2006 Pontiac GTO from North America
The do anything, car guy's, family car
Nothing so far.. very new.. will update if needed.
Unlike some, I think this car stays true to the name GTO. Many are confused on what a muscle car is, or a GTO is. No one is upset that the bonneville has gone through many itterations, or the camaro or firebird. But the GTO they want to be a retro 1970 A body car. Well. What you get in the 06 GTO is the same as what you got in the 70 GTO, and I speak from experience, owning both and growing up in GM A body cars. The GTO was mom's lemans with too much engine and some style upgrades. The new GTO is the same thing. A nice half way point between Corvette and Cadillac. You can take the kids to school, take the wife to dinner, then take it to the track, then take it cross country. It will fit in anywhere.
The car is a real 2+2. 2 adults (i am 6'3") can fit in the back with 2 adults in the front seats in full length. The seats in the front aren't large, but are very supportive, and not in that way too narrow for anyone, but the small way. The seats have a nice finish to them, unlike old caddy leather, they grip. As well the bolsters keep you in the seat. They are 8 way (i think) adjustable.. all the same ways as a cadlilac seat.. 10 way with the lumbar? (kinda funny, the lumbar knob can only be reached with the door open.)
Of course everyone cares about the gas mileage now-a-days. Well it does really well (considering the HP) when you are on the highway and keep your foot out of it. I am averaging 22mpg in mostly side street and slow and go traffic, with a ride home on open highway. For those days I reset the trip computer on the highway, I get far better than the 25 mpg estimate. more around 30-32mpg. But in city only driving it averages about 20 mpg (these numbers are based on the trip computer mpg calculator, but calculations at fill up jive with the numbers.)
Performance wise, the car goes like a skinned cat. There are no public streets where you can really stretch this cars legs. The suspension is a perfect balance of soaking up the road and performance handling. Not too harsh, not too soft. The steering is precise for its class (ie impala/monte) and is quite firm with good road feel. In a U-turn, its very easy to goose the throttle and whip the back end around if one is inclined to do so. But as easy as it is to break the back end free, you have to want to do it. It sticks to the ground well, although traction control is a must in the rain. I am a fairly experienced sport driver, and I haven't had it "get away" from me. But I imagine some could. 400 hp and 400 ft/lb give it atypical characteristics compared to front drive sedans.
Storage room isn't great. The trunk is taken up with what looks to be cross members for the suspension and body stiffening and maybe gas tank. Much smaller than average for its class, maybe 3 golf bags and some small luggage.. but that's FULL. Interior storage around the driver is good. the console is decent sized and has a couple trays for odds and ends, and theres a small storage compartment under the radio and under the console facing the rear seat. I imagine its it's australian roots that give it only 2 smaller cup holders, vs an american SUV's 12 or so. And considering that its got room for 2 adults in the back, a cup holder for them would be nice.
I see people complain about entering the rear seat. Well, it's a two door, its as easy as my 70 gto, or the wife's mini. But yea, it can be a bit of a struggle for the old and tall. My kids have no problem hopping in and out of the back. Though head room is limited, I would bump my head on a speed bump I imagine.
THE SOUND. Where this car is truly RETRO is the sound. Considering modern emission standards, it couldnt possibly sound more like a GTO. It pops and sputters when down shifting for slowing, it almost lopes at idle, the car vibrates noticeably at idle as well. It could wake up the neighbors when you come home late, but, with the windows rolled up at highway speeds, its no louder than most. With the windows open on the highway or the radio on, the exhaust is not noticeable.
Mustang has blown away GM and Dodge with their exhaust note for decades. The GTO is quite possibly the most gutsy sounding car on the road.
Blaupunkt... The stereo holds an expensive monicre.. But its not "all that" It sounds great, but the youth won't be impressed. 10 speakers that all push out the same range. Good luck finding one to fit in its place too, it's a very large console 6 disc changer.
Lug nuts... just a little not so picky complaint. The lug nuts on the car are standard steel lug nuts. So they put these really dumb injection molded grey plastic caps on there. They don't seem to stay on well. Haven't lost one, but as soon as I find a set of real lug nuts, i'll lose them on purpose.
Would I change anything on the gto? Well... frankly i'd probably dump the spoiler. Change the auto headlight nob to something that made more sense. I still haven't figured out what all the symbols are. Best I can figure is... the lights are always on and I don't mess. Nope.. it has few appointments outside the stereo and extensive trip computer. Pretty spartan. No "auto climate control" no auto dimming mirror. no memory seat settings. Pretty simple, yet not lacking.
I see the complaints about the tranny... and well GM products will have other glitches. But that's a good tranny, not new to the GTO. It can be broken, maybe theres some quality inspection issues, but by and large it's a successful product.. (knock on wood)
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 7th June, 2006
I wish they made it look less like grand am. Other than that, it's a great performance car.
You neglected to mention that, as a discontinued model, dealers should be quite willing to negotiate well below the sticker price of the GTO as well... you did get yours at a substantial discount...didn't you?