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2009 Pontiac Torrent

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2009 Pontiac Torrent Review

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As a division trying to re-establish its performance-car credentials, Pontiac's decision to add the Torrent SUV to its line may, at first glance, seem a bit off the mark. But, given the public's appetite for smaller, more fuel-efficient SUVs and Pontiac's new-found knack for creating vibrant and youthful vehicles, the 2009 Pontiac Torrent's creation seems a logical approach to winning over younger buyers. Although the Torrent isn't really all-new (it shares its platform with the Chevrolet Equinox), it does offer a handsome and sporty exterior, a roomy interior with an adjustable rear seat, a standard V6 engine and the option of all-wheel drive.

You'll Like This Car If...

When it comes to solid construction, the 2009 Pontiac Torrent reaches above the domestic SUV norm while delivering ample passenger space in front and rear. Buyers who wish to customize their Torrents can obtain a fair number of accessories in addition to factory-installed options.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for an SUV that stands out from the pack, the Torrent's attractive shape barely pokes its head past the average mark. Some controls are not as logically arranged as they might be, and the base vehicle isn't so different from its Equinox cousin in performance, handling or ride quality.

What's New for 2009

New standard features include head-curtain side-impact airbags and XM Satellite Radio, while Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity is made available via the new OnStar 8.0.

Driving the Torrent
Driving Impressions

Generally friendly and inviting, the quiet-running Torrent is easy to drive, stays on course easily and body lean through curves is less than for some of its competitors. All told,...

... the Torrent feels a touch more tightly-crafted and capable than its GM mates. Handling trails import-brand level, but it's a cut above many domestic SUVs. The ride is a little better controlled than some, yielding a reasonably comfortable around-town experience. Acceleration for passing and merging is satisfactory, but on the mild side. Well-behaved most of the time, the automatic transmission is tarnished by an occasional abruptness while downshifting at low speed.

Sliding Rear Seat
All you do is lift the long bar that runs along the front of the seat, and the seat slides forward to create more passenger legroom or rearward to provide more space for cargo.

Big Interior Space
This is classed as a "small" SUV, but the interior space puts many imports to shame.

2009 Pontiac Torrent Details
2009 Pontiac Torrent photo Interior

With room for five passengers, the 2009 Pontiac Torrent has a fold-flat front passenger seat that accommodates long items. The "multi-flex" 60/40-split rear bench seat adjusts fore and aft and also reclines. The Torrent is one of the easier SUVs to enter, and the rear seat provides ample leg space even in its farthest-forward position. The generously-supportive and comfortable seats, however, are nearly devoid of side bolstering. Pontiac's Solstice sports car provides the steering wheel's design, and the distinctively-colored instruments have Pontiac's "signature" red backlighting, which makes them easier to read at night than in daylight.

Exterior

GM marketers promote the Torrent's "European-inspired" design, complemented by traditional Pontiac styling touches, such as its familiar twin-port grilles. Pontiac claims the widest door openings in its segment to ease entry and exit, and the rear liftgate's defogger and wiper and washer enhance visibility. Sixteen-inch tires, a sport-tuned suspension, electrically-assisted power steering and wide (61.8-inch) track dimensions help with stability. Ground clearance approaches eight inches (seven on the GXP), with cleated skid plates and short front and rear overhangs to assure favorable approach and departure angles. Despite these heavy-duty features, the Torrent isn't intended for serious off-pavement treks.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2009 Pontiac Torrent features a 3.4-liter V6 engine, five-speed automatic transmission, manual air conditioning, power windows and locks with remote keyless entry, tilt steering, OnStar, daytime running lights, a rear spoiler, StabiliTrak stability control, a tire-pressure-monitoring system, side-curtain airbags, XM Satellite Radio, driver information center with over 20 personalization and information features, roof rails, body-side moldings and an AM/FM stereo with auxiliary input jack, MP3-compatible CD player and six speakers. Front-wheel-drive models come with standard four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS) and traction control. The GXP adds a 264-horsepower V6 engine, six-speed automatic transmission, 18-inch alloy wheels, performance tires, piano-black interior trim, leather steering wheel, heated seats and a 140-mile-per-hour speedometer.

Optional Equipment

Additional options include leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats (with either cloth or leather upholstery), a power driver's seat, 17-inch aluminum wheels, a moonroof, steering wheel-mounted radio controls, DVD navigation, remote starter and a Pioneer premium sound system with seven speakers and subwoofer. Additionally, GM's Accessories Division can supply numerous extra items to suit owners who crave a custom look or individualized features.

Under the Hood

While the 3.4-liter V6 powering the Torrent is far from a cutting-edge design, it has more than enough horsepower and torque to provide a nice balance between good acceleration and reasonable fuel economy. The all-wheel-drive system doesn't seem to change the performance much. Pontiac's adaptive five-speed automatic transmission delivers near-seamless shifts and its fifth gear helps maximize fuel consumption at highway speeds. Those seeking more performance should look to the 3.6-liter engine, which features variable valve timing for better fuel economy and produces a healthy 264 horsepower.

3.4-liter V6
185 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
210 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (FWD), 17/24 (AWD)

3.6-liter V6
264 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
250 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (FWD), 16/24 (AWD)}

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2009 Pontiac Torrent Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.9
Out of 10

Based on 271 Ratings for the 2006 - 2009 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    8.1/10
  • Reliability
    8.5/10
    Performance
    8.3/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

DON'T HATE IT

By on Thursday, July 21, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "ROOMY, GREAT STEREO, SITS UP HIGH LIKE AN SUV"

Cons: "LOUD, BATTERY IN WEIRD SPOT,GETS BAD MPG"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"2007 WITH 72,000 MILES, BEEN RELIABLE. UNTIL NOW 7/16 - STABILITRAC AND TRACTION CONTROL LIGHTS ARE ON. AIR BAG LIGHT ON TOO. STARTING TO SPUTTER FOR A FEW SECONDS AT 35-40 MPH, AND FEELS LIKE IT CAN BARELY MAKE IT UP A HILL SOMETIMES. GOING TO GET AN ESTIMATE AND PROBABLY UPGRADE SOON. SELL IT OR KEEP FOR EXTRA CAR WITH TWO TEEN DRIVERS IN HOUSE. ONE OF THE FIRST CROSSOVERS. EXCELLENT FACTORY STEREO. RIDES KIND OF LOUD DRIVING DOWN THE INTERSTATE. LOTS OF LEG ROOM IN THE BACK. WINDOW CONTROLS IN WEIRD PLACE. WOULD NOT RECOMMEND MAINLY BECAUSE THEY QUIT MAKING PONTIACS SOON AFTER THIS CAR WAS MADE."

this is the second Torrent i purchased. sharp !!!

By on Friday, March 18, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,752

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun, Dependable, and performed well....."

Cons: "my boy wanted to borrow it every day. !!!!!!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This crossover was the most sporty,and comfortable car iv bought. I had NO issues and performed like a champ. always dependable. I just wish it was still on the market. very comfortable, and so easy to manage under any conditions, and lots of room for an all day shopping trip !!! this Torrent was maintained on a regular base. just had brand new goodyear assurance tripletread tires, full service, with wheel alignment, and,balance,oil change, and inspection."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Best SUV around

By on Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 118,698

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Everything"

Cons: "NA"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Love this SUV very roomy, reliable , comfortable, and would probably buy another one ! great on gas!!!"

5 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Good reliable vehicle marred by cheap interior

By on Friday, January 8, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 112,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Adjustable rear seat"

Cons: "Poor console design and non functional sun visors"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"I enjoy driving this SUV and like the size etc. however, it has the poorest designed console area I have ever seen and the sun visors are totally non functional. Going cheap on these interior items ruins the driving experience."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Great vehicle, one of the best I have ever owned

By on Friday, September 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 126,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "AWD and interior room/space"

Cons: "Quality of some of interior"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Absolutely great all around vehicle. The AWD has been great in winters. Very dependable vehicle with very little expenses or repairs."

9 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Unrefined and uninspiring transportation.

By on Monday, August 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 203,420

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "Better looking than the '08 Chevy Equinox!"

Cons: "Too many to list here."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"For an SUV that supposedly comes from GM's performance division, there is nothing sporty about this car's driving dynamics. At least the styling is slightly better than that of it's (nearly identical) corporate sibling, the Chevrolet Equinox. The interior noise is far too loud - why didn't Pontiac include a cargo cover/shelf? The engine's 180 HP and 201 ft/lb torque (from a 3.4L V-6 no less) are simply an embarrassment and don't get me started on the fuel economy. Ride quality is poor due in large part to incredibly stiff springs. How many buyers of SUVs actually take them off-road? Very few. So why, GM, did you seemingly engineer the suspension for the Paris-Dakkar rally? Thankfully this vehicle is a stop gap car for me. When the transmission on our 2001 Honda Odyssey failed earlier this year, I needed something to get me through the summer. (Oh how I miss Honda's smooth, powerful and fuel efficient 3.5L V-6!!). I can't wait to trade this beast in on a Honda, Volkswagen, Hyundai or Toyota while it still has trade-in value left."

6 people out of 13 found this review helpful

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