2006 Pontiac Torrent SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Pontiac Torrent SUV

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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 Torrent Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.4 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 185 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/21 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Pontiac Torrent

  • With flexible interior space, a strong engine and modern styling, the 2006 Pontiac Torrent is one of the better small SUVs available.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Long wheelbase affords plenty of interior room, fore/aft-adjustable rear seats, high crash test scores, available side curtain airbags.

  • Cons

    Limited choice in drivetrains, confusing stereo control layout, slow steering response.

  • What's New for 2006

    For 2006, Pontiac unveils the Torrent, a crossover SUV based on the Chevrolet Equinox platform.

Full 2006 Pontiac Torrent Review

What's New for 2006

For 2006, Pontiac unveils the Torrent, a crossover SUV based on the Chevrolet Equinox platform.


For 2006, Pontiac has an all-new crossover SUV. Called the Torrent, it's a very close sibling to the Chevy Equinox. As with the Equinox, the 2006 Pontiac Torrent is an attractive SUV with clean lines, ideal proportions and beefy styling cues such as pronounced wheel arches and optional 17-inch wheels. Giving the Torrent a Pontiac signature is the twin-port grille and faux skid plates on the front and rear fascias. Don't be fooled by the Torrent's rugged looks, though. This crossover is geared more for everyday driving rather than trail bashing off-road. All-season tires and so-so ground clearance confirm its status as a soft-roader.

With a price in the low-$20,000 range, the Pontiac Torrent should generally be cross-shopped against compact SUVs such as the Escape/Tribute twins, CR-V, Outlander and RAV4. It's actually a bit larger than most of these vehicles, however. Its generous 112.5-inch wheelbase and an overall length of 188.8 inches provide additional interior room. And the Torrent is just as flexible as the Equinox, with a split-folding rear seat that slides 8 inches fore and aft. The only major mechanical difference between the two besides exterior styling is that the Pontiac SUV has a slightly firmer state of supsension tune.

Unlike some of the competition, the 2006 Pontiac Torrent doesn't offer much in the way of powertrain options; it's available only with a 3.4-liter V6 mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The rest of the equipment list offers more variety; the Torrent may be equipped with safety items like side curtain airbags and traction control, as well as upscale features like heated leather seats and satellite radio. Although several small SUVs can match the Torrent's overall package, it's certainly worth consideration if you're looking for an urban runabout with a flexible cabin design and high safety ratings.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The five-passenger Pontiac Torrent crossover SUV comes in one trim, and is available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Standard equipment highlights include 16-inch wheels, air conditioning, remote keyless entry, a CD player and power windows, mirrors and locks. Further optional equipment is grouped into three main option packages. A Preferred package includes a power driver seat, uplevel cloth upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. If one orders the Preferred package, a Premium package becomes available; it equips the Torrent with leather seating and heated front seats. There's also a Sun and Sound package that includes a sunroof and a premium six-CD audio system.

Powertrains and Performance

The Pontiac Torrent comes with one engine: a 3.4-liter V6 good for 185 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque. Towing capacity is rated at 3,500 pounds. The Torrent is available in all-wheel-drive and front-wheel-drive configurations, but only one transmission is offered -- a five-speed automatic.


ABS is part of the Torrent's standard features list, and traction control is standard on front-drive versions of the vehicle. Full-length side curtain airbags are optional. In NHTSA crash testing, the Pontiac Torrent earned a five-star rating (the best possible) for its protection of front occupants in frontal collisions. The Pontiac SUV also earned five stars for front- and rear-seat occupant protection in side collisions.

Interior Design and Special Features

Thanks to its long wheelbase, the Torrent offers plenty of room for its occupants. To make way for larger passengers or cargo, the 60/40-split rear seat can slide nearly 8 inches fore and aft. The Torrent offers 35 cubic feet of luggage space behind its rear seats; folding down the rear seat bumps the total to 69 cubic feet. An adjustable rear cargo shelf makes the loading of multiple small items easier and can also double as a picnic table. Up front, the Pontiac Torrent features relatively stylish chrome-ringed gauges and a sporty three-spoke steering wheel. While most of the controls are simple in design, the stereo head unit's collection of small buttons is unnecessarily complicated.

Driving Impressions

The Torrent's 3.4-liter V6 furnishes such spunky response that it makes a mockery of its modest output ratings. This Pontiac SUV feels eager in most situations; it's only when taking on steep mountain upgrades that it lacks some steam. Ride comfort is commendable and evidently takes priority over sharp handling; the electric power steering is a bit too light and a little slow. All the same, for most consumers, the ride and handling balance of the 2006 Pontiac Torrent is pretty well dialed in for this class of vehicle.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Spacious, comfortable, fun to drive,

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Pontiac Torrent 4dr SUV (3.4L 6cyl 5A)

Bought used at 5K mi., has +97K mi. now. Overall reliable, comfortable, smooth ride, fun to drive. Get about 17 city/24 hwy mpg. Pros: Very spacious front/rear seating and cargo space; comfortable; reliable; smooth ride for low-price basic crossover class (broad wheel base). Cons: Replaced heating/A/C actuator motor at 53K (+$900 repair) but was GM recall later - contacted dealer, reimbursed same day; replaced wheel bearings at 75K; replaced bolts on exhaust at 86K (apparently common problem on Torrent and Equinox - made exhaust loud - easy $20 fix); slow pick-up at acceleration; odd window controls placement (all in front seat center console).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Started great but ended badly!

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Pontiac Torrent 4dr SUV AWD (3.4L 6cyl 5A)

I bought my 2006 Pontiac Torrent in 2009 with only 22k miles on it. The first year and a half, the vehicle was the best that I'd owned. Drove from Memphis, TN to Gatlingburg in the snow, Hattisburg, MS, Meridian, MS, Jonesboro, AR, and Little Rock, AR with no problems. But during my trip to Little Rock, it seemed like I was having trans problems. When I took it to the trans shop, they said it was a speed sensor. Needless to say, the speed sensor kept messing up. I had it replaced 4 times before getting rid of the vehicle. Now, my ex-fiancee's aunt has replaced the trans but the problems persists. And the paint is peeling.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

This will be my last

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Pontiac Torrent 4dr SUV AWD (3.4L 6cyl 5A)

We loved the looks of this car and for the first year it was a solid car. After that it has been all down hill. We have now replaced all four wheel bearings and it the paint started flaking off around 50k. We now have a large spot on the driver side and on the tailgate. Our dealer told us this was not covered under the supplimental rust protectant we got because it was an issue with the paint.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

2006 not worth it

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Pontiac Torrent 4dr SUV AWD (3.4L 6cyl 5A)

Paint on drivers side rear wheel started peeling after 4 years. Dealer dismissed this as it was off warranty and nothing they could do. Paint is now peeling on tailgate, front passenger 1/4, rear driver 1/4 panel and inside the rear passenger door. I'm waiting to see if GM is going to step up as this is not the result of normal wear and tear. Inferior paint is a known problem on 2006 models.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

Piece of crap!!!

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Pontiac Torrent 4dr SUV AWD (3.4L 6cyl 5A)

This make is a piece of crap. 2nd year fuel pump went out, third year the entire ignition system went out. 4th year the heater quits working - apparently this has happened to thousand of this model but GM refuses a recall - the part costs $22 but it costs $1500 for labor because to replace the part requires removal of the entire front section of the car. Look it up - blender acuerator. My mechanic says it is the poorest designed car he has ever seen and won't even attempt to replace that part. I am getting rid of this piece of junk as soon as I can. It is winter in the south and no heater. The dealership just laughed when asked about ongoing issues with this car.

Get to know your mechanic!

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Pontiac Torrent 4dr SUV AWD (3.4L 6cyl 5A)

I bought my Torrent used with 70,000. Around 80K I replaced a wheel bearing and it stopped heating. By 90K I had blown head gaskets twice and made the decision to put a new motor in it with 44K. This motor is running much smoother but my engine light stays on at all times. Going on 95K on the body and my struts need to be replaced and another set of tires. I need to get this car paid off and move on from GM.

Talk About The 2006 Torrent

2006 Pontiac Torrent Discussions See all Started By

Does anyone know if the 2006 Torrent can tow a small rv?...

I have a 2006 Torrent. I was looking at the sunroof the other day and have a question....

i have a 2006 torrent with 40000 km on it and i have developed a very loud humming noise from the front end any idea what it is...

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 21
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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