Pontiac Grand Prix GXP 2006



  • ocmike3ocmike3 Member Posts: 232
    A Hit? Maybe not on the sales scale, but likely with it's owners. Not only a good mileage V8 (if you can keep the lead foot reasonable) and improved suspension for better handling; it comes in a family sedan I could convince the wife to buy.
    I can't wait to test drive one and see how it compares to the GTP. So far the closest one I could find from here (PDX) is in San Francisco.
  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,191
    "I can't wait to test drive one and see how it compares to the GTP. So far the closest one I could find from here (PDX) is in San Francisco. "

    As of this AM, the closest GXP shown on GMBuypower is well over 100 miles from where I live (north of Atlanta) and that is a fair hike. I definitely will contact this dealership today and see what I learn. I have heard other stories (here and elsewhere) of driving to a dealer that claims they have a particular car, only to find that the dealer representative was (um) mistaken. But I may take the trip on Saturday AM. We shall see. . .
    - Ray
    Frustrated that no dealer within the sound of my voice even has one on order . . .
    2022 X3 M40i
  • brood1213brood1213 Member Posts: 27
    Just got back from driving our first GXP. It is white with the ebony suede/leather interior. The MSRP was around $35,000 but was equipped with everything. Looks are very sharp. Something I noticed with the navigation system was that it had a DVD slot and a cd slot behind the screen. You definetly can tell the torque steer. It is very quick, exhaust gives a little rumble not like the GTO though. The torque steer will fight you from a dead stop launch but less noticeable when at highway speeds and you want to pass.
  • danmandanman Member Posts: 16
    Should have been Rear drive. Torque steer is annoying. For $2k cheaper I am getting a GTO, much nicer interior and seats then GXP and nearly 100 more horse, Corvette drivetrain. Backseats are much more comfortable on GTO, once you get to them. GTO ride is more comfortable then GXP and it handles better too. Rear drive vs Front. only advantage with GXP is 4 doors and bigger trunk. GTO has GM's best quality interior etc.
  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,191
    “Should have been Rear drive. Torque steer is annoying. For $2k cheaper I am getting a GTO, much nicer interior and seats then GXP and nearly 100 more horse, Corvette drivetrain. Backseats are much more comfortable on GTO, once you get to them. GTO ride is more comfortable then GXP and it handles better too. Rear drive vs Front. only advantage with GXP is 4 doors and bigger trunk. GTO has GM's best quality interior etc.”

    Well, you are not the only one that would have preferred the Grand Prix be moved to a RWD platform. But.

    Other (potential) advantages that I can think of immediately to the GXP, over a GTO (for me) include:

    TAP Shift (manumatic mode for the automatic)
    Factory moonroof available.
    Factory NAV system available.
    HUD. (Including NAV instruction displays)
    Dual Zone HVAC available.
    Heated seats available.
    Fold down rear seats.
    EPA ratings: 17 / 28 (GTO w/4-speed automatic = 16 / 21)
    (and even with the 6 – speed manual trans. = 17 / 25)
    (Gas Guzzler Tax on the GTO Automatic: $1,300)

    Now I can certainly understand if some (or all) of these attributes are of no interest to you. I certainly support you right to an opinion and a preference for the GTO.

    But these attributes ARE of interest to me – and others.

    Also, concerning the actual performance numbers. I looked back at the Motor Trend GTO Automatic trans. test (since MT is the only magazine that I am aware of to publish GXP test numbers – see above post) in their May 2004 issue - for as fair a comparison as possible.

    The GTO is certainly quicker off the line. But even with a much more aggressive final drive ratio (3.46 vs GXP’s 2.93) the difference once rolling is not as great as I’d have expected: Calculating 30 – 60, GTO = (5.4 – 2.1) = 3.3 sec. GXP = (6.0 – 2.4) = 3.6 sec. Note that this is with the 350 HP 2004 version – I expect that the 2005 / 400 hp version would be quicker still, and if straight line acceleration is the overriding concern, GTO wins here.

    However, a few other relevant (to me) performance numbers, that I do NOT expect would be improved on a 2005 . .

    Braking from 60: GTO = 126’, GXP = 119’

    600’ Slalom: GTO = 62.5 mph, GXP = 64.2 mph

    Lateral Acceleration: GTO = 0.81G, GXP = 0.82G (or 0.85G in the sidebar)

    I think as an overall performance sedan, the GXP is respectable.

    Just my $.02.052171 worth – applying the Fed’s new interest rate . . .
    - Ray
    With (at least) as many opinions as anyone . .
    2022 X3 M40i
  • 14871487 Member Posts: 2,407
    also remember the GTO doesnt offer many features. I think the GTO is a value considering it has 400hp, but it doesnt have heated seats, side airbags, NAV or stabilitrak. It really doesnt come with much other that leather and a 6 disc changer. On top of that 18" wheels are standard on the GXP while they are a late model year addition to the GTO. Plus te GTO's mileage with auto is considerably worse than teh GXP.

    For '06 the GTP will be dropped and the GT will become the GTP essentially. 260hp and 17" rims will be standard on the GT. This is a smart move, I thought they were going to drop the 3.8L supercharged engine after '05. The option packages are also considerably different for '06. Side curtains will be standard on all models.
  • 442man442man Member Posts: 210
    Just bought a GTO with my GM employee discount 400hp 2005 GTO was rated at 4.8 seconds 0-60mph by car and driver. GXP is around 6.0 seconds. Also you have the choice of a manual trans in GTO, Rear drive is superior to Front drive, except in snow. Got to drive a GXP, nice car, but the interior on GTO is better in my experiences then GXP, C&D said it was one of GM's best interiors ever. Better then the C6 vette! I was shocked at it's interior, Esp 2 tone leather, suede inserts on doors/interior. Feels like Japanese or European car quality! Not usual cheap GM stuff.

    Also more exclusitivity with GTO, GP gets mistaken for a rental car too often, I see many GT1 and GT2 rental cars. though GXP has a few features on it like the side vents etc. GTO is limited 12,000 car production.

    They make a 4 door version of the GTO, but only in Austrailia, that woudl have been nice here.

    It did very well against $70k SLK in that Motor trend comparo. It held it's own. yeah the SLK is better.

    As for gas mileage, my GTO is 17 city and 25 highway, GXP is 18 city and 28 highway? Very close numbers. The GTO doesn't have Cylinder deactivation. I hope GM gets that right, remember early 1980's failure on the 4/6/8 caddies?

    That said, both GXP and GTO are good choices. I would consider a GXP in the future to replace my other 4 door.
  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,191
    Well, if a manual trans. is a requirement (your EPA estimates mean yours is a 6-speed manual), or even a very strong desire, the comparison is really moot.

    And again, I was only trying to suggest that the (FWD) GXP generates (perhaps surprisingly) similar and even superior performance numbers, compared to the (RWD) GTO.

    If I wanted a 6-speed manual, I’d likely test drive a GTO.

    GXP looks like a very good choice for me, since I both want and need an automatic.

    If only a local dealer had one I could test drive. . .

    Enjoy the GTO!

    - Ray
    Considering a 200+ mile round trip for a test drive next weekend . . .
    2022 X3 M40i
  • 442man442man Member Posts: 210
    I ended up going with the 4 spd automatic on the GTO at the end. 16 and 21 mpg, I can afford it, fine for me. Still the same or better then SUV. No more annoying torque steer for me or the understeering of FWD on a road course. I had a 2004 Comp G GTP company car, nice car, but GTO blows it away in all aspects. Esp the quality/interior. It's almost no other GM product, Holden makes it. GXP is nice, but too much $$ for the current Grand Prix platform in my opinion. Hope they have a lot of incentives on it. Car and driver had a .88 Skidpad on GTO and 4.8 seconds. Governed to 158mph, top end is almost 180mph with governor disabled
    I personally prefer RWD.

    Good luck with GXP if you get one.
  • 442man442man Member Posts: 210
    The only concern I have with the new GXP is still using the same 4T65 tranny that came out in 1997 that was limited to 280 torque in the 3800 GTP application. When GM increased HP from 240 to 260hp, they had to keep the torque at 280 because of the tranny. I know GM says they are strengthening it, but I would like to see how this tranny holds up first. Lets hope they get it right.

    Why don't they use the 4spd 4T80 that handles the 4.6L V8 300hp and 300 torque? We know that would handle the 5.3L better then the 4T65. Time will tell.
  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,191
    I have not seen a definitive list of the exact modifications done to the trans. I have seen references to both material and process (heat treat) improvements aimed at dealing with the V8’s increased TQ and the higher red line / WOT shift points – without pulling engine timing or fuel for ‘torque management’ at shifts.

    Given that GM would NOT previously allow an increase in TQ without modifications to the trans. in prior applications, I am encouraged that they are addressing this issue with the GXP. And given essentially the same motor weight (V8 vs S/C V6) I am much more comfortable that the newly beefed up trans. will last longer than the original trans. trying to handle a V6 modified to produce roughly equivalent HP and TQ. Many have done this sort of mod. (I did on my ’97 GTP.) Some have had trans. issues. I did not – but consider that largely luck.

    The 4-speed automatic trans. utilized behind (beside?) the Northstar motors in GM FWD applications (both Caddy and Bonneville) is physically larger and would not fit the GP. I have also seen reports indicating that the 4T80-E (though durable) was much more expensive – and also heavier.

    - Ray
    (Almost) Willing to be a “year one” Beta Tester for this drivetrain . . .
    2022 X3 M40i
  • 442man442man Member Posts: 210
    I thought I read that the 5.3 Liter V8 is actually lighter then the 3.8 supercharged? Since it's aluminum and 3800 was cast iron? I could be wrong. Hopefully GM gets this right. Time will tell
  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,191
    " thought I read that the 5.3 Liter V8 is actually lighter then the 3.8 supercharged? Since it's aluminum and 3800 was cast iron? "

    I believe that you are correct: It is lighter, though not by much.

    At least it is not heavier.

    Early returns suggest that the motor is one part of the GXP that GM did "get right".

    - Ray
    Still debating travelling over 200 miles round trip for a GXP test drive . . .
    2022 X3 M40i
  • pernaperna Member Posts: 521
    I'm curious as to what you all think of the upcoming Impala SS. It uses the exact same drivetrain as the GXP; the only real differences are the interior and options.

    For example, with an Impala SS you can get Homelink and an "Aux-in" on the front of the stereo (for plugging in an iPod, for example), but you can't get these on a GXP. OTOH, the SS doesn't have Nav or automatic climate control...

    IMO this is another one of GM's "too many models, too many divisions" syndrome. The Chevy's looks are understated, it's almost like comparing an Infiniti I35 to a Nissan Maxima. It's frustrating, then, that I can't get all the options I want in a FWD car with THAT engine.
  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,191
    “I'm curious as to what you all think of the upcoming Impala SS. It uses the exact same drivetrain as the GXP; the only real differences are the interior and options.”

    Well – number 1, the drivetrain is ALMOST the same. For me, the SS lacks one critically important drivetrain feature. TAP Shift. This manumatic function is seen by some as a ‘gimmick’. I have this feature on my current vehicle and have had it on my past 2 as well. I find that (given I cannot and would not want to drive a car with a traditional manual trans. in 90+% of my driving) the additional control offered by this feature significantly enhances my driving enjoyment.

    Number 2: The Bilstein dampers are a significant (and expensive) upgrade to the ride / handling balancing act.

    Number 3: The brakes on the GXP are significantly upgraded (larger & cross drilled) vs the SS.

    I happen prefer the styling of the (forged, lightweight) wheels on the GXP. But whether or not that difference matters to anyone else is purely subjective. Like the (interior and exterior) styling differences.

    Also, I am hearing (I have not driven one, yet) that the wider front wheels and tires do work well in (ahem) spirited driving.

    So – for some, there are no significant differences.
    For me, there are several.

    - Ray
    Preferring the GXP’s styling vs the SS as well . . .
    2022 X3 M40i
  • 14871487 Member Posts: 2,407
    I think the SS has the better interior but the GXP is more of a driver's car. Not only does it have better brakes and more aggressive rubber, it has Stabilitrak standard when that is not even available on the SS.
  • johnv43johnv43 Member Posts: 9
  • johnv43johnv43 Member Posts: 9
    Last night I took out a loaded GPX for a short test drive. The key attraction of this car, for me, was the engine, but the first thing I noticed was a lot of torque steer. The brakes were excellent with a good feel to them. I thought the ride favored comfort over sport. I'd rate the Monsoon better than any Bose. At the street price of 27K for an MSRP of 33,395 it is a heck of a performance bargain for someone who likes or needs a large car.
  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,191
    “The key attraction of this car, for me, was the engine, but the first thing I noticed was a lot of torque steer”

    I have 2 primary concerns about the GXP. (Thus still trying to arrange a test drive.)

    1 is headroom / clearance with the factory sunroof. (I tried to find a reasonable position in a CompG recently, with little success.)

    2 is torque steer.

    Exactly when did you notice it? How did it manifest?

    - Ray
    Thinking over 200 miles to test drive a GXP is just a bit excessive . . .
    2022 X3 M40i
  • johnv43johnv43 Member Posts: 9
    Torque steer was noticeable only when a heavy foot was applied. The front end of the car was wiggling left and right, but not enough to move the car out of its lane. In normal driving it is probably not an issue, only in aggresive accelleration. I have a G35 and I am used to standing on it. Headroom for me, at 6"0" tall, was fine. The GXP's are all over the place in west suburban Chicago, so hopefully you'll be able to drive one soon in your area.
  • 442man442man Member Posts: 210
    In my opinion the Tapshift, just like Chyrsler Auto-stick or Infiniti G35 auto-manual mode etc is a gimmick. The car is actually faster 0-60 and 1/4 mile on those cars if you just leave it in D, "drive" and floor it. The computer on the electronically controlled auto tranny shifts faster-more precise then the human driver can. If you want to you can manually shift almost any auto tranny car.

    The problem with the different sized front wheels on GXP will be tire life. Front tires will wear a lot faster, since you can't rotate them.
  • 442man442man Member Posts: 210
    Did they fix the nasty hard slab of a backseat on the 2004 Grand Prix for the GXP? That was quite tight and uncomfortable.

    The backseat in the 2 door GTO is much more comfortable, once you get to it. Rode in backseat of my GTO for 1hr+ highway drive, had 4 people in the car. Much more comfortable almost felt like more legroom then my 2004 Comp G company car had!

    GTO is 37 inches rear legroom, CompG was 36 "
  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,191
    “In my opinion the Tapshift, just like Chyrsler Auto-stick or Infiniti G35 auto-manual mode etc is a gimmick. The car is actually faster 0-60 and 1/4 mile on those cars if you just leave it in D, "drive" and floor it. The computer on the electronically controlled auto tranny shifts faster-more precise then the human driver can. If you want to you can manually shift almost any auto tranny car.”

    Well, it may be a gimmick – for you. I have no problem with that.

    And if / when I actually wanted to record absolute, ultimate 0 – 60 or quarter mile times, I would leave my automatic in “full auto.” mode.

    But here is what my current manumatic does that most other, ‘regular’ automatics cannot do:

    1 – I can pick and hold a specific gear. For example, I can lock my trans. in third gear, and it will not shift. Period. From 0 mph to well over any US speed limit (at least 80 - again, this is in third gear), regardless of throttle position, rpm or vehicle speed. My current Lincoln LS will allow me to start from rest in either third or second or first - and stay in whatever gear I select, until I shift. From 0 to whatever mph = fuel / spark cutoff in that gear. (If placed in fourth or in fifth, it will downshift to first as speed drops below about 5 mph.)

    I use this ‘lock in second or lock in third’ feature often during my evening commute out of Mid-Town Atlanta. No shifting. Plenty of torque to accelerate, since with 6 lanes of stop / start traffic, not much acceleration is required – or possible. No shifts. Smooth.

    My understanding is that the GP will allow second gear start. Second gear on the GXP (by my calculations) is good for approx 98 mph.

    2 – I can force an upshift at less than max. rpm when accelerating at (or close to) WOT.

    I find that many times I enjoy the thrust of full throttle, but choose to shift well before max. rpm / red line, as I am just enjoying myself, not racing. (And for the few times when I am REALLY in a hurry, and want max. rpm shifts, I do leave it in D5. The computer and trans. work together very well under these circumstances to provide a very quick, but not brutal or harsh shift – at exactly the right time.)

    3 – On the highway, at typical freeway speeds of 65 – 80, I can ‘lock’ the trans in fifth gear. Thus, regardless of throttle position, it will not downshift. I will certainly see TCC unlock / lock if I am aggressive with the throttle, but it will not downshift to fourth or third gear.

    4 – I can also hold fourth or fifth at speeds where the automatic would generally downshift one or 2 gears even at light throttle or coasting. As mentioned above, it will allow fourth or fifth to be held down to below 10 mph. In traffic, moving slowly, varying speed somewhat, but not stop and go, this works very well for me.

    Again, I am not suggesting that these specific attributes mean anything to you – just to me. And since manumatic functioning is now appearing on almost anything with sporting intent, regardless of whether or not either a ‘real’ (as in: row through an H pattern) manual and / or a Sequential Manual (as BMW and others are offering) is offered as well. There seems to be a market for this. In fact, one of the few things that surprised me when it did NOT make production on the 2005 V8 Mustang GT (and 2006, it appears) is manumatic function for the automatic. The trans. is the same as in my Lincoln LS . . . Odd.

    Most automatics with a 4 (or D4) or 3 or 2 or 1 position on the trans. shifter gate (or a separate O/D lockout button) will typically allow the trans. to shift as it thinks best among any of the gears up to the number shown. Meaning, in 4 or D4 it will typically shift through 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 as required, just never upshift to fifth. And in 3 it will utilize 1 – 2 – 3, but never 4 (or 5, if the trans. has that many gears) regardless of speed or throttle position.

    And there are variations. I owned a 2002 German 8 cylinder sedan that had the 5-speed Tiptronic. This had 2 specific features that were interesting and useful – to me.

    A – If the maximum rpm was reached in a lower gear, it would upshift even in manumatic mode. (As opposed to bouncing off the rev limiter, as most others will.) And still remain in manumatic mode.

    I found this useful as I could leave it in manumatic mode (as I typically drove it) and if I was accelerating hard in 1 or 2 (tight highway on ramp, for example) and did not perfectly time the upshift, the trans. would do a very good job of upshifting, and I could leave it in manumatic.

    [[ I find the “bounce off the rev limiter” behavior slightly annoying. This appears to be an artifact of the “let’s try to make the automatic behave as close to a manual as possible” school of thought in implementing a manumatic function. If I have my right foot buried and hit max rpm in a gear, it seems to me that I probably do NOT want to stop accelerating. I have likely just been a fraction of a second slow in whacking the lever. Does holding WOT indicate that I would really want to suddenly hang at that speed on the rev limiter? I think not. The rather abrupt transition from rapid acceleration to NO acceleration can certainly upset the dynamic balance. More so, it seems to me, than an upshift would. ]]

    B – It had a “kickdown” switch beneath the throttle. In manumatic mode, it would remain in the chosen gear (not downshift) even with application of full throttle. But if you pushed the pedal BEYOND the full throttle detent, it activated an override switch, and would downshift. Pretty neat, once you became familiar with the behavior.

    And, yes, you can exercise some control over an automatic by selecting the 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 positions. But I find that trying to feel my way through a typical automatic gate pattern is just not nearly as precise or as rewarding as a manumatic. Trying to push from one detent to the next – without overshooting, I find requires far too much concentration - vs just a whack at the trans. shifter or a press of the TAPShift button. And still does not offer all of the advantages listed above. Even the Jaguar’s J-Gate does not really provide a satisfying alternative – for me. And I have driven several Jags with the J-Gate – for many, many miles.

    In fact, regarding Manumatic mode behaviors (and many other similar electronically controlled functions), I would really like to see something like:

    [for driver #1, ID by remote / key] Car asks initially??

    Mr. Driver #1: Do you want the trans. to upshift when shift lever is moved forward? [default behavior] - press 1.

    Prefer the trans. to upshift when the shift lever if moved to the rear? (I believe BMW and others have selected this) – press 2.

    (We are really only talking about interpretation of various electronic signals here – why not allow us choice?)

    Mr. Driver #1, Do you want the trans. to allow the engine to bump off the rev limiter and not upshift? – if so, press 1
    2022 X3 M40i
  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,191
    Well - I "digressed" to long.

    Here is the end of the truncated post:

    Mr. Driver #1, Do you want the trans. to allow the engine to bump off the rev limiter and not upshift? – if so, press 1.

    If you want the trans. to upshift at redline instead – press 2.


    Let us select. Let us make the choice and tailor the vehicle behavior to us – not the reverse . . .

    But I digress.

    And that’s my opinion.

    - Ray
    Preferring the option of additional vehicle control . . .
    2022 X3 M40i
  • 442man442man Member Posts: 210
    ......"Again, I am not suggesting that these specific attributes mean anything to you – just to me. And since manumatic functioning is now appearing on almost anything with sporting intent, regardless of whether or not either a ‘real’"........

    Usually Cars with "REAL" sporting intent offer manual transmissions either std or as an option, like Nissan Maxima, Altima, GTO, Mustang, Corvette etc. Grand Prix is automatic only. Why no manual? Even New 240hp G6 will offer manual.

    Manumatics are still not as good as a real manual shift with a clutch.

    BTW.. the GTO can start in 2nd gear on Automatic. With 400hp/400 torque, still quite fast from 2. But that is only usefull in snow or limited traction situations. 4L65E is a nice tranny, nice firm shifts
  • 442man442man Member Posts: 210
    In a straight line full throttle wide open acceleration the GXP gyrates back and forth on the right and left tires, almost impossible to hold. Too much annoying torque steer for me. Should have been Rear drive then no problem. Only advantage the GXP will have is in the snow with front drive over GTO.

    It was almost as bad as the I35 I drove back in 2002, wheel turning left and right. ANnoying to even floor the car.
  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,191
    “Usually Cars with "REAL" sporting intent offer manual transmissions either std or as an option, like Nissan Maxima, Altima, GTO, Mustang, Corvette etc. Grand Prix is automatic only.”

    I can think of several sedans that (I think one could argue) are quite “sporty”, and offer no manual trans. Every AMG Mercedes. Audi RS6 (now out of production). The Audi A6 4.2 V8. The new Infiniti M45 Sport. The upcoming Supercharged Caddy STS-v. (And I would even include the Jag S-Type R.) Those in this group that I have driven (A6 4.2, M45 Sport and the Jag) were certainly entertaining.

    In the ‘pure sports car’ category, this is more true. But the GXP is more sport sedan than pure sports car.

    “Why no manual? Even New 240hp G6 will offer manual. “

    I believe that the answer here is $$s investment required – compared to perceived market size for a manual trans GXP. The manual trans. in the 240 hp (and TQ: 241) G6 would not handle the 323 TQ of the GXP. No other manual trans. currently available to GM (that would fit the FWD GP) would handle that TQ level. Tooling 1 from scratch just for a relatively low volume (I expect) GXP would mean expecting a large percentage of manual trans. equipped GXPs to be sold. I do not think that is likely. GM apparently agrees. Some are disappointed. I am not.

    “Manumatics are still not as good as a real manual shift with a clutch. “

    Well, in some respects, that is true.

    Yet, for those of us who need (or desire) to drive an automatic, these various manumatic implementations offer a better and better compromise. And in my slog home in 0 – 5 – 0 – 10 – 0 mph Friday PM traffic, no “real manual with a clutch” will allow me the alternative to ‘stick it in Drive’ and smoothly motor along with no left leg involved.


    - Ray
    Still looking for an opportunity to drive one . . .
    2022 X3 M40i
  • 442man442man Member Posts: 210
    I prefer an automatic myself, esp with traffic in my area, upper NJ, near NY City. 85% of Cars sold in this country are Automatic, only 15% are manual shift.

    Interesting thing is that 50% of ALL GTO's sold are Automatic tranny. 50% Manual and 50% Auto is the ratio.

    The best part is that the automatic GTO is FASTER then the manual shift, 0-60 and 1/4 mile. By only 1/10th.

    The Caddy STS-V will offer a manual as an option most likely.
  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,191
    Executive Summary: I like it. A lot. I want one. I may buy this one - as early as this weekend.

    Background / Context: I currently drive a 2003 Lincoln LS V8 Sport. 5-speed automatic with TAP Shift-like manumatic function. RWD. 3.9L - 280 HP / 286 TQ and weight around 3800. Previous 2 cars were AWD and RWD. One reason I really wanted to drive the GXP is that I have not driven a FWD performance car in several years . .

    I am looking for a new replacement that is:

    0.5 - Fun to drive. Entertaining

    1 - Sedan – for occasional 1 or 2 additional passengers and better visibility than most “sports cars”.

    2 – Manumatic.

    3 – Comfortable.

    4 – Reasonable cruising range.

    5 – Reasonably priced.

    6+ . . A few other desirable but negotiable features . .

    I have been looking for a GXP available to drive close to Atlanta since the official release. Closest one to me as of last night (actually at a dealer lot, not in transit) was in Augusta – over 100 miles away.

    So, since it was equipped close to what I’d order, I decided to contact their Internet Guy and drove down yesterday PM for a test.

    Car: Graystone. Leather / Suede (PCH). Premium Audio (PVJ). Sunroof (CF5). XM (U2K). Auto Dual Zone A/C (CJ2). Remote Start (AP3). List: $33K even. Invoice: $30,178. . .

    I arrived at the Dealer (Master) after 2+ hours on the road at just after 4:30 PM yesterday afternoon. The sales guy (OK guy, overall – for a sales guy) and I crawled all over it inside and out. I took a few pictures.

    I had asked that the car be closed up and not run for a while, if possible, to test the A/C. It was sunny and 80+ degrees – and the inside of the car was hot. Precisely as I wanted. To test the A/C cooldown. I asked the sales guy to start it, and headed back to put my digital camera back in my car.

    When he fired it up, the exhaust bark and burble stopped my in my tracks. “Now that sounds good!”

    At this point (sadly) it was about 5 o’clock. And Augusta has lots of traffic. (sigh) But I did drive it for about 20 minutes. Since I must currently spend some significant time slogging through HotLanta traffic, this was actually a useful exercise. And I did have about 5 minutes of freeway run, at 65 – 75 mph.

    Impressions of:

    Car appearance / Exterior – The Graystone metallic paint is impressive in depth. Looks well applied. Pity they will not have this color for 2006. Styling changes vs CompG suit me very well. The wheels and tires and wheel / fender well gap work OK for me. Exterior = acceptable.

    Interior – Every aspect of the driving environment also works well for me. I had expressed concern regarding headroom earlier on this forum, based on a couple of minutes trying to find a comfortable position in a CompG with sunroof. At 6’-0”, I was struggling to achieve a position that would allow easy TAP Shift access and still allow me enough headroom for comfort. This time, I was able to adjust things reasonably quickly. No issue. Everything works well, ergonomically, for me. Controls are acceptable in placement and feel. The HUD with gear position is a very nice touch. The seats (as well as I can judge in such a brief drive) seemed like they would be supportive and comfortable for my typical driving. Interior = acceptable.

    I drove only with the radio off, the sunroof at vent (sunscreen open only an inch or so), but not retracted back – and one rear window open an inch or so. With the exception of the radio, this is typically how I drive year round, preferring fresh air with heat or A/C adjusted to comfort. I wanted to focus on the car, not the stereo. The A/C did cool the interior well – and the suede inserts felt fine, probably preferable for me compared to all leather.

    Driving – By far, my 2 most acute & lasting impressions are of the exhaust and the Torque. I will try not to repeat too much of what has been posted here before. The exhaust is just perfect for me. I have no interest in setting off my neighbors’ car alarms when I start it up in my garage early on workday mornings. The GXP’s V8 rumble and heterodyne “beat” were always there during my around town driving (0 – 45 / 50) and is just lovely. Perfect. No need for me to address this with aftermarket equipment. For a daily (every day) driver, I would not want it any louder. I prefer to clearly hear V8 exhaust, but little or no mechanical, engine ‘thrash’. No other extraneous noises noted. Check.

    The Torque is always there, and provides just the sort of effortless acceleration I am looking for. Check.

    Driving = (more than) acceptable.
    more . . .
    2022 X3 M40i
  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,191
    Ride – My impression is that the ride is not much different than my Lincoln. My LS has 50 series Michelins and a relatively aggressive tuning of dampers, springs and bushings. (OK, very aggressive, for a Lincoln!) And the GXP was much the same. Always well damped and composed, aware of the surface and what the wheels were doing, but not intrusively so. The harshness was within acceptable limits. Really only noticeable when encountering broken pavement or concrete slab expansion joints / seams. Ride = acceptable.

    Handling – Due to conditions, I was not able to give this aspect much of a workout. Ultimate cornering Gs are something I do not attempt to explore with a dealer sales guy in the right seat anyway. I trust other reports that indicate it will be fine for me.

    Brakes – Again, I was not even interested in probing their limits here. I believe that they will work great. In typical conditions, they were smooth and intuitive.

    Acceleration – Oh, boy. With the constant background accompaniment of the bass exhaust, there was plenty of acceleration for any situation I can envision. I expect that some will “need” another 50 or more HP. For me, for now, 303 / 323 (in a 3600 pound car) will do nicely, thank you. I did not run this green engine (arrived on their lot a couple of days ago) hard. I do not think I exceeded 4,500 RPM. I did run WOT – a lot. Just not high RPM. I may buy this particular example. And I certainly was able to make smooth, quick progress without resorting to high RPM.

    I experienced no torque steer in turning and accelerating at moderate (say 35 – 75%) throttle on dry pavement. I did not try full throttle while turning at low speed. And there was no opportunity to evaluate behavior on low friction surfaces.

    TAP Shift – This feature worked much better than I remember in the early 2004 CompG I test drove. Trans. shifts up and down were generally well managed – most noticeable aspect was the RPM rise / drop. Shifts were quick and firm but not harsh.

    I do have one question here. The only “anomaly” I noticed in my drive was an odd behavior on the highway portion. At 60 or so I have an opportunity to floor the throttle in M / 4. The expected TCC unlock and RPM rise smoothly occurred. Then, after a couple of seconds, the TCC locked – RPM dropped – and a few seconds later the TCC unlocked again. My foot was flat on the floor through it all (maybe 10 seconds?). Smooth enough, but very odd. Anyone else see anything like this??? I would not expect the TCC to lock again until I backed out of the throttle. . .

    Steering – Precise, poised, relaxed, stable. In all my 20 minutes or so of driving, my sense was that the all the various aspects of the chasses dynamics worked in harmony. This seems like a car I could enjoy even when stuck in traffic or driving (as I sometimes do) 6+ hours at a time.

    Visibility – The rear view mirrors are well placed and sized to allow confident monitoring of traffic.

    Do I sound like a commercial? Sorry. I am very impressed with the thought and effort and development that clearly went into this GXP. A car with no significant flaws (for me) – at a base price of $30K. Remarkable.

    Radio / XM – After we returned from the drive, I asked for a “tour” of the radio, particularly XM, as I was not very familiar with it. (I also wanted to continue sitting in the seat – to help me judge longer term comfort and support. I was impressed with several aspects of the XM system. A couple that stood out – constant traffic & weather reports for major metro areas. One annoyance with trying to obtain traffic info in my driving around Atlanta is that even severe tie-ups are typically reported only once every 10 minutes or so. And only during ‘rush hours’. This particular feature may help me at times. Also – they broadcast all Major League Baseball games – and have the ability to (for instance) display the score and inning info. on the radio screen. Pretty cool stuff. And overall, probably worth the subscription cost for me.

    One small correction / clarification: The Window Sticker shows EPA = 18 / 27 (brochure shows 17 / 28 - odd?)

    I have not had a GM car since my ’97 GTP. Unless something completely unexpected happens, it looks like this will be my next one.

    - Ray
    Ready to negotiate . . .
    2022 X3 M40i
  • bigdaddycoatsbigdaddycoats Member Posts: 1,058
    Great review.
  • robh3robh3 Member Posts: 157
    Hello ladies and gentlemen.

    Forgive me if any of my questions have already been addresses in any postings more than 20 or so prior to this one...

    1) Does the GXP REQUIRE premium fuel? Or, is it "suggested for maximum performance", and you can run it on 87 octane? If you know for sure, please advise.

    2) I've noted the wider front wheel that has been engineered into the design of the GXP. From an engineering and driving dynamics standpoint, would there/should there be a problem if after-market wheels and tires where used on this vehicle with the same size on all four corners (same size as the factory front wheels)? What problems, if any, will arise with this wheel/tire configuration?

    I drove a Comp G at the Auto Show in Motion two years ago and was very impressed with the power and the tap shift. However, with one exception (my first car) I have always owned and driven V8's. I am really a Cadillac fan deep down, but the GXP has caught my attention due to the V8 power and seemingly getting a lot of car for the money. The Caddy STS's are simply too expensive any more (to get one with the options I would want), and the GXP is faster than the CTS, and $10k less loaded.

  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,191
    The GXP brochure says:
    "(92 octane recommended)"
    - Ray
    Who cannot imagine using anything except Premium - barring an emergency . . .
    2022 X3 M40i
  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,191
    “GXP has caught my attention due to the V8 power and seemingly getting a lot of car for the money.”

    I agree. At an actual transaction price for a relatively “loaded” GXP ($33K) – meaning everything but the NAV and side curtain air bags – of below $30K, I think this is a bargain. If what it offers is what you want and need.

    “The Caddy STS's are simply too expensive any more (to get one with the options I would want), and the GXP is faster than the CTS, and $10k less loaded.”

    I drove the first 1SE and the first 1SF STS V8s to arrive at my Caddy dealer last Fall. These strike me as good cars, priced like Caddy feels they have proven themselves to be producing great cars. And like they expect the classic (for many, many years) steep depreciation of their products has been reversed overnight. (I also have some ‘issues’ with how they bundle options, etc.)

    That attitude will not earn my business. And an STS V8 is well established as a 14.2 sec. (1SF or 1SG – high $50Ks MSRP) to 14.5 sec. (1SE $50Kish – recent C+D) quarter mile machine. Although Motor Trend is the only published source I am aware of today, their 14.3 second quarter (and other numbers in above posts) suggests that the GXP is certainly competitive in acceleration.

    Although one could certainly argue that the LS4 5.3L V8 in the GXP is ‘low tech’ compared to the 4.6L Northstar in the STS, I do find it quite interesting to overlay the Torque and HP curves of these 2 motors. The LS4 does have a few less peak HP (303 @ 5600) vs the Northstar (320 @ 6400) and the Northstar has a higher red line, if one cares about such things. But the GXP motor actually has more peak Torque (323 vs 315 – both peak at 4400 rpm) and the LS4 develops significantly more Torque at 2000 rpm (300 vs 265), 3000 rpm (310 vs 275), 4000 rpm (320 vs 295) and even past peak at 5000 rpm (310 vs 305). With DoD and an EPA highway estimate of 27 mpg, this looks like a pretty good motor to me. It also behaved in a thoroughly refined manner at all times in my test drive.

    [[ Aside: And I still do not believe that the 1SF and 1SG versions of the V8 STS actually achieve the EPA estimated highway fuel mileage of 26 MPG. The 1SE with its 2.73:1 (significantly less aggressive) final drive, OK. Not the others. Posts on other forums appear to substantiate this. My view is that Caddy is somehow ‘working the system’ by posting the same 26 MPG highway number for essentially identical vehicles with 18% (or more) higher rpm at cruise due to 3.23 or 3.42:1 final drive ratios in the 1SF and 1SG. With their additional equipment, the 1SF and 1SG also weigh slightly more. ]]

    And the GXP is hundreds of pounds lighter than the STS V8. So if responsiveness in acceleration and in handling is important, the GXP will likely, generally feel quicker in its responses to driver input.

    I am not suggesting that the STS offers nothing useful over a GXP. Not at all. But if you do not really want (or need) all of what the STS does offer, it is probably not worth an additional $15K+ for an STS V8.

    The biggest difference from a dynamic standpoint is likely the FWD vs RWD. But under 99% of my driving, I am convinced that Pontiac has engineered the GXP to be both well behaved and entertaining.

    - Ray
    Ready to ‘deal’ . . .
    2022 X3 M40i
  • bigdaddycoatsbigdaddycoats Member Posts: 1,058
    Ray -

    After your test drive report, I had a little time to kill, so I went and drove one.

    I would tend to agree with everything you said. The exhaust note is fantastic - reminds me a lot of my 04 GTO. I found the seat to be very comfortable and held me in place nicely. The ride was very controlled and compliant. The acceleration was great. At any speed, just give it some gas and it goes.

    The model I drove was just over $33k. With my GM discount and rebates, I imagine I could have it for right around $28,000. I would say that would be a great price. I would not get the sunroof. As with most cars it takes up to much precious headroom for me.

    It is obvious that GM did a good job on this one. I now further understand why the Bonneville is being discontinued.

    On a side note, Edmunds will have a GXP June 6-13th.
  • bigdaddycoatsbigdaddycoats Member Posts: 1,058
    The STS is nice, but overpriced. And the way Cadillac bundles options is ridiculous.
  • robh3robh3 Member Posts: 157
    Great insight. I leased two '90's vintage STS's ('94 and '99) and loved them both (actually liked the '94 better in many ways), but I was living in CA at the time and they were more of a bargain back then, especially under a lease. Now I live in Boston where FWD is more of an issue to consider (for snow), and I intend to buy this time vs. lease, so I need to be more realistic about the bottom line price. ...Still want a V8, hence my interest in the GXP. I also want OnStar and XM radio. So, GM is the way to go.

    Also, while the Consumer Reports write-up for the Grand Prix is less than flattering, when you look at their actual ratings (the red/black circles), the 2004 GP has all top ratings (filled-in red circles) in every category! It seems, according to their tests, it's a quality car!

    I'm still curious about the wheel/tire question. I wonder if the same size wheel/tire as in front will fit in the back (without scraping the fender wells, etc., and what other "issues" it may cause (significantly more road noise, rear tire slap over expansion joints, wheel hop, noticeable gas mileage degredation, degredation in handling, etc. etc.)? I would imagine that a lot of the answer(s) to these questions has to do with the specific tires, so any suggestions in that regard would be nice.

    My idea would be to work into any deal I'd make to have the dealer put Blizzaks or another snow tire on the factory wheels (an even exchange for the factory tires) and then I'd get a set of 4 custom wheels and tires to use during the warmer months.

  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,191
    “Also, while the Consumer Reports write-up for the Grand Prix is less than flattering, when you look at their actual ratings (the red/black circles), the 2004 GP has all top ratings (filled-in red circles) in every category! It seems, according to their tests, it's a quality car!”

    Not exactly sure what you are looking at re: The Consumer Reports reliability ratings vs their test ratings are quite different. The Reliability ratings are derived from their annual subscriber survey results.

    “The base V6 version has excellent reliability, but reliability of the supercharged model is poor.” - CR

    Their published test results show ‘filled-in red circles’ ONLY for the ‘Controls and Displays’ catagory.

    Their summary “REPORT CARD –
    Highs: Controls. Lows: Ride, braking, access, driving position, visibility, rear seat, fuel economy.” - CR

    As I may have posted here – and / or on the ‘regular’ Edmunds Grand Prix board, my daughter and I rented a GTP last October. I have not ever driven a non-supercharged 3800. I owned a ’97 GTP. The ’04 GTP drove well and rode reasonably well in over 300 miles (2 days = weekend) driving around Colorado Springs and up through Rocky Mountain National Park. The GXP rides better, handles better (stops better, accelerates [way] better, etc.) than the GTP versions – even the CompG.

    Regarding the specific ‘Lows’ cited by CR:

    Rear seat. As long as medium sized humans can ride for short periods in the back seat, that is all I really require. Not a high priority, for me.

    Ride. Given the handling ability, I believe that the ride is an excellent compromise. YMMV.

    The GXP brakes are reported to be outstanding

    Access? I have no issues with climbing in or out of the front or back seats.

    Driving position. As I mentioned in my Test Report above, I did have a concern regarding headroom with the factory sunroof. I was able to find a very comfortable driving position.

    Visibility. The only issue I had here was the (huge) Monroney window sticker that blocked most of my view over my left shoulder during freeway merge and lane changes. I was actually pleased with the size and position of the 3 mirrors. And I can certainly see well to the front. And the HUD is very cool . . .

    Fuel economy. Well, 18 / 27 sounds very good to me. Again, given the acceleration performance, I don’t see anything comparable that would deliver better. . .

    One point here is simply that although the ‘base’ Grand Prix and GXP share structure and substantial components, I am confident that the driving dynamics will be wildly different.

    I have no idea why the Supercharged variants would be so much worse than the ‘regular’ 3800 equipped versions – I have not seen where CR is specific about what areas cause them to present such a dramatically different overall reliability rating. Seems odd to me, given the amount of common components, etc.

    - Ray
    Waiting for the Sales Guy to contact me . . .
    2022 X3 M40i
  • robh3robh3 Member Posts: 157
    Ray, you're correct, I was referring to the CR Apr '05 'Annual Auto Issue, page 91 where it lists reliabilty ratings. The 2005 GP aces all categories. Would presume the same for the '05 GP, and it's a good omen for the GXP, althought obviously we are not taking about many different components (engine, suspension, etc.).

    I'm going to the Boston area Auto Show in Motion on Sunday and I'm hoping and presuming that there will be a GXP there I can see and drive.

  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,191
    "I'm going to the Boston area Auto Show in Motion on Sunday and I'm hoping and presuming that there will be a GXP there I can see and drive. "

    And please post your impressions?
    - Ray
    Not seeing local GXP price negotiations moving as expected / hoped - yet . . .
    2022 X3 M40i
  • justgreat47justgreat47 Member Posts: 100
    any help with any of the following would be appreciated: are the block and heads on the 5.3 aluminum? will HID headlights be offered in 06? and does the DOD work both in cruising mode at highway speeds and for idling around town? the info supplied on the pontiac site says DOD will operate in both modes. thanks in advance. jackg 90seville 97k
  • 14871487 Member Posts: 2,407
    The LS4 is aluminum and HIDS will not be offered in the '06 model, but I do believe it will get projector beam headlights which could be switched out for aftermarket HIDS. I believe DOD opperates mostly when cruising at higher speeds but I could be wrong.

    Based on the MT test and what others have said here it seems the GXP outperforms almost any FWD car in this price range. I would like to see a test comparing the GXP to the Altima Se-R.
  • iwantonetooiwantonetoo Member Posts: 86
    I went to the auto show at Gillette Stadium on Sunday too. I drove the GXP and I was pretty impressed with it too. Granted it was a short test drive on a closed course, but to me the steering felt much better and more linear than the GTO I drove over the same course and I didn't notice any torque steer under these limited conditions.

    I'm not too sure about the sunroof though. I'm only 5'10 and headroom was tight when I got into a comfortable driving position. I would have gotten back in line to try it again, but I had to drvie the Corvette. I'm still smiling!
  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,191
    One further note about the Consumer Reports ‘Low’ of Braking.

    My sense, after a lot or reading over the years, is that today, a (dry, clean, smooth pavement) brake test is largely a tire test.

    By that I mean that nearly any competent, current brake system is capable of overpowering / locking the wheels / tires. And holding them locked for the duration of a single stop from any likely US cruising speed. No big deal, and NOT the shortest stopping strategy.

    More important is that current ABS brake systems are capable of holding the tires at close to the threshold of lockup for that same stop.

    This means that the limiting factor in the typical published brake test is actually the tires ability to grip the surface. And the ability of the ABS to deal with the different (and changing) weight distribution between front and rear – and the rather violent weight transfer inherent in a simulated ‘panic’ stop.

    True, the suspension’s ability to keep the tire tread relatively flat against the road surface is an issue – but this is not nearly the challenge that exists when a vehicle is called upon to turn and brake at the same time, traverse bumps or broken pavement, etc. while simultaneously providing maximum braking without any wheels / tires locking.

    In the case of the GT2 Grand Prix tested by Consumer Reports in Jan ’04, it was equipped with pretty low performance tires – the Goodyear Eagle LS (stands for: Luxury Sport). These tires are biased much more toward low rolling resistance (greater mpg), quiet tread, long life, etc. From Tirerack: “ . . a heavy design emphasis on a smooth, quiet, disturbance-free ride.” And, oh by the way, it is relatively inexpensive, at least compared to more performance oriented tires.


    And many people prefer this emphasis. Simply replacing these tires with the same size in a more aggressive tire, with grip a higher priority, would likely produce significantly reduced stopping distances in this test. And likely in any other braking test, controlled conditions or ‘real world’. At a higher cost and with a sacrifice in ride, noise, tread life and / or all of the above. OEM tires on many, many ‘mainstream’ cars (the Grand Prix is clearly designed to sell in volume) provide similar low performance tires, for the same reasons.

    In fact, many tires will actually stop better in this particular, single test when well worn, as the tread will not ‘squirm’ as much. And for the same reason, many tires would stop even better with NO tread remaining. Though, clearly, it would be amazingly dangerous to drive under virtually any other conditions.

    The GXP has significantly upgraded tires, as well as brakes. The brakes (with a stiffer caliper, as well as larger, cross drilled rotors) will likely have less effect in a single stop than the tires. The GXP’s Bridgestone tires are much more aggressively biased toward grip in braking and handling - and they are also wider.

    In typical daily driving, the brake system improvements would likely show more in consistent feel and precision in application. I expect that they would really shine in more severe situations, like descending Pikes Peak – if your daily commute includes that route. Or when repeated high G stops are required with minimal cool down.

    Anyway, I have no concerns about ultimate braking in a GXP.

    - Ray
    Waiting for GXPs to arrive in the SouthEast in significant numbers . . .
    2022 X3 M40i
  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,191
    "On a side note, Edmunds will have a GXP June 6-13th. "

    Where did you see that?
    Is there a list of upcoming / inbound / future test cars I can't seem to see?
    - Ray
    Wondering if any of the other 3 'major' US car magazines will publish test numbers for the GXP . . .
    2022 X3 M40i
  • bigdaddycoatsbigdaddycoats Member Posts: 1,058
    Edmunds editor Karl has a discussion board and I asked him.
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Everyone is welcome: Karl's Daily Log Book
  • rayainswrayainsw Member Posts: 3,191
    bigdaddycoats / pat HOST:
    Thanks - now THAT is an interesting thread / forum.
    I want to review a few pages back, but I certainly have a few questions to post there . . .
    - Ray
    Not a Professional Test Driver, but . . .
    2022 X3 M40i
  • bigdaddycoatsbigdaddycoats Member Posts: 1,058
    Yes, it is very interesting. Very cool that we can have access to an editor and that he responds to our questions and comments.
  • robh3robh3 Member Posts: 157
    The Auto Show In Motion (at Gillette Stadium) was fun (because I love cars), however I felt it was the worst one I have ever been to, and I have been going to them since 1998. The driving tracks are getting shorter and shorter, to the point where it's really not worth it since the time behind the wheel is so short and you barely get to 2nd gear. Plus, the lines this time were the longest ever, and once you got into a car there was a bottleneck getting up to the starting line. It all made the so-called "drive" very anti-climactic.

    Well, I did get to see and drive the GXP. I do like the car, and will have to take one for a more extensive test drive. I put it into TapShift mode. One concern is that there seemed to be what I can only describe as a drivetrain "lag". I never got out of first gear (Note short track mentioned above), but I did hop on the gas pedal coming out of corners, and it seemed like the engine would rev up before the driveline would "engage", causing a delay in power to the wheels, and a clunking sort of noise and a jerking action. Perhaps this was just this particular early production specimen, I'll have to see.

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