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Pontiac Grand Prix - 2000-2005



  • Thanks tsjay & toon01 for the well wishes. I'm still enjoying the car and it warmed up enough today to open the sunroof. Woo hoo! lol

    I've only had a chance to check the mileage once so far and I only got 16/gallon (city). I was a little disappointed as I got that with my '93 Firebird. I'll have to keep checking it and hope it increases a bit. What is anyone else getting on the GT's in the city.

    Two more questions - when idling at a drive-thru or street light I hear something click (from the engine) about every 30 seconds . Anyone else notice this with theirs? Should I get the oil changed at around 700 miles? I read somewhere that it is good to get the oil cleaned out early and not wait for 3,000 miles?

    Thanks everything!

  • bdimebdime Posts: 130
    I rented an SE (seemed lucky to get it- had to drive to OHare and prereserve with a manager)
    The cruise control on the wiper arm seemed cheap (it's easier on the steering wheel) and I
    know I'd want the radio controls on the wheel too. I'm kind of debating over the Impala ss, Monte carlo SS or Grand Prix GT. I've looked at/test drove Accord and Galant but they
    don't have the exterior looks or feel to them. The Olds are at great prices right now so it's
    tough to decide. Insurance on all the 4 doors it's within dollars of each other. Thanks
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Please, DO NOT judge the Grand Prix's by your experience with an SE!

    It would be like thinking about a Corvette and driving a Cavalier to judge it by.

    There is a WORLD of difference between an SE and a GT! The GT has much better suspension, better tires, and a LOT better acceleration (unless the SE had the 3800 engine).

    I promise you that, for the money, there is not another car out there that can hold a candle to the Grand Prix GT! [Unless it is the GTP :)]

  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    The Pontiac Grand Prix SE sedan is the only model offered with the 3100 OHV V6 engine that churns out 175HP. This engine works fine on any N-body sedan model (Malibu, Grand AM, Alero) but it is anemic and deficient for the larger and heavier W-body platform Grand Prix. The Grand Prix is best enjoyed with the Normally aspirated 3800 Series II OHV V6 GT model (200HP) or the Supercharged version of that same engine (240HP)GTP model.

    Based on recent observations and a couple of test drives of GP GTP sedan models, the ergonomics, dashboard and controls layout are virtually identical among the three trim levels...whether it is the SE, GT or GTP. The cockpits on these cars are generally pleasing and comfortable; however, some controls layout and dashboard design and materials still reflect the 'Old School of GM ergonomics' from the Roger Smith era...some examples:

    The controls for the Cruise Control, Windshield Wipers, High Beams and turn signals are ALL crammed into the ancient 'SmartStalk' lever from the 1980's. The same stalk configuration is standard in all trim levels. The critical controls for the Cruise Control should be placed in the Steering Wheel hub (Like in the Impala/Montecarlo) where they are much easy to access and can be operated by just button tactile feedback (Advantage = Impala/Montecarlo)

    Mechanical odomoter, Trip Meter and in dash gear shift indicator. I am sure this is not a biggie at all (Nothing against mechanical instruments) but this is an area where you can also see that the GP has that ancient GM feeling to it. The newer (By 3 model years) Impala/Montecarlo models feature FULL digital odometer, trip meter and gear shift indicator quadrant. The main instrument pod presentation seems much better in the Impala/Monte...easier to read instruments (look very sporty) and doesn't have that glowing orange night time lighting, instead a more easy on the eyes and subdued greenish/blueish cluster illumination...the instruments look more like they were pulled off an imported automobile than the General's parts bin...just my opinion, please do not take offense.

    * The Hazard blinker lights switch in the GP is placed right above the steering wheel plastic stalk/column cover right in a location that makes it hard to reach on a hurry or emergency. The Impala/Monte has this switch mounted on the instrument cluster pod where it is much easier to reach on an emergency.

    * Sorry, but the plastics used in the GP cabin are not impressive for a car of this price caliber..some dash and door trim pieces feel very cheap and flimsy to the touch...great potential for rattles as the car ages. In this area I feel the Impala/Montecarlo have much better interior plastics and assembly quality and fit are more carefully executed, again for a GM car. I feel that the plastics in the GP belong more in the Cavalier, the the lowly Chevy Impala gets better interior materials...Pontiac has to do some explaning on that one.

    * Crash testing scores. This is an area where the Impala/Montecarlo clearly surpasses any other W-body platform car from GM. Consistent 5 star frontal score and a 4-side frontal score. The Impala/Monte are built like tanks. However, the GP, Intrigue and Regal have not scored as good and solid as the Impala..this reflects on the age of these cars last revised for the '97 model year. The Impala already meets year 2003 goverment safety requirements while the GP only complies with 1997 safety regulations....some food for tought:

    As for the rest, the Impala, GP, Regal, intrigue are pretty competitive in engines, transmissions, gizmos, etc, but I feel the Chevrolets give you the most bang for the buck, better safety and sligthly better ergonomics, fit and finish and quality.

    Also, the Impala, Montecarlo and Regal are built in Canada. GM Canadian assembly plants have always scored higher in quality than the US GM plants. The Grand prix/Intrigue are built at the Fairfax, Kansas plant and the quality stats of that assembly facility have always been lower (and it shows)than the quality ratings of the Oshawa, Ontario Canada assembly plants. Maybe these cars are better because are not built by the UAW syndicated folks..their Canadian and Mexican counterparts seem to always do a much better job at putting cars together.

    have fun and enjoy whatever you choose!
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    To be precise:

    - The 3.1l engine is used currently not only with GP SE and Chevrolet Malibu, but also with Buick Century. And with Chevrolet Lumina, still in production, for fleet sales only.

    - On the other hand, 99-2001 GA and Oldsmobile Alero have different engines - either 2.4l 4-cylinder, or 3.4l V-6. The 3.4l engine is used also with the base Impala, MC, and with several minivans and minivan-like Pontiac Aztec.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    I already was aware regarding the 3100 V6 other vehicle applications and the 3400 V6 applications as well.

  • toon01toon01 Posts: 18
    All of teo's comments are pretty much on the mark. I am surprised, however, that he did not mention the engine cradle and steering shaft issues. Please go over to the Impala and MC forums and read up if you haven't already. Seems as though the issues have been fixed as long as you purchase a vehicle with a later build date. Good luck with whatever you choose. I miss my MCSS so much. One of the many things I loved about that car; you just don't see very many and it is unique. Lots of GPs everywhere.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    You are absolutely right about the cradle, steering shaft issues on the 2000 model year Impala/Montes.

    Bdime::: If you want to learn more about the Impala, go to the Impala topic right here in Townhall.
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    There is a blue 98 GTP Pace Car being offered on E-Bay that is reported to be autographed by Dale Earnhardt. Seller says he has a pic of Dale signing the dashboard. 1998 is, of course, the year that he won Daytona 500. No bids yet and $19.5K is the starting bid. The car has 29.5K miles and is said to be tweaked to 300 hp. Got to think this is going to attract some attention - and could become quite valuable.

    What a shame he's gone. I watched the race on a 48 inch screen with surround sound and was enjoying it immensely. Can't get that image out of my head now of Dale careening into the wall. It didn't seem too bad compared to the spectacular pile-up earlier (ironically during the Tony Stewart Grand Prix Commercial) that sent Tony's # 20 Pontiac somersaulting over the pack.

  • Hey...did you all see the Grand Prix G-8 Concept Car? I'M DROOLING...I'd LOVE to see this puppy hit the production floor some day!

    Check it out at:
  • bdimebdime Posts: 130
    Thanks for the input- I have checked the impala site and Read their comments.
    I'm still not decided but leaning more toward the Impala (safety ratings a plus
    and I think the access to cruise etc. would be a plus) Gotta love that Grand Prix
    look though. Along with many race fans- the spouse and I watched the race
    and were not surprised but saddened at the death of Dale Earnhardt. We've
    seen some spectacular crashes at Indy and were looking forward to the new
    track in Joliet opening. It's interesting that while we have different favorites
    hubby and I both like Stewart. (That Grand Prix is a good looking car) It's
    also interesting to note that many of the great safety features all automobiles
    have come from race car inovations. No answers to my earlier question
    about the future of Oldsmobile and it's service huh?
  • Love the GTP but The dodge Intrepid R/T needs a peek,242 horsepowerW/O a supercharger! don't need Premium fuel!!! check it out.
  • mkcomkco Posts: 65
    Maybe Intrepid R/T has 242 hp but I'd bet the farm that it can't touch the GTP's performance. Somehow, the Chrysler engines' ratings don't translate 0-60.
  • ruskiruski Posts: 1,566
    you will never catch a GTP

    take a look at torque ratings too.
  • bdimebdime Posts: 130
    Well folks I bought the Impala LS. Paid under dealer invoice (1,250rebates from Chevy & auto show)
    Thanks to Edmunds site or I doubt I could have done that well!
    I just couldn't get into the red dash for 5 years and the Controls on that unistick did not thrill me.
    I'll admit the steering/handling is more responsive on the GP but that wasn't enough. Let you
    know if I have any regrets.
  • You guys are obviously diehard GTP fans(or you own one and are defending it,i truly respect that and in no way looking for a debate)From my research i have found 0-60 the GTP will smoke anything,thats the Torque!The R/T will beat the GTP were all the fun is.......Top end,not to mention having a little extra cash in your pocket after leaving the pumps so you can go get a nice cigar for the ride home.
  • ruskiruski Posts: 1,566
    weak top end of the GTP is an unsubstantiated rumor.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    What do you mean by "higher end"? Is it torque at 6000 rpm, or 70-95 acceleration time, or 110-130?

    I have a 2000 Buick Regal GS. Basically, the same car as GTP, with the same powertrain, lower body and a lot of common parts. It have very similar behavior, especially concerning acceleration.

    The engine torque is maximal at about 3600 rpm, and the torque falls gradually after 4000. Except you like to drive at red line, 5000 rpm is the max. See link

    Though, it does not matter at all. When cruising at 75 mph, engine makes about 2200 rpm. After stepping on gas to pass, the torque jumps to 3600 almost immediately, even with performance shift off. The acceleration at 3600-4000 rpm is outstanding, and supercharger helps a lot here.

    Better to watch your speed: otherwise, when you glance at speedometer after finishing with passing, it turns to be 96 mph. And it does not matter that you passed uphill.

    It happened two times with me - the first week after buying the car, before I could learn it behavior. Clearly did not intend to drive so fast. It took probably just a couple of seconds, or three - how long it takes to pass? Fortunately, there was no police around.

    Have no experience with faster speed, and do not want to have. Any case, Regal (as sold in US/Canada) have T-rated tires and is governed at 110 or 115 mph.

    GP GTP is governed at higher speed, 125 or 130 mph, if I remember it right. But it hardly does matter. Who drives regularly faster than 85-90-100 mph on the US highways? It would be not a simple speeding, but the reckless one.
  • HP = Torque (lb.ft.) x RPM / 5252

    The GTP makes 32 lb.ft. more torque 750 RPM earlier than the Intrepid R/T. This equals better acceleration if weight is equal. The GTP makes 2 less HP than the R/T but it does it at 1200 RPM less than the R/T. During normal driving, the GTP is always operating in the range of it's torque peak. To get the power from the R/T you have to find it at high RPMs. Why does the Viper accelerate so good? Low end torque. The GTP and R/T have totally different engines making power in different ways. I like lots of torque at low RPM so I bought the GTP. Everyone has a different opinion. When buying a car it is just as important to look at the engine's torque curve along with the peak HP number. Have fun.
  • Thanks for the info on the torque,I will add this to my notes and am swinging back towards the GTP again,Has anybody seen the Nascar Pacecar?What kind of horsepower is that thing looking car!
  • ruskiruski Posts: 1,566
    there are some highways that can handle 90mph easily (some were actually built for even higher speeds), the federal government influenced speed limits are not always realistic. Sure when the road is narrow and windy (like the Hutch in NY or Merritt in CT) you better not go too fast. But when the road is flat, wide and straight - why not? Especially if there is no one else around?
  • I noticed that the new 2001 GTP in edmunds shows that the grand prix has a fold down rear seat. Is this true? what other improvements have they made for 2001.
  • Well I just have to defend the GT. I don't see anything wrong with the "uni-stick", but then I rarely (if at all) use the cruise control. Also, I like the red interior. To me the blue/green seems, well to put it nicely, "old". The only thing Chevrolet has going for it is the Corvette. They don't say Pontiac builds excitement for nothing!!

    BTW-I have that thumping noise in the rear too - usually when I back out of the driveway!!
  • The GTP will easily beat the Intrepid RT in normal acceleration, but yes, at highway speeds, the Intrepid RT will beat the GTP. And from what another GTP owner told me, on the highway, it wasn't really close. The Intrepid pulled on the GTP in all the races they had. But upto 60-70mph, the GTP will easily beat the Intrepid.
  • but i am worried about the quality. i am considering a Subaru Legacy GT as well - i pretty big step down in power.. but AWD and great handling would be nice to have too. both cars have pluses and minuses - but i have heard a lot about the plasticy GP's.. the squeaks and rattles, etc..
  • the build quality of the grand prix isn't very bad. i haven't been in a Subaru so I can't comment on it, but yeah, the plastic dash on the GTP does feel a bit cheap. but you gotta remember, the GTP has a lot of options like the HUD display... but AWD and good handling is also something very valuable. but never make up ur mind on a car until u drive it first. go to the dealership and test drive it. i go test driving sometimes just for fun and to see the difference between cars...u'll learn a lot then. and make sure u go over bumps and everything.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    According to a recent J.P.Power(?) survey, Buick Regal have a very low number of initial defects, with Chevy Impala not var away. GP have about the average number.

    Both Regal and Impala are built in Canada. The production quality at the Ontario(?) plant is better than at the Kansas(?) one, where GP and Intrigue are manufactured.

    Though, the difference is not so high, either between the above plants, nor between different cars in general. Practically all current cars have between 100 and 200 initial defects, i.e. one or two per vehicle is typical. Most of the numbers are in 125 to 175 range. Japanese models generally have less defects than American, but not so substantially.

    I read this survey, but do not remember where, as well as do not remember the exact numbers: it was several month ago, if not a whole year.
  • mkcomkco Posts: 65
    Unfortunately, my '01 GTP does not have a fold-down rear seat.
  • karlsu99karlsu99 Posts: 3
    I'm seriously considering replacing my leased Saturn with a Grand Prix GT this summer. (Saturn did me well for being in college, but now...) However, every review I've read has berated the GP for its interior materials, but otherwise like the car. Sitting in the car, the materials don't seem to bother me. I'm wondering if it's a long term issue. Has anybody had experiences with the durability of the interior materials in the long run? Should they really be an obstacle to purchasing a GP? Also, have there been any other longer-term ailments I should know of? By the way, my Saturn makes that gas tank noise too. Thanks for the input.
  • ruskiruski Posts: 1,566
    I never had any issues with my GTP's materials during its 3-year lease.
This discussion has been closed.