Used 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP

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2006 Pontiac Grand Prix
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2006 Pontiac Grand Prix

Pros

  • Strong V8 and supercharged V6, easy-to-use controls, big trunk, comfortable ride.

Cons

  • Excessive torque steer on GXP model, numb steering, below-average build and materials quality, tight backseat, noisy V6s, not enough storage or cupholders.
Pontiac Grand Prix years
2006

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Edmunds' Expert Review

It may be fast in GT and GXP form, but the 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix is too rough around the edges to compete with more refined and better-performing cars like the Charger and Altima.

vehicle overview

Although the Accord and Camry are the obvious choices when it's time to buy a midpriced sedan, not every shopper wants one with an import label. Until recently, choosing a domestic sedan often meant giving up the high levels of refinement and overall quality upon which the Japanese brands have built their reputation. But recent success stories like the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Ford Fusion have proven that American manufacturers can step up to the plate in this regard. Pontiac targets would-be import buyers with its Grand Prix as well, and indeed the current generation of this midsize sedan provides a great deal more refinement than ever before. Redesigned for '04, the front-wheel-drive Pontiac Grand Prix benefited from stronger, more refined engines; fine-tuned ride and handling characteristics; and a friendlier cockpit design with large gauges and, for the most part, simple controls. Unfortunately, the quality of the materials and craftsmanship still leaves room for improvement.

A pair of powerful V6s and one V8 engine are offered in the Pontiac Grand Prix, offering 200 (base), 260 horsepower (GT) or 303 hp (GXP). Certainly the Grand Prix GT and GXP have enough power to make everyday driving entertaining but only so long as you limit your bursts of speed to straight-line acceleration. With a V8 weighing down its front end, the GXP model is anything but nimble around turns and exhibits torque steer when accelerating heavily from a standstill.. The GT is better balanced, but compared to competitors its steering is numb. To add insult to injury, the 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix isn't especially well suited for family use, either. It has a smooth highway ride, but its backseat is cramped and there's just no place to put family-oriented detritus like juice boxes or toys. While the Grand Prix's aggressive styling may appeal to buyers looking for an edgier alternative to the mild-mannered Accord, we think most people will find the similarly priced, rear-drive Charger much more satisfying. If front-wheel drive is a must, then the Altima SE-R is worth a look.

Trim levels & features

The Pontiac Grand Prix is available as a four-door sedan in one of three trim levels -- Base, GT and GXP. The base model comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, OnStar, a CD player, cruise control, air conditioning, keyless entry and power windows and mirrors. The GT adds 17-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, a remote vehicle starter and a trip computer. A Special Edition package, which features ground effects, body color grille, bright exhaust tips and unique 17-inch alloys, is optional. The GXP includes firmer suspension tuning, performance tires, an enthusiast-oriented stability control system, upgraded steering, a head-up display, unique trim and 18-inch alloys. A Premium Package, with leather seating and automatic dual-zone climate control, is also available on the Pontiac car.

2006 Highlights

New for 2006 is a Special Edition package, which features ground effects, body-color grille, bright exhaust tips and new 17-inch alloys. Inside this Pontiac car, the center console and various trim pieces have been revised. Last year's GTP is now the GT.

Performance & mpg

A pair of 3.8-liter V6s and a 5.3-liter V8 serves duty in the front-wheel-drive Grand Prix. In the base model, the standard 3800 Series III V6 makes 200 horsepower and 230 pound-feet of torque. The GT has a supercharged version rated for 260 ponies and 280 lb-ft of torque. Finally, the 5.3-liter V8 in the GXP makes a healthy 303 hp and 323 lb-ft of torque. All engines come with a four-speed automatic transmission; the GXP's has an automanual mode.

Safety

Antilock brakes and traction control are optional on the base and standard on the GT and GXP. Stability control, dubbed StabiliTrak Sport, is standard on the GXP. Front and rear side curtain airbags are optional on all models. In government crash tests, the Pontiac Grand Prix earned three out of five stars for side impacts (front and rear), but the car tested did not have side curtain airbags. Frontal crash tests resulted in a three-star rating for driver protection and four stars for the passenger. In IIHS frontal-offset testing, the Grand Prix was named a "Best Pick."

Driving

Even the base engine furnishes brisk response at low- and midrange speeds, while the supercharged GT keeps up with V6 versions of the Accord and Altima. Although we certainly enjoy the rush of the stout V8 in the GXP, the front wheels have a hard time of handling its power. Torque steer is noticeable and the car feels nose-heavy during spirited cornering. Daily driving in the 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix is just fine but it's not really that much fun to drive in a sporting manner due to its plain-Jane four-speed automatic and numb steering feel.

Interior

Inside the Grand Prix, there's a definite cockpit theme, as the center stack curves to meet the driver and the gauges and displays are all in red. Control layouts are simple and intuitive, even the trip computer. The front seats are broad and comfortable, though taller adults may find headroom limited. The backseat is cramped, with a low bench and tight foot room making it a last resort for adults. At least there's plenty of cargo space, thanks to a 16-cubic-foot trunk.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Wonderful Pontiac
Bob,06/06/2009
2 1/2 half years experience, 31500 miles. Replaced the battery this week, no other issues. Changed Bridgestones for Goodyear Eagle F1 A/S - 10,000 miles on the Goodyears, just do it. Upgrades - K&N Series 63 intake system, Magnaflow muffers (yeah they sound mean), upgraded floor mats and piano black dash trim kit. Adding LED taillights soon. White exterior/sand ultra lux leather interior. No Nav or optional paint. A+ build quality. Have some fun? Disconnect the battery overnight - drive the GXP hard the next day over several drive cycles. Becomes a REAL hot rod (I promise). Rare model - turns heads. Almost 20 mpg town w/27 highway. Wanna race?
Great car for the money
aaron,07/18/2016
Great styling performance and handling, will the comfort of a Cadillac, play draw backs I would say is the bellstine shocks give the car a rather rough ride but other than that it's a great car
best car
KYLE,07/16/2006
what car do you know that goes out of second gear at 100 mph, just all around great car, tight, awesome ride, i sell 'em and i love 'em, '06 is the last year for blue green crystal, go read the car and driver review and get the real facts!!!! kyle -ny-
GXP Rocks!
birdman64,08/19/2007
This is one of the most rounded cars I've owned. I have had 5 Corvettes, ranging from c4's - c6's. And far the money, you get an awesome vehicle! I am very impressed by the gas mileage I achieve, I am averaging 27.5! Now keep in mind, this is a V8! Very responsive! Very quick for a midsize sedan. I love the looks and stares I get from others that wonder what im driving. Most people have not even heard of a GXP!
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Features & Specs

MPG
16 city / 25 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
303 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all Used 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Marginal
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Poor
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix
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Should I lease or buy a 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Pontiac lease specials
Check out Pontiac Grand Prix lease specials