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ToniCipriani

2006 Pontiac G6 V6

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2006 PONTIAC G6 V6 - AN OWNER'S REVIEW

By: ToniCipriani

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INTRODUCTION

The Pontiac G6 was first released in 2005 as a replacement to the Pontiac Grand Am, Pontiac's midsize coupe and sedan. It was first debuted in concept form at the 2003 North American International Auto Show. Walking away from the excessive cladding that plagued Pontiac's image as being a "cladded Chevrolet", the Pontiac G6 was a stunner. “Clean, smooth lines” are the words best fit to describe the car.

The vehicle rides on General Motor's global Epsilon midsize architecture, debuted in the Opel Vectra, and the Chevrolet Malibu in North America. It rides on a 112-inch wheelbase, shared with the Chevrolet Malibu Maxx. The Saab 9-3 sport sedan also rides on a shortened Epsilon.

THE VEHICLE

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Styling

You really can't miss my car as a Pontiac. The signature twin kidney grille is right on the front, and the Pontiac arrowhead is right there. However, this time it's different because the excessive cladding is gone and nowhere to be seen, as seen on the Grand Am. Kudos to Pontiac for a step in the right direction.

On the first looks, the G6's proportions may look awkward in photos, due to its extended wheelbase shared with the Malibu Maxx. However, if you see a G6 in person, it is nothing awkward. In fact, it's rather distinctive. It has the versatility of a sedan, yet it drives and feels like a coupe, which differentiates itself from the family sedan look of the Malibu. Also thanks to the extended wheelbase, legroom is very generous. I've had my car fully occupied, and it's not cramped at all.

However, this type of body style has one downside: blindspot visibility. When doing a blindspot check, because of the car's sloped rear windshield, the pillars are right in the way. I'm always a bit nervous that I might hit someone because I couldn't check it clearly. I wouldn't call this a design flaw, though.

Interior and Features

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The Pontiac G6 comes standard with the usual goodies to a midsize car: Air Conditioning, Power windows, Power Door Locks, Power Mirrors, Remote Keyless Entry (optional in US), Cruise Control, and an AM/FM radio with CD player.

My car is a base model, optioned with ABS, power sunroof, and the Driver's Package*. The Driver's Package* includes:

- 16" 10-spoke Alloy Wheels with S-Rated Touring Tires

- Leather wrapped steering wheel, handbrake and shifter knob

- Steering Wheel Audio Controls

- Remote Vehicle Starter

- Rear decklid spoiler.

*Note: This Driver's Package is specific to Canada, which is different from the US spec package of the same name.

Also available for order (but not on my car) is power adjustable pedals. I'm the only one driving my car, so I didn't order it. It's a nice feature if you have multiple people of different heights driving the same car.

In general, the interior is ergonomically designed and easily accessible. I find the driver information center (DIC) to be pretty useful, which indicates the average fuel consumption and oil life. It's missing the immediate gas consumption, however.

My car is equipped with the basic 6-speaker sound system, basic CD player. The power is adequate, although I do hear slight imperfections when I turn the volume up, but I usually don't do that. Personally, I'm more than happy with the system.

However, I do have some gripes about the interior.

The front cup holders are in a very odd and inconvenient position. It's right between the shifter and the centre console. I placed a water bottle in the holder and it got in the way of my arm when I needed to shift.

Another thing I didn't like has to do with the steering wheel audio controls. It's missing the AM/FM/CD button on the 3-spoke wheel, which happens to be the one that mine is. It's rather inconvenient that when I'm entering a highway and want to listen to traffic news, I have to reach for the radio to switch from CD to AM. That completely defeats the purpose of controlling the radio from the steering.

The glovebox is another area of criticism. Contrary to what I originally thought, it was MUCH smaller than the one in my Cavalier. After I put the manuals and documents in it, there's barely any space left. Now I have to put all my CDs in the center console.

Mechanical

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My vehicle is equipped with a 3.5L OHV V6 engine, rated at 201hp at 5600RPM and with 223lb-ft of torque at 3200RPM. It is also equipped with Electric Power Steering, a 4-speed Hydramatic automatic transmission, and enhanced Traction Control. This powertrain setup is shared with the Chevrolet Malibu Maxx.

I really like the electric power steering. Given that this car is much larger than the Cavalier I used to drive, it's a grace that I can steer it around virtually no effort around tight spots. For those in Toronto, if you've been to Pacific Mall or Downtown, you'd know what I mean. On highway conditions, it tightens up for better handling.

I'm not a speed demon, so I find the power from the V6 is more than adequate for me. With my car fully loaded with people, it's still peppy. Previously, I had to floor my Cavalier in the same situation.

Gas consumption is fair, so far. It does use a bit of gas, but nothing to the point that I couldn't afford as a student living alone. It's a bit pricier to operate than my 2.2L Cavalier, but with that much more power, it's more than worth it. On average, I'm usually getting around 13 L/100km, or 18 MPG, but it's all stop and go traffic that I go through. So far I've only been commuting to work. I would expect it to be much better when I need to commute on highways.

THE VERDICT

I'm very happy with my purchase. It's a very good buy compared to the other offerings in the midsize segment. I've considered the Malibu, Malibu Maxx, Honda Accord and the Mazda 6 during my purchase. The Maxx, Accord and 6 with the same equipment is pricier than I thought, and I personally prefer the styling of the G6 over the Malibu. The interior legroom makes up for it, though.

FACT SHEET

2006 Pontiac G6 V6

Base Price: $24,495

As Tested: $27,895

Options:

* 4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes System

* Power Sunroof

* Driver's Package

- Remote Vehicle Start

- 16" Alloy Wheels with Touring Tires

- Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel, Shifter Knob and Handbrake

- Steering Wheel Audio Controls

* Vehicle Class: 4-Door Midsize sedan, 5 seats

* Powertrain Layout: Front Engine FWD

* Engine: 3.5L OHV V6 (LX9 3500)

* Power Output: 201hp @ 5600RPM

* Torque: 223lb-ft @ 3200RPM

* Transmission: 4-speed Automatic

* Tires: P215/60R16 Touring Blackwall

* Curb Weight: 3421 lbs.

* Wheelbase: 112.3 in

* Length: 189 in

* Width: 70.4 in.

* Height: 57 in.

* Cargo Area: 396L / 14 cu. ft.

* Fuel Economy: 27 MPG City, 42 MPG Highway, 32 MPG Combined

* Warranty: 3 years / 60,000km

* Assembly: Orion, MI

(Info source: www.gmcanada.com)

Special thanks to Variance for final editing.

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Edited by ToniCipriani

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Excellent review on a beautiful car.

What I think is odd (a side thouht here) is that my sister is looking for a Pontiac, preferably a coupe. I suggested the G6 to her, and she stated bluntly in new'age lingo that it is "barg-faced". She'd rather have the becladded Grand Am, or more "old people" Grand Prix. I thought for sure she would pick the G6, but well, she is a woman, and they're irrational. *It's all part of my developing "Double X Chromosome Theory"*.

Edited by MyerShift

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I've heard that comment too before from some female friends of mine and the wife's. They want a sport coupe, but the G6 just doesn't strike their fancy. I like the car a lot and if I weren't as upside down on the Impala as I am and I didn't want a truck next (sorry I'm a truck guy at the heart), I'd definitely look into a G6 as my next car. By the way, great article and review, well thought out and very fluid.

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It's interesting that Canadian folks can get the leather wheel and controls but US folks can't on base models. They should make it so the GT has this std and it's an option as part of the driver's package for the US versions. I also wish Pontiac would offer other interior colors than black or black and tan. Also the woodgrain really doesn't look right in this car. The glovebox is indeed small and it's a shame it doesn't have a light in it for night time so you can see whats in there.

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