2003 Pontiac Grand Am

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2003 Pontiac Grand Am

Key specs

Base trim shown


5 trims

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2003 Pontiac Grand Am review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview
A new SE2 sedan joins the lineup of Pontiac’s popular front-wheel-drive (FWD) compact series for the 2003 model year. This new four-door delivers more power and contains more standard equipment than its SE companions. All SE sedans get a freshened exterior. An XM Satellite Radio is newly available, and GM’s OnStar communication system is now standard on all models except the base SE. The SE coupe has been discontinued.

Last restyled for the 1999 model year, Grand Am coupes and sedans come with a four-cylinder or 3.4-liter V-6 engine. The V-6 power plant is offered only with an automatic transmission. Built from the same basic design as the Oldsmobile Alero, but with sportier styling, the Grand Am uses the same engines and FWD chassis. Five Grand Am versions are available: SE, SE1, SE2, GT and GT1.

Aggressive styling has long been a Grand Am hallmark. Both the coupe and sedan feature a low nose and high tail with a pronounced wedge profile. Traditional Pontiac styling cues include ribbed body cladding and a twin-port grille. Coupes and sedans ride the same 107.2-inch wheelbase and measure 186.3 inches long overall.

All models have a four-wheel-independent suspension. The GT has unique front and rear fascias, color-keyed side cladding, twin-post mirrors and a deck lid spoiler.

The Grand Am’s front buckets and a three-place rear seat accommodate five occupants. Like many two-door vehicles, the coupe’s narrow rear seat is better suited for two people than three. All models except the base SE have a split, folding rear seatback that adds storage space beyond the 14.6-cubic-foot trunk.

Standard SE equipment includes air conditioning, programmable door locks with lockout protection, a CD player, a PassLock II theft-deterrent system and illuminated entry. The SE1 adds power windows and a remote keyless entry system.

Under the Hood
Pontiac’s base Ecotec 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine is rated at 140 horsepower and mates with either a four-speed automatic or a five-speed-manual transmission. A 170-hp, 3.4-liter V-6 engine is optional in the SE1. A 175-hp Ram Air V-6 with cold-air induction and a lower-restriction exhaust system goes into the GT and GT1 and teams only with the automatic transmission.

Antilock brakes are standard on the SE2 and optional on the SE and SE1. All-disc antilock brakes are standard on GT models.

Driving Impressions
The Grand Am is easy to drive; this car has established a reputation for commendable performance and handling. Both body styles retain their mildly aggressive appearance even if they’re not the most refined models on the market.

Acceleration is smooth and rather energetic with the Ecotec four-cylinder engine except when trying to go up steep hills. GM’s automatic transmissions rank among the smoothest around, and the one in the Grand Am is no exception; but drivers may notice an occasional bit of uncertainty. The Grand Am is also pleasantly quiet inside.

The GT is well controlled and stable, but its tauter suspension produces a fair amount of tossing. Performance is satisfying and energetic, especially at passing speeds. The seats are excellent in the driver-oriented cockpit. Small audio controls on the cluttered dashboard are difficult to use.


Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2003 Buying Guide
Posted on 2/10/03

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.1
  • Interior design 4.0
  • Performance 4.4
  • Value for the money 4.3
  • Exterior styling 4.3
  • Reliability 4.2

Most recent consumer reviews


Reliable and Fun first car

I've had this car for four years and I love it. This car is super reliable and is fun to drive. The gas mileage is good, the design is great, the seats are comfortable, and the features are simple, but nice. I just wish the interior material was better and the car had a little more horsepower. I would drive this car forever if I could.


Great Long drive car

Bought mine from older man for 900$ with 103k miles on a dash and drove it home (1hr) . No major issues since then! FS oil always. I only replaced radio, headlight assembly bc wanted something more appealing and that’s all! Now 116k miles and drove it from GA to PA multiple times with two stops no issues! Not best comfort car but it’s ok. Gas wise


spend all your money repairing

this car runs great at times. but i find myself replacing parts that you never ever replace on vehicles. ive owned many different cars and vans. example as ive owned 2 different grand ams a 2 door and a 4 door. on both cars i replace both sides the power windows quit rolling up and down. replaced ignition on the one. sun roof quit opeining. fair gas mileage tho. small interior as if i put my hair in a pony tail my hair is touching roof. too small interior.

See all 34 consumer reviews


New car program benefits
36 months/36,000 miles
72 months/100,000 miles
36 months/36,000 miles
Roadside assistance
36 months/36,000 miles