Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Pontiac Bonneville



  • A poster over on the BonnevilleClub board says the mid-March production date applies to Canada. US GXP's are apparently rolling off the line. There is a Feb 16 article in the Chicago Sun-Times quoting Susan Wright, the Bonneville product manager, as saying that Pontiac is esimating 4,000 GXP's in the first year and that will be about 25% of all Bonneville sales.
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    Pontiac only sells 16K bonnevilles in a year? That seems a little hard to believe.
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    2003 calendar year Bonneville sales were 25,250, down from 37,599 for 2002 (I'm guessing because there was no SSEi production for MY2004). By contrast, LeSabre was at 114,572 for 2003. Good news (?) was that January 2004 sales of Bonneville were up 100% over last January.
  • Keep in mind that there was no Bonneville production for almost four months last year, while it moved from one plant to another.
  • Interesting - this site shows a GXP Job 1 date of 4/20/04:
    I'm waiting for my GXP too, but I'm beginning to think that Pontiac may be delaying the launch and making it a late spring intro (M/Y 2005). Does anyone know anything more on this? The dealers seem clueless.
  • Do you have a link to that article? I searched but could not find it.
  • bunky36bunky36 Posts: 94
    I have been over on the Cadillac Forums pages trying to learn a little more about the LD8 Northstar that is in the GXP. Pretty interesting things to be learned there. Like a few others on this board, I was a tad distressed when I first learned that the GXP was “only” going to have 275 HP in its V8.

    After visiting the Cadillac board I am much more comfortable with the LD8 in the GXP than if GM had decided to use its sister engine, the 300 HP L37 Northstar. Reason: the LD8 was designed a year later than the L37 (now 11 years old) to have better low end “grunt” than the L37. The LD8 makes 275 HP @ 5600 rpm and 300 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm, compared to the L37’s 300 HP @ 6000 rpm and 295 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm. The difference is in the camshaft grinds. The GM Powertrain website says the LD8 “is edgier, higher revving with more peak horsepower and a higher redline and it puts more emphasis on quick launch and part-throttle response with more peak torque.” And in the GXP application, the LD8 also comes with a 3.71:1 transaxle, whereas in the Cadillac it uses a 3.11:1 transaxle. Between the LD8 and the 3.71:1 transaxle, the GXP should have plenty of “squat and git.”

    There is a fellow on the Cadillac Forums pages (username bbobynski) who says he has put 4,300 miles on one of the first GXP production cars that went into his test fleet (I’m not sure what line of work he’s in) and he says “it is one of my favorite cars of all time.” He says the GXP handles so well he would put it up against a great many RWD cars. In his words, “It sticks like a slot car on freeway loops and can make most cars look silly…and…it still goes in the snow we’ve been having.” He feels it offers the same performance and comfort of an STS but at $15k less.

    I’m still waiting on word from my dealer regarding when one of those beauties is going to arrive here.
  • bigdaddycoatsbigdaddycoats Posts: 1,058
    I would really like one of the auto mags to do a review of the GXP. They would likely find fault with the interior materials and the fact that it is front wheel drive. Maybe soon??
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    You can predict what they will say word for word. They will say its too expensive, the interior is cheap and it's FWD. They wont give it a fair shot but I would like to see a review to see the performance specs. Edmunds should test one soon, but I doubt that will happen. They are usually slow to test GM vehicles.
  • bigdaddycoatsbigdaddycoats Posts: 1,058
    Pretty much what I would expect them to say. Still interested though. Personally I think this car should have been out a year ago. It took GM two years to bring the GXP to the market - way too long considering that all of the components pretty much existed. The 300C will most likely kill the GXP - price, performance, new platform and better materials.
  • bunky36bunky36 Posts: 94
    Csaba Csere of Car and Driver said several months ago that C&D definitely wants to do a review of the GXP. Should be anytime now. IMHO the 300C is butt-ugly. It looks like a cross between a tank, a truck, and a Checker Cab. The GXP by comparison is sleek and aerodynamic looking with its wedge shape. Admittedly looks mean a lot to me, but I think the GXP is going to be a hot performer, too.
  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    How is it two years from the November 4, 2002 announcement (that the car was going to be out in the first part of 2004) to today? Keep in mind that GM knew that no Bonnevilles would be produced for almost 5 months during 2003 and that the car would be changing plants requiring a slow ramp up of the base models before a variation could be built.
  • bigdaddycoatsbigdaddycoats Posts: 1,058
    two years from the original concept from the Chicago(?) auto show. Maybe I am being to critical.
  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    '02 Chicago Bonneville G/XP was still using the 3.8L Supercharged engine. It was '02 SEMA when the GXP V8 was first shown. So I will split the time with you. Still I believe the factory change and slow start up is as much of the time issue as anything with the engine.
    Also on the GXP, it looks like the latest rebate list at has $3,000 for all Bonnevilles (not just SE & SLE as before).
  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    And expect the magazines to praise the styling, chassis and the powerplant but lament the choice of driven wheels and deride the interior.

    I see a GXP as a definite option for me - a step up from where I am right now without losing anything. I have to admit that I'm also eyeing a CTS-V - the allure of that kind of power driving the correct wheels is hard to ignore.

  • bunky36bunky36 Posts: 94
    The CTS-V performance specs are pretty impressive to be sure, and while I don’t know yet if I like the angular design look Cadillac is developing all of its cars under, I like it more than I did when the CTS first appeared, so I guess it’s growing on me. But what is off-putting to me is that it is RWD and isn’t offering AWD (to my knowledge). If I had a RWD car with that kind of power it would put me right back where I was in my Trans Ams—great cars to tear around in when the weather was good, but in the Kansas winters my TA’s spent a lot of time in the garage because they were worthless on snow and ice—even with traction control—pretty much a joke. Does high power and RWD not concern you a little, iceman, up there in REAL snow and ice country? Whatever I have has to be my daily driver. I don’t have a “winter car.” That’s why I’m excited about the GXP—lots of performance goodies for a sedan, albeit not as hot as the CTS-V, but FWD so I can drive it all year around. And the looks of the GXP—in my mind it is pure beauty from any angle.
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    I partially agree with ice, the major auto mags will try to compare the GXP with a BMW or something like that, and complain that GM didn't do enough to change the Bonneville. The interior is the same, except for the dressing. The sheet metal is the same, except the cladding is smoother. Still FWD. Remember that when the 2000 Bonnevilles came out, C&D ranked it eighth out of ten sedans in a comparo (which was won by the 300M, IIRC) and called it a boy racer's dream carn (Brock Yates). I doubt they will be impressed. I also expect some of the more mainstream newspaper writers will compliment the car with indifference.

    So is Chicago really a "hot bed" for Bonneville sales?

    Oh, and I also thought about the Cadillac. Performance looks more exciting, but I'm still warming to the styling. I still think the Bonnie is one of the sharpest-looking big sedans on the road!
  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    Bunky, I've been driving for 27 years now - 12 of which were on RWD cars. Of those, only my '92 Mazda 929 had ABS - and no traction control. I always used snow tires and have never gotten stuck or gotten into trouble. Never. Not once.

    The Bonnie sticks to the road like glue in the winter. FWD, traction control, snow-rated tires... it's great stuff. I do believe that RWD with stabilitrak and decent winter boots will do the trick. The issue with the CTS-V will really be if the gobs of torque are too much to not break free in slippery conditions - a lot would depend on how response the stabilitrack is.

    Anyway, I could live with a CTS-V but, like you, would prefer an AWD speciman.

  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    I understand all the advantages of RWD, but I can't see myself benefiting from them in my driving on public roads. Yet, there are disadvantages that cannot be forgotten: heat from transmission, less space in the foot well fore and aft, heavier weight, etc.

    Leaving in the Sun belt, I'm fairly neutral towards both. But my brother from the snow belt has seen too many RWD not being able even to leave the parking lot, traction-control and all...
  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    I hear you - perhaps it's not compelling enough as manufacturers get better at engineering FWD with decent cornering capability. Alas, the same front weight that gives FWD much of its slow speed grip is also less desirable from a road poise and "tossability" perspective. I agree that AWD is a great solution - but, even then, not without its disadvantages.

    I think tires make all the difference in winter traction - I always use "high end" snow tires and I rotate and replace them regularly. I'm constantly amazed at how many people don't worry at all about the quality of their tires. I always have a collapsible shovel, a pair of work gloves, and an old winter jacket in my trunk for those winter days when I have to give someone a push. Doesn't happen much anymore but, when it does, it invariably involves inappropriate tires, poor tread, or an inexperienced (read: young) driver.

    (well-named) ice
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    I just don't see myself tossing the car around corners. Especially because in Texas those corners are in the residential areas where the speed limit is at most 35MPH and where there usually are children playing and adults jogging.

    Just give me a fast car in straight lines and I'll have my needs met. ;-)
  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    Quite agree. Twisties are a fact of life here but then again so is traffic. I don't need tremendous "tossability" - just enough that the car doesn't feel like it's going to toss me! I get a kick out guys who place a lot of credence in these slalom tests - sure, they indicate good suspension and steering dynamics but just when's the last time that you had to navigate cones on your drive to work?

    But RWD does have its acceleration advantages as well - especially for quick launches where the weight of the car tends to pitch toward the rear wheels. Again, perfect for those Texas country roads... ;-p
  • 14871487 Posts: 2,407
    automobile had a short write up on the GXP in the back of the magazine. They said the cars handling was impressive and the Northstar was a hugh improvement over the SC 3800. They said RWD cars may be making a comeback, but this car reminded them of how good GM's FWD cars had become. I would take this car over an Acura TL anyday. The TL's interior is much better but the GXP is just a bigger, badder car that will match the TL auto in perfomance. Plus you gotta love those 18" rims.
  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    A tough call. Edmunds lists this within dollars of one another.

    - The Acura has a better warranty, gets better mileage and has a 6 speed manual. All good things.
    - Power-wise, the GXP has the edge: similar peak ponies but at lower RPM; waaaay more torque and a lot more of it down low (peaks of 300 ft-lbs @ 4000 revs vs. 238 @ 5000).
    - The GXP also has a larger rear seat and trunk.
    - The Acura has the nicer interior.

    They have similar features but there are small differences. I can't pick a clear winner here - it'll depend on what you fancy. But the GXP lacks two features which the Acura possesses and which are currently highly desired by a good number of buyers: xenon headlights and NAV. And the TL will have a telescopic steering wheel in addition to tilt.

    I can only conclude that Pontiac needs to go a little farther to put it on top of the TL - which is perhaps its biggest competitor. You want power? buy the GXP. You want a car designed for 2004? buy the TL.

    I'll be looking at both.
  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    I forgot to add (for what it's worth) that Edmunds calculates the "True Cost to Own" for the GXP at $50,796 over the 1st 5 years with the TL being $45,085. The entire difference between the two is attributed to what Edmunds projects as year 1 depreciation: $13.1k for the GXP and $7.6k for the TL. For years 2-5, Edmunds projects that the depreciation will be almost identical between the two cars.

    Their data is likely flawed: as the first year depreciation they use for the GXP (roughly 35%) is bang on what they attribute to the SE, the SLE, and the SSEi. But, in fairness, GM's done little to promote the Bonneville and make it a desireable car - either new or used - and that's undoubtedly hurt resale value. I've got to believe, though, that the restyled and up-powered GXP will be more desireable than that and its resale will hold better. If Pontiac addresses the interior, NAV, and xenon lights for 2005, I can only see further improvements in that regard.

    I somehow suspect that the depreciation is pegged to previous models.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,244
    CAn someone explain to me why NAV is 'needed' for everyone?
    I can't imagine I would need to have it in a car.
    I know how to use maps and know where I'm going otherwise...
    I get the impression that some think it's necessary for everyone else to pay for in a model because they personally want the NAV for whatever. So I'm seriously asking someone to explain if I'm wrong in my impressions...

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    I don't think NAV is necessary for everyone but it is desired by many - especially the gadget-hungry. Pontiac doesn't even make it available on the Bonneville so when cars like the Acura TL come along and offer similar performance and creature comforts but with more recent technology, it reinforces the perspective that the Pontiac is a little behind the times. It's definitely a "keeping-up with the Jonses" issue IMHO - but that doesn't mean that it isn't important.
This discussion has been closed.