2008 Pontiac Torrent Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Pontiac Torrent

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 3.6 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 264 hp @ 6500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Pontiac Torrent

  • With a roomy and versatile cabin, excellent crash test ratings, a wide array of features and a new GXP performance model leading the way, the 2008 Pontiac Torrent continues to be a solid choice for a small or midsize crossover SUV.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Flexible interior design, high crash test scores, powerful V6 engine in GXP trim.

  • Cons

    Subpar interior materials, base model's slow steering response.

  • What's New for 2008

    A new GXP trim level debuts this year; this performance model comes with a 264-horsepower 3.6-liter V6, six-speed automatic transmission and sport-tuned steering and suspension components. Other changes this year include minor equipment adjustments and a retuned suspension for regular Torrents that Pontiac says provides better ride and handling characteristics than before.

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Love my torrent gxp

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac Torrent GXP 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

I bought my '08 Torrent GXP about a month ago. It is Carbon Black. Mine came fully loaded with DVD entertainment system which included a pair of Panasonic wireless headphones. It also has OnStar and XM raidio. The sound system sounds great and movies really rock coming out of the cars speakers. The wireless headphones sound great and are much much better than I thought they would be. I really like how the 60/40 rear seat can slide almost 8 in. I must say the GXP's 264 hp engine really delivers.It gives you plenty of get up and go and lots of power to tow. I drove mine through the Rocky Mtns towing over 3000 lbs and had no problem on the very steep grades. This is my first SUV and I love it.

Gxp sleeper

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac Torrent GXP 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

Every Torrent owner I have talked to really likes their vehicle. This GXP is really fast and handles like a sports car. It is so neutral in the corners. When you expect the front end to push, it just digs in & goes round. I am at over 22 mpg now. It has great utility to boot. If you are looking for a vehicle like this, you really owe it to yourself to give it a try. I know of Honda owners who don't get but a 1mpg more in their smaller CR-V and no fun factor at all. Even Scions only get about 23.5 & are slower than molasses.


Full 2008 Pontiac Torrent Review

What's New for 2008

A new GXP trim level debuts this year; this performance model comes with a 264-horsepower 3.6-liter V6, six-speed automatic transmission and sport-tuned steering and suspension components. Other changes this year include minor equipment adjustments and a retuned suspension for regular Torrents that Pontiac says provides better ride and handling characteristics than before.


Among the roomiest of the five-passenger SUVs, the 2008 Pontiac Torrent splits the difference between the compact cute-utes and the midsize sport-utilities with three rows of seating. Like its corporate twin the Chevrolet Equinox, the Torrent is geared primarily toward buyers who desire rugged good looks yet easy-to-drive manners in a vehicle that can comfortably carry a family of four and associated cargo.

Despite the aggressive appearance communicated by its cosmetic skid plates and pronounced wheel arches, the Pontiac Torrent is a car-based crossover much more adept on pavement fair or foul than it is tackling any distant boulder-strewn outback. All-season tires, minimal ground clearance and a light-duty all-wheel-drive system offer all the evidence you need, and the new, lower-slung GXP only reinforces the Torrent's true street-oriented intentions. Inside, the versatile cabin features a sliding second-row seat and a movable parcel shelf that both serve to optimize the space for both people and cargo. With occupants in place, the Torrent offers plenty of useful diversions like MP3-capable audio and optional navigation and rear-seat DVD entertainment systems.

Under the hood, the standard 3.4-liter V6 engine offers decent if not especially refined performance. It also delivers respectable fuel economy with highway mileage in the mid-20s, as does the much more powerful and modern new 3.6-liter V6 in the GXP. This sportier new model also features a six-speed transmission with manual shift control, performance suspension tuning, 18-inch wheels, revised steering and exclusive exterior styling details.

Despite its improved and likable nature, the 2008 Pontiac Torrent suffers from a few weaknesses. The interior has a few too many low-quality plastics, and the lack of a third-row seat, despite the debatable nature of that feature's usefulness, hurts the Torrent's standing among consumers seeking just-in-case utility. As such, top rivals like the Hyundai Santa Fe, Mitsubishi Outlander and Toyota RAV4 might prove to be more desirable choices. Still, the Torrent is a well-rounded crossover that's handsome, roomy, safe and, in GXP guise, notably sporty. If you're shopping for a reasonably priced vehicle with a flexible five-passenger cabin design and an abundance of features, it's certainly worth checking out.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Pontiac Torrent is a midsize crossover SUV available in two trim levels -- base and GXP -- with a choice of either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. All Torrents seat five passengers.

Standard equipment on the base Pontiac Torrent includes 16-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, a CD/MP3 player with an auxiliary audio jack, cruise control, full power accessories, OnStar, a trip computer and three 12-volt power points. Upgrading to the Torrent GXP gets you more power, performance-tuned suspension and steering, 18-inch wheels, unique hood and body-color bumpers, dual exhaust outlets, privacy glass, remote vehicle starting, a sport instrument panel, front sport seats with multilevel heating, a power driver seat, steering-wheel audio controls and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Some of these regular upgrades plus extras like leather upholstery are available on the standard Torrent in the Preferred and Premium packages; a GXP Premium Package is also available with special perforated leather seat inserts. The Sun and Sound Package adds a premium Pioneer audio system with an in-dash CD changer and a sunroof. Stand-alone options include a navigation system, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, satellite radio, a towing package and 17-inch wheels on the standard Torrent.

Powertrains and Performance

The base Torrent is equipped with a 3.4-liter V6 good for 185 hp and 210 pound-feet of torque. It's mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. Though the output of GM's familiar "3400" V6 is uninspiring, it offers adequate low and midrange torque for most situations. The GXP features a 3.6-liter V6 that generates a much more impressive 264 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. It comes with a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. Properly equipped, the Torrent can tow 3,500 pounds. EPA estimated fuel economy is similar for both front-wheel- and all-wheel-drive versions: 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway for the 3.4-liter engine and 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway for the 3.6-liter V6.


Antilock disc brakes, traction control, stability control (now with trailer-sway mitigating technology) and OnStar are all standard on the 2008 Pontiac Torrent. Full-length side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor are optional, but front-seat side airbags (that provide torso protection) are not available. In National Highway Transportation Safety Administration frontal crash testing, the Pontiac Torrent earned a five-star rating (the best possible) for the protection of front occupants and scored the same for front and rear occupant protection in its side impact tests. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, the Torrent scored a highest possible "Good" rating in frontal-offset testing.

Interior Design and Special Features

Thanks to its long wheelbase and a rear 60/40-split bench seat that can slide nearly 8 inches fore and aft, the Torrent offers plenty of room for larger passengers or cargo. There are 35 cubic feet of luggage space behind its upright rear seats, and a healthy 69 cubic feet available with the seats folded. An available rear cargo shelf adjusts to accommodate differing loads, and can also double as a serving table. There are also door pockets and lots of storage cubbies for small items. The driver faces a stylish set of chrome-ringed gauges, sporty three-spoke steering wheel and a simple control layout. Hard plastic abounds, but the Torrent's cabin is attractively styled and solidly constructed. Although the standard front bucket seats are somewhat lacking in lateral support, they're still acceptably comfortable on long commutes.

Driving Impressions

Most small SUV shoppers will find the 2008 Pontiac Torrent's ride and handling balance reasonably carlike and quite acceptable. The suspension tuning of the standard Torrent is biased toward a smoother ride at the expense of sharp handling, so it exhibits some body roll when cornering briskly. In addition, its electric power steering feels numb and lacks responsiveness. Consumers looking for quick moves will probably prefer the GXP, as its performance-tuned chassis is calibrated to handle more power and offers greater potential for speed.


Talk About The 2008 Torrent

2008 Pontiac Torrent Discussions See all Started By

Does anyone have any inside info on the 2008 GXP Torrent, sounds as if the changes are going to be numerous. Comments please !!---GLR...

My 2008 Pontiac torrent keeps bucking when I accelerate around 45mph. I gave up on the automatic car starter not working, traction control light staying lit, back windshield wiper motor quitting, spa...

There are 6 wires in the plug I believe. The Torrent is a 2008 with a 3.4 V6....

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