The Model Line-up Of The New Merged GM & Chrysler: Part VII - Pontiac

2009 Pontiac G5 $16,980

It's a Chevrolet Cobalt. Which means it's a Chevrolet Cavalier. Which means that anyone in their right mind should run, not walk, away from any GM salesperson who is trying to foist this unsightly heap of sorry metal upon them. This is a "compact economical" car right off the GM dealership floor around 1985. To say that it's dated by a couple of decades is to make the G5 sound better than it actually is. Avoid, avoid, avoid! Danger Will Robinson!

KILL

2009 Pontiac G6 $20,490

It's pretty obvious by now that I don't like clones. There is no reason whatsoever in the 2009 model year and beyond to produce two identical cars and just rebadge them as something other than they are. However, this policy runs up against a brick wall when it comes to the G6. Yes, I know that it's essentially a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu under the skin, and that's reason alone to eliminate it. However, unlike the Malibu, the 2009 Pontiac G6 suits a completely different driver. No one in their right mind could ever call the Chevy Malibu a sports sedan, but with a bit of tweaking, the G6 could fit the bill. If the G6 could be massaged a bit more to muscle-ize its boring slabby 1992 Pontiac styling, and the 2.4 litre four cylinder be fitted with either a turbo or even a supercharger, General Motors / Chrysler Corporation could have a very handy little BMW 3 series killer that it could sell for less than half the price of a Beemer... of course while carrying the Chevrolet Bowtie as the Pontiac marque has to go the way of the murdered Chief Pontiac of the Ottawa tribe.

KEEP

2009 Pontiac G8 $28,190

Pontiac G8? I don't see any Pontiac G8? All I see is a Holden Commodore from General Motors' Australian production line that's been converted to left hand drive. What in the name of blazes is this car doing in North America, and why does anyone want to buy a car like this with a huge six litre V8? Does it look like the sign at the local 76 gas station still reads 89.9 cents per gallon? Are we trying to make it to Alice Springs before sundown with three jerry cans strapped to the roof?

KILL

2009 Pontiac Solstice $24,275

The only other notable survivor in the General Motors / Chrysler Corporation lineup from what was once the proud performance marque of Pontiac (who can forget the mighty original GTO, let alone the 455 cubic inch Trans Am in black and gold with the screaming fiery eagle on the hood?) the Solstice requires some minor tweaking in order to become a reasonable entry into the newly revised Chevrolet model range. As a Bowtie Sports Convertible, the 2.4 litre engine needs to be killed and the smaller 2.0 litre powerplant needs to be shrunk to well under two litres (1.6 litres would be optimal) and perhaps be given the gift of a turbo or supercharger as in the G6 big brother, the ridiculously scrunched convertible top down trunk space has to be expanded, and the butt silly "Frog with a BMW 2002 grille" look has to be rationalized into something swoopier. Once that's accomplished, this could be a truly successful Chevy.

KEEP

2009 Pontiac Torrent $24,820

I think I already wrote this in the GMC listing of the Acadia: It's a Chevrolet Equinox with a different badge! Who needs it?

KILL

2009 Pontiac Vibe $16,100

This vehicle violates the great automaker's dictum: Thou shalt not clone… although it does it in a completely different manner. It's not a GM clone of a current GM car, it's actually a GM clone of a Toyota! Although the 2009 Pontiac Vibe does earn brownie points for being a Toyota Matrix with a smaller pricetag, there is still essentially no real reason to same exactly the same vehicle with two different name tags, even if they are being sold in completely separate and competing dealerships. This car waters down Pontiac's current performance image as it's really nothing more than a Japanese grocery getter and mom taxi, thus it shouldn't be sitting in the Pontiac dealership floor, let alone the revised and rationalized dealerships of the merged General Motors / Chrysler Corporation.

KILL

Pontiac, I knew you well. You were the sporty car of the youthful dreams of my entire generation. Your Firebird Trans Am was legendary. What other car could Burt Reynolds have jumped across bayous? What other car could David Hasselhoff have rocket blasted around in? But the current economic crisis is not kind to nostalgia, thus you have to be absorbed into the Chevrolet brand. I will most definitely shed a tear!

Continued in Part VIII

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