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Pontiac Bonneville



  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    I've had big cars since I learned to drive - with the exception of one Camry so you could certainly call me partial to that segment. As the likes of Accord and Altima and Camry grow with each successive generation it appears to me that they don't have very far left to go before they will qualify as large. The interiors are increasingly airy and spacious now while the exterior dimensions are still considered midsized.

    Looks to me as though this is the trend and that we will soon see cars that have Crown Vic interior proportions inside 'midsized' packages. Indeed Ford is planning just such a vehicle already. As the large boats fall by the way - at what point do these 'midsized' cars then become the new 'large' segment?
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    You know, this love affair with SUVs and large cars is strictly an American thing (I don't want to drag the Canadians down with us, even though they drive the same vehicles, they probably blame us somehow ;-) It's both what's great and embarassing about America. The largest European cars are no bigger than our mid-size cars (for practical purposes), but then again we have the luxury of lots of space. (And look at what happened in L.A., or Houston -- thousands of miles of roads clogged with cars!) But I digress...

    I own an SUV (Tahoe), and I love it. Why? Because GM's best products are it's full-sized trucks. Far and away better than any of their cars. I also love it because it really is a go-anywhere (within reason, of course), do-anything vehicle that I can drive 365 days a year without a worry (except for maybe that $40 fill-up every week or so). I admit that down here in Florida I have had no use for four-wheel-drive, and the only off-roading is the occassional sandy trail, but when I lived in Colorado I really did need and use an SUV. 90% or more of the SUV owners never go off-road, or even use four-wheel-drive. Heck, half of the SUVs don't even have 4WD! The SUV craze is all about the American excess of the '90s, and that's on the decline. But unfortunately, the manufacturers have neglected their cars at the expense of the trucks and buyers don't have much to go "back to" when they finally decide to downsize from that Explorer.
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    It may be that the ever growing assortment of smaller SUVs, including some that are car based platforms rather than the traditional truck based vehicles, may serve those folks wanting to size down. Rather than go back to a passenger car - if there are AWD and FWD choices like the Toyota Highlander for example people will opt for these.

    Riding high when so many vehicles today are oversized is an advantage that is being incorporated into new car designs - the Matrix I believe is one that touts this feature.

    People are going to be reluctant to give up that feeling of security that comes from seeing better from a big SUV and even a minivan.
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401

    I agree completely. People like the look and slightly elevated ride of these new mini-SUVs/wagons/whatever they are. I think they're cute, but not as rugged and manly as a full-size car or truck. Think Tim Allen/Home Improvement. Arrg-arrg!
  • smfransmfran Posts: 432
    I still like the aspect of the sedan which is why I drive a Bonneville. My wife however says she never wants a car low to the ground again. She will probably move from a mini van to a hybrid when her time to get a new vehicle arrives.
    I myself am considering a change when my lease expires in May 2003. Any thoughts on the GMC Envoy?
  • rjs200240rjs200240 Posts: 1,277
    I went to pick up some parts from a local Pontiac/Buick dealer and figured I'd check out a Bonne while I was there. The interior is quite comfortable. It didn't have a sunroof and there was a ton of overhead cubbies and such, even a power outlet! I suppose that would be handy for a radar detector as long as the cord didn't swing around. Mainly what struck me was that it was an SE and was only about $25K. That's a lot of car for not a lot of money. I wish they had some lighter colors for the interior as dark interiors always seem impersonal/cold to me. However, I suppose the Bonnie's interior would look strange in a light color. It's a nice car! Pontiac seems to change wheels like every model year which is neat.

    I helped a family member shop for an Envoy/TrailBlazer (they went with the TB) and I think the Envoy is the nicer vehicle. I like the looks better, and it has a load-leveling rear so the back end doesn't ride all high and bouncy when it isn't loaded. If you don't plan on off-roading much, then the Bravada is the nicest riding and has the longest warranty. It's AWD system is pretty neat too. The look is the most unique although the front takes some getting used to. It looks a bit like the nose of an Alero grafted on a truck.
  • smfransmfran Posts: 432
    Thanks for your thoughts. I agree with you regarding the wheels. With such minor (if any) changes from one model year to the next, sometimes the only way to tell one from the other is the wheels.
  • boosted1boosted1 Posts: 90
    I did my best to "polish" the exhaust tips on my 2001 SSEi. They were starting to look really bad, so I wire brushed them, sanded them, buffed them, and then used some high temp clear coat to protect them(hopefully).

    It will be interesting to see how they hold up.
  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    Here's how I looked at the minivan/hybrid vs. large car question:

    Hybrid advantages:
    higher driving position versatility to carry bulky cargo more "airy" cabin popular (for now) rugged styling walk-through access to rear seat (minivan platforms only - and this is eliminated if you have a center console) better resale value (right now - that can change)

    Car advantages:
    handling - especially cornering and emergency maneuvers fuel economy acceleration better access for seniors (e.g. my parents) and small children due to low ground clearance lower roll-over tendancy lower maintenance costs (on average) view of objects in rear (esp. backing up at a daycare centre, etc.) lower purchase price for same drivetrain and equipment levels

    Although I liked the forward visibility of our minivan and the cargo/passenger versatility, we used the latter so infrequently that it became irrelevant in our last foray into the market. When it came to making a decision, we just found that we valued a minivan/hybrid's advantages a lot less than we had originally thought.

    To each their own.

    Like the Envoy though - I put it up there with the Highlander and RX300 as my favourite SUV/hybrids.
  • sixxersixxer Posts: 36
    Yes, it is true that the downsizing could be a good thing. But the one thing I truly hate about vehicles today is that it seems that they are designed for people who are under 6' tall. My selection was quite limited when I was vehicle shopping. I'm 6'4", and there were very few in which I was comfortable. Even a Dakota felt to be shy on headroom (headroom being my biggest complaint). At least in the Bonnie I can sit up and have a couple of inches of room up there.. With no sun roof of course! It just leaves me to wonder, will they realize this, and consider this when they downsize vehicles? I'm beginning to think if the Bonnie is no longer around in a few years, my selection is going to be limited to either full size trucks, or a Cadillac perhaps? My preference is American cars as well, so it's looking slim. Hmmm, maybe custom added roof bubbles a la Viper GTS? :)

  • Thanks boosted1 for the info on you polishing. I tried to polish my exhaust tips this past week-end with out much luck. Used a metal polish that is for a wide range of metals including aluminum, but all it did was lighten the color a little. I just do not think these tips are meant to shine! Was wondering if you were able to get yours to acually shine at all? I'm ready to see about having them chrome plated or something...assuming the tips can be removed easily. Anybody know if the tips are welded to the exhaust or just "clamped" on?
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    Remember that Tom Selleck used to fold his frame into a Ferrari 308 GTS on Magnum P.I., albeit with the roof panel removed.
  • boosted1boosted1 Posts: 90
    The tips had a little bit of shine.
    If I had a better buffing wheel they might have been better. (more time too)
    They still look good after two days of driving.
    I will try to post some pics...
  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736

  • boosted1boosted1 Posts: 90
    These are not the greatest pictures. Looks better in person.
  • h101h101 Posts: 62
    NO, NO.... not that... I'm 65 and retired!!!

    The new addition is Carolyn's new GrandAm GT1. Count the sparkling ehaust tips in this photo (10 of 'em) :)


  • smfransmfran Posts: 432
    Boosted - they look great. I painted the inside of mine black to avoid future maintenance.

    H. - Nice to see you are still here.
  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    The surface is too irregular to easily clean. I'm still considering hacking them off and going to a nice dual chrome pipe tip set-up. But then I think of buying a G/XP next year and I wonder why I'd spend anything modding my SLE in the meantime. I think Stephen's "paint-it-black" strategy might be the one for me. If I don't end up trading in next year, then at least the tips wouldn't bug me.
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Bill - Nice looking spread there - and great toys out front! Just wish you'd left the garage doors open again so I could have drooled over that spotless space your cars get to enjoy!

    Envoy, Highlander, RX300 - Dittos to Ice - these are also my favorites in that class. Envoy is the best looking of the lot - I'd love any of them.

    rjs200240 - Glad you liked the Bonnie SE. It sure is a great value. I congratulate myself on that point often.

    Yesterday I drove the new Infinity G35 since I had a bit of time on my hands. The neck snapping power of that car (260hp) is incredible and it handles well enought to be attracting BMW owners. The local dealer sells both brands and is seeing trade-ins from long-time Beemer folks.

    The ride is a bit too abrupt for my liking but the exhilarating performance and the buttery soft leather upholstery with either genuine wood or brushed metal appointments surpass the more austere german look and make the car very inviting. Ought to be a best seller and I hope it's a taste of what waits in store for Maxima GLE/I35!
  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    Well, mine at 20,000 are just about all black and now match the rest of the car; laziness is a virtue by which we rationalize. I live in St. Louis. We get maybe 3 days a year when you might actually NEED an SUV. Hardly justifies the fact that every other car I pass is a SUV. Snow is not a factor and 99.9% of SUV's spend more time at red lights than they do off road... horrible mileage, poor space per weight ratio... I never really understood the attraction... now that Vette between the Grand Am and SSEi, I'm all about that!!! The summer door panel rattles began today. These interiors are very climate sensitive. I've been watching my volt meter for abnormalities. None have surfaced yet. Mileage is getting better all the time, about 22 combined with mods and a heavy foot. Why is the sun always right above my open moon roof? Is this a midwest problem or a getting off work at 2:45 problem, thank god for the sun shade. Well, I guess that covers everything, Guess I'll melt back into the wood work and cheer on the! Red Wings beware!
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