2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GT 3.8 from North America

Summary:

Like Christine, it refuses to die

Faults:

All four wheel bearings have worn out, and you have to replace the whole hub. No big deal, they're $80 apiece.

Heat/AC blower motor failing starting around 160k. Have to slap underneath the dash to get it to kick on.

Broken sway bar link.

Leaky power steering hose.

Other than that, have done nothing but a trans fluid and filter, oil changes, and a new set of tires.

General Comments:

The first word that comes to mind is Reliable. Dead reliable. More reliable than the tides, or the sunrise. This car has never failed to start and has never broken down, which is very impressive considering my negligence and abuse. I've thrashed this car on a daily basis for eight years and 125 thousand miles now. Two years ago I began to lust after the Dodge Magnums, but my wife said I can only get a new car when this one completely dies. Naturally I've been actively trying to destroy it ever since, but it seems to be the automotive version of Rocky Balboa. "He's like a piece of iron."

It does have an overall cheap sort of feel. Not that it's all loose and rattly or feels like it's coming apart, just that materials that comprise the interior are kind of low grade. GT seats are very supportive though, and I find the ergonomics to be good. Steering and road feel are also good. Definitely not a sports car, but, "sporty." The 3.8 V6 is no powerhouse, but it does have excellent low end torque and more than enough juice for passing maneuvers. And even with my heavy right foot I get around 25 MPG (mostly highway driving.)

Overall I like it because it is big, easy and cheap to work on, and apparently indestructible. One of the few remaining unashamedly American cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th November, 2014

2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GT2 3.8LV6 from North America

Summary:

Was great, now it's okay...

Faults:

After buying it used from the dealership, for the first four years we enjoyed the car. But I have always disliked the electronic throttle system (GM should have stayed with the regular wire). At first I didn't mind it, because the transmission was always smooth. But needless to say, it causes so much downshifting, as it always wants to be at a low RPM.

So eventually my transmission started slipping at 156,000kms... I maintained this car from the inside out, and I did not expect this, since owning a 94 and 98 Grand Prix's prior to this 04. I am not sure what caused the transmission failure, but I've never had transmission problems this early in a GP. So I drove the car until I couldn't take any more of the hard shifting, and eventually got my mechanic to change the transmission. This was the biggest downfall of the car. The rebuilt transmission is okay. It's not as smooth as it once was before.

To add, the engine burns oil. Furthermore, it seems like I am changing the sway bar links constantly...

In the summer, I get "Charging system failure" when it's really hot out when idling; maybe the alternator is going out, who knows. Everything checks out okay after many tests.

Back seats are uncomfortable. They are flat. The previous Grand Prix's seats were much better. But I like the option that they fold down on this model.

The car has never left me stranded. The only major repair was the transmission. Other than that, the car is reliable.

In my opinion I feel the previous generation 97-02 GP'S were better built cars. Minus the cheap looking plastic material used in the interiors.

General Comments:

Overall, the car handles good and has nice styling. I like the dashboard and the set-up. Yes, the information display screen doesn't have the same options as the previous GP, but it does the job.

I still own the car. It is a black fully loaded Grand Prix. Leather, sunroof etc. Looks great for a 9 year old car. Fuel economy isn't great, but is decent for a V6. I am still wanting to test drive the supercharged Comp G model.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 20th January, 2013