By KBB.com Editors
Forget the plastic-clad Grand Ams of the past; the 2009 Pontiac G6 Coupe and Convertibe are two-door beauties that are sleek, sophisticated and built for driving. Available in two trims on the Coupe (the sportier being the new GXP), and a single Convertible trim (GT), the G6 targets import buyers who want a bit more flair but don't want to break the budget. While not up to the overall standards set by the Honda Accord, the G6 Coupe and Convertible definitely present strong competition for the Mitsubishi Eclipse and Ford Mustang V6.You'll Like This Car If...
If you're in the market for an affordable front-wheel-drive sport coupe with a racy look, seating for four and a modest price tag, the 2009 Pontiac G6 may make your day. The Convertible features a slick retractable hard top as standard equipment.You May Not Like This Car If...
If you're seeking a GT or GXP with a manual transmission, you'll be out of luck. The G6's interior plastics are not as refined as those found in the Honda Accord, and there is no four-cylinder engine option.What's New for 2009
Remote vehicle start is made standard on GT and GXP models for 2009.Driving It Driving Impressions
The GT's base 3.5-liter engine doesn't inspire performance driving, but it is adequate for quick jaunts up freeway entrance ramps and around town trips and commutes. We wish a six-speed manual were available with the GXP model, as its 3.6-liter V6 is both spirited and refined. As it is, GXP drivers will have to settle for the six-speed automatic, which does a good job finding the correct shift points, but leaves the driver feeling somewhat disconnected from the process. Both the GT and GXP trims use a hydraulic power steering unit that returns good feedback and on-center feel. The G6's sport suspension strikes a pleasant balance between performance and comfort, although some hardcore enthusiasts might prefer that balance to be more toward performance.Favorite Features
Steering Wheel-Mounted Controls
Finger tip controls allow the driver to operate the audio's volume and song selection settings from the steering wheel.
3.6-liter VVT V6 engine
The newest GM V6 is thoroughly modern and long overdue. Smooth, quiet and powerful, the 3.6-liter engine wants only for a nice manual transmission.
The 2009 Pontiac G6 interior is a bit of a mixed bag. We applaud the clean design, excellent seats and generous legroom. The plastics used on the dash, console and door, however, have a heavy, hard feel and the chrome trim rings surrounding the instruments seem a bit trendy and overdone. Controls are placed within easy reach and we welcome the optional steering-wheel mounted switches for the audio system. The instrument panel's orange backlighting and large, legible numbers and letters make night driving easier on the eyes. Tall passengers occupying the rear seats may find that the raked rear window limits headroom.Exterior
Compared to previous Pontiac coupes, the G6 is a breath of fresh air. Its sporty sheetmetal is devoid of tacked-on plastics and garish add-ons, relying on strong design elements and a fastback-like rear window to convey its personality. The familiar Pontiac split grille and swept-back headlamp lenses remain in place, as do the numerous red arrowhead badges. On the GXP trim, the exaggerated split grille is drawn down below the bumper to create a sinister look befitting the car's new-found performance potential. With its wheels pushed to the outer edges, the G6 appears longer than it actually is; this approach also reduces front and rear overhangs – an important design element that allows for better maneuverability.Notable Standard Equipment
The GT trim includes a 3.5-liter V6, four-speed automatic transmission, traction control, single-disc CD player, air conditioning, power windows, power mirrors, remote keyless entry, cruise control, anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), 17-inch alloy wheels, Monsoon sound system, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, front seat side-impact airbags, head-curtain airbags, four-way power driver's seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel and a sport-tuned suspension. The GXP adds the 3.6-liter V6, a six-speed automatic transmission, 18-inch alloy wheels, StabiliTrak stability control, body-colored power mirrors, automatic climate control, heated seats and a six-way power driver's seat.Notable Optional Equipment
Options for the 2009 Pontiac G6 GT include StabiliTrak electronic stability control (standard on Convertible), six-way power driver's seat and heated leather seats. GT and GXP options include a power sunroof, six-disc CD/MP3 changer and a number of performance and audio packages that bundle popular options into groups. Optional only on the convertible is a 3.9-liter V6 engine.Under the Hood
The 3.5-liter pushrod V6 provides adequate power but lacks a sense of urgency. If you're purchasing the G6 to perform, you should opt for the GXP, which includes the refined 3.6-liter V6. This engine delivers the power and quietness expected in this price range, along with good fuel economy.
219 horsepower @ 5900 rpm
219 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/26
252 horsepower @ 6300 rpm
251 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/26
222 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
238 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22
The 2009 Pontiac G6 GT Coupe's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts around $24,500, while the GXP stickers for just over $29,000. Equip a GXP with every possible option and the price tops out around $33,000. The GT Convertible starts around $32,500. It's often difficult to know just where to begin when negotiating price, so be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price beforehand, as it shows the typical transaction price being paid for a G6 in your area. Also be sure to check the Incentives tab to see what further savings might be offered by Pontiac. As for resale, the G6 holds up much better than previous Pontiac coupes, retaining acceptable five-year residuals just behind those of the Ford Mustang V6 and the Mitsubishi Eclipse.