2004 Grand Prix New Car Test Drive
The Pontiac Grand Prix has been known as a fine mover, a good stopper, a fair looker and a reasonable handler. In its 2004 manifestation expect general improvements in all those categories, but prepare for a real surprise party in the interior. And not only in eye-appeal and ergonomics but in versatility, flexibility and utility.
The latent creativity of the General Motors design staff has been stirred into activity coming up with more good ideas than a carton of cartoon light bulbs. If the name wasn't already taken for machines more cumbersome this mid-size sedan could be dubbed a 'sport-utility vehicle' because it has valid claim to both elements. It's fun in the twisties and, hey, you can stuff a nine-foot kayak into it and still close the trunk!
2004 marks the ninth generation for the Pontiac Grand Prix.
The 2004 Grand Prix is available as two primary models, GT and GTP, with variations of each. All are five-passenger, four-door, front-wheel-drive sedans with 3.8-liter V6 engines and four-speed automatic transmissions.
GT models come with a V6 engine that develops a comfortably adequate 200 horsepower (at 5200 rpm) and 225 foot-pounds of torque at 4000. Two versions of the GT model are available, GT1 ($21,760) and GT2 ($23,660). GT1 has less standard equipment. ABS, for instance, is optional ($600).
GTP ($25,860) gets a supercharged version of that same engine, increasing the ratings to 260 hp (at 5200 rpm) and 280 ft.-lbs. at 3600. The all-new Competition Group ($1395) is an option package for the GTP that adds a sports suspension system, StabiliTrak Sport, and TAPshift. StabiliTrak Sport is a vehicle-stability system tuned to provide maximum hands-on control during cornering. TAPshift (Touch Activated Power) includes a set of small paddles on the steering wheel allowing semi-manual shifting of the automatic transmission.