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By Cars.com Staff
August 1, 2006
Vehicle Overview Pontiac revamped its midsize front-wheel-drive Grand Prix sedan for 2004. Now in its ninth generation, the Grand Prix has styling overtones that are related to the automaker's GTO, which was discontinued following the 2006 model year.
The Grand Prix enters the 2007 model year with few changes. Five new exterior colors, including Purple Haze Metallic, are now offered, and the optional 17-inch wheels for base and GT Grand Prix models are finished in chrome. A tire pressure monitoring system is standard.
General Motors' OnStar communication system is standard. A TAPshift (Touch Activated Power) system lets the driver of a GXP sedan use paddles on the steering wheel to change the automatic transmission's gears.
Exterior The Grand Prix's smooth sides are said to be Coke-bottle shaped, a theme that harks back to the muscle-car era. They extend into a twin-port grille and a two-tone lower fascia. Large corner-mounted taillights flank the rear spoiler.
Built on a 110.5-inch wheelbase, the Grand Prix extends to 198.3 inches long overall. Fog lamps are standard on GT and GXP models. Standard wheels measure 16 inches in diameter, but 17-inchers are optional; the GXP gets 18-inch tires.
Interior Each Grand Prix is spacious enough for five adults. The deep trunk holds 16 cubic feet of cargo, and there's a pass-thru in the 60/40-split, folding backseat.
Sizable analog gauges have a 3-D look, and the doors display satin-nickel accents. The GXP's standard head-up display allows the driver to extinguish all instrument panel lighting for enhanced visibility during night driving.
Under the Hood A 200-horsepower, 3.8-liter V-6 is standard in the base sedan. The GT sedan is equipped with a supercharged version that develops 260 hp. In the GXP sedan, a 5.3-liter V-8 generates 303 hp at 5,600 rpm and 323 pounds-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm. All engines drive a four-speed automatic transmission.
Safety Antilock brakes are standard on GT and GXP models and optional on the base sedan. Side curtain airbags are optional. The GXP has an electronic stability system.
Driving Impressions Even though the Grand Prix has many appealing features, it doesn't quite compare to European and most Asian models in terms of solidness. It does, however, perform energetically, especially with supercharged power. Promising strong passing performance, it accelerates from a standstill with vigor, but there's little evidence of a supercharger. Pontiac's paddle shifters work well but may suffer a little delay.
The Grand Prix's suspension eases over most road flaws, but it gives the impression of avoiding rather than absorbing them. Good handling without major loss in ride comfort is a bonus with the upper models. Headroom is ample in each seating position, but the optional power sunroof steals some space.