30th Sep 2005, 15:29

There is not too much difference between the two. The GT has the "ram-air" air intake, which is more about marketing than performance. The GT has a higher final drive ratio in the transmission, slightly larger diameter exhaust pipe, softer springs and stiffer shocks, different tail lights, larger sway bars, and generally a higher trim level in the interior. Also you may find that you pay a higher insurance premium to have the GT on the back of the car. If you bought an SE with the 3.4, put a cold air intake on it, upgraded shocks and exhaust, the difference would be hard to notice. Besides, all SE's after '02 had those ugly ribs removed and look better than the GT IMO.

Hope this helps some. Go to gaownersclub.com and search your question. It will provide a much more detailed answer than I have.

30th Sep 2005, 15:32

Basically, the difference is that the SE is a 2.2 4 cylinder, the SE1 has a V6, and the SE2 is a V6 model loaded including the Monsoon stereo package and a sunroof (Everything, but the GT options).

Of course, it seems that GM picks the badging and options at random sometimes.

1st Oct 2005, 12:03


So far so good... My Grand Am has just had its 40 000 km maintenance completed and all is still going well. Other than performing the scheduled regular maintenance and adding a few accessories, like tint and upgrading the wheels, this car has cost me nothing in repairs. Gas consumption has improved with time, as well. I've gotten as high as 40 mpg on the highway and it averages about 22 mpg around town. I'm quite pleased with my Grand Am.

10th Feb 2006, 22:24

2004 SE1s can be equipped with the Ecotec 4-cylinder as well (I own one, with a 5-speed.) From what I've seen, SE1s equipped with the V6 were usually fleet cars -- either rental cars or corporate transports.

Oddly, there isn't that much of a real-world difference in performance, or fuel economy, with either engine. If anything, the six is more economical on the highway.

27th Feb 2006, 10:52

I guess the posting above was correct: The options and designations can seem random at times. I guess the only sure thing is that a GT doesn't have a 4 cyl.

10th May 2006, 08:24

I also have a SE1, and oddly enough, it was a rental car. That is weird that the above poster knew that. LOL.

20th Aug 2006, 14:20

I'm glad to hear that you like your Grand Am and that your mileage has improved. I own a 2001 Grand Am SE-1 with the old "Quad 4" engine, which is a much more powerful and more reliable engine than the newer Eco-tech 4, but a bit noisier under full power. I've driven the newer 3.4 V-6's and there really isn't much difference in power between them and the older Quad 4's, nor is there much difference in fuel mileage from what I hear. The Eco-tech 4 has nowhere near the power and acceleration of my car, so I'm glad I own an older one. I tried out one and was amazed at how much less power it had. It's only rated 5 hp less, but in the real world it feels more like about 50 less. As for the engine winding up really high before shifting, don't worry, it WON'T blow up. It just sounds that way but there is a rev-limiter that will keep it from revving too high.

12th Oct 2006, 23:30

Final update: Unfortunately my Grand Am has now come to the end of it's life, victimized by a drunk driver. Luckily, it was parked at the time and I was nowhere near it. The final tally: 66 500km, repair costs: $0. The car worked great, and its only trips to a garage were for scheduled maintenance. The car never let me down. My only grief is depreciation. With rental fleets dumping so many of these cars onto the used car circle, the resale value takes a beating. I now have a '07 Saturn Vue to evaluate: stay tuned for postings on that one.

15th Jul 2008, 18:23

The SE1 has the option of getting the 3.4L V6. This engine doesn't have the best kick for a V6 but it definitely has better mileage on the highway than a 4 cyl. I find its acceleration decreases significantly around the 110 km/h mark but it still only runs at about 2000RPMS at 120km/h once you get there.

I too had and unfortunate incident with a moving truck hitting my parked car. Surprisingly it was only $3500 to fix and covered by insurance. It took out back driver side door, tail light, trunk, and that piece between the door and trunk (can't think of name at the moment)