2006 Pontiac GTO Review

Pros & Cons

  • One of the best V8s ever made under the hood, comfortable enough to drive every day, interior design and quality worthy of the price tag.
  • Soft suspension tuning more suited for a Grand Prix than a high-performance coupe, long shifter throws, small trunk, missing key amenities and safety features.
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Edmunds' Expert Review

It may not look like an old-school Pontiac GTO, but this modern-day incarnation has more muscle than the original. Unfortunately, there's more engine here than the suspension can keep up with.

Vehicle overview

The GTO legend started back in 1964, when Pontiac offered Tempest/Le Mans buyers a GTO option package. That performance-enhancing option proved so popular that the GTO became its own model and is often credited as the first true "muscle car." Although some purists would say the "real" GTO died in 1973, the GTO name lasted until 1974.

With only 200 horsepower and distinct Nova looks, it's easy to see why many do not consider the '74 to be a true Pontiac GTO. As the performance dwindled, so did the popularity of the car and sales swiftly declined. The introduction of the more realistic "net" horsepower rating in the early '70s couldn't have helped, as it was surely difficult for local dealers to explain why a '71 GTO with a 400-cubic-inch V8 produced only 255 hp. By 1972, some of the GTO's former glory was restored, but the dark cloud of emissions control and government-mandated bumpers loomed large, and the once-proud Pontiac car became nothing more than just another GM clone.

Miraculously, GM has resisted the urge to slap the GTO badge on anything since 1974. It seems all the more curious given how fast and loose Chevrolet plays with its once-coveted "SS" moniker. We can't help but wonder how close the first Grand Prix GTP came to being labeled a GTO, but thankfully those in charge at Pontiac realized that "GTO" shouldn't be within a mile of a front-wheel-drive V6 automobile -- V8s only, please. GM was able to deliver on that promise thanks to a little help from its Holden division in Australia. The Monaro CV8 is the basis for the modern-day Pontiac GTO, and like past models, the new version is a 2+2 coupe. The Holden received styling revisions to make it look more like a Pontiac. The resulting twin grille and a slightly familiar rear-end treatment say "Pontiac" even from 20 yards away. Initially, the GTO was powered by GM's LS1 V8 making 350 hp.

For 2005, Pontiac slid the LS2 6.0-liter V8 under the hood, good for 400 hp. Blasting from zero to 60 in less than 5.5 seconds and blitzing the quarter-mile in under 14 ticks means a 2006 Pontiac GTO will simply embarrass nearly any old Goat you could name. A four-speed automatic transmission is standard, and all GTOs come with four-wheel antilock disc brakes, as well as a limited-slip rear end and traction control. An optional six-speed manual transmission only adds to the fun, and with a fully independent, performance-tuned suspension and 17-inch wheels, this 3,700-pound Pontiac car delivers a relatively supple ride.

2006 Pontiac GTO models

The 2006 Pontiac GTO is offered as a 2+2 sport coupe in one generously appointed trim level. The standard features list includes 17-inch aluminum wheels, leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats, a premium Blaupunkt audio system with an in-dash six-disc CD changer, a trip computer and power windows, locks and mirrors. Aside from choosing a manual or automatic transmission, the only significant option is a set of larger 18-inch wheels. A sunroof isn't available, nor is a navigation system.

2006 Highlights

There are no major changes in store for the 2006 Pontiac GTO.

Performance & mpg

There is only one engine available on the Pontiac GTO -- a 6.0-liter V8 rated at 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. The standard transmission is a four-speed overdrive automatic, but a six-speed, close-ratio manual transmission is available as an option. Regardless of which transmission is selected, all GTOs come with a limited-slip differential and traction control.


All 2006 Pontiac GTOs come standard with four-wheel antilock disc brakes, traction control, multistage front airbags and an emergency mode that shuts down the vehicle's systems and unlocks the doors in the event of an airbag deployment. Side airbags are not available, nor is stability control. Neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS have conducted crash tests on the GTO.


On the street, the 2006 Pontiac GTO rides like a luxury car and is easy to drive on a daily basis. But when driven more aggressively, the car can feel ponderous because of its significant body roll and slow and numb steering. Best to keep the car pointed straight and let the V8 work its magic, which, naturally, has been the point of the GTO since the beginning.


Unlike the original Pontiac GTO, this modern-day version is no stripper. The leather-trimmed front seats are comfortable and the overall interior design far surpasses that of the defunct Pontiac Firebird in terms of quality and functionality. The only letdowns of note are those generally endemic to a sport coupe: tight access to the rear seat, heavy doors and a small trunk.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2006 Pontiac GTO.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Refined Muscle Car Defined (2006 GTO)
Tom Miller,02/07/2010
Love my '06 GTO. Truly a refined modern muscle car with comfort. I now have 64K miles on my black/black Goat (have both factory options: 18"wheels and 6-Speed manual trans). First thing I did was replace the stock shifter with a HURST billet short throw unit (chrome flat handle/black knob). Other upgrades include a VOLANTE Cold-air intake, Magnaflow cat- back exhaust system, 180 degree TStat, E3 Sparkplugs, MSD plug wires, Royal Purple synthetic lubricants throughout and Diablosport tuning. The original 400HP/400TQ is estimated to be about 445HP/450Torque. Current best fuel efficiency is 28.51 MPG at 75mph sustained on a 1,360 highway trip. I average 19-20 city and 25-26 highway!
An honest assessment
This car is addictive to drive. I have an Impala and the GTO and it is so much fun to drive the GTO that it's hard to put it away when the weather's bad. I was addicted to it from the first test drive. I almost sold it due to the mpg but decided that anything this much fun SHOULD be expensive to drive. After the Pedder's suspension, it's been like driving a very expensive sport's car.
takes your breathe away
styling is awesome, and the comfort and ease of driving , and when you see the open road you are in comand, it gives you a feel of freedom and excitement at the same time ,
What a Car!!!!
This is an unbelievable machine. It never ceases to amaze me with its power. The drive is just plain awesome. The 6-speed manual is a must. Just a few practicality cons, only because I use it for an everyday vehicle (which by the way I highly recommend). Access to the back seat is pretty close to impossible, in the rain the car is all over the place (which adds to the fun but takes away safety), and the trunk barely has room for groceries. But let me tell you I'd much rather have that engine than trunk space. It's such a monster. Better snatch 'em up while you can. Unless the decide to re-release at a later date, the 2006 is the last model.

More about the 2006 Pontiac GTO

Used 2006 Pontiac GTO Overview

The Used 2006 Pontiac GTO is offered in the following submodels: GTO Coupe. Available styles include 2dr Coupe (6.0L 8cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2006 Pontiac GTO?

Price comparisons for Used 2006 Pontiac GTO trim styles:

  • The Used 2006 Pontiac GTO Base is priced between $16,495 and$16,495 with odometer readings between 87992 and87992 miles.

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Which used 2006 Pontiac GTOS are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2006 Pontiac GTO for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2006 GTOS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $16,495 and mileage as low as 87992 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2006 Pontiac GTO.

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Find a used Pontiac GTO for sale - 9 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $23,332.

Find a used Pontiac for sale - 9 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $15,350.

Find a used certified pre-owned Pontiac GTO for sale - 5 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $19,534.

Find a used certified pre-owned Pontiac for sale - 10 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $21,686.

Should I lease or buy a 2006 Pontiac GTO?

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.

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