2002 Pontiac Grand Prix Review
Pros & Cons
- Strong powertrains, loads of features, fun to drive.
- Overcomplicated interior, cheap-looking dashboard plastic and switchgear.
Edmunds' Expert Review
High in performance, value and cheesy plastic interior pieces.
Loaded with standard features, Pontiac's Grand Prix successfully blends form, function and performance into one appealing and affordable package. Buyers can select from one of three models: base SE (in sedan form only), midlevel GT (coupe or sedan) or top-of-the-line GTP(also in coupe or sedan). The SE comes standard with a 3.1-liter V6 that makes 175 horsepower and meets low-emission vehicle (LEV) standards. Despite the commendable numbers for the 3.1, we recommend upgrading to the 200-horsepower 3800 Series II V6 (optional on SE Sedan and standard on GT). The 3800 offers more power yet still delivers the same 20 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, not to mention qualifying for Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) status. All Grand Prix models use an electronically controlled four-speed overdrive automatic transmission.For true sport sedan power, GTP models come equipped with a supercharged version of the 3800 V6 that makes a whopping 240 horsepower. A driver-selectable shift program toggles between smooth-shifting "normal" mode and a tire-chirping "power" program for maximum fun. A traction control system works in conjunction with four-wheel antilock disc brakes and 16-inch performance tires to keep the GTP planted firmly on the ground. All Grand Prix models benefit from hydraulic engine mounts to isolate noise and vibration and all powertrains feature long-life coolant and platinum-tipped spark plugs that last 100,000 miles under optimal conditions. Interiors feature analog instrumentation and large, easy-to-use controls. In the Pontiac tradition, the dashboard is a cockpit-style arrangement with gauges designed to look like those in a jet fighter, all backlit in a soothing red glow at night. It looks great in the dark, but broad daylight reveals an interior overflowing with endless buttons and knobs made of a cheap gray plastic that hardly inspires confidence in their durability.SE models come well-equipped with power windows, locks and mirrors; dual-zone air conditioning; cruise control; a six speaker AM/FM cassette stereo; antilock brakes; and dual airbags. Step up to GT trim, and you'll get the 3800 V6, 16-inch wheels and tires, a six-way power driver seat, CD player and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with satellite radio controls. The GTP adds the supercharged V6, a head-up instrument display, the OnStar communications system, keyless entry and a premium audio system. For 2002, a 40th anniversary option package will be available on all Grand Prix GT and GTP models. In addition to exclusive Dark Cherry exterior paint, this package adds specially designed wheels, a unique rear spoiler, hood vents and a twin-tipped dual exhaust. On the inside, the 40th anniversary package adds special two-tone Ruby Red and Graphite leather door trim, seats and steering wheel, as well as a Ruby Red shift knob and console plates. So if you're in the market for a four-door sedan and you want more than just your average Point A to Point B family car, check out the Grand Prix. With its aggressive styling, sport-tuned suspension and available supercharged engine, this is one reasonably priced sedan that still offers a little personality as standard equipment.