This week I tested the 2005 Pontiac G6, GT Sedan. I remember when mom owned a Pontiac way back when. In those days it was not politically incorrect to talk about Cowboys and Indians or Speedy Gonzalez, or Pepe Le Pew.
Pontiac advertising used American Indians in their ads showing an Indian with hand held to his brow to shade the glare of the sun enunciating clearly but with an Indian accent, “Ugh, Pontiac heap good car”. Of course us kids would shorten it a bit and make fun of the ad, saying “Ugh, Pontiac heap”. Funny how that made a lasting impression on how it can make you feel about the quality of a car like this Pontiac.
I could hardly reach the pedals on mom’s Pontiac so any car would be cool then. Don’t tell the police I was driving without a license. Of course that was pretty common back then and you could even get a learners permit at age 15 and to us that was an obvious validation of our right to drive. Perhaps that’s where I formed the belief it is a God given right to drive on the highways. After all, I help pay for them. Today the government would have you believe it is a “privilege” to drive. Don’t you believe it, or before you know it, they will blackmail you and use that “privilege” and next make it a privilege to breath or exercise other bodily functions. Then you can bet our wise elected officials would tax those functions too. Whoa, better hold it there or I’ll get on my soapbox and tell you what I really think about our “Out-of-Control” government.
Assembly – Lake Orion, MI, USA
Class: – Compact
Cars: – Aztek, Bonneville, G6, Grand AM, Grand Prix, GTO, Montana, Sunfire and Vibe.
Handling & Performance:
This is an all American muscle car. Yes, it is the last of the Mohechans – (gee, I wonder if that is politically correct to use the name of an Indian Tribe in this context?). Muscle cars imply brute force, which has always been a sign of Americana. Kids have tweaked cars to the max and beyond and our pioneer spirit and rebel attitude has, at the end of the day, worked to make cars and other things better. It is the individual that pushes the envelope and given enough time and money they will make a space ship better than NASA. I’d like to think this Pontiac is a reflection of the demands of our youth on performance, which made companies like General Motors do what our youth had wanted all along.
A criticism of American cars is that Detroit has not changed with the times and technology. That they refuse to get rid of the old “Tried and True” pushrod engines, whilst the rest of the world is moving on to better performing engines. Thus you will notice the rough sounding engine noise on this G6 that is so characteristic of American cars, as compared to smooth running (little or no vibration) from engines in all Japanese cars for example with overhead camshafts and 4 valves per cylinder.
Ok, so old dogs can learn new tricks, and next year the G6 will offer a new 2.4-liter, overhead camshaft, 16-valve 4-cylinder engine with 170 horsepower.
This is the best Pontiac has produced in too many years. You gotta love the great look even if you’re not a Pontiac fan.
Fit and Finish:
Plastic, like so many new cars today forced to continue cutting costs. But more importantly, it is done with more attention to detail. The air conditioning vents for example feel good to the touch. I like the ratchet solid settings you get which is far better than in the past and better than much of the competition. Nice touch GM, which shows some sensitivity to the criticism of the past.
American made cars remain the best buys from a price to value standpoint. There isn’t much question, in my mind, that for the long haul you are better to pay more if you intend to keep your car longer than 4 or 5 years or you put a lot of miles on each year. Me, I don’t keep a car long and in this “Throw away” world it will be cheaper to replace almost anything after a few years than try to fix it. Consider for example any consumer electronics item or appliance. Seldom is it worth saving the receipt or filling out the warranty card. Why? Because it would cost more to return it or send it back for repair than to simply get the latest and greatest and toss the other.
Repairing a vintage television, record player, tape recorder or most anything you can think of is not cost effective, even if you could find a repair technician above grass level. Cars have just about achieved that status these days as well. Hard to believe, but true.
If you want to pump the price up a bit, an option package is available to add Chrome to the wheels, upgrade the stereo with a 6-disc CD player, power panoramic roof, which is an over sized sun roof that opens like an accordion and OnStar system for $3,145 and a leather package including seats, steering wheel, hand brake and shift knob, heated seats and a 6-way power driver seat for $1,365. And you can add side impact airbags and head curtain side bags for $690 and finally a remote starter system costs an additional $150.
Ho hum – unless, of course, you go for the optional equipment to jazz things up a bit. For example, you can start the car from the warmth and comfort of your house at the push of a button on the remote keyless fob. Don’t laugh, if it’s snowing or frosty out, you can start the car and it will be warm and defrosted when you walk out the front door and step into it.
If you are into muscle cars and like the availability of cars like the fabulous GTO of the 1960’s there isn’t much left to choose from. Camaro is gone now and only this and the Mustang remain in my memory. If you are simply into performance from the car you drive, the competition is rich in the area power off the line, without all the noise and fanfare.
Pontiac G6 $21-23,000, Dodge Intrepid $21-25,000, Chrysler Concorde $23-29,000, Hyundai Sonata $16-20,000, VW Jetta $17-24,000, Mitsubishi Galant $18-26,000, Kia Amanti $24,995, Nissan Altima $17-29,000, Ford Taurus $21-24,000, Subaru Legacy $21-29,000, Chevrolet Malibu $19-24,000, Toyota Camry $18-25,000, Honda Accord $16-29,000, Mazda 6 $19-26,000.
It’s a traditional muscle car, fast, sporty and great styling, fun to drive, roomy interior and a nice roomy trunk and finally you can’t ignore the great pricing.
Plastic, clunky suspension at times and perceived planned obsolescence.
3.5 liter 200 horsepower V6 engine, 4-speed auto trans w/ overdrive and manual shift mode, sport suspension, 17” cast alum wheels, 4-wheel antilock disc brakes with traction control, front airbags, remote keyless entry, theft deterrent system, power mirrors, spoiler, fog lights, air conditioning, stereo with CD player and 8-speakers, tilt and telescopic wheel, power trunk release, power widows and locks and cruise control.
21 City and 29 Highway MPG.