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Delta Force79

Rented A Grand Prix

25 posts in this topic

SO heres the story, about a month ago the alternator in my Riviera bit the dust and I had my car brought to a local repair shop which was said to be a good place according to my girlfriend's neighbors....so I figured hell while they have the car, might as well do an inspection, oil change and tranny flush. $655 later, I had my car back, with a new alternator, new belts, tranny service, oil change and inspection sticker.... about 5 minutes after pulling away I notice my car dosen't seem to be right, so I thought well maybe the tranny service really changed the driving dynamics of this car :rolleyes: anyway by that night I noticed my lights, both inside the car and my headlights were flcikering under throttle, and at idle....I brought the car back the next day and they replaced the alternator for me, free of charge. But the problem was still there, they hooked up a voltage meter, and the voltage was jumping around like a mexican jumping bean. They tested my battery and it had 100% charge. They told me to drive it around and see what happens. I just decided to live with it, now flash forward a month later, the belt and or alternator is whining and the flcikering started getting worse....next thing I know, the car is shaking at highway speeds, the transmission is now about to $h! the bed, overdrive is now all of a sudden gone, and the car bucks and kicks on the highway, then the car started running like it was a 2 banger...and then the icing on the cake....the belt snaps in two, flies off the alternator pulley and now I have no power steering and the car is useless....which brings me to the point of this thread....

my rented Pontiac Grand Prix. I asked for a fullsize car....this is anything but fullsize....

The seats are some of th emost uncomfortable seats I've ever had the displeasure of parking my fat ass into, no matter how much I adjust the seat I can't find my driving position, I developed a cramp in my right leg while driving, and the car has 29,600 miles on it and the suspension bounces so much I may as well be on a water bed. It has the series III 3800 N/A and has decent power, but other than that I am very unhappy with this car. My only other option was an Impala and I figured they;r eboth the same car, might as well get the Grand Prix for the red interior lighting and black leather....even my girlfriend who is only 5 feet tall and drvies a '98 Accord said the car was small and uncomfortable. Her back was bothering her so much in it and her legs, that she had be drive her home after 2 hours of being in it. I also find it annoying that the odometer is in the info display on the center stack instead of below the speedometer where it should be. The one nice touch about this car is a decent amount of soft touch plastic inside, including the door panels and dash. Also the center arm rest is wrapped in black leather with white or grey stitching. I'll have the Grand Prix till monday when I bring the Riv to this asshole who destroyed it and demand that he fix everything he touched on it a month ago...including a transmission if need be. But tonight was my first day with the Pontiac, lets see where I stand by Monday when it goes back.

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<_< Too bad about your Pontiac experience. Both our Fixed Operations manager and one of our top salesguys BOUGHT daily rental Grand Prixs. They both love theirs. In fact, salesguy traded his 2 year old Maxima (traitor!) for the Grand Prix. I've driven them and think they are okay, but doubt I would spend the bucks for them. I was not a huge fan of the black nylon cloth on the seats - they look okay, but feel kinda cheap.

Still, where I give the Grand Prix its due is that it LOOKS like a Pontiac and rides/handles like an American car, not some rice burner. GM and Ford just need to learn to do this type of car better and forget about Japan.

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<_< Too bad about your Pontiac experience. Both our Fixed Operations manager and one of our top salesguys BOUGHT daily rental Grand Prixs. They both love theirs. In fact, salesguy traded his 2 year old Maxima (traitor!) for the Grand Prix. I've driven them and think they are okay, but doubt I would spend the bucks for them. I was not a huge fan of the black nylon cloth on the seats - they look okay, but feel kinda cheap.

Still, where I give the Grand Prix its due is that it LOOKS like a Pontiac and rides/handles like an American car, not some rice burner. GM and Ford just need to learn to do this type of car better and forget about Japan.

I love mine and in the end, that's all that matters!

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Sounds like nothing could match your Riv for you and you're a bit angry that you're without it.

As for the Grand Prix, give it American styling evolved from the current model and Aussie underpinnings and you've got yourself one hell of a Pontiac. :)

Delta, sounds like all your troubles could be related to the alternator fiasco. Sorry to hear about that stuff, that's BS.

Edited by ocnblu
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I had a GP rental in Dec 05 in Portland...got stuck for 8 hrs in an ice storm trying to go about 30 miles. Not fun. Though I'm not a fan of FWD, the car's traction on ice was impressive...I didn't spin out and crash like so many other cars around me on the I-5 'Freeway of Horror' did that afternoon/evening. (I've experienced a lot of nasty driving conditions in my past in the Rust Belt and in the Rockies, but nothing as horrifying as the ice storm).

The car was ok, drove and handled reasonably well (went over to the coast, and up the Columbia River gorge when the weather was nice). Some of the interior materials seemed ok, some cheap...the speedometer was huge..

It was a pain to parallel park downtown because it's a difficult car to see out of, I thought...hard to figure out where the edges of the car are. All in all, a decent rental..

Edited by moltar
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As for the Grand Prix, give it American styling and Aussie underpinnings and you've got yourself one hell of a Pontiac.[/b] :)

G8 styling > than Grand Prix styling IMHO

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ocn: I do miss my Riv, as the driving position and interior of that car was "made" for me, the Grand Prix is a good looking car, its an off white with black leather interior. I like the dash layout and the steering wheel is quite nice. The gauges are also cool and have nice graphics on them. But the tiny door opening, and uncomfortable seats really kill the experience for me. the floaty suspension is probably due to the mileage and the fact its a rental, but still I was somewhat surprised that it bounces around so much. But oh well its only a rental, and not my car....which I'm glad about, but I was a pretty big fan of W-bodies up till now...now I say bring on the G8.

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my rented Pontiac Grand Prix. I asked for a fullsize car....this is anything but fullsize....

The seats are some of th emost uncomfortable seats I've ever had the displeasure of parking my fat ass into, no matter how much I adjust the seat I can't find my driving position, I developed a cramp in my right leg while driving, and the car has 29,600 miles on it and the suspension bounces so much I may as well be on a water bed. It has the series III 3800 N/A and has decent power, but other than that I am very unhappy with this car.

I also find it annoying that the odometer is in the info display on the center stack instead of below the speedometer where it should be.

Overall, I like the car, and some of the comments you bring up are totally valid - you are not the first.

If I recall your photo in the Pictures thread or somewhere, you are not a small guy. Therefore, the side bolsters and low seating position do not work well for you and they don't work well for me, either.

It's too bad, because in restyling this car, they could have done a great job without swinging the pendulum too far over from the 1997-2003 model run. Here's my list.

Seats:

They should have kept the seating profile (flatter) and the softer touch materials of the previous model run. They were comfortable enough and there was nothing wrong with them.

Backlite and roofline:

Again, they could have hit a "middle ground " in the roofline and backlite department between the last model run and the current one. Sometimes, and extra inch of height and a "not as flat" backlite could have done wonders for the feel of the interior, particularly the back seat.

Dashboard:

The materials at the sides of the console and underneath the dash are indeed rickety. These could have been nicer, as they are even in the less expensive Malibu or an Impala.

Front end:

Again, they went overboard with the "cat eyes" in the front. They should have been more G6.

Grand Prix's strong points are:

the powertrain, the overall rakishness of the styling, the handling compared to other W-bodies, and the overall shape and cockpit feel of the dash, and the longevity of the car.

My only gripes are above where they got too far away from the good points and 1997-2003 run and made the car less user friendly to a load of 3 + people. It's these gripes that have made me pause about buying one ....while I paused at the 1997-2003 because of those stupid effed-up "pumpkin" lights in the rear...good riddance to that stupid styling feature.

Edited by trinacriabob
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Overall, I like the car, and some of the comments you bring up are totally valid - you are not the first.

If I recall your photo in the Pictures thread or somewhere, you are not a small guy. Therefore, the side bolsters and low seating position do not work well for you and they don't work well for me, either.

It's too bad, because in restyling this car, they could have done a great job without swinging the pendulum too far over from the 1997-2003 model run. Here's my list.

Seats:

They should have kept the seating profile (flatter) and the softer touch materials of the previous model run. They were comfortable enough and there was nothing wrong with them.

Backlite and roofline:

Again, they could have hit a "middle ground " in the roofline and backlite department between the last model run and the current one. Sometimes, and extra inch of height and a "not as flat" backlite could have done wonders for the feel of the interior, particularly the back seat.

Dashboard:

The materials at the sides of the console and underneath the dash are indeed rickety. These could have been nicer, as they are even in the less expensive Malibu or an Impala.

Front end:

Again, they went overboard with the "cat eyes" in the front. They should have been more G6.

Grand Prix's strong points are:

the powertrain, the overall rakishness of the styling, the handling compared to other W-bodies, and the overall shape and cockpit feel of the dash, and the longevity of the car.

My only gripes are above where they got too far away from the good points and 1997-2003 run and made the car less user friendly to a load of 3 + people. It's these gripes that have made me pause about buying one ....while I paused at the 1997-2003 because of those stupid effed-up "pumpkin" lights in the rear...good riddance to that stupid styling feature.

I know what you mean about the seats. I too am a huge fan of the 97-03 model, which was mostly why I choose the Grand Prix over the Impala. I am a big guy, 6'1 250 lbs....so I do need interior space and wide door openings....Its a shame about this car's flaws because overall its a pretty sweet car and looks good to boot. well at least from the A pillar back :P

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My sister has an 04 Grand Prix, and I understand how you feel while inside it. Whenever I climb into the driver seat of that car, I find it almost impossible to find a comfortable place to drive. Once putting it into drive, I almost feel retarded while behind the wheel, BUT after driving it for 20 minutes or so I start to feel at home behind the wheel. After getting used to the dynamics, I feel much more connected to the road than I usually do in my Impala. Overall the suspension is pretty close to my Impala, but body roll is controlled much better than it is in my W body. As far as the seats, I really have grown to love them, so much so that I looked into fitting a set of Grand Prix leathers into my Impala. I love the side bolsters, but that may be because they fit me perfectly. Also, I am not that big of a guy, only 5'8" so there is plenty of room for me inside. Again I undetstand how you feel. Overall the car is decent. Nothing spectacular, but I wouldn't mind having one around to through a few miles on. My sister and I got almost 28 miles per gallon on our last trip to Minneapolis.

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What is it with all you small guys, did you not take your vitamins as your mothers asked you to? :smilewide:

Although I must say my two best friends are 5'6" and 5'7" respectively. I'm 6'.

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What is it with all you small guys, did you not take your vitamins as your mothers asked you to? :smilewide:

Although I must say my two best friends are 5'6" and 5'7" respectively. I'm 6'.

You twalkin' to me? At 5'-10", I am NOT complaining, given that my Dad and Mom are both 5'-4." Still, unless the GP is used by what is mostly a coupe customer, it can be painful for taller people when occupying the rear seat.

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What is it with all you small guys, did you not take your vitamins as your mothers asked you to? :smilewide:

Although I must say my two best friends are 5'6" and 5'7" respectively. I'm 6'.

I'm actually like 5'8.5", but I was 5'10" before I fell off the back of my ATV, resulting in compression fractures in my T11 and T12 vertebrae.

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I'm actually like 5'8.5", but I was 5'10" before I fell off the back of my ATV, resulting in compression fractures in my T11 and T12 vertebrae.

scharmer05, don't worry about it dude, I'm just razzing you, you know like the time I asked if you were the mailman's son since you don't look like your sisters. You're always cool with me, you drive a W Body! :yes:

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I rented a base 2006 GP for my trip to Carlisle. It was bright red with the tan/charcoal cloth interior. Overall, I liked the car. The color combo worked well with it. The handling was excellent, and the 3800 pulled very strongly. I loved the big trunk - the day after Carlisle I threw my bike in there for my ride, and it was just so easy to load and unload. My most serious gripe with the car was the seats, which were excessively firm and very uncomfortable for a 4.5 hour ride. The center stack felt kind of hollow, but the rest of the interior felt pretty well built.

PCS, how are the seats in your GXP? Are the leather seats comfortable enough for long trips? I'm curious.

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I drove a current Grand Prix when my first Ninety Eight was totaled. I liked the styling and interior to some degree as it reminded me of the 1977 Grand Prix. Now.. that aside I missed so many of my features the Ninety Eight has. I also missed the comfort and room. The Grand Prix had great performance and speed and handling, but the car lacked the comfort and features I had become used to.

Would I recommend it to others a midsize car to buy? Yes. The Impala has the room. Buick LaCrosse has the luxury. Pontiac has the ride.

Wildman Joe I like your Ninety Eight picture in your signature. I used to have a signature here. It had a black Ninety Eight and was really nice.

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I've driven an SE and GXP of the current GP. I liked them both with some exceptions.

The seats I love. Not sure why folks don't like em. They hug your boot.

I like the dash layout even if the plastics are not stunning. Wraparound dashes score points with me.

My biggest turnoff with either engine was the 4 speed auto and I didn't care for the 3800 either, but itdoes get good mpg.

Ultimately, my biggest beef with the GP is bad packaging. Cramped rear, pancake roofline. Add in the cheaper interior and I'm on the fence with this car. If someone gave me one I think I'd like it. The 90 degree rear opening doors are a nice touch.

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My most serious gripe with the car was the seats, which were excessively firm and very uncomfortable for a 4.5 hour ride. The center stack felt kind of hollow, but the rest of the interior felt pretty well built.

Right, Frank, they are excessively firm...and over a long-ride, it becomes a big trade-off between the "cockpit relationship" which is awesome and this "wedged into your seat" astronaut sensation that can get tiring. The longest I've had to pilot a GP is Las Vegas to Los Angeles and, after about those 4 hours, you need to decompress. Don't they "test market" or "focus group" changes?

On the other hand, I've taken a LaCrosse/Allure from the Albany area all the way to Mt. Tremblant (one hour north of Montreal) and I will say that the seating made for a more relaxing drive.

Edited by trinacriabob
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The seats I love. Not sure why folks don't like em. They hug your boot.

I like the dash layout even if the plastics are not stunning. Wraparound dashes score points with me.

Ultimately, my biggest beef with the GP is bad packaging. Cramped rear, pancake roofline. Add in the cheaper interior and I'm on the fence with this car. If someone gave me one I think I'd like it. The 90 degree rear opening doors are a nice touch.

You are one of the few that likes the seats. They are, however, part of the set up with the wrap around dash. The "wraparound" thing is a turn-on with me too -- could it be our...ehm...ehm....occupation? I think they used the combo of seats and dash to elicit the adult go-kart sensation to the extent they could.

Right...ON THE FENCE is a good way to put it. They didn't have to cramp the rear or flatten the roofline to the extent they did; in fact, I wonder how many previous GP customers were lost as a result of this that might have bought if the ergonomics were like those of the 1997-2003 car. They could have still have a kick-ass styled car with a few less drastic strokes of the pen...or AutoCAD puck.

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What is it with all you small guys, did you not take your vitamins as your mothers asked you to? :smilewide:

Mother's don't always know best. I started taking vitamins on my own earlier this year... A bit too late, to say the least. I'm 5'6". :P

Edit: Oh... right... this thread is about the Grand Prix. Oops. It's ugly, for one. Style wise, the only part I really liked about it was the shaping of its ass. The rest was about as appealing as an actual ass. The interior was alright besides it being overstyled and cheap (other than the dash and door panel plastics, as others have noted). I always like the front seats, but I'm small and love firm, bolstered seats. They could be more comfortable, but their alright. The backseat, on the other hand, sucks. Completely uncomfortable and a bit on the small side. The powertrain... I always liked the Gen III SC 3800. I'd rather have it than the 5.3L V8 in the GXP... Anyways, I look forward to the G8 as I've said many, many times.

Edited by blackviper8891
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You are one of the few that likes the seats. They are, however, part of the set up with the wrap around dash. The "wraparound" thing is a turn-on with me too -- could it be our...ehm...ehm....occupation? I think they used the combo of seats and dash to elicit the adult go-kart sensation to the extent they could.

Right...ON THE FENCE is a good way to put it. They didn't have to cramp the rear or flatten the roofline to the extent they did; in fact, I wonder how many previous GP customers were lost as a result of this that might have bought if the ergonomics were like those of the 1997-2003 car. They could have still have a kick-ass styled car with a few less drastic strokes of the pen...or AutoCAD puck.

many. many. many.

probably the deal was since the bonneville at the time had such a small back seat, the GP's needed to be smaller yet.

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Well today was day two behind the wheel and I must say I've actually gotten used to the driver's seat for the most part and actually had some fun driving it today....I enjoyed watching the instant economy gauge read 96.3 one second and then I'd floor it and it would drop down to like 5 MPG...that was pretty fun....I like the dash shape and layout for the most part....the car is nice at night all light up, black leather and red lighting....overall I'm now more on this car's side than I was last night. The interior is still too small for my comfort though.

I will try to get pics of it tomorrow and should have them up this week at some point hopefully.

Edited by Delta Force79
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Well today was day two behind the wheel and I must say I've actually gotten used to the driver's seat for the most part and actually had some fun driving it today....I enjoyed watching the instant economy gauge read 96.3 one second and then I'd floor it and it would drop down to like 5 MPG...that was pretty fun....I like the dash shape and layout for the most part....the car is nice at night all light up, black leather and red lighting....overall I'm now more on this car's side than I was last night. The interior is still too small for my comfort though.

I will try to get pics of it tomorrow and should have them up this week at some point hopefully.

See....it takes a while to get used to it, but once you are you can through it through traffic pretty easily. As you said though, you are a big guy and that cockpit really isn't made for big guys.

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My uncle rented a 07 Grand Prix. I was shocked. I loved it! OMG, I would definally get one over a buick/olds now. I loved the interior, acceleration, exterior, etc. Everything was perfect. Maybe Pontiac is really designed for action afterall :).

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