Great features, great value
The 2008 Pontiac Wave continues to stir the waters in Canada’s small car market by delivering more in the entry-level market segment.
The bountiful little Wave is built by the former Daewoo company (which General Motors now owns) and is designed to compete against similar subcompact Korean offerings such as the Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio.
Since the sedan received a comprehensive cosmetic makeover a year ago, there’s not a lot new to report for the 2008 version. An electronic engine immobilizer is now standard, an acoustic package helps make for a quieter cabin and an auxiliary audio cable is included for iPod connection to the radio with a Wi Special Edition Package.
The Wave sedan comes in base and SE trim levels, as does the five-door hatchback model. The latter does share the sedan’s reworked suspension, though, with the appropriate gains in road behaviour. Whether you prefer the sedan or hatchback body style, you only have to decide between the entry-level base model starting at $12,995 or the more fully equipped SE version at $15,495.
Both versions are decent highway cruisers, deriving their power from a standard 103-horsepower, 1.6-litre, four-cylinder engine that delivers a rewarding 5.8 L/100 km highway fuel rating when matched with the Wave’s standard five-speed manual transmission. A four-speed automatic is an available option.
The Wave sedan and hatchback are well-outfitted with standard features including air conditioning with cabin filtration (standard on SE, optional on base model), vented front disc/rear drum brakes, power steering, body-colour side mirrors and door handles, AM/FM stereo with CD player with MP3 playback capability and auxiliary input jack, tinted windshield top band, height-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar adjuster and fold-down armrest, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, and floor mats.
As well as the automatic transmission, available options include anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, power sunroof, six-disc in-dash CD changer, remote keyless entry with power door locks (standard on the SE), chrome door handles, cruise control (standard on SE), fog lamps (not available on base sedan) and 15-inch wheels and tires.
For a sportier look, the Wi Special Edition Package is available on both models. It includes 15-inch aluminum wheels, rear spoiler, six-speaker premium sound system, steering wheel audio controls and an Apple iPod.
In addition to its ample interior room, the Wave sedan features clever storage features in the front console, a passenger seatback pocket and accessory hooks, located on the headrest posts, which can hold items such as backpacks or shopping bags. More value is delivered through the precision in fit and finish details that cap the Wave’s high-quality appearance.
In redesigning the sedan, Pontiac has reached beyond the highly important affordability factor to deliver a smooth little sedan that lives large thanks to its “tall car” design and accommodating interior. B. McLauchlan for Metro Toronto
2008 Pontiac Wave