2008 Pontiac Torrent AWD 3.4L from North America


Good, basic SUV for the suburbs


A spark plug and the spark plug wires were replaced at 30,000 miles when the check engine light came on. Repair was covered under the GM extended warranty.

Air filter was replaced at 30,000 miles.

Brake pads were replaced at 34,000 miles. They weren't completely worn out at that mileage, but I had them replaced anyway.

The original tires were replaced at 36,000 miles. They were almost completely worn down to the safety bars.

General Comments:

This is primarily my wife's car. She wanted a small SUV with AWD.

The 3.4L engine in the Torrent is adequate and gets around 15-16 MPG in city use. Highway MPG is around 22 MPG, but quickly drops at speeds over 70 mph.

I wish the 3.6L engine with 260HP had been available as an option in the base model, instead of having to step up to the GXP.

The interior is comfortable and the seats give good support. The sliding rear seat is a nice touch, which allows the rear floor to be used to carry larger objects.

Negatives about the interior: (1) door panels and dash are made of hard plastic, (2) rear seats do not fold down flat, which makes sliding in objects from the rear hatch more difficult.

Handling is quite good and the electric steering works well. Power transfer between the front and rear axles is smooth, and I haven't felt any bad torque steer yet.

Turning circle is larger than expected for a vehicle this size. This makes makes some parking maneuvers more difficult.

Have heard some complaints about brake problems with some Torrents, but mine has 4 wheel disc brakes, and I've only had to replace front brake pads.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th February, 2013

7th Feb 2016, 04:20

Man, the "faults" you have described, are all common-wear-items. Tires typically last about 40,000 miles, realistically. The air filter is replaced about every-other oil change or 15,000 miles. Brake pads? Depends on your driving style.

10th Jan 2017, 04:52

SUV? No, the Torrent was a minivan in denial.

2008 Pontiac Torrent GT AWD 3.4L from North America


Good family car, especially in winter


Nothing yet, though it is still pretty new.

General Comments:

Great vehicle for a small family.

We bought this vehicle to suit our growing family, which now stands at 2 young kids and a large dog. It's a perfect family vehicle. It has just the right amount of room thanks to the sliding rear seat. With kids you can push the seat forward a bit to get extra cargo room for strollers etc. The flat rear floor means the dog can lay between the front and rear seat without problems.

Safety is also very good on the Torrent, with lots of active safety features (4 channel ABS, 4 wheel disk brakes, Electronic Stability Control, traction control) and good crash test results.

The Torrent's interior is thoughtfully done and comfortable. It also looks younger and sportier than most compact SUVs. Although it classifies as a compact SUV from a price standpoint, in interior volume it is comparable to a Honda Pilot or Nissan Pathfinder, ie midsize SUV. Road and engine noise is low at all normal driving speeds, the ergonomics are good (my only complaint would be the operation of the rear wipers), and the seats are decently comfortable. The heating and defrost features work great. The built-in remote starter is great for cold winter days.

It performs flawlessy on snowy or icy roads with Winter tires, thanks to the AWD and Electronic Stability control which can do things the driver cannot like activate one or 2 of the brakes to compensate for a slide. We went down a size to 215/70/16 tires for the winter, and there are lots of inexpensive choices in that size.

The engine/transmission combo works well. The 5 speed with overdrive shifts smoothly and has a useful Intermediate mode when driving in more demanding circumstances. There is plenty of power to move the vehicle smoothly and merge/pass safely. The 3.4L is not overly powerful at 185hp for this size of vehicle, but it has generous low-end torque that works great in normal driving, or when climbing hills. I'm also happy to see that GM modified the intake manifold on this version, since the older 3.4L had a reputation to blow intake gaskets. The 160 000KM powertrain warranty is also a plus.

Fuel economy is surprisingly good. We get roughly 13L/100KM in the city and 10L/100KM on the highway. This is at 120KM/H.

Last thing I want to mention is that I would never have paid the asking price for a new model, but since these depreciate a lot, they are great value when slightly used, especially considering the long and transferable powertrain warranty.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th January, 2009