2006 G6 New Car Test Drive
The Pontiac G6 lineup has been expanded for 2006. A sleek two-door coupe and a dramatic folding hardtop convertible join the attractive four-door sedan that was launched as an all-new nameplate for 2005.
The mission of the G6 is to beat the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Mazda6 on value, a proposition bolstered by GM's lower prices for 2006. While the G6 doesn't offer the refinement or attention to detail of its Japanese rivals, it's an alternative worth considering for shoppers in the mid-size car market. (The G6 replaces the Grand Am, which has been discontinued.)
The G6 sedan line has been expanded for 2006 as well, with multiple engine and trim levels available. Engine choices for 2006 include a 2.4-liter four cylinder for the base model, the 3.5-liter V6 that comes on the GT, and a 3.9-liter V6 with variable valve timing for the new GTP models. Transmission choices include four-speed automatics for all three engine choices and a six-speed manual for the high-performance 3.9-liter GTP.
We've driven a G6 GT sedan and a GTP Coupe. 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 has made it a popular choice as a mid-size sedan. The coupe is comfortable and sporty.
The G6 offers some interesting features. The car can be started remotely from the comfort of your home by pressing a button on the key fob, a luxury on bitter cold winter mornings or sweltering summer afternoons. A Panoramic roof is available on sedans, with panels that slide rearward creating a sunroof large enough for the back seat riders to enjoy an open-air experience. For a real open-top experience, the new convertible features one of the longest retractable hardtop roofs in production.
The 2006 Pontiac G6 sedan comes standard with a four-cylinder engine ($17,865), but is also available with the V6 ($19,065). (All prices are MSRP and do not include the $625 destination charge).
The sportier GT model is available in sedan ($21,365), coupe ($21,165), and convertible ($27,865) body styles. The GT models come standard with the V6, ABS, and 17-inch wheels and tires. They're upgraded with a four-way seat with power height adjustment and a 200-watt Monsoon premium sound system.
The high-performance GTP is available as a sedan ($23,065), coupe ($22,865), or convertible ($29,365). The GTP features its own special 3.9-liter V6 engine and higher-capacity 4T65-E four-speed automatic transaxle. A manual six-speed wide-ratio transaxle is optional on GTP sedan and coupe models.
Options include XM Satellite Radio ($325), a standard-sized sunroof ($800), remote starting ($190), and chrome-finish 17-inch wheels ($700). Various options packages are available, including a Leather Package for the GT and GTP ($1,365). The Panoramic roof ($1500) is available for GT and GTP sedans.
Safety features that come on all models include driver and passenger front airbags (the passenger side airbag features occupant detection) and seatbelts with pretentioners. (Make sure you wear them.) Optional are side-impact air bags and head curtain airbags ($690) and anti-lock brakes packaged with traction control. What kind of traction control you get depends on the trim level. Basic traction assist is available on the base model, 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 ($695) is an excellent safety feature for its ability to summon help. We recommend opting for all this stuff. Stabilitrak can help you avoid a wreck. Side-impact airbags are designed to protect your torso while curtain airbags are designed to provide head protection in a side impact. Head injuries are the leading cause of fatalities in side impacts.