G6 cruises down renaissance road

The G6 was one of the first bright sparks at Pontiac when the General Motors brand began its recent product renaissance. While the G8 (based on GM’s Australian Holden) will take Pontiac further down that renaissance road, the trusty G6 sedan is doing its part, too, by renaming last year’s GTP to the GXP at the performance end of the G6 range.


The 2008 model lineup includes the base G6 sedan, with its zippy, fuel-efficient Ecotec 2.4-litre, four-cylinder engine; the GT in sedan, coupe and stylish convertible choices, and the relabelled GXP with its more aggressive looks and output.


Features made standard for 2008 include seat-mounted, side impact airbags for additional driver and passenger safety, four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with traction control, auxiliary audio jacks for iPod/MP3 players, XM Satellite Radio (standard on all GT models) and standard OnStar on all models.


The starting point for entry into the G6’s world is the base sedan at $23,395. Its four-cylinder engine delivers a useful 164 horsepower and is paired with a four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission.

Standard features include: Well-bolstered, body-hugging seats; tilt/telescopic steering wheel; racy-looking gauges with red LED backlighting; air conditioning; power windows, door locks and mirrors; AM/FM/CD player; variable intermittent wipers; and theft deterrent system. Available items include power adjustable foot pedals, six-way power seats, heated seats, leather seat surfaces, an in-dash six-CD changer and remote vehicle start. A step-up G6 SE adds additional content with its $23,995 sticker price.

For a little more juice, the GT models (sedan and coupe at $28,595 and the convertible at $35,995) feature a standard 3.5-litre V6 rated at 219 hp that is mated to a four-speed automatic.

The GXP sedan and coupe models ($35,975) draw their power from a 3.6-litre V6 with variable valve timing that produces 252 hp.

The chassis of all G6 models are tuned to complement their respective powertrains with responsive handling — even the base G6 boogies on down the road with commendable poise.

Feeling the G6’s performance and off-the-line alacrity is one thing, but experiencing it safely with a vehicle tailored exactly the way a driver wants is another. The G6’s safety cage construction, three-point safety belts at all seat positions, and six standard airbags are there for proper occupant protection if needed.