2005 G6 New Car Test Drive
With the new G6, Pontiac has put a stake in the ground, challenging the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Mazda 6 to beat it on sheer value. That was the central message at the recent introduction of the car that finally replaces, and becomes the sixth generation of, the Pontiac Grand Am, first introduced in 1974 as a much larger car, and evolving down to the all-new Generation 6, or G6.
Initially, the Pontiac G6 is being launched as a sporty four-door sedan, available in SE and GT trim levels. Initially, all will be equipped with a 3.5-liter V6. By spring 2005, the G6 line will include sporty two-door coupes and convertibles, each with unique styling. Three engines will be available: a four-cylinder, a 3.5-liter V6, and a high-performance 3.9-liter V6, the latter in a new GTP model. All come standard with four-speed automatic transmissions, though a high-performance six-speed manual gearbox will be available for the GTP.
We found the G6 has good road manners even when driven hard, benefits of its long wheelbase and European-designed architecture. The sedan is roomy and plush with excellent overall function and its price point will make it popular choice as a mid-size sedan. The G6 offers some interesting features. The car can be started remotely by pressing a button on the key fob from the comfort of your home, a real luxury on bitter cold winter mornings or sweltering summer afternoons. A Panoramic roof is available with panels that slide rearward, creating a sunroof large enough for the back-seat riders to enjoy an open-air experience.
The Pontiac G6 starts at $20,675 for an SE V6 (all prices are MSRP and do not include the $625 destination charge). A less-expensive version with a new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine will be launched in spring 2005.
The sportier GT model ($23,300) adds a rear spoiler, ABS, 17-inch wheels and tires, power pedals, power seat with more adjustments, and a 200-watt Monsoon premium sound system.
The high-performance GTP uses its own special 3.9-liter engine and higher-capacity 4T65-E four-speed automatic transaxle. An F40 6-speed wide-ratio transaxle will be optional. The GTP is being launched spring 2005.
Safety features: Side-impact air bags ($690) are optional. ABS is optional and is packaged with traction control. Traction assist is available on the SE, full-spectrum traction control on the GT, and traction control with the GM/Delphi Stabilitrak chassis control system will be available on the GTP. OnStar, an excellent safety feature for its ability to summon help, is optional.
Options include OnStar ($695), XM Satellite Radio ($325), a standard sunroof ($700), a Panoramic roof ($1500), Monsoon premium sound ($300), remote starting ($150), and chrome-finish 17-inch wheels ($650). Various options packages are available, including a Leather Package for the GT ($1365).