Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2007 Pontiac G6 Sedan
What's New for 2007
For the 2007 Pontiac G6, there are substantial under-the-skin changes. The GTP version, which is now offered as a coupe or sedan only, is powerful this year, thanks to a new, all-aluminum 3.6-liter V6 with variable valve timing. The engine produces 252 horsepower and is matched to a new six-speed automatic transmission. The engine in last year's GTP, a 3.9-liter V6, is now an upgrade option for the GT trim. Pontiac has also increased the output for the GT's standard 3.5-liter V6 by 23 hp this year (16 hp for convertible models). Other G6 changes for 2007 include expanded availability of side curtain airbags, hydraulic power steering for GT models (versus the former numb-feeling electric power setup) and a couple of new sport- and luxury-themed packages.
Although 2007 marks just the third year of the Pontiac G6, a number of changes should further boost its appeal among style-conscious and performance-minded shoppers. Based on GM's "Epsilon" platform, the G6 shares its basic architecture with the Chevrolet Malibu Maxx, itself a lengthened version of the Malibu sedan. As such, the Pontiac G6 offers passengers plenty of room to stretch out thanks to its long, 112.3-inch wheelbase. In addition, that generous span also makes for a smooth and stable ride. This year brings more power for the base 3.5-liter V6, which provides up to 224 horsepower, while the performance leader GTP gets a new 3.6-liter 252-hp mill. Another improvement is the adoption of hydraulic power steering in the GT, which promises more road feel than the former numb electric setup that only the base sedan retains.
Along with eye-catching style, the 2007 Pontiac G6 offers sun worshippers a rare option, a retractable-hardtop convertible. One of just two such vehicles offered for under $30,000, (the VW Eos is the other) the G6 convertible's retractable hardtop promises the security, styling and quietness of a coupe when the top is up. The transformation to alfresco mode takes place in fewer than 30 seconds with the touch of a button, and the car's rear seat is still roomy enough for two adults. The main drawback to this hardtop design is that it takes up considerable trunk space when lowered.
While the spotlight may be on the G6 convertible, the G6 coupes and sedans hold their own in the midsize car class as well. With more performance on tap, in addition to its spacious cabin, unique features and competitive pricing, the stylish 2007 Pontiac G6 lineup offers enticing alternatives to status quo choices like the Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Pontiac G6 four-door sedan is available in four trim levels: Value Leader (known as "base w/1SV"), G6 (known as "base"), GT and GTP. Coupes come in either GT or GTP trims and the convertible comes only as a GT. The G6 Value Leader sedan comes surprisingly well equipped with 16-inch wheels; air-conditioning; power windows, locks and mirrors; a 60/40-split-folding rear seat; a CD player; a four-way power driver seat and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel. The standard G6 adds 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control and keyless entry. The GT adds an eight-speaker Monsoon sound system, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, foglamps, a sport-tuned suspension, a rear spoiler and chrome wheels. Pontiac G6 GTPs feature 18-inch wheels, a rear spoiler (sedan only), automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, XM satellite radio and a six-way power driver seat.
Notable options include a remote start system, power-adjustable pedals and OnStar telematics. There are also a few theme packages available. The Sun and Sound Package outfits the G6 with an in-dash CD changer and a sunroof. On the standard G6 sedan, opting for the Sport Package adds the 3.5-liter V6, antilock disc brakes and hydraulic power steering. For the GT trim, this package adds the 3.9 V6, 18-inch wheels, stability control and a six-speed manual transmission. The Premium Package for the GT and GTP trims features leather seating, heated front seats and remote vehicle start.
Powertrains and Performance
Standard power for the base sedans (Value Leader and G6) comes from a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 169 hp and 162 pound-feet of torque. The standard G6 sedan is eligible for an optional 3.5-liter V6, which puts out 224 hp and 220 lb-ft (217 hp and 217 lb-ft in the GT convertible). All GT cars have this V6 as standard equipment. A four-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels is standard with either of these engines. Optional on the GT is a 3.9-liter V6 (240 hp, 240 lb-ft) that can be paired with the standard four-speed auto or an optional six-speed manual transmission. The performance-oriented GTP series comes with a 252-hp (251 lb-ft) 3.6-liter V6 matched to a six-speed automatic that offers manual-shift capability. Fuel economy ratings for the 3.5-liter V6 are impressive at 21 mpg city, 29 mpg highway.
In terms of power, the four-cylinder Pontiac G6 compares favorably with competitors' base engines but is lacking in refinement. The fuel-efficient 3.5-liter V6 offers plenty of torque down low for easy passing and merging, but can also get a bit thrashy at high revs. The 3.9-liter V6 offers plenty of power and the attraction of a six-speed manual gearbox. Alas, the transmission's shifter is rather clunky to operate. As expected, the GTP offers the most performance and sophistication with its impressive output and manually shiftable automatic transmission.
Four-wheel disc brakes are standard on all 2007 Pontiac G6s, while ABS and traction control are standard on all but the Value Leader ("base w/1SV") and standard G6 sedans. You can get ABS as an option on the standard sedan, but it's not available at all on the Value Leader. Full-length side curtain airbags are standard on every G6 except the convertible. Front seat-mounted side airbags are optional on all but the Value Leader. The GTP features a standard stability control system ("StabiliTrak"), which is optional on the GT.
In NHTSA crash testing, the G6 sedan and coupe earned five stars (the best rating possible) for protection of the driver in frontal impacts and four stars for protection of the front passenger. Side-impact testing in a sedan equipped with the side airbags resulted in five stars for front and rear passengers. In IIHS crash testing, the G6 sedan received a top score of "Good" for its protection in frontal-offset impacts. Side-impact tests conducted by that agency resulted in an "Acceptable" rating (the second highest) on a G6 with the side-curtain airbags. However, those without the side airbags rated "Poor," the lowest possible score.
Interior Design and Special Features
The interior of the Pontiac G6 features stylish seating with generous side bolsters to hold you in place during aggressive cornering. The gauges showcase Pontiac's signature red type, and are set in an attractive cluster with chrome rings. Plenty of chrome and faux metal accents brighten up the interior. Materials quality is a step below class standards, with cheap plastics on the dash and console. A unique option on the G6 sedan is a panoramic sunroof that opens in four sections and remains exposed when it's open so it looks like a roof spoiler. Rear-seat room is generous no matter which body style you choose.
With hydraulic power steering now standard on the GT and GTP and optional on the standard G6 sedan, our previous gripe about the G6's numb steering feel (due to the electric power-assist system) has been addressed on all but the Value Leader sedan. Regardless of trim level, the G6's suspension returns a surprisingly sporty ride, which is taken to a higher level in the more firmly sprung GT and GTP. Choose either one and you'll enjoy flat, composed cornering with a minimum of body sway while pressing on a twisty road. The G6's solid platform makes for a flex-free ride over the bumps and the convertible's insulated hardtop allows the G6 drop top to rival the coupe for serenity while cruising at freeway speeds.