2009 Pontiac Torrent Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Pontiac Torrent

Pontiac Torrent Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.4 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 185 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Pontiac Torrent

  • A spacious and practical cabin, excellent crash-test ratings and a wide variety of features make the 2009 Pontiac Torrent a solid choice in the realm of small and midsize crossovers.

  • Safety
  • Pros

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

  • Cons

    Subpar interior materials, lackluster fuel economy compared with four-cylinder rivals.

  • What's New for 2009

    Only minor equipment changes make their way into the 2009 Pontiac Torrent. Side curtain airbags, satellite radio and a digital compass are now standard on all models, and Bluetooth phone connectivity is also available.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (37 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

Don't buy

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac Torrent

I purchased by Pontiac Torrent in 2011 each year i have had problems. Within the first year the radio went out and the repair is $400. The next year my transmission went out $1500. The next year - when it rains the floors in my back seat get wet and causes and odor. Now i am seeing all these recalls for all these things that are wrong with the car. I called GM and the Dealership on several occassions and they just don't care. i am too far under to even get out of the car into something more reliable.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

Don't buy

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac Torrent

Absolutely horrible and because you now must deal with GM they don't want to recall these vehicles because that would cause them to fix a problem that Pontiac created.I have owned one for almost 2 years and I have had nothing but problems,within a month of owning it the radio didn't work, the lock on the drivers door costs 300 to fix because unless you actually try to open it while it is locked you would of never known it doesn't lock, the rear windshield wiper motor went, the wheel bearings are 300 a piece, and because of how they are made it is common for rocks and sticks to get into the cv shaft and cause 200 in damage.Stabilitrak & ABS light constantly on & off.

Wow what else can i

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac Torrent

I have had this vehicle for several month's now, and look for reasons to take it out and play. All of the ponies under the hood are married perfectly with the 6 speed tranny. I think this 3.6 really puts out like Pontiac said it would. Hope I get to keep my license for as long as I own this beauty, which I have the feeling will be a long time.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Knew what i was getting

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac Torrent

There are some squeaks here and there, especially with the steering wheel, but I read the reviews before I bought the car and I knew what to expect. The only disappointment has been with the gas mileage, which hasn't quite been up to the EPA estimates. Even my Hondaphile and Toyotaphile friends have been impressed with the comfort and looks of my Torrent. On the safety front, I was in an accident three months ago that sent two other drivers to the hospital but I didn't get a scratch, or even feel sore the next day. I can't rave enough. I've looked at trading it in for something with better MPG, but I can't find anything I'd give up for Torrent for.

Concerns with manufacturing

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac Torrent

I have a 2008 torrent and have had several issues go wrong with the SUV! My windshield wipers don't work on low speed, Air conditioner went out a few weeks ago, my back door, passenger side does not lock or unlock with auto unlock! These are just a few of things I have had trouble with right after the warranty went out!

Loved it

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac Torrent

This by far was my favorite car I have owned. I too was recently in a serious collision on a busy highway and walked away without a scratch only because of the vehicle I was driving. It had tons of room handled like a dream and gas wasn't so bad either! The only problem I had was the front wheel bearings went in my first 6 months of owning. But were replaced by my warranty no problem. I would highly recommend this vehicle.

Full 2009 Pontiac Torrent Review

What's New for 2009

Only minor equipment changes make their way into the 2009 Pontiac Torrent. Side curtain airbags, satellite radio and a digital compass are now standard on all models, and Bluetooth phone connectivity is also available.


As more consumers look to get out of large, gas-swilling SUVs, they're realizing that compact and midsize crossovers strike an appealing compromise between practicality and fuel efficiency. The 2009 Pontiac Torrent is a good example of this burgeoning crossover breed. Like its twin, the Chevrolet Equinox, the Pontiac is aimed at buyers who want the rugged look of an SUV but the drivability and smaller footprint of a car. The Torrent neatly splits the difference between "cute utes" and traditional trucks, boasting decent cargo and passenger space along with superior maneuverability.

Although the Pontiac Torrent looks as if it could tackle the wilderness, this car-based crossover is much more adept on pavement than it is off the beaten path, thanks to its light-duty all-wheel-drive system and minimal ground clearance. Still, the Torrent offers plenty of utility. Its versatile interior offers an adjustable, split-rear-seat design, and there is also a choice of two V6 engines under the hood. The GXP's 3.6-liter engine, in particular, puts the Torrent at the top of the segment in terms of acceleration, and the available all-wheel-drive system provides sure-footed traction in foul weather.

Of course, the Torrent faces a number of solid competitors in the mid-$20,000 range. The Hyundai Santa Fe, Mitsubishi Outlander and Toyota RAV4, for example, all offer optional V6 power as well as a third-row seat (though the actual usefulness of this feature is debatable on these compact vehicles). Customers should also think about the Saturn Vue and Honda's perennially popular CR-V. Overall, the Torrent doesn't quite match up to the all-stars in this segment due to its interior faults, but it's still worth including in your small and midsize crossover search.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 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 Torrent includes 16-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, Bluetooth, a flat-folding front passenger seat and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat that slides fore and aft and reclines. A six-speaker audio system with a CD/MP3 player, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack is also standard.

Upgrading to the Torrent GXP gets you a more powerful V6 engine, performance-tuned suspension and steering, 18-inch wheels, 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 the GXP's upgrades are available on the standard Torrent in various packages. In addition, both trim levels can be equipped with an upgraded seven-speaker Pioneer audio system, a navigation system, a DVD rear-seat entertainment system and Bluetooth.

Powertrains and Performance

The base Torrent is equipped with a 3.4-liter V6 good for 185 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque. It's available only with a five-speed automatic transmission. The GXP bumps up to a 3.6-liter V6 that pumps out 264 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. It comes with a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control.

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. Both models have an EPA combined estimate of 19 mpg. That's notably less than four-cylinder-powered rivals like the CR-V and RAV4.


Antilock disc brakes, traction control, side curtain airbags, OnStar telematics and stability control with trailer-sway-mitigating technology are all standard on the 2009 Pontiac Torrent. Front-seat side airbags (for torso protection) are not available. In government crash tests, the Pontiac Torrent earned a top five-star rating for the protection of front occupants in a frontal impact, as well as five stars for front and rear occupant protection in side impacts. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, the Torrent scored the highest possible "Good" rating in frontal offset testing.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Torrent's 60/40-split rear bench seat, which can slide nearly 8 inches fore and aft, makes it roomy and versatile for both passengers and cargo. There are 35 cubic feet of luggage space behind its upright rear seats, and a respectable 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 door pockets and lots of storage cubbies for small items. The three-spoke steering wheel gives off a sporty vibe, and the dash boasts a simple control layout, but lots of low-rent plastic cheapens the look of an otherwise attractively styled cabin. Other disappointments include poorly placed cupholders and a lack of lateral support for the front seats.

Driving Impressions

Most shoppers looking for a small to midsize crossover SUV will find the 2009 Pontiac Torrent relatively nimble and easy to drive. The standard Torrent offers a smoother ride at the expense of handling response. Those looking for more power and performance will prefer the GXP's upgraded engine and performance-tuned chassis -- especially considering the minimal difference in fuel economy.

Talk About The 2009 Torrent

Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs