Used 2001 Pontiac Bonneville Review

Edmunds expert review

Pontiac bills the Bonneville as "Luxury with Attitude." That's an accurate description, given its basis on Cadillac's Seville platform and available 240-horse supercharged V6 engine. If traditional Pontiac styling twists your crank, and you want a large sedan packed with performance and features, the Bonneville is your kind of ride.

What's new for 2001

Heated seats are available on the SE and SLE, and Ivory White is a new color for the year. OnStar telematics with a one-year membership is optional on the SE but comes standard with the SLE and SSEi.

Vehicle overview

Billed as "Luxury With Attitude," the Pontiac Bonneville was completely redesigned on a bigger and better platform with an all-new look for 2000. This updated architecture resulted in a 62 percent improvement in torsional stiffness over the previous iteration, providing a rigid body shell for a solid, quiet ride. Rolling on a 112-inch wheelbase, the Bonny backs up Pontiac's "Wide Track" marketing pitch with a class-leading 62.6-inch front and 62.1-inch rear footprint.

Styling combines a steep hood and windshield rake with an aggressive roofline to impart a decidedly wedge-like profile. But the Bonneville still retains such traditional Pontiac design cues as cat's-eye headlamps with large, round fog lamps, a V-shaped hood, and sculpted bodysides with muscular haunches. Three models are available, SE, SLE and SSEi.

Standard on the SE and SLE is GM's 3800 Series II V6 that not only pumps out 205 horsepower though a four-speed automatic transmission, but also can get an amazing 30 miles per gallon on the highway. Move to the SSEi and you get a healthy, 240-horsepower supercharged variant of the 3.8-liter V6 that makes you almost forget that this full-size luxury sport sedan is not available with V8 power.

The base SE is fully equipped, with standard features such as seat-mounted safety belts, driver and front-passenger side-impact airbags, and four-wheel antilock brakes. Other standard items include 16-inch wheels and tires, power mirrors and illuminated entry. The midlevel SLE adds dual climate controls, a programmable driver information center, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, and an upgrade to 17-inch wheels.

Of course, the SSEi not only packs supercharged punch, but ups the equipment ante with dual exhaust, high-performance 17-inch wheels and tires, GM's StabiliTrak suspension system, and a Bose eight-speaker premium audio unit. You also get other high-tech goodies, such as EyeCue head-up display, variable-effort steering, and 12-way power leather front buckets with memory.

Speaking of the interior, all controls are canted toward the driver in true Pontiac tradition, with full instrumentation backlit in the brand-signature red lighting. If your needs call for six-passenger capability, a 55/45 bench seat with center storage armrest is available on the SE (in cloth only). A lineup of Delco radios is offered, as is GM's three-button OnStar communications system.

Overall, the Bonneville is a stylish and speedy full-size sedan built off a true, world-class platform that has won critical acclaim beneath Cadillac's Seville. If the Bonneville's racy new looks suit you, the only way to improve the breed would be to borrow the Caddy's Northstar V8.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.