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Pontiac Grand Prix - 2000-2005



  • oldsman01oldsman01 Posts: 1,203
    In 1997 I was still in college and did well to pay rent and buy beer with the part time job I had. So needless to say, a brand new car was out. Two years ago when I was ready to buy a brand new car I looked again at my first love(the GTP) and while I still liked the car alot, the removal of some features and the interior turned me off. I ended up buying a fully loaded Olds Intrigue. Since this was after the announcement that Olds was going away, I got a car which stickered for more than the GTP did for less than I probably could have gotten the GTP for and got a 5 year/60K warranty. While the Olds doesn't have the sheer power the GTP does, if you've ever revved it's 3.5 liter DOHC V6 to 6000 rpm, it becomes quite intoxicating. Dindak, b4z, and any other Intrigue owners can attest to this.

    Dindak, if the 05 Regal comes in 2 door form and is decent looking, I'll have some hope in the Buick division after all. And if they put the 3.6 liter DOHC V6 in it, it will be quite an interesting car. Too bad I'll probably already be driving a CTS by then.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    oldsman : I'd still take a CTS if I could swing it. Cadillac is a pretty cool division these days.

    vcjumper : Decent review. I can't wait to try one. Hopefully later in the week.
  • gunitgunit Posts: 469
    Gasoline, I agree with you, but The GTP also has the HUD which will show past 115mph, if you wanted to do that, something the MC doesn't have. The MC SS is the same price as a GTP, minus the HUD and supercharger. So you are getting alot more for your money with the GTP. To me the MC SS is a joke with only 200 horse, a Honda Accord is much faster and makes 40 more horse. GM finally waits till 2004 to add the supercharger, about time !!

    Yes the GTP has a cheap interior I have owned 2 of them now, a 1997 and now a 2002. I fully admit it. I also own a 2001 Infiniti I30t which has a 10x better interior then anything at GM. So I know good interiors. I bought the car for reasons other then the interior. I bought it for a 6.8 second car for $22k. The shift lever indicator is acceptable on the GTP.

    The GTP is very easy/cheap to modify. To get the same performance out of the Monte SS you have to spend alot more $$.

    For Under $3k in mods, I have 300 horse power and 0-60 time around 6 seconds flat... Car only cost $22k.. For $25k have a nice driver. that includes some suspension mods...

    To each their own, some like the Monte SS.. some don't. For 2004 It becomes more appealing with the supercharged engine, but why didn't GM put the series 3 in with 260 horse? They are still using the same old 1996 engine...

    Check out my picture on my profile...
  • gunitgunit Posts: 469
    Oldsman01, The Intrigue is nice, but the 3.5L DOHC was NOT as reliable as the 3800. It only made 215 horse? Where as Nissan's 3.5L make 240+ horse and are alot more reliable. I liked the Intrigue, but remember the resale value on Oldsmobile is pretty poor, The resale value on my 1995 Aurora, that I bought new for $33,000??? I traded it in for my 2001 I30t in 2001, I only got $7,000 for it!!! YIKES... If olds was so great, why did it's sales plummet each year to they cancelled the division? The intrigue did NOT sell as well as the Grand Prix and other W body cars... It was a nice car.. Intrigue looks alot better then the dull Camry/Accord... who knows...

    Speaking of that 1995 Olds Aurora with the 4.0L DOHC V8, That was a nice engine...It was the same size and horsepower of the 1995 LS400, but the Aurora just stood out alot better then the dull/boring LS400.... and I have revved that many times to 6000rpm, more refined then the Intrigue. That car was great at highway speeds and had the same 8 second 0-60 time of the Intrigue. Only problem was the handling was a bit floaty and nose heavy. Car weighed 3,967 lbs more then a crown vic!! That car became an oil burner at 70,000 miles.. which is typical of some of the Northstar engines of up to 1997 or 1998.
  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    Speedo- 55 mph is straight up and the speedo is only a 180 degree arc, so with spacing it starts at 5mph and ends at 115 mph. Are the other cars speedos greater then 180 degrees?

    Digital shift indocators--I am sure that there are many features the 1997-2003 Grand Prix doesn't have that cars that appeared or where redesigned after it have.

    If the a car hasen't been updated with the latest electrical arcitecture, it probably can't use the latest features and engines, would be one theory.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    3.5L has no reliability issues at all, it's as good as the 3800. The 215 hp was more than competitive when the car came out and still is nothing to sneeze at in the premium midsize category.

    Sounds like you got rooked on you Aurora though. Would have got much more selling private.
  • gunitgunit Posts: 469
    Montanafan, I don't look at the speedo on my GTP, that is what the HUD is for.. It's a good warning device for speeding, you suddendly become more aware of your speed. Oh wait something most cars don't have. look at your speedo and you might crash, because you are taking you eyes off the road.

      There are also many features the 1997-2003 Grand Prix DOES have that even brand new 2004 redesigns do NOT, HUD is my favorite feature on any car, wish my Infiniti had it, and On Star to track your car if it gets stolen or unlock your doors, something that Camry and Accord don't have, dual climate control, not every car has that either. My '01 I30t doesn't have dual climate. Of course, the car is very easy/cheap to modify which mine is. Wherever I go I get, Hey nice car... where as in my Infiniti or other cars, knowone would say anything.

     I got my fuly loaded 2002 GTP coupe complete with the chrome wheels for a tad over $22k in September 2002, leftover late model Coupe, including the $3k rebate. A Monte SS with 40 less horse would have been the same or higher priced and a similar equipped Altima V6 would have been about $5k more... I don't see $5k more worth of refinement in the Altima. V6, the torque steer is worst in class on the Altima V6, much worse then my GTP.

    The best part about this is that I've been trouble free, knock on wood, where as my Infiniti has been to the dealer multiple times in the same time period.

    I like both cars for different things.
  • gunitgunit Posts: 469
    I had heard from several places that the 3800 was GM's most reliable/durable /bullet proof V6 engine, it was also on Wards top 10 engine list of the PAST 100 yrs... the 3.5L was never on that prestigious list. On my 1997 GTP, never had a leak or engine problem in 5 yrs I had it. Still ran like new when I traded it in on the 2002 GTP.

    yes the 215 horse was good when the Intrigue came out as a 1998, but by today's standards the competition's 3.5L engines make 250-260 horse and are about 1 second faster to 60 and more refined.

    I took it in the shorts on my Aurora and I took it in the shorts on my 1997 GTP too. I had 55k miles on my 1997, I only do about 10k a year, the dealer tried to knock me down for HIGH MILEAGE? He had to be kidding, right? 55k on a 1997 seems acceptable to me.

    The reason I traded the 1995 aurora was because of the oil burning issue, which old wouldn't fix... Under extended warranty they would have had to pull the engine out and tear it down and if they said it was ok, then I was liable.. the car only visibly burned oil above 4000rpm or if you were hard on it. normaly driving, nothing. Another thing, that engine took 8 quarts of oil at a change... expensive when using Mobil 1 like I do and that is another thing, the dealer tried to blame the oil burning on the Mobil 1, give me a break. Then they tried to blame it on the PCV valve.. at the end the check engine light kept coming on for no reason, they couldn't fix that... started becoming a headache... was a very nice car though.. got many compliments on it's styling..
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Actually the 3.5L was on Wards list for a couple of years when it came out. 3.8L has not been on it for a while now.

    As for power, more HP may be available now, but in terms of real power Intrigue had 230 ft lbs of torque vs 212 ft lbs for the new Accord.
  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    The '95-and-up non-SC 3.8 (and the 3.1 - not sure about the 3.4) use a plastic intake manifold which commonly warps/cracks. If detected early, $600, if not, $???? At least the SC unit (L67 engine) uses a metal intake manifold, thank goodness. So, the above failure makes this engine a little less bulletproof, IMHO.

    The only flaw with the Aurora V-8 is the common crankshaft seal failure (must drop the engine, split the block and re-seal - about a $1500 job. Had mine done in March, thank you warranty company)...

  • gunitgunit Posts: 469

    In 2002 Wards came out with it's BEST 10 engines of the past 100 years list and BOTH the regular 3800 series 2 and Supercharged series 2 3800 were on that list... The 3.5L was not on that list. It is basically a downsized version of the 4.0L Aurora V8 was not that reliable.. only average. Most surveys put the 3800 as GM's most reliable/bulletproof V6... Why doesn't GM make the 3.5 anymore? Why the early departure of the Intrigue?
    Wards started the top 10 engines list in 1995. The only engine to be on that list every year is Nissan VQ 3.0L and 3.5L engines which are the best V6's I have ever driven..

    I'm NOT an Accord fan, never will be and will never own one, but...thats not a fair comparison, the Honda is a 3.0L and the Intrigue a 3.5L... but..... I don't go by torque or horsepower, it's about 0-60 and 1/4 mile times... The honda will smoke the intrigue... 7.0 seconds to 60, the intrigue is close to 8.0 seconds... 1 second slower. Not to mention that the Honda is EPA rated at 30mpg on the highway, better then the Intrigue, has a much higher resale value and is alot more reliable and better built...
  • gunitgunit Posts: 469
    Hammen2, that is why I have ONLY bought the supercharged 3800 in 1997 and now 2002. I knew about that intake problem.. but it's odd it either goes bad or it doesn't.. I know people with 1995's. where it is fine. that was pretty cheap of GM. It is still rated as GM's most bulletproof V6 regardless...

    I never had that problem with the crankshaft or heard of that before... with my 1995 Aurora, traded it in with 75k miles in 2001, but I had the oil burning problem, check engine constantly, even when it ran great. The 100K tuneup spark plugs are BS... mine had to be changed at 50k miles... It was a great car the first 5 yrs until 2000. Thankgod I had bough the extended warranty, it paid for itself.

    BTW.. the A/C compressor on the 1995 Aurora is about a $998.00 dealership repair... broke in 2000 I can thank my ext warranty, that nearly paid for the warranty itself...

    The only dislike I have had of the 4.6 Caddy engine and 4.0L Aurora shortstar engine is that off the line from a dead stop there isn't alot of power... that is a trait of most DOHC motors... once you hit 15-20 mph watch out...

    Funny thing is that my Aurora would burn rubber on the 1-2 shift if I had the performance shift button on and left the car in 2... chirp the tires good into 2nd... pretty impressive for a 3967 pound car...

    With the GTP there is power at any speed. where as the regular 3800 goes flat after about 50 mph...

    The 3800 Intrigue is just as fast as the 3.5L intrigue 0-50 In fact off the line and up to 30 the 3800 is slightly faster...but.. after 50... the 3.5 is supreme on the highway the 3.5 kicks the 3800 butt.
  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    To correct your post. The '95-'98 3.8L non-Supercharged V6 has a metal lower intake manifold that includes an oversized EGR passage which over time can over heat the plastic upper intake manifold causing its degradation and to leak coolant. It is about a $800+ repair if not covered by warranty (7/70 in some states), and is easily found before greater damage is caused becuase the coolant tank will be low with no external leak. It is more common in Bonnevilles and cars with poor maintenance. It hasn't effected the '99s and up which feature a smaller diameter shorter passage, and is a complete different engine then the 3.1 and 3.4 which have no simular issues.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    It had basically packaging problems for being a 90° V6. Some minivans would have to use a supped up 3.4 V6 because not even the 3.8 V6 would fit either (another 90° V6).

    If it wasn't for that, the 3.5 V6 could as well use cam phasing and display figures similar to either Nissan's or Honda's high-feature V6.

    However, the new high-feature V6 family, sporting 60° between the banks, was already under development and it wouldn't make sense to develop the ShortStar with limited applications.

    Then again, the 3.5 V6 is one of the engines with fewer warranty claims at GM. It used to be plagued by bad crankshaft sensors, but that was it. Its oil consumption is also very low, though not in the same ball park as the 3.8 V6.

    Intrigue's demise? Well, as Lutz said at Chrysler, sometimes the customer is wrong. It handled much better than a Maxima and had a good punch when it was launched. Yet, thanks to UAW, it did have more than its share of assembly issues...
  • vcjumpervcjumper Posts: 1,110
    Since they came out at the same time and the new one came out after the Intrigue was gone, the fair comparison would be 98-02 Accord to the intrigue.

    New Accord can be compared to new GP, thats a fair comparison.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    You are trying to get your point across to several of us who have owned or currently own an Intrigue with the 3.5L motor, dindak, vcjumper and me. We know a little about this motor

    First off the 3.5L was on Ward's Top 10 engine list.
    If you want me to go through the Intrigue archives I will.

    The 3.5L only had 2 probs. The cranks haft sensors which caused rough start/non start conditions. And oil usage on some engines.

    While the 3.5L had it's roots in the Northstar, the Shortstar actually incorporated design improvements that appeared on the NEXT years' Northstar.

    So for 1 year the Shorstar was the most advanced engine GM had.

    Also, not fair to compare the 3.5L to the Altima motor, an engine that came out 3 years later.

    There was a 225 hp version of the 3.5L that was squashed when Old's demise was announced. This engine was also supposed to go into the CTS.

    Lastly the 3.5L had all kinds of midrange torque.
    I barked the tires several times on the 3-1 downshift.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    B4Z, the Ward's list he is talking about is not the yearly list. It is the Top Ten Engines of all time, in effect. And the 3.5 did NOT make that list.

    Second, and maybe it's just me, but I thought this was a GP forum. No 3.5 in the GP, not now, not in the past, and not in the forseeable future.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    Drove the CTS today.
    What a chassis. Won't even need to drive the GP after spending a few minutes in the CTS.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    I think it is fair to make comparisons, especially within GM's own midsize line.

    Several of us refugees from the Intrigue and Impala forums(among others) have some big decisions to make.

    Which sedan will replace them?

    Personally I am flopping around all over the internet trying to find something that is good enough for me to drive for 2+ years.

    Don't think the GP is on my list anymore.

    I loved my test drive in the CTS today, but it is a differnet class of vehicle and a lot more expensive than a regular Gran Prix. But a better deal than the GTP Comp.

    What have you decided?
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    Almost certainly to get a Mazda6 hatchback when they come out, with factory Sirius, if available. (Part of me also wants to see the wagon and compare!)

    I was presold on the Grand Prix and would have bought one, but then I actually saw and drove one. The tacky cloth seats and the unlivable back seat (for any reasonable sized adult riding long distances) unsold me right quick like.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    gunit : 3.8L is not on the annual list anymore. I wasn't talking about the all time list. 3.5L was on the annual list for at least 2 years. It was killed because it was expensive to make and was not up to new US emissions standards, not because it was unreliable. A new 03 Accord can out run an 4 year old designed Intrigue for several reasons but the 3.5L is still competitive was really my only point.

    b4z : I have driven a CTS also and yes it's great, it should be as it costs lots more.

    johnclineii : I sat in the 6 at the auto show and I don't recall the back seat being all that roomy either. Maybe it's better than the GP but not by much. That said, I do like the car.
  • I also thought this was a Grand Prix discussion. Seems like 75% of the posts don't even talk about the GP. I hope this changes as more people actually own 04 Grand Prix's.
  • vcjumpervcjumper Posts: 1,110
    Has always been pretty slow because of the wealth of very good GP specialized forums out there.
  • gunitgunit Posts: 469
    Ok, I was talking about the all time top 10 list at Wards of the past 100 yrs, which to me is more prestigious then the annual list. 3800 made it, 3.5 didn't. Sorry about the confusion.

    Fair comparison, the 1998 Accord 3.0L V6 200 horse, still has the same or FASTER 0-60 & 1/4 mile times then the Intrigue 3.5 with 215 horse. If the accord is a manual shift, it easily wins... Fair comparison, right? The Honda engine is alot more reliable and probably just as refined also 1/2 a liter smaller in displacement yet just as fast.

    The final interesting thing is that the 3800 Supercharged gets almost the same 19/28 EPA rated gas mileage as the 3.5, go figure.

    part of the reason they phazed the 3.5 out was because it wasn't up to new US emissions standards? Yet the 3800 from 1997 still was until 2003.... not bad for an old pushrod engine.

    3.5/Intrigue are a nice car, I just heard the reliability overall was not that great. Obviously there were some issues as to why they cancelled it so early before the other Olds.. even with the 5yr 60k warranty, people still weren't buying Olds....and the GP and other W body cars still live on... also probably sales related too.... Sorry about being off topic

    As for me I wouldn't consider the GTP anymore since they got rid of the 2 door... that kills it for me...
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    The 3.5 isn't up to the emissions standard that is going to be effective in 2005 (2006?), and neither is the 3.8 Series II, thus the Series III. To update the 3.5, it would require a few million $$$, and GM needs desperately an updated V6 with 60° between the banks, not 2 90° V6...

    And even if the 3.5 were updated to the emissions regulations, in this day and age, it would still need variable valve timing: add a few 10s, if not 100s, of millions of $$$ in development here...
  • gunitgunit Posts: 469
    I'm sure it cost alot of money to upgrade the 3800 to the series 3 as well to meet this newer strict emmissions, right? Why did GM chose to spend the $$ on an old pushrod V6 and not the more advanced 3.5, that speaks volumes. Most likely cost cutting, but still.

    The Series 2 3800 is very EASY/CHeap to modify. A pulley will give you instant amount of horse. For very cheap you can get 300 horse like I have out of the 3800 s/c. Where as to do that with the 3.5 is big $$ if it can even be done or handle it. Only sore point on getting 300 horse out of the 3800 can be the tranny. I've seen some die early, but it depends on the driver. I never had a problem yet... depends how you drive it.

    I have to laugh, because a 1997 GTP still FASTER then a 2003 Accord or Altima V6 0-60 and 1/4 mile
  • dan165dan165 Posts: 653
    Evandro, they charged me $150 CDN + tax to get the door fixed, apparently that was heavily discounted?

    Gunit, by your handle and your comments, I'm guessing 0-60 is your priority. Keep in mind, not everyone is as concerned about that stuff.
  • oldsman01oldsman01 Posts: 1,203
    I'll attest that the Intrigue is not the most reliable car out there as mine has had several problems, BUT the problems were not engine related. Since the Intrigue and GP share the same chassis and up until the 04 model were built at the same(lousy IMO) plant, they both could potentially have the same problems. The 3.5 liter DOHC engine is probably the most robust thing about the car. It will probably outlive the rest of the vehicle. And while 215 hp may not be spectacular, 200 hp from 3.8 liters isn't the greatest either. I'm not knocking the 3800 as it too is a good engine, but the 3.5 isn't a piece of junk either. BTW, an Intrigue with the 3.5 is probably equally as quick(if not more so in the mid-range) than a last generation Accord V6. Until this year(and only with the coupe model) you couldn't get an Accord with the V6 and a manual. Again, I'm not knocking the GP as I always loved the GTP coupe, but found the Intrigue offered more refinement, more features, and a better warranty at a lower price.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    The 3.5 was very expensive to make, with Al block and heads and all. So much so that the SC 3.8 was cheaper to make and provided an awesome punch. No doubt it deserves a place among the best engines ever, SC or not.

    But the 3.5 is no lame duck. But multi-valve engines beg for cam phasing because of their poor low-end torque, and it became a must-have in this century. Given the applications that GM has in mind (remember, a 90° V6 cannot be used in transversal applications in typical European cars: it wouldn't fit), it was better to develop a new V6 family with all the bells and whistles that the market calls for nowadays that could have its cost absorbed in a myriad of applications than working on the 3.5 with limited applications. The new V6 line will be used not only in NA, but also by Opel, Holden and Saab, in high-rev and turbo versions as well.

    The bottom-line I want to make clear is that the 3.5 was killed IN SPITE of its being a fine engine.
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    Wow, not bad! I might get the courage to have an awful keying on the rear, right fender of my Bonneville repaired. Boy, envy is a piece of bleep! >-(
This discussion has been closed.