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Pontiac bills the Bonneville as "Luxury with Attitude." That's an accurate description, given its basis on Cadillac's Seville platform and available 240-horse supercharged V6 engine. If traditional Pontiac styling twists your crank, and you want a large sedan packed with performance and features, the Bonneville is your kind of ride.
All-new car priced less than '99 models, loads of features, unobtrusively stylish sheetmetal.
Stout V6 in a segment that demands a V8, nameplate lacks snob appeal of luxury imports.
Available Bonneville Sedan Models
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Brand-new from the ground up, Pontiac's flagship sedan moves onto a stiffer platform with rakish styling and high-tech goodies such as an integrated chassis control system.
Billed as "Luxury With Attitude," the 2000 Pontiac Bonneville has been completely redesigned on a bigger and better platform with an all-new look. This new architecture results in a 62 percent improvement in torsional stiffness over the old car, which provides a rigid body shell for a solid, quiet ride. Rolling on a 112-inch wheelbase, the new Bonny backs up Pontiac's "Wide Track" marketing pitch with a class-leading 62.6-inch front and 62.1-inch rear footprint.
Styling combines a steeper hood and windshield rake with an aggressive roofline to impart a decidedly wedge-like profile. But the new Bonneville still retains such traditional Pontiac design cues as cat's-eye headlamps with large, round fog lamps, a V-shaped hood, and sculpted bodyside with muscular haunches. As before, three models are available, SE, SLE and SSEi.
While the look is fresh, you'll recognize the powertrains. Standard on the SE and SLE is GM's 3800 Series II V6 that not only pumps out 205 horsepower though a four-speed automatic transmission, but also can get an amazing 30 miles per gallon on the highway. Move to the SSEi and you get a healthy, 240-horsepower supercharged variant of the 3.8-liter V6 that makes you almost forget that this full-size luxury sport sedan is not available with V8 power.
The base SE is fully equipped, with new standard features such as seat-mounted safety belts, driver and front-passenger side-impact airbags, and four-wheel antilock brakes. Other optional items have been made standard, including 16-inch wheels and tires, power mirrors and illuminated entry. The midlevel SLE adds dual climate controls, a programmable driver information center, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, and an upgrade to 17-inch wheels.
Of course, the SSEi not only packs supercharged punch, but ups the equipment ante with dual exhaust, high-performance 17-inch wheels and tires, GM's StabiliTrak suspension system, and a Bose eight-speaker premium audio unit. You also get other high-tech goodies, such as EyeCue head-up display, variable-effort steering, and 12-way power leather front buckets with memory.
Speaking of the interior, many features have been borrowed from Seville. But in the Bonneville, all controls are canted toward the driver in true Pontiac tradition, with full instrumentation backlit in the brand-signature red lighting. If your needs call for six-passenger capability, a 55/45 bench seat with center storage armrest is available on the SE (in cloth only). An all-new lineup of Delco radios is offered, as is GM's new three-button OnStar communications system.
Overall, the new Bonneville is a stylish and speedy full-size sedan built off a true, world-class platform that has won critical acclaim beneath Cadillac's Seville. If the Bonneville's racy new looks suit you, the only way to improve the breed would be to borrow the Caddy's Northstar V8.
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