The Pontiac Torrent is closely related to the Chevrolet Equinox, and for 2008 the Torrent gets a high-performance GXP package. The Torrent's segment competition is the Ford Escape, Jeep Liberty and Toyota RAV4. Engines include a 185-horsepower, 3.4-liter V-6, and GXPs receive a 3.6-liter V-6 with 264 hp. Both regular and GXP models can be equipped with front- or all-wheel drive.
An adjustable rear seat yields greater legroom for backseat passengers when it's moved rearward and expands the cargo area when it's slid forward. The backseat also reclines.
For 2008, all Torrents come standard with an electronic stability system and a new Electronic Trailer Sway Control integrated into the stability system. The instrument panel has a vehicle information center with more than 20 features, including a new digital compass, a tire pressure monitoring system and an outside temperature display. Three new exterior colors are offered.
The Torrent's twin-port grille is traditional Pontiac. Headlights that wrap into the front fenders flank the grille, below which is a wide air intake. The front and rear overhangs are short, and the fenders are flared. Fog lamps and front and rear skid plates are standard.
MacPherson struts are used for the front suspension, and a four-link independent suspension is installed in the rear. Built on a 112.5-inch wheelbase, the base Torrent is 188.8 inches long overall, 71.4 inches wide and 67 inches tall. The GXP is 189.6 inches long overall, 71.4 inches wide and 65.7 inches tall without the roof rack, 69.3 with the rack. Standard aluminum wheels hold 16-inch tires, and 17-inch tires are optional. The three new exterior colors are Deep Blue Metallic, Teal Metallic and Carbon Black Metallic.
GXP Torrents sit an inch lower to the ground and have 6.6 inches of ground clearance. The lower stance is accented by 18-inch wheels and an absent roof rack, giving the Torrent a smoother design flow compared to the standard Torrent; a roof rack is still optional. A lowered front and rear, a unique hood and dual-exiting exhaust round out the body changes to the GXP Torrent.
The backseat is split 60/40, and the front passenger seat folds down. Cargo volume totals 35.2 cubic feet with the backseat raised and expands to 68.6 cubic feet when that seat is folded. The rear seat can expand cargo space by 5 cubic feet when making full use of its 8 inches of travel. Instruments have red backlighting.
GXP Torrents have a unique gauge cluster and leather-wrapped steering wheel. The GXP's gauge cluster is backlit in red, and a 140-mph speedometer is added.
All Torrents have power door locks with remote keyless entry, air conditioning, power windows and a six-speaker CD stereo. Options include leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats, a power driver's seat, a six-CD stereo and steering-wheel stereo controls. There are three 12-volt power outlets. The Preferred Package includes a remote vehicle starter.
Under the Hood
Base Torrents have a 3.4-liter V-6 that develops 185 hp and 210 pounds-feet of torque and is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. GXP models get a 3.6-liter V-6 with variable valve timing that makes 264 hp and 250 pounds-feet of torque. GXP models come with a six-speed automatic transmission. Pontiac says the Torrent GXP can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds. Both the GXP and the base Torrent can tow up to 3,500 pounds, and both are available as front- and all-wheel-drive models.
Antilock brakes and an electronic stability system are standard. A new feature added to the electronic stability system is Electronic Trailer Sway Control, which automatically detects trailer sway caused by an improper trailer weight balance or excessive vehicle speed, then activates the stability system to maintain control. Side curtain airbags are optional and include rollover sensors.