Pontiac introduced the sporty midsize front-wheel-drive G6 sedan for 2005, aiming it at such competitors as the Mazda6, Mitsubishi Galant and Nissan Altima. Coupe and retractable-hardtop convertible body styles joined the lineup for 2006.
Initially offered only with a 3.5-liter V-6, the G6 has multiple engine choices for 2007, including a new 3.6-liter V-6 for GTP models. Exclusively teamed with this engine is a new six-speed automatic transmission. Other changes for 2007 include newly standard side curtain airbags for coupes and sedans, and a switch from electric to hydraulic power steering in GT models.
Displaying a wedge-shaped profile, the G6 sedan has wraparound headlights and triangular wraparound taillamps. Built on a 112.3-inch wheelbase, each body style has short overhangs, measures 189 inches long overall and is 70.6 inches wide. Pontiac's signature twin-port grille has chrome accents and mesh inserts. Pushed-forward A-pillars give the windshield a sharper rake. The coupe and retractable-hardtop convertible look similar to the sedan, but the doors are 6 inches longer and the rear ends differ.
The G6 uses a sport-tuned fully independent suspension with front and rear stabilizer bars. Three wheel sizes are available: standard 16-inchers for the base sedan, 17-inchers for GT models and 18-inchers for GTP editions.
An available panoramic roof for the sedan contains four sliding glass panels, which can create a convertible-style open-air driving experience.
Like other Pontiac models, the G6 cockpit contains sporty controls and racing-style gauges with red LED backlighting. The coupe and retractable-hardtop models have seating for four, but the sedan can seat up to five. Brushed metal accents and chrome trim decorate the interior. A tilt/telescoping steering wheel is standard, and adjustable pedals are optional.
Due to its relatively long wheelbase, the G6 sedan promises abundant backseat legroom. The sedan's trunk measures 14 cubic feet — the coupe's and convertible's are slightly smaller, but the convertible's drops to 2.2 cubic feet when the top is down.
Under the Hood
The base sedan holds a 169-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder while GTP editions feature the new 252-hp, 3.6-liter V-6. A 224-hp (217 hp in the convertible), 3.5-liter V-6 goes into GT models, which can be optionally equipped with a 240-hp (227 hp in the convertible), 3.9-liter V-6. A four-speed automatic transmission is standard in base and GT models, while GTP models have a six-speed automatic. A six-speed manual is also offered, but only in GT sedans and coupes with the 3.9-liter V-6.
All-disc brakes are standard, but antilock brakes are optional. An electronic stability system is also optional. While side curtain airbags are standard in coupes and sedans, side-impact airbags remain optional for all body styles.
With the 3.5-liter V-6 and automatic, the G6 sedan performs well enough, aided by mannerly automatic transmission operation. Though it's an improvement over the Grand Am, the G6 isn't a big step forward.
Handling is on the ordinary side, and substantial steering effort is required. The G6 is quiet and rides comfortably most of the time. Monsoon radio controls are confusing. Rear legroom in the sedan is good, but headroom is horrible.