News Column

Pontiac G6 GT: A Thoroughly Modern Throwback

May 30, 2008

Ralph Gray

Pontiac G6 GT

The Pontiac G6 GT is a throwback--it's a good old-fashioned hot rod convertible, but with a big difference: The updated G6 comes with a modern folding hardtop that opens and closes in half a minute. That produces a weather-tight coupe as well as the top-down beach swinger.

With the G6 in closed up configuration, the trunk has 12.6 cubic feet of luggage space. With the top down, that shrinks to 2.2 cubic feet. That's the price of the hardtop and worth it for snugness alone.

Instead of a big, heavy V-8 engine, the G6 boasts a 3.9L V-6 of 222 horsepower. That's enough to cheerfully chirp the driving front wheels.

GM calls the suspension setup "touring" rather than sports car. That means the G6 is more at home on the straightaway than in the curves.

The 222 horses make for peppy starts while on the away to a very average 0 to 60 mph of 8.5 seconds.

The four-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly but more gears would help the pickup and fuel economy.

While the mpg numbers are 15 city and 22 on the road that's for the 3.9L V-6. There's a 3.5L V-6 of 217 horsepower that ups that to 17 city and 26 on the road.

The seats are heavily bolstered, leather, six-way power and low. Be prepared to lower the body slowly into position. Side mirrors could be larger.

The three-spoke steering wheel is good and thick, and there are two round knobs for the radio--talk about retro.

There are other niceties like a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, adjustable pedals and simulated wood trim.

The best amenity: Let the sun shine in.

Pontiac G6 GT Convertible Pontiac G6 GT Convertible

•Engine: 3.5L V-6, 3.9L1.V-6.

•Dimensions: 112.3" wheelbase; 189.1" length.

•Base price: $30,560/tested $32,490.

•Fuel economy: 15/22 mpg.

Source: (c) 2008. All rights reserved.

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