1993 Pontiac Grand Prix

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1993 Pontiac Grand Prix

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Available in 5 styles:  Grand Prix 4dr Sedan shown
Asking Price Range
$569–$4,485
Estimated MPG

19 city / 27 hwy

Expert Reviews

    Expert Reviews 1 of 2

By 

chicagotribune.com
Tired of having to settle for a scoop of vanilla when what you really want is Neapolitan?

For the 1993 model year Pontiac is making the sports appearance package on its top-of-the-line Grand Prix STE sedan available to those whose budgets are more in tune with the base-model LE sedan.

With a little cosmetic surgery on the $15,000 LE, you get a car that looks like the $21,000 STE.

The sports appearance package consists of lower-body plastic, aerodynamic hardware; split dual exhaust; custom bucket seats with console; and 16-inch, road-hugging, radial touring tires mounted on aluminum wheels.

On the LE we test-drove, that equipment was part of a package that included power windows, intermittent wipers, visor mirrors, cruise control, tilt steering wheel and AM/FM stereo with clock and cassette for $1,712.

While you get the look of the STE for about $17,000, you don`t get its performance.

The LE comes with a 3.1-liter, 140-horsepower V-6 engine, not the 3.4- liter, 200-horsepower, 24-valve V-6 offered in the STE. You don`t scoot from the stoplight in the LE as quickly as you do in an STE-but you look as good.

The 3.1-liter V-6 is rated at 19 m.p.g. city/30 highway with a four-speed automatic transmission, compared with a 17/26 rating with the 3.4-liter V-6. A three-speed automatic rated at 19/27 is standard with the 3.1 liter engine. For $200 more you get the quieter, smoother-shifting four-speed, which delivers better highway mileage. Get the four-speed.

So you aren`t left with the feeling you`re driving an economy car, the exhaust is tuned with a slight rumble. The sound effects leave you with the impression the car is moving much faster than it is.

Four-wheel independent suspension complements the package, as do anti- lock brakes. We had ample opportunity to travel wet and leaf-caked roadways over several days and had the chance to test the brakes. Each time we plowed into the leaves and then applied the brakes the car stopped in a straight line. Traction was superb despite the slime underneath the treads.

Though it is an above-average road car, the LE has some drawbacks. One is the absence of an air bag. General Motors Corp. keeps preaching that anti-lock brakes are more important than a bag, though the sermon is a bit phony because GM makes its anti-lock brakes but has to rely on outside vendors for the bags. GM is about to start producing bags, and that should help the automaker give credence to the cushions as safety devices.

The other complaint is Pontiac made the infernal automatic power door locks in the Grand Am standard in the Grand Prix for 1993. That`s the system that automatically locks the doors after you put the transmission in drive and take off. No complaints with that. However, when you stop, unlike in cars that automatically unlock the doors so you can slip out, you must push the unlock button first to release y ourself from captivity.

Pontiac is considering giving the consumer a choice of systems that stay locked until you push the button or automatically release so you can exit without delay once the key is turned. We applaud such an option and hope it comes soon.

Other than those gripes, the LE has a good cabin layout with good sightlines and easy use of controls.

The bucket seats are wide, supportive and comfortable. Rear-seat room is good (dual cupholders are in the center armrest), and trunk space is more than adequate.

Standard equipment on the front-wheel-drive LE includes power brakes and steering, stainless-steel exhaust, tinted windshield, dual sport mirrors, wide body-side moldings, air conditioning, full gauges with trip odometer, ashtray, glove box, under-the-hood and trunk lamps, AM/FM stereo with clock, carpeted luggage compartment and map pockets in the doors.

The LE sedan starts at $14,890. Our test car added the $1,712 packag and a $402 package that included a luggage-compartmen t cargo net, a leather- wrapped steering wheel, a rear-seat pass-through to the trunk to keep skis in the car, a bevy of interior reading lights and roof-mounted grab handles and front and rear floor mats. An electric rear-window defogger was added for $170, and the four-speed automatic added $200. With a $505 freight charge the car stickered at $17,879, minus a $400 discount for the $1,712 package.

If Pontiac made the 3.4-liter V-6, along with the sports appearance package, optional in the LE, it wouldn`t need both the LE and STE models and could consolidate offerings. That would save money, which would make new General Motors chief John Smith happy. There are too many midsize GM-10, or W- body, offerings at GM in the Grand Prix, Buick Regal, Chevrolet Lumina and Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme lines.




    Expert Reviews 1 of 2

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