New Car Review
1995 PONTIAC GRAND PRIX SEDAN
by: BILL RUSS
SEE ALSO:Pontiac Buyer's Guide
The Pontiac Grand Prix celebrates its 32nd birthday this year. It arrived on the scene in 1962 as a high-powered hard-top sports coupe. Back then Pontiac was king of the stock car racing circuit and the tie-in worked well for them. Up until the fuel crunch of the seventies American sports cars were big, and powerful, and Pontiac buyers had several engines from which to choose. In those days, depending upon the buyers's decision, the available horsepower ranged from 303 up to a fire- breathing 430. In the eighties innovative design and engineering techniques brought back a lot of the interior space and power that had been lost by downsizing cars and engines in the interests of fuel economy. Up until 1989 the Grand Prix was only available as a coupe, but for the 1990 model year a new V-6 powered four-door family sports-oriented sedan successfully entered the arena. Each year its popularity has increased to the point that it is now one of the top-selling Pontiac nameplates. Driving Excitement is increased in the highly optioned GT sedan with its 210 horsepower, twin-cam, V-6 engine plus many convenience and safety items. We travelled the interstates and back roads in a variety of driving conditions to get the real feel of the most powerful Grand Prix four-door sedan.
APPEARANCE: The aerodynamic styling of the Grand Prix SE sedan is made to look even more so when the special GT packaging is ordered. Among other things this value-priced option adds to the exterior are distinctive front headlight and bumper treatment, stylish and protective side body cladding, 5-blade cast aluminum wheels, Goodyear Eagle P225/60R16 tires, split dual stainless steel exhaust, hood louvers and "24-Valve V6" badging on the front fenders. The large cabin is accented by lots of tinted glass, a low window sill line and a bright monochrome paint finish. The Grand Prix GT sedan has the look of performance.
COMFORT: The GT version of the Grand Prix SE sedan offers almost every comfort and convenience item in the Pontiac parts bins. The seats, windows, mirrors and locks are powered for easy adjustment. GM's Delco AM/FM/cassette sound system not only provides excellent fidelity, but can be easily adjusted while driving with remote controls located on the leather-wrapped steering wheel. The heater/air conditioner maintains a comfortable cabin temperature in a wide variety of climatic conditions. Standard features include improved beverage holders, a state-of-the-art cruise control system, an interior night lighting system that backlights all instruments and controls in red, a remote keyless entry system, a spacious flat trunk with a pass-through to the back seat and a cargo net. A comfortable powered multi-adjustable drivers' bucket seat is part of the GT package.
SAFETY: Each Pontiac Grand Prix GT is equipped with dual front air bags, remote steering wheel radio controls, anti-lock and four-wheel disc brakes, Pass-Key theft deterrent system, remote lock/unlock, an energy-absorbing steering column and a standard second gear start to enhance starting on slippery road surfaces. Three point seat belts are at each outboard seating position.
ROADABILITY: When ordered with the GT package the SE sedan is equipped with Pontiac's Y-99 sport four-wheel independent suspension package which includes stiffer springs, shocks, and front and rear stabilizer bars. Other features aiding its excellent handling are variable effort power steering for easier control whether parking or maneuvering, H-rated Goodyear performance tires, and four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. These factors insure a firm but stable and tractable ride in a variety of road surface and weather conditions. Near flush glass, improved weatherstripping and insulation insure a quiet ride on most road surfaces. All-around vision is excellent.
PERFORMANCE: GM's 3.4 liter, twin cam, 24-valve, sequential port fuel injected V-6 engine powers the Grand Prix SE with the GT option. This agile engine now develops 210 horsepower using 87-octane fuel. Hydra-Matic's well-proven electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission smoothly delivers power to the front wheels. With the additional performance of the 3.4 liter engine the Grand Prix can climb almost any grade and adroitly maneuver through traffic with power to spare. Its dual stainless steel exhaust pipes are tuned to emit a healthy V-engine rumble.
CONCLUSIONS: This latest Grand Prix GT four-door sports sedan reasonably provides a viable combination of comfort, safety, convenience and performance. Also, it is a well-balanced package that offers a quiet, safe ride, with the power and handling potential to handle emergency situations.
1995 PONTIAC GRAND PRIX GT SEDAN
Base Price $ 18,079 Price As Tested $ 18,604 Engine Type V-6, dohc, 24-v, spfi Engine Size 3.4 liter/207 cid Horsepower 210 @ 5000 Torque (ft/lbs) 215 @ 4000 Wheelbase/Length 107"/195" Transmission 4-speed auto w/od Curb Weight 3320 Pounds per Horsepower 16 Fuel Capacity 17 Fuel Requirement Unleaded regular (87 octane) Tire Goodyear Eagle GT P225/60R 16 M+S Brake anti-lock standard disc/disc Drive Train front engine, front drive PERFORMANCE EPA Economy - miles per gallon, city/highway/observed 17/27/21.1 0 to 60 mph 8.8 sec 1/4 mi (E.T.) 16.5 sec Coefficient of drag (cd) .33