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2002 Pontiac Bonneville

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$176 — $6,120 USED
Sedan
5-6 Seats
22-24 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
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2002 Pontiac Bonneville Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
New front and rear fascias go on the 2002 SE edition of Pontiac’s full-size front-drive sedan, which rides fresh 17-inch aluminum wheels. A Monsoon audio system is standard on the SSEi. This year’s models get LATCH child-seat tethers, a trunk-entrapment release handle and a restyled console with cupholders.

Redesigned for the 2000 model year, the Bonneville is Pontiac’s largest and most expensive sedan. Built on the same basic front-drive platform as the conservative Buick LeSabre, the Bonneville has sportier styling and a performance-focused image — two of Pontiac’s hallmarks. Like other Pontiac models, the Bonneville is supposed to attract younger buyers than those who stroll into dealerships for other GM brands. Full-size competitors include the Chevrolet Impala, Chrysler Concorde and Dodge Intrepid, as well as a few midsize models such as the Nissan Maxima and Toyota Avalon.

Three trims are still available: the base SE and the midrange SLE, which are both powered by a 205-horsepower engine, and the SSEi, which comes equipped with a supercharged V-6.

Exterior
Bold styling is what identifies Pontiacs among the crowd, and the Bonneville is no exception. Design touches include a wedge profile, a sporty-looking twin-port grille, cat’s-eye headlights and bodyside ribbing. At 202.6 inches long overall, the Bonneville is an inch shorter than the Intrepid. The Bonneville rides on a 112.2-inch wheelbase and measures 74.2 inches wide. The SE has standard 16-inch tire...

Vehicle Overview
New front and rear fascias go on the 2002 SE edition of Pontiac’s full-size front-drive sedan, which rides fresh 17-inch aluminum wheels. A Monsoon audio system is standard on the SSEi. This year’s models get LATCH child-seat tethers, a trunk-entrapment release handle and a restyled console with cupholders.

Redesigned for the 2000 model year, the Bonneville is Pontiac’s largest and most expensive sedan. Built on the same basic front-drive platform as the conservative Buick LeSabre, the Bonneville has sportier styling and a performance-focused image — two of Pontiac’s hallmarks. Like other Pontiac models, the Bonneville is supposed to attract younger buyers than those who stroll into dealerships for other GM brands. Full-size competitors include the Chevrolet Impala, Chrysler Concorde and Dodge Intrepid, as well as a few midsize models such as the Nissan Maxima and Toyota Avalon.

Three trims are still available: the base SE and the midrange SLE, which are both powered by a 205-horsepower engine, and the SSEi, which comes equipped with a supercharged V-6.

Exterior
Bold styling is what identifies Pontiacs among the crowd, and the Bonneville is no exception. Design touches include a wedge profile, a sporty-looking twin-port grille, cat’s-eye headlights and bodyside ribbing. At 202.6 inches long overall, the Bonneville is an inch shorter than the Intrepid. The Bonneville rides on a 112.2-inch wheelbase and measures 74.2 inches wide. The SE has standard 16-inch tires, while the SLE and SSEi run on 17-inchers. A rear spoiler is standard on the SLE and SSEi.

Interior
Bonnevilles can be fitted to hold either five or six passengers. SE models are available with front bucket seats or a solid three-place bench, but only about one in five is built with the bench seat. Front head restraints are the “catcher’s-mitt” type, which move up and forward in a rear-end collision, close to the occupant’s head, to reduce the chance of whiplash injury.

Heated front seats are optional on all models. GM’s OnStar communication system is standard in the SLE and SSEi sedans. A small pass-thru from the trunk to the interior permits carrying long items, but the rear seatback does not fold down. The trunk comes with a deep and fairly wide cargo floor and a spacious capacity of 18 cubic feet. The wheel wells do intrude a bit into the trunk area.

Under the Hood
The SE and SLE have a 205-hp, 3.8-liter V-6 engine, which is used in various GM automobiles. The SSEi model gets a supercharged version of that V-6, which whips up 240 hp. All Bonnevilles use a four-speed-automatic transmission.

Safety
Antilock brakes and side-impact airbags for the front seats are standard. Traction control is standard on the SSEi and optional on other models. StabiliTrak, GM’s electronic stability system, is standard only on the top-of-the-line SSEi.

Driving Impressions
The Bonneville didn’t change all that much with the 2000 redesign, though its previously rounded projectile shape was edged aside by a more angular look. But that’s no drawback because the Bonneville has long been a fine road car — one of GM’s best in that regard. The latest model offers more of the same, with plenty of virtues to attract big-car fans.

Because the regular V-6 engine delivers such strong performance, there’s little need for the supercharged version. Drivers are likely to feel a welcome burst of confidence when they push the gas pedal to pass or merge in a hurry, with or without a blower sending air into the engine.

Handling fails to stand out, but it is about right for its class. The Bonneville steers with a light touch and responds capably to both driver inputs and corners. Body lean is noticeable — but not dramatic — in quick curves.

The SE rides comfortably most of the time. It’s also a very easy car to drive with its smaller tires. Judging the sedan for parking is more of a challenge because it’s difficult to see the front or rear end from behind the wheel. The seats are wide but minimally bolstered, and come with good rear legroom and generally ample space all around.

 

Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2002 Buying Guide

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.3
15 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(4.6)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.5)
Reliability
(3.9)
Value For The Money
(4.1)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

I loved this car.

by Pontiac from Chicago il on June 5, 2017

This car ran forever with not to many problems. I loved this car and trying to get another one. Good car. Read full review

(5.0)

Best car I've owned

by Father2013 from Owatonna, MN on June 1, 2017

It has the pretty much indestructible 3.8L V6 Engine, very reliable, pretty comfortable, turning radius is great, barely anything goes wrong with them. Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2002 Pontiac Bonneville currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2002 Pontiac Bonneville has not been tested.

Latest 2002 Bonneville Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Bonneville received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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