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Click above for high-res gallery of the Pontiac G3 (without the "Kick Me" sign)

As you may know, Pontiac has finally decided to sell the Korean-built G3 five-door hatchback in the U.S. On sale elsewhere in the world as a Daewoo and as the Pontiac Wave in Canada and Mexico, the G3 is basically a Chevy Aveo5 with a different nose and red gauges. It's brand rebadging in the grand old GM tradition. Jim Hopson, Manager of Pontiac Communications, has recently attempted to defend the G3's insertion into Pontiac's lineup on the GM Fastlane Blog. Let's take a look...

When addressing the fact that the G3 is just a rebadged Aveo5, he admits they "share a lot of components" (understatement), but that Toyota and Lexus also share components. Seriously? When Toyota and Lexus share components, the two cars are offered with entirely different exteriors, interiors, suspension and engine tuning. From what we can tell, the G3 and Aveo are identical except for their front ends, gauge clusters and wheels. Next he addresses why Pontiac needs the G3 and Vibe, but we don't think many people are asking that question. The G3 and Vibe are very different in size, capability and purpose.



The next question addressed is where things fall apart entirely. In answering how the G3 can possibly be a Pontiac, Hopson says it's because the car is "sporty and fun-to-drive when compared to many of the cars in its segment." We recently had a 2009 Chevy Aveo5 in the Autoblog Garage (review forthcoming) and can confirm that it's the least sporty and fun-to-drive among its competitors, so much so that we wonder how anyone, even a PR guy, can say otherwise with a straight face.

The G3 is on its way to Buick, Pontiac and GMC dealers for a number of reasons, but chief among them is because those dealers simply demanded it. There are no truly small cars among those three brands and they need one that looks fuel efficient to attract customers, never mind the fact that it won't even have the highest EPA rated fuel economy on their showroom floors. The also rebadged Pontiac G5 XFE can get 3 mpg better on the highway than the smaller G3.

[Source: GM Fastlane Blog]


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  • 63 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      UGLY!! TAKE IT AWAY!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Don't worry! Once We give Detroit $50 billion loans it will definitely help them stop making bad decisions!

      In reality, the "loans" will only help the big 3 make the same mistakes but with more 000's behind them. Good thing we the taxpayers are footing the bill!
      • 6 Years Ago
      What if GM actually tunes the suspension to make it fun to drive and swaps out the xfe's ecotec which makes more horsepower with better mpg and... HA just when you think pontiac is about to be fixed GM does something stupid.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why are they doing this? Is there a single buyer out there that says, "Hmm, I don't like that Chevy Aveo, but I just can't keep myself from buying a Pontiac G3!!!"

        • 6 Years Ago
        Obviously not.

        Having the G3-Waveo in both Chevy and Pontiac dealerships is good for GM and its dealers.

        The dealer:
        He does not want to see consumers leaving because they couldn't find a small car in his dealership.

        GM:
        If the consumer was to leave the Chevy dealer (sometimes the problem is not the car, it can be a bad salesman or bad service) he could still go into a Pontiac one, find a better salesman and buy the disguised Aveo as a Pontiac.

        You'd be surprised how many people don't know that some different car companies are in fact the same. Of course not Autoblog readers.

        The Vibe and G3 share similar shapes and looks but they're still quite different. The Vibe (1.8L) has 26 more hp, is 17 in. longer, and has 13 cu. ft more cargo space with seats up than the G3, but it's $5,000 more expensive (base price).

        Personally, I'd go for the Vibe instead of the G3. The Vibe is still a small car but it has more power, cargo and available AWD. Oh yeah.. I already have a Matrix.

        But for lots of people, the $5,000 difference is a big deal, and you'd be surprised how many people think that 106 hp is enough to drive to work.

        Don't worry, your Pontiac dealer won't try to sell you a G3 instead of a G8. And if he manages to, you probably deserve it
        • 6 Years Ago
        No.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Does anyone know if there is a CAFE benefit to adding this car?

      Also, why are so many people talking about this car wrecking Ponitac's image? I'm sorry to say but that went out the window after the Aztek and GTO debacles. Dealers are the link between the customer and automakers and also employee a lot of people who need to make a living. In fact I would bet Pontiac dealers employee as many people as GM anymore.

      As for people who say "the dealers don't care about GM's financial well being" is a complete moron. They probably care more about the well being of GM than GM does! Remember, the dealers can only sell what GM(or others) make for them to sell. So if they make crap they have to try and sell crap.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It may be ugly (opinions are different) but I am sure it will be a hell of a lot more reliable than that used Bimmer.

      You will be happy until the first time it's sitting at the local garage.

      I am not defending this car (personally, I think it looks better than the Aveo) but I think it's stupid for GM to bring it here.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think it makes sense in a lot of ways. There are a lot of folks who would consider it, myself included. I'm not that fond of the local Chevy dealer- and any import dealer is at least 40 miles away. There is NO car currently on the US market that fits my needs or budget, unfortunately- The G3/Aveo, and the 3 door Yaris, and to a degree the Hyundai Accent 3 door are the only ones. What other hatchbacks are out there that are under $15k? Not the Fit, at least in this corner of the world- they're getting close to $20k for them- IF you can find one that's not an automatic. Caliber? LOL... lousy gas mileage. Rabbit? Ditto. Versa? Clown car looks AND lousy mileage too. Kia Rio? Not a hatchback, but a dealer is advertising new ones for $6888 delivered right now- which is sure tempting.

      I'd like the Focus or G5/Cobalt IF they were available as a hatchback- but they aren't.

      The G3 would be on my list as a second choice- after the Aveo if the local Chevy dealer won't deal with me- and given their track record, they won't. I'd think Pontiac dealers these days are pretty desperate to sell ANYTHING, regardless of what it is.

      There are a lot of us out in the REAL world who want an inexpensive to buy, drive and insure, basic NEW car with a good warranty to schlep to and from work every day in. Nothing more. Though I agree they should've given Pontiac (and Chevy too, for that matter) the 3 door that the rest of the world gets.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That used BMW is great until it's first trip to the repair shop. Prepare for a huge bill. People forget this little fact.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Pontiac dealers are asking for this because the Chevy dealers are selling all the Aveos they can get. It's a good little car for very little money, and if you check the resale, it has relatively low depreciation.

      I hope GM doesn't rely on the blogs for product acceptance information. If they do they are in trouble. The blogs have too many people, expressing too many opinions, on too many things, they know too little about, and that includes me.

      Thank you, over and out.......
      • 6 Years Ago
      If you want this car so bad, buy a Fit. I happen to own a Aveo, what a mistake that was. As for reliability, mine has been to the shop alot for various issues and still more that I wont bother fixing.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I believe that GM said that it wouldn't be giving Pontiac the Firebird because it didn't want to badge-engineer any more vehicles.

      So instead of giving us a badge-engineered Camaro they give us a badge engineered Aveo. Because they don't want to badge-engineer, of course.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I also think it looks better than the Aveo. If I had to choose between the two, this is what I'd get. Fortunately, there are many and better alternatives.
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