What's New for 2002
Base model SEs get a new 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine, while GTs get newly styled 16-inch wheels. All models receive a console upgrade and two new exterior colors.
Boasting bold styling and a wide stance, the sporty Grand Am bears a strong family resemblance to its big brother, the Grand Prix. But with slightly more compact dimensions and a standard four-cylinder engine, the Grand Am is more of an Accord alternative than a true sports car. Available as a coupe or sedan, the Grand Am offers two versions of the base SE model and two versions of the upgraded GT. Both SEs come standard with an all-new 140-horse, twin cam 2.2-liter four-cylinder. Ultra compact and efficient, this new powerplant offers smoother power delivery and exceptional mileage (25 city, 33 highway). For a little more get up and go, the SE1 comes with a 3.4-liter V6 rated at 170 horsepower, but unfortunately this engine can't be mated to the five-speed manual (a four-speed automatic is standard). Both the standard GT and the upgraded GT1 models come with the 3.4-liter engine along with a stiffer sport suspension, variable assist power steering and larger 16-inch aluminum wheels.
On the inside, Grand Ams feature traditional Pontiac design cues. Though they're intended to mimic a jet fighter cockpit, we don't recall F-16s having numerous cheap plastic knobs that looked like they were swiped from a toddler's toy. Interior room is comparable to your average four-door sedan's, with nicely bolstered seats that offer solid support. All Grand Ams feature next-generation airbags for both the driver and front passenger in addition to air conditioning, a tilt steering wheel, power door locks and an AM/FM cassette stereo. SE1 models add cruise control, power windows and mirrors, a split folding rear seat and cast aluminum wheels. GT1 models further upgrade the Grand Am with a six-way power driver seat, remote keyless entry, steering wheel audio controls, a Monsoon sound system and available leather seating.
With a solid list of standard features and a suspension that favors more spirited driving than your average family sedan, the Grand Am is a viable alternative to some of the more pedestrian four-doors on the market. Although we're not particularly fond of the space-age interior design, those tired of the inherent blandness of import cabins may find Pontiac's theme refreshingly different. Factor in the very reasonable sticker price and solid drivetrain, and the Grand Am makes a solid case for itself in the crowded family sedan marketplace.