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]