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Pontiac Bonneville



  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    hammen2, thanks for the info. This has been done, the road force and match mounting, etc. Also a new tie-rod end. I think part of the problem is the tires are flat-spotted. The vibration has gotten worse over the years and the car is often garaged for a week or two at a time which is probably contributing to it. My plan is to live with it until I can justify a new set of tires, and then see what happens. When I do get new tires I'm going to make sure the shop uses the Hunter machine and do the best they can to balance those things out.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,024
    A newspaper reporter aims to interview people who are dealing with vehicle recalls, especially of GM products, such as the recent problems with the back gate on the pickups. Please send your daytime contact info to or by Wednesday, April 7, 2004. Thanks, Jeannine Fallon PR Director


    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Michael - your trade up to the Avalanche sounds fantastic. There are soooo many around - GM sure has a winner on their hands there!

    What color did you get and does it have the plastic body cladding? I'm seeing some without it now and I like that cleaner look. Do you have leather too?
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    It's Silver Birch (the first vehicle I have ever had that wasn't blue!) and without the cladding (WBH). Although the cladding is more durable for stuff kicked up by the wheels, I like the Silverado look without the cladding much better. Apparently it is popular as the dealer said they order most of them this way now. It is sharp looking (hopefully I'll post a photo or two this weekend) and yes it has the most incredibly comfortable leather seats I have sat in since the last time I was shopping for furniture. 10-way adjustable. Not to say the Bonnie's seats aren't comfortable, because they are but those don't have the side bolster adjustment which allows the seat to fit like a glove. I had to practically sign my life away to lease the Avalanche so I'm hoping to enjoy it for the next 60 months! This is my first lease so it's a little unnerving reading all that legalese in the contract, but I think it will work out OK. The lease includes regular maintenance and extended warranty so hopefully there won't be too many extra costs associated with the truck. The Bonnie is almost paid off and then it's mine! The Av is HUGE even compared with the Tahoe and I haven't quite figured out how to fit it in the garage yet but trust me I will. I really didn't need a truck this big and I looked at the new Colorado Crew (too plain-Jane) and the Envoy XUV (just as expensive as the Av) but went for the comfort of the Av. So far (day 5 and counting) I'm very happy, and no one at work has criticised me for destroying the environment or supporting terrorism by getting this beast.
  • bunky36bunky36 Posts: 94
    The doctor who my dealer had ordered the black GXP for backed out of the deal over the weekend, so now the GXP is on the lot for sale. I drove it today for about 30 miles at highway speeds, on some twisty roads, and on some deserted stretches for a couple acceleration runs. I’m impressed. It is noticeably quicker off the line than my SSEI -- probably owing to the increased horsepower in the V8, a little more low-end torque, and the fact that the GXP has a much lower 3.71:1 differential resulting in more low end "grunt" as they say. And the hard acceleration torque steer was surprisingly almost imperceptible – just like on the SSEi.

    As I said in an earlier post, after having done a little research on the L37 (300HP) and LD8 (275HP) versions of the Northstar, I think Pontiac chose the right one for the GXP since the LD8 is stronger at the low end than the L37. Works for me, anyway, since I’m more interested in off the line performance than I am in performance in the upper ranges.

    With the 18" wheels and lower profile tires, and with the performance-tuned suspension, I expected the GXP to ride noticeably harder than the SSEi, but I was pleasantly surprised that the difference is practically imperceptible. And I noticed zero vibrations at all speeds up to 85 MPH on the Goodyear rubber.

    The exhaust tuning could be a tad more sporty-sounding for my tastes, but it still has a nice V8 sound in the cabin when you punch it, the combination of the engine sound and the exhaust sound at WOT is real ear candy, and it runs at highway speeds as quiet as the SSEi. I'd like to hear the pipes "talk" a bit more on acceleration, but the downside is always the "drone" you have to put up with on the highway. Maybe I'm finally growing up after owning 6 Trans Ams?

    The interior has been jazzed up nicely with the carbon-fiber touches, the black “chiclets,” the brushed aluminum touches, and the UltraSuede seat and door panel inserts. Very nice.
    And of course, the lines of the exterior from any angle are just gorgeous, and the new front and rear fascias are very pleasing to the eye. The side body cladding from the beltline down is still there, which I like for door ding protection, but it is much more subtle than the 2000-2003 SSEi cladding.

    One thing that got my attention was that the car only had 82 miles on it when I got in it and the DIC indicated 9.2 average miles per gallon! When I brought it back 30 miles later, the average was 10.5. Hopefully, whoever put those 82 miles on it was driving it about as hard as I was such that as it loosens up over time it will get closer to its advertised EPA 17/24 MPG.
    I’ll be interested in what the car mags have to say about the GXP when they get around to flogging one other than their usual lament that the GXP is FWD.
  • bigdaddycoatsbigdaddycoats Posts: 1,058
    Good review. I'm jealous, have been waiting to drive one but dealers have only had one or so each and already sold. Hopefully they will get more soon. So, are you going to get one????
  • bunky36bunky36 Posts: 94
    Bigdaddy: I am really drooling over that car—actually not that specific one—the doctor ordered it without a sunroof. It’s the right color and all—I love black—but I would have to have a sunroof. As it turns out, they have a black one on order just the way I would want it—with all options except the CD changer in the trunk and the engine block heater. It’s already been built, and has left the factory so it should arrive in a few days.

    My problem is I am driving a one year old SSEi that I would have to sell, and at a decent price, but considering that whopping first year depreciation . . . . Fortunately, I have a solid buyer for the car, and he will give me a fair price, but I will still take a little hit. So the questions are, how badly do I want a GXP, and how great of a deal will the dealership offer me? I am a long-time customer, so I expect they will treat me nicely. Also fortunately, my wife is a car person, too, and she thinks I should go for it. I love the SSEi, but I’m really a V8 kind of guy, having had all those V8 TA’s, and a bunch of V8’s before them.

    Then there’s that gas mileage thing with the price of gas what it is these days. I have gotten used to 21 MPG in town on the SSEi and 27-29 on the highway, so I’d be taking a little hit there, too.

    But I can hear that V8 ear candy now and can feel the power. What a dilemma. I have to make up my mind in the next few days to make sure my potential buyer doesn’t get away from me.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,932
    Thanks for the review.
    I wonder why the Dr. backed out?
    With that 3.71 final drive ratio (did you notice rpm at hiway speeds vs. your SSEi?) I doubt the GXP will significantly exceed 25 MPG at 65 - 75 mpg hiway cruise . . .
    - Ray
    Hoping to be proven wrong . . .
    2016 BMW 340i
  • bunky36bunky36 Posts: 94
    Rayainsw: The doctor drove the car and said he liked it, but backed out because the timing was not right for him financially. He is a long time customer of the dealership having bought 5-6 black Bonnevilles from them over the years, so they just order cars for him on speculation. He has backed out before, but they always have no trouble selling the cars they say.

    RPM: actually I didn't pay attention to the tach at highway speeds, but with that gearing, I imagine the RPMs were a tad higher than the SSEi's which likely accounts for some of the drop in mileage.

    I think a GXP driver would be very pleased to get 25 MPG on the highway.
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    My 2000 SE passed the 100,000 mile mark last night! It still runs and rides great but is showing some wear from my 3+ years of highway driving - numerous chips on the facia and hood and even the windshield that was replaced last year. Hopefully this weekend I can clean it inside and out and perhaps we'll have the hood repainted this summer. If we buy a new car I'll pass this one to my wife for a year or two until the kids start driving. With the side airbags and full size protection it's destined to become the learning vehicle and first car for my older son (now 15) and my daughter (almost 14).

    The GXP sounds fantastic. None near us yet but I look forward to checking one out eventually even though I'm not in the market to buy one new.

    Michael - your Av sounds like a sweet ride! I see more and more now sans cladding and there's a dark green one parked near my office that really turns heads. Enjoy!!!!
  • bigdaddycoatsbigdaddycoats Posts: 1,058
    If you can financially afford it I say go for it. You only live once - just think of the smile on your face every time you fire up the V8! I don't know if you get GM pricing but there is $3k rebate or 0% financing for 60 months. Let us know what you decide. Good luck!
  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    ...let me know if you have access to GMS pricing. If not, I can probably talk my mother-in-law into giving you one of her GM In the DriveWay certificates (gets you GMS (employee) price + 4%, which is the same as supplier pricing). Of course, this assumes the dealer would offer GMS to you.

    Dang, I just looked at the GMS price on a loaded black GXP w/XM, heated seats, sunroof, and it was a pretty decent number (around 33k) - and there's one just like it at my dealer. Factor in the 3k rebate, plus the GM card dollars I have (assuming a dealer would take GMS + GM card on a new model), and I could actually afford it. I'm only two semi-monthly payments (one month) away from having my '98 Aurora paid off, so I think I'll wait a year of saving up cash (and I'm still thinking about the GXP versus a used 2002-2003 Aurora versus a GTO)...

  • bunky36bunky36 Posts: 94
    Hammen2: Thanks for the GM Certificate in the Driveway offer, but I’m a little hesitant because I don’t know how they work. My understanding is that the holders of the certificates can give them to family and friends to use, but that dealerships are under no obligation to accept them. I have seen posts on other boards where folks have tried to use them and the dealer refused. Is there no financial incentive for the dealer—that is, do they not get any money back from GM if they sell a car to somebody with a certificate? I guess I’m not sure why a dealer would not accept one unless there is nothing in it for them. I think I can get a pretty good under invoice deal plus the $3k rebate and GM card $$ as it is, so I’m a little hesitant to maybe risk impacting my long-standing relationship with my dealer by flashing one of those certificates since I’ve never done that before. Maybe my hesitancy is not well-founded—I just don’t know. Any light you can shed would be helpful.
  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    Bunky, basically GMS and GM Supplier pricing (which is the same as gminthedriveway) is a fixed price for the dealer. The GMS price is actually printed on the invoice (and supplier/driveway pricing is GMS + 4%). There's no negotiation on selling price, but there is opportunity for negotiation/dealer profit on trade-ins, financing, mop 'n glo, et. al.

    It's basically the dealer's discretion as to whether or not they will take GMS pricing. Generally, the more limited/rare the product, the less likely that they will take it (i.e. it wasn't until recently that dealers would do GMS on GTO's). I do not think you would offend the dealership if you asked them up front if they would take it (since it is a sizeable savings for you, and another car sold for them). If they say no, that's fine.

    The new certificates are electronic - no paper needed - just DOB and last 4 digits of SSN (don't even need your address, just an email)...

    Hope this helps,

  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    I know the v8 probably was what you were listening to, but, how was the stereo? My 2000 Bose had no bass and was marginal at best. Did they address the sound. I'll be interested to hear from somebody compare the GXP to a slightly modified SSEi...(pulley and air cleaner). The beauty of the old 3.8 S/C was the cheap effective mods. The northstar might be a bit more difficult to modify.
  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    You know the old saying... "No highs, no lows, must be Bose". You want bass, go Monsoon or third-party. Bose is about clarity of sound (their PR, not mine).

    Speaking as a NorthStar owner (Aurora V-8), the number of mods is extremely small (mostly airbox/throttle-body mods/Corsa exhaust). My wife has a 2001 GTP, so I'm very familiar with both engines. The L47 V-8 is definitely more refined for a luxocruiser (like my Aurora is). But the L67 V-6 sure is fast (esp. off the line), and fun. Two different markets...

  • bunky36bunky36 Posts: 94

    I went to the dealer (I work directly with the Fleet Manager) today to ask about GMS discounts. He gave me a copy of the invoice he got from GM on the GXP that is on its way in. As you said, it shows all the various pricing—MSRP, invoice, GMS, supplier, holdback, dealer advertising, etc. The total price he shot me the other day was $103 lower than the GMS price less the $3k rebate—a special price for me he said because I am a long-time Pontiac owner and buyer from that dealership, have sent many customers there who have bought, etc.

    Even with the deal he has offered me, they still make a few bucks on the car with the holdback and advertising rebate from GM. I guess I could try to dig into the holdback a bit to save a few more bucks, but I don't want to press my luck. They have been pretty good to me over the years.

    So I guess for this car from this dealer, I won’t need a certificate. Thanks again for the offer, Robert.

  • bunky36bunky36 Posts: 94
    The GXP has an 8-speaker Monsoon sound system. So does my '03 SSEi. I had the same system in my last ('98) TA. Definitely a major and noticeable improvement over the Bose system. My wife had the Bose system in her '01 GTP. She has an '04 GTP now, also with Monsoon--9 speakers.
  • montanafanmontanafan Posts: 945
    GMS is the invoice cost less ad less holdback. A price of $103 less the GMS, means the dealer paid you to take the car. They have already given away the holdback and there is no advertising rebate unless it is sold GMS. You must have sent a lot of people paying big money for their cars to get such a price. Take it and enjoy. And you are right, with the Driveway Certificate it would probably cost you $1,200+ more.
  • bigdaddycoatsbigdaddycoats Posts: 1,058
    So, I had the opportunity to take a GXP on a brief (5 miles or so) test drive today. I must say I really like this car. Very quick and steering felt quite good. The minute you start it up you hear that nice rumble from the exhaust - so intoxicating! I left the stereo off so I could enjoy hearing the engine and exhaust. I wish I could have had a longer drive but I was pressed for time. Seats felt really nice as well. I punched it a few times and it moves very well. The only thing I did not like was the lack of headroom because of the sunroof - problem for me with most vehicles. Overall, very sweet!
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    So they delete the valet key on the SE, but make big brother OnStar standard? Hmmmm...
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,236
    I've grown tired of the On$tar mandatory option thing with GM. Do they own On$tar? so that they're forcing people to pay for one year of service and hopefully renew it?

    There are options I'd want but to get them On$tar is mandatory. Can't put packages of desirable options together without the On$tar $500 option.

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

  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    A quick search of the Town Hall didn't turn up much in the way of discussions about OnStar (am I missing it?), but I'm getting curious about what others think. My new Chevy Avalanche has OnStar (my SSEi was built a month or two before OnStar production began on the Bonneville line), and after doing some research I have mixed feelings about it.

    From a techie viewpoint, the telematics technology is getting pretty interesting. Now, an OnStar advisor can collect information about the vehicle including GPS position, DTCs, and of course air bag deployment. Additionally, they can remotely unlock the doors. It seems that it will be only a matter of time before they can remotely start the engine, open the windows, change the radio station -- all but drive the darn thing. The new Cadillac STS will have the "next generation" OnStar which will automatically report any crash -- whether the air bags deploy or not -- directly to emergency services. This can be good -- and bad, depending on whether or not you really want this kind of information to be shared so transparently and without your control.

    Reading the OnStar service agreement, there is a blurb about how if the bank or leasing company wants to repossess the vehicle, they can (presumably with a court order) use OnStar to locate the vehicle. Scary? Speed, and the police send you a ticket? Don't wear your seat belt, and the insurance company ups your rates?

    With all the information available on the Avalanche's DIC (personal and business trip logs, fuel used, engine hour meter, and personalized settings), who's to prevent a hacker from calling an OnStar-enabled vehicle and getting (or setting) all sorts of information?

    Now, I'm not typically the paranoid type, but as a software engineer I am well aware of the potential capabilities of this technology. And I don't like Big Brother. It may be a little premature to predict this, but the way GM is going, it may not be long before you cannot drive one of their vehicles off the dealer's lot without some sort of OnStar capability. Just like Microsoft requires you to register Windows XP before you can use it. Already GM has gotten to the point where many (if not most) repairs must be done by the dealership, as the small shops or do-it-yourselfer simply cannot get access to the tools or software required to maintain these vehicles. The new 20" "factory-approved" wheels for the Silverado and Sierra cannot be mounted by anyone except a dealer, as a special authorization code must be obtained from GM (for a fee) to recalibrate the PCM (and another code if you want to put the original wheels back on later). This is the road GM seems to be headed down (I'm sure others are doing the same).

    It will be interesting to see what develops.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,236
    luddite "Vehicle Tracking and Recovery systems (ex. GM OnStar, MB TeleAid, BMW Assist)" Apr 6, 2004 8:04am

    Vehicle Tracking and Recovery systems (ex. GM OnStar, MB TeleAid, BMW Assist)

    This is the only discussion I found about OnStar.

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

  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    Lately I've seen print and TV advertising for the GTO, GXP and Comp G. Seems like they're marketing all three cars together, and in typical Pontiac fashion, none of the ads really show off the great looks of these cars (very dark and mysterious). The big selling point for all three: horsepower. Samuel L. Jackson continues the voice-overs for the TV spots. Excitement? For this Pontiac enthusiast, I think they could do better...
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    After a year of free OnStar and having never used it, I exercised my control over it: didn't sign up after the grace period expired.
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    Yeah, but just because you are not paying for service does not mean that the system is physically deactivated (or could not be reactivated remotely by OnStar). IIRC, even if you don't have service with OnStar, you *could* push that blue OnStar button at any time and connect with an advisor (for example, if you decided to sign up again). So the system *is* still alive. Again, sounding paranoid here, but the only way I know of to disable OnStar with confidence is to disconnect the Vehicle Communication Module or at least the lead to the cellular antenna.

    I guess my worry (perhaps unfounded?) stems from those air bag modules. They record the last five seconds of vehicle data, and this data has been used in court successfully. Again, maybe for the better but you never know. Who's to say that someday OnStar might not be used in a similar manner?

    I could have sworn that the IEEE published a great article on automotive telematics and information privacy, but I can't find it right now. Maybe it was someone else. But this two-year-old article is a good summary:
  • evandroevandro Posts: 1,108
    IIRC, in the user's manual, when the subscription expires, the cellular module is deactivated and can only be activated through the blue button, which brings up the cellular communications module and OnStar then pays the local AMPS phone company for the privilege. In other words, OnStar cannot activate the phone module remotely.

    I understand the potential for invasion of privacy of such services, but it's not less than that of your ISP.

    Sure, something may be what they state and what it is, but that would be really, really paranoid. :-)
  • skyhawkskyhawk Posts: 126
    On star was standard on the 2001 SLE we purchased for my wife. We have continued the service for two main reasons. My wife has medical problems and On star is a security blanket. The hands free phone is also convenient for her. I recently purchased a new Malibu Maxx for myself and took a car off the lot that did not have On Star.

    A former co-worker was on his way home last August and was in a remote part of the state when he felt faint. He stopped on the roadside and pushed the button. On star called rescue, identified his location and continued talking to him until rescue arrived. He then notified a relative of the emergency and car location. My friend had open heart surgery and is now fine.

    The privacy issues were never a concern for us. I remember how irked I was that I had to buy a tilt wheel to get intermittant wipers on an 86 Olds custom cruiser wagon for my wife. I hate to have something forced on me. I would never be without tilt now and my wife's car will always have On Star. My 2 cents.
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