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Pontiac Bonneville



  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    Smfran: Yeah - there's a little creaking (not really rattling) going on the passenger's door on mine as well. Conversely, my '95 Villager (which I hope to sell this weekend) has 110k+ miles on it and is rattle-free.

    I like the Sienna but I want the heck out of a minivan I'm afraid - at one time, I saw them as a necessary evil. In our family, a minivan is no longer necessary, so that makes them just evil. I will say that the Sienna and Odyssey are the least evil of all minivans however.

    Ken: if I'm going used, it might be to a '00 Regal LS but I doubt if I'd go supercharged for the 2nd car. I discussed it again with my wife this a.m. and she's cooling on the Aztek - starting to realize it's a lot of $ for functionality we don't need. Keep your fingers crossed for me guys.

  • smfransmfran Posts: 432
    What does it mean to "want the heck out of a minivan"? Also, I thought you had kids in Daycare?
  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    Stephen: I positively loathe driving minivans (although I must confess that a Buick Century doesn't hold too much over one) but I'd live with one if we absolutely needed it - even though they're expensive as "all get out" (?????).

    Since we bought the Bonneville last December, that has become our daily commuter and has proven itself to be a very capable hauler of our entourage and its trappings. In that period, our minivan has not once demonstrated its utility as a minivan - so frankly I have to question what we need it for. Even with young kids (our kids are 4 and 6 - although she's kinda adamant about saying "6 1/2"). Heck, my parents had 5 of us and the closest we got to a minivan was dad's 1968 Toyota Crown wagon.

    Ya know guys (and gals), that's one of the things I really like about the Bonneville - it feels like a frivolous, indulgent car in that it looks and drives sporty but it is downright practical too. If Pontiac added a split-folding rear seat, I'd be putting a second one in my garage - sans hesitation as we say up here in Canada.

    On naming cars: I have never done this and used to roll my eyes when I came across others who did. When you have 2 or more cars, though, I admit that it actually makes sense. And this car comes the closest to getting a name from me - in that I call it "the Bonnie". Of course the presence of "the" probably would technically keep that from being a "name" and the name itself certainly lacks originality. If I did name it though, I think Zeus or Rufus would be leading contenders - the latter because (a) it strikes me as funny and (b) this car definitely has bite. Still, it ain't no dog - so I probably won't be going there

  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    cornering: Yesterday, I took one of those decreasing-radius on ramps at a speed I had never achieved in the 20+ years I've been driving in this berg. The suggested limit on this piece of road is 30 kph (about 20 mph) and it is the only road I know where they post signs warning truckers of the possibility of a tip-over - am I painting a picture here? I took it at a steady 80 kph and actually kept myself from taking it at a greater speed. I wore I giant smile but wondered if I could hit 100 kph...

    In short: this baby really corners.

  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    ...for that elusive 2nd vehicle: Ken thanks for the gentle reminder of one of my earlier loves (the Aurora). You know, there are just not that many of them on the used market up here and anyway I think that a car with a fold-down rear seat would be a good idea for the odd time that we need that functionality. And anyway, I hit a wall the last time around with the Aurora Classic - they virtually all have sunroofs. Same headroom issue as in the Bonneville. I'm interested though - is $23kCdn (about $15kUS) for a '98 Aurora with 53k kms (about 31k miles) a good deal where you guys are? It's black and has a slider (therefore not for me).


    P.S. If I bought an Aurora and was interested in naming it, I'd probably call it "Belle" after "La Belle Aurore" - the Parisian nightclub in which a few scenes of Casablanca takes place. Besides, the word means "pretty" and how bad can that be? Probably just not quite bad enough for some....
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    on either of the two Auroras at last week's NJ meet. I've seen a lot of E-Bay auctions for these vehicles - they usually have a decent assortment of 95-99 cars for bidding. My guess is that with the demise of Oldsmobile, there should be a good availability of these cars at affordable prices.

  • bdreggorsbdreggors Posts: 143
    Well, after a nice vacation across the state to Ormand Beach, its nice to be back home. Ol' Bonnie held up like a rock and cruisin' Ike's Interstate is fantastic.

    In any case, I saw a half dozen other Bonnevilles: 1 white SSEi, 2 SSEs, and 3 SEs.

    I'll post more later...just getting everything unpacked now.
  • HenryHenry Posts: 1,106
    For those who do not know

    ITS aROARa

    not Aurora

    Its not in the name, but how you say it!

    ((okay, so it wasn't my last post))
  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    Aurora or aroara, it's a damned fine car and arguably the best of the G-bodies. Of course, Bonneville and STS owners might dispute that being the argumentative sorts that we are. Still, your posts are always welcome. Henry, do you Aurora owners have any intelligence on the post-Olds future of the Aurora?
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Dan - Have you considered looking at an Impala with your wife? Not sure why I didn't suggest it earlier and perhaps you have driven one of these gems already - but if not - you really should. The base model is under 20K and is available with the buckets and console of the LS and also can be ordered with the folding rear seat and whatever else you want. The std 3.4 turns in 32 mpg (US) or better; the 3.8 is available.

    The LS model is totally SWEET. The 3.8 is std and uses regular gas, the car handles like a dream - and it's priced right in the 23-25K range US. I've seen them advertised for $21.8.

    There's no doubt in my mind that if I were looking for a second sedan - it would be this one. In fact it's what I was looking for when I stumbled across my car. It's as close to another BONNEVILLE as you'll find.

    It's a great day here - going to be sunny and 70s. Hope you have a nice one too.

  • fantascpfantascp Posts: 175
    Hey Ken
    Good Morning!! just passed a BLACK SE on the way down to work this morning - interestingly enough- right by the Exit 35 where we had the car meet last week- the car was like a sheet of glass- BEAUTIFUL- the owner put on one hell of a waxing on it over this week-end

    Henry- Glad to hear from you again on the BONNEVILLE POST!!!
    Can you explain again what's involved with these time trials at the meadowlands- for $30.00 -what
    do you put your car through?

  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Chuck - I followed a black SSEi for a few miles this morning as well - man were those chrome wheels blinding when he turned the corner! Unfortunately I was in my old Grand Marquis today so didn't try to get his attention. I've seen this car before and have an idea where it goes now - will try to establish contact with the owner sometime when I have mine. What a great look it is from behind to see those dual pipes staring at you!

  • HenryHenry Posts: 1,106
    "What a great look it is from behind to see those dual pipes staring at you!" <-- We are talking about a car right???

    According to "sources" when Olds finally closes, the new Bonneville will actually be the Aurora. In other words guys/gals --- You can run, but you can't hide. If you want to get a jump on things, you can start posting to the aROARa board now.

    Timed trials - the $30.00 gives you eight runs of the course they set up in the Meadowland parking lot. You need to arrive around 8:00am to sign up. You need a helmet, and they will inpect your car to make sure that there ar no loose things that could fly off or be thrown about the car. It would be a good idea to clean out the trunk before you go. If not, you can leave the stuff in a parking space while you drive.

    Hope this helps.
  • HenryHenry Posts: 1,106
    This stuff is put on by the Porsche Club. So if folks are interested in going, it would be great to come as a group. (In other words, on the same day.) The sedans can show those little Porshes that you can carry more than two folks comfortably and still have driving nervana!

    Somebody say "G men"!
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Dan - The Impala board is contemplating a meet at the Oshawa plant for a factory tour sometime. How close is this to you? I'd consider a drive up through Niagara and Toronto and over to Oshawa - especially if you were interested in meeting somewhere in that area. Don't know about the timing of such a trip - perhaps June or July.

  • My wife made me test drive an Impala when we were car shopping last fall (bought a 2001 Bonne SLE and a 2001 Silverado LT).

    Even the top-of-line Impala LS suffers badly by comparison to the Bonne --- sloppy handling, poor performance, cheap interior fittings, cheap exterior trim, butt ugly styling, etc., etc.

    Not anywhere near in the same league, and not that much less expensive -- I'll be surprised if Chevy doesn't put it out of it's misery and replace it with a broader selection of models in the Monte Carlo.

  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    And yet the Impala outsells the Bonneville several times over. Why?
  • smfransmfran Posts: 432
    I'm not taking it personally but I think you are missing the boat on the Sienna. It does not handle or "feel" like a Chrysler/GM/Ford mini van. It is actually a Camry with more functionality. Don't forget this is for the ice woman and not you. I personally wouldn't drive it everyday as I too am a sedan man, but my wife loves it.
  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    Sienna's a fine van - one of the two best IMHO with the Odyssey being the pick if you want something a little larger. And thank you - I genuinely appreciate the suggestion (and Ken for the Impala suggestion).

    My wife's stone cold on the idea of another minivan though and would much rather drive a mid-size SUV - hence the interest in the Aztek. Soaring gas prices and the need to conserve width in our 2-car garage have convinced her that the smart move is a sedan. The compromise is the folding rear seat (hey, it worked fine for us on our Mazdas and Camry's for many years before we moved up to a minivan).

    BTW, some info on buying Toyota up here: the ones on the lot are over-optioned (I think dealers must get one CE model each so they can justify the advertising and the rest are loaded). Of course, the one you demo has neat features & they're hoping that you'll want to buy it that way: "if you're ready to wait for a few months, you can have it any way you want it but..." Besides, if you order the base one, you'll get diddly from them in terms of discount off list.

    A CE up here with traction control, keyless remote and power windows will cost about $5k more than a very nicely optioned Century. And the resale market on Sienna's is a joke so used aren't any bargains. So, if you don't need a minivan....

  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Wow - the very first time I've ever seen another Spruce Green Bonneville like mine - spotted it yesterday on I-95 on my way home from work. It was an SE model with spoiler and looked ever so nice! I smiled all the way home - of course the fact that I was skipping out early on a gorgeous spring day helped produce that reaction too!

    This morning I passed a car carrier loaded with new Bonnevilles heading north on the highway - no doubt all headed eventually to happy homes.

    Had an oil change and state inspection done yesterday and was told the air filter is in need of changing - dirty. Should I buy one of these K&N units I hear about? Or just get the standard replacement unit? Comments or suggestions?

  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    Dan - have you considered looking at a preowned Lexus RX-300? I haven't driven one but remember being very impressed at the car show by that vehicle. Ought to be numbers of these coming off lease about now I would think. Pricing might still be steep but two year old models might be mid twenties.

  • blacksilverblacksilver Posts: 69
    The Impala outsells Bonne because of a few bucks difference in price. It is impossible to over-estimate the stupidity of the Consumer!

  • ezraponezrapon Posts: 348
    I've been there too. I looked at the century and the GS last year. In the right color, I actually liked the style of the century better, more sedate and less busy than the GS. The price was better and they had a promo on the 2000 turn of the century-century. If they had offered the GS powertrain in the century, I'd probably be there now. The trouble is, once you start adding toys and rasing the price... you see that black Lesabre with the sport wheels on the other side of the showroom. I walked out with the SSEi, but with all the rattles and squeaks that have surfaced, I might have been better off with the century or Lesabre.
  • mlm4mlm4 Posts: 401
    Last night my girlfriend bought a new 2001 Oldsmobile Alero GL2 Sedan. She has been drooling over the Alero for awhile and finally I was able to justify it for her financially. Even though the long-term costs associated with buying a new car are higher than sticking with what you've got, in the short-term she was able to lower her monthly payment by $80, so we went for it. Traded her '99 CR-V, which has great build quality and is very practical, but not so fun to drive and expensive to maintain (new spark plugs and tranny fluid every 30K miles, and $80 oil changes).

    What she saw on the dealer's lot and REALLY wanted was a Black Coupe. She said is was "very sexy," and I agree, but I refused to let her get a black car (I had a say because I made the down payment). It looks awesome when it is clean and shiny, but otherwise is difficult to maintain. And a black car in hot hot. So we settled on her second choice - my first choice - a Midnight Blue Sedan. I like the looks of the sedan and think it is more practical than the coupe (hence one of the reasons I went for the Bonneville over the Camaro). I also like it because it looks like a scaled-down Bonneville. It's got the same lines and kicked-up tail and even the headlamps and taillamps are familiar looking. I love the color too, although the Alero Midnight Blue is not the same as the Bonneville Midnight Blue - it is actually much closer to the Indigo Blue of my Tahoe. So now we have three blue GM vehicles between us. I'm happy, and she loves her new Alero.

    Long post, but I thought I would ramble a bit more...

    I am very impressed with the Alero. It is a great value, $2000 cash back and a free GM extended warranty 60 months/60,000 miles since Olds is being phased out. It has a lot of the same features as the new Bonneville, too - and many are standard on all models. Tire pressure monitor, Oil Life Monitor, dual radio presets for the two keyless remotes (but no other driver-specific settings), RDS radio/cassette/CD (w/200 watts and eight speakers, but not Bose), customizable automatic door locks and horn chirp, and a very cool dash-mounted ignition switch - same as the Bonnie (I think it's cool, anyway). When I told my girlfriend that it had the same Goodyear Eagle RS-A performance tires as my SSEi has (16-inchers, though), she got it into her mind that she could challenge me sometime. I said sorry hun, I got SUPERCHARGED! ;-) I got to test drive the Alero, but I'm looking forward to ringing it out some more this weekend. It is a fun car. I'll try and take a pic of the Bonne and Alero together and post it here soon.
  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108

    A base model Impala with ABS, custom bench interior and the basic option group is about 4K less than a base Bonneville SE that already comes pretty well equiped (22K vs 26K). The AARP set seems to have taken handily to the Impala and rental fleets are buying up base Impalas which certainly drives up the sales volume if not the resale value.

    I've driven a number of Impalas prior to buying my Bonneville and am quite impressed with the performance and features of the LS model but not so thrilled with the base model. I agree that the Bonneville is turned out better in a number of ways and am glad to have bought what I did.
    Still, I'd buy an Impala LS in a heartbeat for the right price and while it's no competitor for an SSEi, it does come fairly close to my SE model in a lot of ways. Styling is definitely controversial - particularly the large tail lamp lens assembly but then again, not everyone likes the Bonneville either - especially the body cladding on SLE and SSEi, so beauty, as always, is in the eye of the beholder.

    I wouldn't be so hard on Impala or those that buy it - GM has certainly designed a good family car that is appealing to a broad spectrum of buyers. Even teens are saying positive things about the car from reports over in the Impala forum.

    Best wishes

  • mfahey1mfahey1 Posts: 419
    Time for me to chip in after a few days of silence. Sorry Dan for coming down on the Century. I of all people should know about tradeoffs when it comes to cars. Although I was privileged for some years to have a company car, our second car was another story. When both our kids decided to go to a private university after we had saved for them to go to a state university as we had, that left a significant cash shortfall and the easiest plaace to make it up was to forego a new second car. I said when our son started in 1993 that the 88 Caravan was going to have to last a long, long time. Looking back, we've never regretted driving an old beater for all those years.
    Too bad about the Intrigue crash ratings. Of all the rental cars I had, I probably was most impressed with the Intrigue. For its size and price range, it just seemed to be a very well put together package. Interestingly, the one car that I totally detested was the Explorer that I rented in Toronto. Why someone would want to drive that bucking bronco is beyond me. Us geezers need to hang on to our kidneys since they're the only ones we have. I think if I had one of those, I'd have to start with Depends as the motion of the car over normal roads would probably shake it out of me.

    I get my rear stabilizer bar tomorrow and hope to put it in shortly thereafter. I needed an excuse to rotate the tires so what better excuse to remove the tires?
  • theicemantheiceman Posts: 736
    Buying that 2nd car - and having all those competing and conflicting requirements. The Intrigue was also my first choice - until I did my homework and uncovered its abysmal side-impact performance. The Regal is half-decent all around and, if we're only talking an extra $30/month, it might be the way to go. Either way, I think I'll be leasing and 4 years will be over before you know it - by then, my Bonnie will be the 2nd car and who knows what I'll be looking for as our "voiture principale". We shall see.

    BTW, Century or Regal, lease or buy, the Cobra Cxi irons are mine to keep. :)

  • rb8225rb8225 Posts: 33
    Well, my friend brought home his Tech2 from work and we were able to play with the programming of the car last Monday. After seeing all of the things you can do with the Tech2, I want one! Did you know it will tell you the temperature of your brake rotors? Why, I have no idea.
    Anyway, the programming couldn't be easier. Once you get past the setup phase, where you select the type of vehicle (I didn't know this, but the Bonneville is the H body), verify the VIN number, etc., you are faced with a simple menu. To program the DIC you just go to the personalization section and choose driver 1 or driver 2. Here is where we had a little trouble. When I entered the new message, I just wrote over the existing message. But, although the Tech 2 would show the new message as being loaded, it would not display on the DIC. After trying various things, I went back in and re-wrote the message, but first I cleared out the old message completely. This seemed to be what was needed, and now the new message would display. BTW, when programming the messages, you get a full selection of characters, upper & lower, numbers, and symbols. 98 choices in all. You can fill up 2 lines of 16 characters each.
    Programming the steering is even simpler. You go to the chassis' section, and you see three choices- Less firm, factory default, and More Firm. I changed my setting to More Firm, but I can't tell much difference from the factory setting.
    I put some pictures of the new DIC settings on the Photo Gallery. BTW, has anyone found a place to post photos for free, now that Photopoint is going to start charging?

  • kzmkzm Posts: 55

    Here's where I'm placing mine:

    You have to sign up and it's free (So far).



  • tpkentpken Posts: 1,108
    I'll check out storing my pics there too since I'm going to get charged at photopoint now

This discussion has been closed.