Pontiac Cars

Within the GM family, Pontiac primarily serves to fill the performance niche. That might be hard to believe after seeing Pontiac cars like the G3 and G5, both slightly veiled copies of efficient little runners sold by Chevrolet. But dive deeper into the lineup and you'll get a better glimpse of the brand's sporting intentions. Even rides like the Pontiac Torrent and Pontiac Vibe are offered with performance-oriented trims.

Pontiac G6 Overview

Pontiac G6Pontiac G6

Based on General Motors' lengthened "Epsilon" platform, the Pontiac G6 is available as a sedan, coupe and a convertible with a retractable hardtop. Three trim levels are offered on the Pontiac G6 sedan: base, GT and GXP. Coupes are either GTs or GXPs, convertibles GT only. Plenty of standard pontiac g6 accessories, such as air-conditioning, full power accessories, CD audio with satellite radio and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel come on the base model. The GT adds niceties such as an upgraded Monsoon audio system as well as a 3.5-liter 201-horsepower V6 (in place of the base car's 167-hp inline-4).

Convertibles with this V6 have slightly less power at 217 hp and 217 pound-feet of torque. The GXP is the performer of the bunch with a 3.6-liter V6 that generates 252 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque. It's mated to a six-speed automatic with manual-shift capability, while the others come with a four-speed automatic. The optional V6 upgrade on convertible models is a 3.9-liter unit with 222 horses and 238 lb-ft of torque. In terms of safety features, traction control and antilock brakes are standard on all models, as well as side curtain airbags, but stability control is an extra-cost option on base and GT models (standard on GXP). Crash tests of the sedan with the curtain airbags have yielded good scores in nearly every category.

In reviews we've found the Pontiac G6 offers generous room for those riding in back, no matter which body style you choose. And after years of enduring criticism about its over-styled exteriors and gimmicky interior designs, Pontiac has stepped up efforts to give its cars a more upscale look and feel. Exteriors are smooth, and inside, there are no more dull gray plastic switches. Although the G6 still has a few too many hard plastic surfaces, the cabin boasts attractive design with chrome-ringed gauges and simple-to-use, quality switchgear. On the move, the popular 3.5-liter V6 offers more than enough low and midrange torque to be quick on its feet around town and offer gutsy passing and merging power. Handling is respectable, with composed cornering and a supple ride over the bumps. Our one big complaint was with the electric power steering, which is too light and offers virtually no feedback from the road.

Pontiac G6 Road Test