By KBB.com Editors
Until the arrival of the eagerly-anticipated G8, the Grand Prix takes top billing as Pontiac's largest and most sophisticated sedan. Despite tough competition from the HEMI-powered Dodge Charger, the V8-powered Grand Prix has held its ground, and the V6-powered models also stack up well when compared to rivals from Nissan, Volkswagen and Mazda. With a growing number of enthusiasts returning to rear-wheel-drive, the front-wheel-drive Grand Prix has its fair share of vocal detractors, but few, however, can complain about the car's impressive fuel economy, even when equipped with the optional 303-horsepower V8 engine, or the noteworthy list of available features, such as the GXP's standard Head-Up Display.
If you like the strong lines found on the former Bonneville and Grand Am, you'll like the look of the Grand Prix. Big enough to carry five people, the Grand Prix makes a good choice for the family-oriented driving enthusiast.
The GT trim has been discontinued, leaving just two models: Grand Prix and Grand Prix GXP.
Driving Impressions The 200-horsepower, 3.8-liter V6 engine of the base model provides fairly strong off-the-line acceleration and passing power. Adding the optional 17-inch wheel-and-tire package gives the Grand Prix good reflexes while...still delivering a smooth and quiet ride. More aggressive handling (not to mention pin-you-to-your-seat acceleration) comes with the V8-powered GXP, which feels so connected to the road you might easily be fooled into thinking it has all-wheel drive. It doesn't, of course, but for a front-drive sedan of this size and performance level the handling is remarkably good.
The GXP package adds Pontiac's TAPshift paddle shifter to the steering wheel.
Fold-Flat Front Seat
The Grand Prix's fold-flat front seat lets you load relatively long cargo.
The Grand Prix's dash is playful, with overlapping folds, large round air vents and prominent red lighting. The steering wheel on the GXP has an additional set of touch paddles (GM calls this TAPshiftTouch Activated Power) that allow the driver to manually shift gears using only his or her thumbs. Rear-seat passengers may feel a bit boxed-in, as the high upswept beltline results in smaller windows that limit outward vision, and low rear-seat bottom cushions had our taller passengers riding with their knees uncomfortably high.Exterior
The first thing you notice about the Grand Prix is its clean, uncluttered exterior. While the swooping lines, familiar split grille and cat's-eye headlamps are still in place, the heavy tacked-on body cladding that once plastered every Pontiac with sporting intentions has finally been banished. The large wheels eliminate the unsightly gap that can make a car look like it's riding on tires that are too small.
The Grand Prix has a four-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel disc brakes, a tire pressure monitor, air conditioning, rear defroster, six-way power driver's seat, power windows, power locks, power mirrors, remote keyless entry, AM/FM stereo with CD, one year of OnStar, tilt wheel, cruise control and 16-inch wheels. The GXP adds a Head-Up Display, two-way power driver lumbar support, Monsoon Audio with nine speakers, four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), StabiliTrak stability control, Bilstein shock absorbers and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Options include anti-lock brakes (ABS), trip computer, fog lights, flat-folding front passenger seat, Monsoon sound system, navigation, XM Satellite Radio, power glass sunroof, stainless steel exhaust tips, head-curtain airbags, leather seats and automatic air conditioning.
The Grand Prix offers two very good powerplants. The base car's 3.8-liter engine has plenty of low-end torque to allow for speedy intersection crossings. The V8-powered GXP is the true performer here, turning out over 300 horsepower while its Active Fuel Management (AFM) helps deliver highway fuel economy figures better than some V6s. AFM works by cutting fuel to four of the eight cylinders when the engine is under a lighter load. The instant full power is needed, the system brings the deactivated cylinders back into action.
200 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
230 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28
303 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
323 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/25
By Kaleb on Friday, June 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 109,500overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, great price, nice exhaust note"
Cons: "No rear vents, cost-saving materials"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I purchased this car about a year ago; it now has 109,xxx miles. Overall, the car has been pretty reliable. In the past year, I have replaced a belt and tensioner pulley (usual at this many miles), I have flushed the radiator because of the infamous Dex-Cool that GM uses, and I will be repairing some wheel sensors which are quite expensive. The supercharged 3.8L engine is a torque monster which makes this car fun to drive, but also really loves the premium gasoline. The cost to fuel my vehicle is killing me considering I get 16 mpg in the city. The interior is decent for 2004: the dashboard is soft-touch along with the door panels and the console is stitched leather. Their are some chintzy plastics used such as the head-up display unit, which has cracked and broken on my vehicle. The piece surrounding the center head unit is also cheap and noisy. Still, this car is a vast improvement over the older Grand Prix. The transmission needs another gear or two (only 4-speed). The car handles well in all weather conditions, and the sport suspension really helps for cornering. The rear seat needs more room, especially since this car is longer than our 2012 Highlander. My biggest gripe about the seats is the design of the headrests. They are so uncomfortable and kill my neck on long drives. They do have nice side-bolsters. The sunroof shakes more than I'd like when I open it. I absolutely love the sport red color on my car. Overall, this car has been very good to me, other than the sensors going bad. I will be looking to sell or trade sometime soon."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By slyfox on Monday, June 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 157,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "nice refined " muscle car"."
Cons: "black interior."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Bought this car as a demo. Had about 30,000 miles on it. Loved the styling. Great power on the highway. Comfortable to drive. Only problem was the black interior. Shows everything. Wish they were still making them. Put 4 studded snows on in the winter and never got stuck, and could drive through most anything."
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By RJ on Saturday, May 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 111,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Reliable, economical, great value"
Cons: "Basic amenities, underpowered"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"It's not a luxury car. It's about value per mile. The engine is a gem, used in literally millions of cars from GM throughout the 90s and 2000s, for good reason. In this car, it's somewhat under-powered, which means it's under-stressed and gets great gas mileage (30+ mpg on highways). That's why you'll see these out there with 150, 200, even 250 thousand miles on them and still running. Take care of it, and it will take care of you. The styling, well, to be honest, I don't see many sedans even today that look as good. It's not cutting edge, just very smooth and clean lines. The tech is pretty old school by today's standards, but it has what you need. Interior is comfortable. Not high end but what do you expect. No ABS or traction control, which are both standard on every car today. But I'm a good driver so I don't need them. Mine has treated me pretty well over the years and aside from a few minor blips (water pump, wheel bearing) has been fantastic."
By Mr. No on Tuesday, May 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "We love it."
Cons: "Traction control would be nice,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"It drives very nice, has plenty of power and gets 23 city and 27 hwy mpg. That is not taking it easy. Up to 80 freeway speeds."
By Erin on Friday, April 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 154,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fast, good handling, sporty looking for a sedan"
Cons: "Strange interior set up, tight interior"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"So, I bought this car back in 2006 with 20k miles on it. When I first purchased it, I had some transmission issues that were covered under the extended warranty which was great. After that major repair, the only thing I've ever had to do was basic maintenance on this car. My husband uses it for a commuter car, so he's driving is 35 miles one way up to 4 days a week... I think it's starting to get old though- the dash has a crack and I know the exhaust his also cracked and the repair is about $700. The AC is starting to fail but I think itis just the compressor. These issues have only popped up though in the last 5k miles....I've enjoyed its speed, handling ability, and bucket seats. The interior material has held up really well considering we have children and have had the car nearly ten years. It has truly been a good car and I hope it'll keep us going another 50k miles!"
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By david on Wednesday, April 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 111,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "it is quick/fun to drive, very roomy, good looking"
Cons: "i don't have any real complaints"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I really love my 2005 grand prix GT. The interior is roomy and very comfortable. I am a huge fan of the cockpit interior. I am 6"2 and 300 lbs and I have plenty of room. In most cars I simply slide the seat all the way back and am still somewhere between quite cramped and semi comfortable. In this car, I need only set the seat back 80-90% to be comfortable. The unique torque to horsepower is awesome, It is no super car but it is very quick and has a nice sporty feel in a bigger semi sporty car. Gas mileage is a huge plus, I average 25 or so combined being easy on it. If i ride it hard it can creep down closer to 20mpg but if i baby it, I can achieve 27 or so even over the course of 500+ miles of combined city and highway driving."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful