Last post on Jul 28, 2011 at 8:56 PM
You are in the Pontiac Grand Prix
What is this discussion about?
Pontiac Grand Prix, Sedan
#699 of 4457 Bdime
Feb 19, 2001 (9:36 pm)
The Pontiac Grand Prix SE sedan is the only model offered with the 3100 OHV V6 engine that churns out 175HP. This engine works fine on any N-body sedan model (Malibu, Grand AM, Alero) but it is anemic and deficient for the larger and heavier W-body platform Grand Prix. The Grand Prix is best enjoyed with the Normally aspirated 3800 Series II OHV V6 GT model (200HP) or the Supercharged version of that same engine (240HP)GTP model.
Based on recent observations and a couple of test drives of GP GTP sedan models, the ergonomics, dashboard and controls layout are virtually identical among the three trim levels...whether it is the SE, GT or GTP. The cockpits on these cars are generally pleasing and comfortable; however, some controls layout and dashboard design and materials still reflect the 'Old School of GM ergonomics' from the Roger Smith era...some examples:
The controls for the Cruise Control, Windshield Wipers, High Beams and turn signals are ALL crammed into the ancient 'SmartStalk' lever from the 1980's. The same stalk configuration is standard in all trim levels. The critical controls for the Cruise Control should be placed in the Steering Wheel hub (Like in the Impala/Montecarlo) where they are much easy to access and can be operated by just button tactile feedback (Advantage = Impala/Montecarlo)
Mechanical odomoter, Trip Meter and in dash gear shift indicator. I am sure this is not a biggie at all (Nothing against mechanical instruments) but this is an area where you can also see that the GP has that ancient GM feeling to it. The newer (By 3 model years) Impala/Montecarlo models feature FULL digital odometer, trip meter and gear shift indicator quadrant. The main instrument pod presentation seems much better in the Impala/Monte...easier to read instruments (look very sporty) and doesn't have that glowing orange night time lighting, instead a more easy on the eyes and subdued greenish/blueish cluster illumination...the instruments look more like they were pulled off an imported automobile than the General's parts bin...just my opinion, please do not take offense.
* The Hazard blinker lights switch in the GP is placed right above the steering wheel plastic stalk/column cover right in a location that makes it hard to reach on a hurry or emergency. The Impala/Monte has this switch mounted on the instrument cluster pod where it is much easier to reach on an emergency.
* Sorry, but the plastics used in the GP cabin are not impressive for a car of this price caliber..some dash and door trim pieces feel very cheap and flimsy to the touch...great potential for rattles as the car ages. In this area I feel the Impala/Montecarlo have much better interior plastics and assembly quality and fit are more carefully executed, again for a GM car. I feel that the plastics in the GP belong more in the Cavalier, the the lowly Chevy Impala gets better interior materials...Pontiac has to do some explaning on that one.
* Crash testing scores. This is an area where the Impala/Montecarlo clearly surpasses any other W-body platform car from GM. Consistent 5 star frontal score and a 4-side frontal score. The Impala/Monte are built like tanks. However, the GP, Intrigue and Regal have not scored as good and solid as the Impala..this reflects on the age of these cars last revised for the '97 model year. The Impala already meets year 2003 goverment safety requirements while the GP only complies with 1997 safety regulations....some food for tought:
As for the rest, the Impala, GP, Regal, intrigue are pretty competitive in engines, transmissions, gizmos, etc, but I feel the Chevrolets give you the most bang for the buck, better safety and sligthly better ergonomics, fit and finish and quality.
Also, the Impala, Montecarlo and Regal are built in Canada. GM Canadian assembly plants have always scored higher in quality than the US GM plants. The Grand prix/Intrigue are built at the Fairfax, Kansas plant and the quality stats of that assembly facility have always been lower (and it shows)than the quality ratings of the Oshawa, Ontario Canada assembly plants. Maybe these cars are better because are not built by the UAW syndicated folks..their Canadian and Mexican counterparts seem to always do a much better job at putting cars together.
have fun and enjoy whatever you choose!
Feb 19, 2001 (9:58 pm)
To be precise:
- The 3.1l engine is used currently not only with GP SE and Chevrolet Malibu, but also with Buick Century. And with Chevrolet Lumina, still in production, for fleet sales only.
- On the other hand, 99-2001 GA and Oldsmobile Alero have different engines - either 2.4l 4-cylinder, or 3.4l V-6. The 3.4l engine is used also with the base Impala, MC, and with several minivans and minivan-like Pontiac Aztec.
#701 of 4457 Thanks Yurakm
Feb 20, 2001 (5:59 am)
I already was aware regarding the 3100 V6 other vehicle applications and the 3400 V6 applications as well.
Feb 20, 2001 (6:07 am)
All of teo's comments are pretty much on the mark. I am surprised, however, that he did not mention the engine cradle and steering shaft issues. Please go over to the Impala and MC forums and read up if you haven't already. Seems as though the issues have been fixed as long as you purchase a vehicle with a later build date. Good luck with whatever you choose. I miss my MCSS so much. One of the many things I loved about that car; you just don't see very many and it is unique. Lots of GPs everywhere.
#703 of 4457 Toon1
Feb 20, 2001 (7:09 am)
You are absolutely right about the cradle, steering shaft issues on the 2000 model year Impala/Montes.
Bdime::: If you want to learn more about the Impala, go to the Impala topic right here in Townhall.
#704 of 4457 Earnhardt 98 GTP on E-Bay
Feb 20, 2001 (9:24 am)
There is a blue 98 GTP Pace Car being offered on E-Bay that is reported to be autographed by Dale Earnhardt. Seller says he has a pic of Dale signing the dashboard. 1998 is, of course, the year that he won Daytona 500. No bids yet and $19.5K is the starting bid. The car has 29.5K miles and is said to be tweaked to 300 hp. Got to think this is going to attract some attention - and could become quite valuable. What a shame he's gone. I watched the race on a 48 inch screen with surround sound and was enjoying it immensely. Can't get that image out of my head now of Dale careening into the wall. It didn't seem too bad compared to the spectacular pile-up earlier (ironically during the Tony Stewart Grand Prix Commercial) that sent Tony's # 20 Pontiac somersaulting over the pack. Ken
Feb 20, 2001 (1:39 pm)
Hey...did you all see the Grand Prix G-8 Concept Car? I'M DROOLING...I'd LOVE to see this puppy hit the production floor some day!
Check it out at:http://www.edmunds.com/editorial/conceptspotlight/pontiacgrandprixg8/42925/index.html
#706 of 4457 teo, toon01 and tpken
Feb 20, 2001 (6:37 pm)
Thanks for the input- I have checked the impala site and Read their comments.
I'm still not decided but leaning more toward the Impala (safety ratings a plus
and I think the access to cruise etc. would be a plus) Gotta love that Grand Prix
look though. Along with many race fans- the spouse and I watched the race
and were not surprised but saddened at the death of Dale Earnhardt. We've
seen some spectacular crashes at Indy and were looking forward to the new
track in Joliet opening. It's interesting that while we have different favorites
hubby and I both like Stewart. (That Grand Prix is a good looking car) It's
also interesting to note that many of the great safety features all automobiles
have come from race car inovations. No answers to my earlier question
about the future of Oldsmobile and it's service huh?
Feb 23, 2001 (6:36 am)
Love the GTP but The dodge Intrepid R/T needs a peek,242 horsepowerW/O a supercharger!Yes.....you don't need Premium fuel!!! check it out.
#708 of 4457 Intrepid R/T???
Feb 23, 2001 (7:36 am)
Maybe Intrepid R/T has 242 hp but I'd bet the farm that it can't touch the GTP's performance. Somehow, the Chrysler engines' ratings don't translate 0-60.