2007 Pontiac Grand Prix (USA)

In the GM family, Pontiac is supposed to be the one with the sporty image……. well, they might like to think so, and in the case of the Solstice, the old Goats (GTOs) and maybe even the new G8, perhaps, but in the case of the Grand Prix – just dream on!
This is a traditional “fullsize” American sedan. Nothing more. It’s large, and quite spacious, though, the sloping roof means that there is less in the back than you would imagine, and the trunk is nothing like as commodious as you would expect.

It’s powered by a 3.8 litre engine that develops just 200 bhp, which has its design origins going back so far that they are lost in the mists of time. This is adequate to make decent progress, but no more. The more powerful versions that used to be offered, with a supercharger, were discontinued for the 2008 model year, as the car is run out mode, to be replaced by the Aussie-developed G8. Not surprisingly, most of them are sold to the daily rental fleets.
I drove over 400 miles in one day in it, taking it up to the Joshua Tree National park and back, so had a fair test of freeway cruising, and then the undulating roads across that National Park, before heading back. Since then, it has been up into the mountains, as well. And even more than before I can confirm that this is in no way a sports sedan. The previous generation model had at least a faint growl to the engine under acceleration, but this one does not. The engine gathers momentum, but it is clearly not the fastest sedan on the freeway. At least is surprisingly refined while it does it, proving quite quiet, and with smooth gearchanges, it is quite relaxing to drive over a long distance. The other dynamics would never win many prizes, either. The steering is light, but without much feel. The handling is OK, until you take it on to the swooping bends of the San Gabriel mountains, at which point the limitations of the chassis become quite evident, and it starts to feel untidy with early understeer suggesting that pushing it hard is not a good idea. The brakes are OK, especially as they are not likely to have a really hard job to do, and as it as an automatic, that oh-so-American foot operating parking brake that you press harder on to release is acceptable. The inside leaves you in little doubt that this is traditional Americana. Gone are the overstylised features that dominated in the last model, but the combination of hard plastics that fit roughly together, and the mixture of coffee coloured leather seats with various shades of black plastic is not exactly the last word in desirability.
The dash itself is clear, and relatively unfussy, and easy to use. Gone is that dreadful cheap column stalk with an awkward pull and twist lever for the wipers that used to feature on larger GM cars, thankfully. The double set of air vents is a little unusual, as is the fact that the odometer is in one of the central display units and not the main instrument binnacle.
The worst impression of lack of quality is in the boot. The boot covering is an ill-fitting lump of very cheap carpet. When I collected the car it had been turned through 90 degrees, and fitted not a lot worse than when I corrected it!
So, perfectly adequate, but not an inspiring product, in summary. For those who want a cheap large car, perhaps it’s worth a look. It is only $22,000, which for a large family sedan is not a lot of money, but I can’t help feel that there are plenty of better choices in this class.
2010-01-23 11:08:03

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Home Forums 2007 Pontiac Grand Prix (USA)

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    In the GM family, Pontiac is supposed to be the one with the sporty image……. well, they might like to think so, and in the case of the Solstice, t
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