Pontiac’s G6 GT is built for drivers
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While the hardtop convertible hogs the spotlight in Pontiac’s G6 model line, the original G6 sedan continues to advance its “built for drivers” street cred.
Without getting mired in the shifting sands of G6 pricing, suffice to say that a 4-cylinder, 169 horsepower, base model starts in the low $23,000 range. The step-up SE trim gets along with similar propulsion but, if you prefer the inherent smoothness of a V6 engine, a 3.5-litre six with 242 hp is optional.
Our $28,930 test Pontiac G6 GT utilizes the same 3.5-litre V6 for its standard powerplant, with a high-tech, double overhead cam, 252 hp, 3.6-litre V6 (with 4-speed automatic) as the optional choice.
The latter engine is also found under the hood of the sportier, top-line, $32,960 GTP model, mated with a 6-speed automatic.
Despite its mundane family sedan role, the G6’s crisp, smooth lines and aggressive stance give it a certain star quality. This is a nice looker that will cause more than few heads to turn.
Moving inside, the driving position provides almost an embarrassment of riches. To begin, there’s a 6-way power driver’s seat — one that, unlike so many, doesn’t deprive you of thigh support when you lift it high. Also, the steering adjusts for reach and rake. And, the pedals are power adjustable to help you sit just right. Too bad the firm brake pedal lacks sufficient feel, though.
The view directly forward is quite good, thanks to a low hoodline, but the windshield posts are thick and can impair sight lines while cornering.
Other G6 pluses are big, clear gauges and a large, thick-rimmed steering wheel that feels good to grasp, slick rotary controls for heat, ventilation, etc., and rubber-lined trays and storage cubbies to stop their contents from rattling or sliding around.
Minuses? Cheap-looking ‘aluminum’ trim, the relentless blackness of an otherwise tidily assembled interior, tiny door pockets, shallow cupholders and maddening noise from the optional multi-panel glass sunroof on our test subject.
Twist the ignition key and this pushrod V6 revs willingly and also feels well endowed with low-end pulling power. Acceleration is responsive while the 4-speed automatic shifts fast and smoothly. Fuel economy is helped measurable by the G6’s long gearing, loping along at 120 km/h in fourth with the engine turning at a comfortable 2,200 revs.
The G6 also has a sequential ‘manual’ shift mode that’s more willing than most to let you do your thing.
Ride motions are well controlled though a trifle stiff, making the G6 feel better on the highway than around town. On a winding road or highway off-ramp, the handling is undeniably capable while its highway stability is beyond reproach.
Even in its everyday sedan guise, the G6 is a car built for drivers.
Pontiac G6 GT