

Pontiac Announces New Small Car for U.S. Market
2009 G3 Offers Sporty Functionality, Fuel Efficiency, Value

Pontiac G3 at a Glance

* Sporty, small five-door available in spring 2009
* Fuel-efficient 1.6L four-cylinder engine achieves 34 mpg
* Uncommonly high level of standard content, passenger room within segment

Detroit - Expanding its portfolio in the rapidly growing small car segment, Pontiac announced plans to bring the sporty, five-door hatchback G3 to U.S. showrooms early next year. When it arrives, the G3 will provide Pontiac with a total of four vehicles capable of more than 30 miles per gallon on the highway.

Already successful in Canada (as the Pontiac G3 Wave) and Mexico (as a sedan model), the G3 offers an EPA estimated 27 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway while providing the best shoulder and hip room in the segment for seating five adults.

"The small car segment has literally exploded in recent months, with sales up nearly 33 percent in the first six months of 2008 alone," said Susan Docherty, vice president of Buick-Pontiac-GMC. "With its proven success in other markets, we felt the time was right to bring the G3 into the BPG portfolio for our U.S. customers."

The 2009 G3 will join the all-new 2009 Vibe (32 mpg) and recently enhanced 2009 versions of the G6 sedan (33 mpg) and G5 coupe (37 mpg) in Pontiac's "Over 30" club.

"More than ever, fuel economy is an important factor in Pontiac's formula of style and performance," said Docherty. "The Vibe, G3, G5, and G6 prove that you don't have to sacrifice sporty design and responsive driving to achieve impressive fuel economy."

Generating 106 horsepower (79 kW), the G3's 1.6L Ecotec four-cylinder engine is mated to a five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic transmission. It will also feature an unusually rich mix of standard features for an entry-level car, including air conditioning, a CD/MP3 audio system with auxiliary input jack, fog lamps, rear spoiler, OnStar, and a host of standard safety features, including four airbags, that gain the G3 a five-star frontal crash rating.

Interior space is optimized to comfortably seat five adults, including "theater"-style seating for rear seat passengers. The rear seats also feature a 60/40 split to offer up to 42 cubic feet of cargo space.

The Pontiac G3 will arrive in U.S. showrooms in spring 2009 as a 2009 model and will be backed by GM's five-year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. Pricing will be announced closer to introduction.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      They should have called it the T1000 v2.

      The chrome fender vent really bumps it up a notch from the Aveo.
      • 6 Years Ago
      You guys can gripe all you want, but lets face it, Pontiac is getting this vehicle. They need it. Consumers arent smart enough to go to chevrolet for a small car, because truthfully, many comsumers fail to realize that chevrolet and pontiac are owned by the same company until reminded. Not only that, but for some strange reason, consumers also fail to understand that pontiac is a performance car brand, so they treat pontiac like chevy and saturn. The latter is pretty much pontiac's fault. They kept saying that they build excitement, but they kept lying to everyone, including themselves. IMO, because of that factor, pontiac needs to go the way of oldsmobile(and soon to be hummer). The G8, G6, are ok. The G5 and torrent could use RWD. The Vibe needs a little more power under the hood. No G3, period.

      By the way, i have heard too many comments on the G8. Its a great car, but quit kissing its ass, people!!! Its just a car!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Oh this is great news!!!!

      I can't wait for the G3 GT with the beaver teeth grill like the G6 GT. Oh, I hope they put the V8 of the G8 in this too. God I can't wait!!!! God I luv GM. I luv u. I really do. I think I just peeed on myself. Yes, I did. I luv u GM. Do u luv me 2? I know you do. Stop playing GM. Ur playing with my luv. Stop it. Ur such a kidder. Oh God I'm going to faint!
      • 6 Years Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      I will take a Fit instead, thank you very much.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Turd, yes. but when you are looking for an affordable, good on gas american car then this is legit. when you compair the cobalt and the G5 there is a some differance in the fit and finish along with a little better styling. If the same holds true for the G3 over the Aveo and that gets one more person buying the name plate over a foriegn brand then we are all better off. And yes I get that its a Daewoo, Suzuki or what ever but the last dollar stays here.
      • 6 Years Ago
      OK, It´s because of the times of course, but why do a badge engineering on a Chevy Aveo, instead of something better like the Opel Corsa VXR, an do something EXCITING, i know they are supposed to be saturn´s thing, but the Chevy Aveo? come on Pontiac.

      I feel sorry for saying that about the Aveo, i mean it´s a nice little car, it doesn´t try to pretend to be nothing that it´s not, but this one? Why should GM submit its cars to this kind of comments, instead of building something worth praising.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Why bring in a dull Korean car at a profit to satisfy dealers starving for product, when they could bring in a European model at a higher reatail with no profit due to the exhange rate and labor costs, and have it sit like dead meat (the Saturn Astra)??
        Is that what you are asking???
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is a vehicle brought to market for business purposes, not driving excitement. A large portion of consumers won't even know that this is the same vehicle as an Aveo. The business case for GM to bring this thing to market is that it is a very inexpensive way to add another small car option to the Pontiac product line. It is not likely that G3 sales are going canablize those of the Aveo, it is going to bring new consumers into Pontiac dealerships. While automotive geeks understand that the Aveo is not the best vehicle on the road, someone who has been driving 20 year old beater will find it to be a comparitively wonderful experience. It's all a matter of perspective. Besides, it's not like a manufacturer can snap their fingers and make new product magically appear- you have to make do with what you have until that new product enters the market.
      • 6 Years Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is absurd!


      I am tired of the badge engineering. Pontiac is suppose to be exciting. If they really wanted to shake things up, they could have taken an aveo and put a motorcycle engine from their friends at suzuki in it. But Lutz and company are too stupid. That car would have been fun, this car has a crap shifter and a crap interior and now a pontiac nose to let everyone know pontiac equals crap.

      At least they didn't call it the le mans.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Epic Fail.

      Not because its cheap.

      Not because its economical.

      Not because its plain-jane.

      Not because its just OK to drive...

      No it fails epically because it a spin-off too far! If they sold Pontiacs in Chevy showrooms then there would be no reason for overlap. How many people will refuse to buy a Chevy Aveo to buy this? Most likely 0. More likely is that a buyer's closest GM dealer sells Pontiacs and not Chevys and to make sure they dont have to drive far to buy an economical car they re-badged this... But if the dealer just sold a wider array of GM products, this wouldn't be an issue.

      This is not the fault of the little car, its the fault of massive dealer base with bad overall distribution.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Here in Europe for slightly more money you'll get a Peugeot 207 or Skoda Fabia and for slightly less you can own a Dacia/Renault Sandero. Guess why Daewoo is still struggling to sell a reasonable count of cars?
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