2006 Pontiac GTO Coupe Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Pontiac GTO Coupe

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Pontiac GTO Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 6.0 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 400 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/19 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Pontiac GTO

  • It may not look like an old-school Pontiac GTO, but this modern-day incarnation has more muscle than the original. Unfortunately, there's more engine here than the suspension can keep up with.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    One of the best V8s ever made under the hood, comfortable enough to drive every day, interior design and quality worthy of the price tag.

  • Cons

    Soft suspension tuning more suited for a Grand Prix than a high-performance coupe, long shifter throws, small trunk, missing key amenities and safety features.

  • What's New for 2006

    There are no major changes in store for the 2006 Pontiac GTO.

Full 2006 Pontiac GTO Review

What's New for 2006

There are no major changes in store for the 2006 Pontiac GTO.


The GTO legend started back in 1964, when Pontiac offered Tempest/Le Mans buyers a GTO option package. That performance-enhancing option proved so popular that the GTO became its own model and is often credited as the first true "muscle car." Although some purists would say the "real" GTO died in 1973, the GTO name lasted until 1974.

With only 200 horsepower and distinct Nova looks, it's easy to see why many do not consider the '74 to be a true Pontiac GTO. As the performance dwindled, so did the popularity of the car and sales swiftly declined. The introduction of the more realistic "net" horsepower rating in the early '70s couldn't have helped, as it was surely difficult for local dealers to explain why a '71 GTO with a 400-cubic-inch V8 produced only 255 hp. By 1972, some of the GTO's former glory was restored, but the dark cloud of emissions control and government-mandated bumpers loomed large, and the once-proud Pontiac car became nothing more than just another GM clone.

Miraculously, GM has resisted the urge to slap the GTO badge on anything since 1974. It seems all the more curious given how fast and loose Chevrolet plays with its once-coveted "SS" moniker. We can't help but wonder how close the first Grand Prix GTP came to being labeled a GTO, but thankfully those in charge at Pontiac realized that "GTO" shouldn't be within a mile of a front-wheel-drive V6 automobile -- V8s only, please. GM was able to deliver on that promise thanks to a little help from its Holden division in Australia. The Monaro CV8 is the basis for the modern-day Pontiac GTO, and like past models, the new version is a 2+2 coupe. The Holden received styling revisions to make it look more like a Pontiac. The resulting twin grille and a slightly familiar rear-end treatment say "Pontiac" even from 20 yards away. Initially, the GTO was powered by GM's LS1 V8 making 350 hp.

For 2005, Pontiac slid the LS2 6.0-liter V8 under the hood, good for 400 hp. Blasting from zero to 60 in less than 5.5 seconds and blitzing the quarter-mile in under 14 ticks means a 2006 Pontiac GTO will simply embarrass nearly any old Goat you could name. A four-speed automatic transmission is standard, and all GTOs come with four-wheel antilock disc brakes, as well as a limited-slip rear end and traction control. An optional six-speed manual transmission only adds to the fun, and with a fully independent, performance-tuned suspension and 17-inch wheels, this 3,700-pound Pontiac car delivers a relatively supple ride.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2006 Pontiac GTO is offered as a 2+2 sport coupe in one generously appointed trim level. The standard features list includes 17-inch aluminum wheels, leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats, a premium Blaupunkt audio system with an in-dash six-disc CD changer, a trip computer and power windows, locks and mirrors. Aside from choosing a manual or automatic transmission, the only significant option is a set of larger 18-inch wheels. A sunroof isn't available, nor is a navigation system.

Powertrains and Performance

There is only one engine available on the Pontiac GTO -- a 6.0-liter V8 rated at 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. The standard transmission is a four-speed overdrive automatic, but a six-speed, close-ratio manual transmission is available as an option. Regardless of which transmission is selected, all GTOs come with a limited-slip differential and traction control.


All 2006 Pontiac GTOs come standard with four-wheel antilock disc brakes, traction control, multistage front airbags and an emergency mode that shuts down the vehicle's systems and unlocks the doors in the event of an airbag deployment. Side airbags are not available, nor is stability control. Neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS have conducted crash tests on the GTO.

Interior Design and Special Features

Unlike the original Pontiac GTO, this modern-day version is no stripper. The leather-trimmed front seats are comfortable and the overall interior design far surpasses that of the defunct Pontiac Firebird in terms of quality and functionality. The only letdowns of note are those generally endemic to a sport coupe: tight access to the rear seat, heavy doors and a small trunk.

Driving Impressions

On the street, the 2006 Pontiac GTO rides like a luxury car and is easy to drive on a daily basis. But when driven more aggressively, the car can feel ponderous because of its significant body roll and slow and numb steering. Best to keep the car pointed straight and let the V8 work its magic, which, naturally, has been the point of the GTO since the beginning.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

Amazing car

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Pontiac GTO 2dr Coupe (6.0L 8cyl 4A)

I have an '06 6-speed in Spice Red and this is by far one of the nicest cars GM could have offered. The interior is as comfortable as a new Cadillac, and very original. NOTHING on the inside was borrowed from any other US GM cars, since it's Holden. The only problems I've had are the junk stock struts and they're not difficult to replace. Also, it's difficult to get replacement parts since you can only get them Australia, otherwise if you find them here in the US, you'll pay through the nose. It's an absolutely amazing and powerful car, just take care of them!!!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Lic plate..bcnyea

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Pontiac GTO 2dr Coupe (6.0L 8cyl 4A)

06 GTO A4 Cyclone Gray 6.0. When i was younger i helped restore my dads 67 rag top black on black..them wore the days! He let me take it to prom and every other Friday i got to drive it to school!! took the long road back home after school :) and now i got one of my own,hope fully i can keep it for many years and my son and i can restore it when its time.But for now its the best thing i have ever owned i have many stories to tell my son some day like my dad did with me his back seat has more room lol and when your 6'1 their is not much room in mine haha! its a fun car to drive and own and drive..keep it between the white lines!!

Garage trophy

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Pontiac GTO 2dr Coupe (6.0L 8cyl 4A)

bought new in 2006, manual trans. After initial problems with front struts (bad oil from factory), and subsequent front anti-roll bar link failure, car has run well. Its basically an engine with a car tagging along. Shifter rattles. Otherwise, I'm very happy with it. Love the styling and the ride, fuel economy good for a 400HP (typically 22.9 mpg). Low overhang in the back. I added a receiver (for bike rack), and it hits the ground on some driveway exits. Outward visibility is poor, but that's a style compromise. Ingress/egress hampered by low doorway - still hit my head on that. Love the car - probably keep 20 years.

Move out of my way!

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Pontiac GTO 2dr Coupe (6.0L 8cyl 4A)

I bought my black on black goat in March of 2010. I didn't even drive it, i just started it up. I drove it off the lot and hit the highway from Modesto to Sacramento. The wheels chirp with a touch of the pedal and I love my car and thank God all the time for it. No mechanical problems. My auto shifter did break (the part that pushes in to engage the trans) but I glued with crazy glue. People love to scratch up my back bumper because they're haters and careless. Don't hate, appreciate. Maybe if they save up their money and if there are any left they can have one too. People always say "what! you have a gto!" I say "yes, black on black and I love it", it beats anything on the road!

Pleasantly surprised

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Pontiac GTO 2dr Coupe (6.0L 8cyl 4A)

Bang for my buck, endorphin inducer, i'm am very happy with my purchase

Baaaaad ls2 goat

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Pontiac GTO 2dr Coupe (6.0L 8cyl 4A)

I have a 6 spd manual and I have to say its the best car I've ever owned and I'm putting this against past cars of mine such as 91 mr2 turbo, 96 Impala ss, 95 infiniti g20 and 00 Lincoln ls v8. It rides better than the Lincoln and has more power than the Impala. On one hand it doesn't handle like an mr2 but for what it is its fun to push into the corners and bring out with 400 ft. Lbs ! Sideways. The tires are cheap to replace because of size. Exhaust tone is better sound to me than the very nice 6 disc blaupunkt stereo. Bose should have been the choice on that. Service is easy. With 20k for miles when I bought it for 18k it's a steal ! Avg mpg is 24 and thats from stop and go to 75 mph highway.

Talk About The 2006 GTO

2006 Pontiac GTO Discussions See all Started By

So I'm closing in on buying a 2005 or 2006 Pontiac GTO, and I already know that it's a blast to drive. But then I happened to stumble onto a small forum on carsurvey.com where there seemed to be more...

2006 Holden/Vauxhall Monaro (CV-X, available in only 5 color combos) production ends in December of this year - a very short run. 2006 GTO production will end in June of 2006. There will not be a 2007...

Let me just say, I come from a Pontiac family. I could identify the model year of a GTO before I could tie my shoes. But, my experiences with my car have left me befuddled. I have a 2006 Pontiac G6...

Gas Mileage


  • 14
  • cty
  • 19
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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