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By Jim Flammang
February 21, 2005
Vehicle Overview A brand-new G6 sedan that replaces the Grand Am joins the Pontiac lineup for 2005. Until the phaseout is complete, the long-lived Grand Am continues in GT and GT1 coupe forms; Grand Am sedans remain available only for fleet sales.
An SC/T Solid Value Appearance Package for the GT1 includes a performance composite hood, a rear aero wing, Chrome Tech wheels and a chrome-tipped exhaust system. An MP3 player with an equalizer and Radio Data System operation became optional in Pontiac's popular front-wheel-drive compact series for 2004.
Last restyled for the 1999 model year, Grand Am coupes now come only with a Ram Air 3.4-liter V-6 and a four-speed-automatic transmission.
Exterior Aggressive styling has long been a Grand Am hallmark. The sporty-looking coupe features a low nose, a high tail and a pronounced wedge profile. Traditional Pontiac styling cues include ribbed body cladding and a twin-port grille. Coupes ride a 107.2-inch wheelbase and measure 186.3 inches long overall.
All models have a four-wheel-independent suspension. Color-keyed side cladding and a deck-lid spoiler are standard.
Interior Up to five occupants can fit in the Grand Am's front buckets and three-place rear seat. Like many two-door vehicles, the coupe's narrow rear seat is better suited for two people than three. Each coupe has a split folding rear seatback that adds storage space beyond the 14.6-cubic-foot trunk. Leather-appointed seating in the Solid Value Appearance Package includes SC/T embroidered into the seat backs.
Standard equipment includes air conditioning, programmable door locks with lockout protection, a CD player, power windows, cruise control, remote keyless entry and a PassLock II theft-deterrent system. XM Satellite Radio is standard with the SC/T Solid Value Appearance Package and optional in all other models.
Under the Hood The GT coupe holds a 175-horsepower, 3.4-liter Ram Air V-6 with cold-air induction. The engine produces 205 pounds-feet of torque and mates only with a four-speed-automatic transmission.
Safety All-disc antilock brakes are standard. Side-impact airbags are not available.
Driving Impressions In addition to being an easy-to-drive vehicle, the Grand Am has established a reputation for commendable performance and handling. These coupes retain their mildly aggressive appearance, but they're not the most refined models on the market.
Acceleration is energetic with the Ram Air engine, especially at passing speeds. General Motors' automatic transmissions rank as some of the smoothest around, but drivers may notice an occasional bit of uncertainty. Grand Ams are pleasantly quiet inside.
The GT coupe is well controlled and stable, but its relatively taut suspension produces a fair amount of tossing. The seats are excellent in the driver-oriented cockpit. Small audio controls on the cluttered dashboard are difficult to use.