Last post on Jul 23, 2010 at 4:36 PM
You are in the Pontiac Bonneville
What is this discussion about?
Pontiac Bonneville, Sedan
#1364 of 4400 I Could Use Some Advice
Apr 24, 2001 (10:43 pm)
It's pretty obvious that you are all Bonneville lovers, so who better to ask for some advice! I'm going to have to make a decision on a new car within the next month and I am thinking about the Bonneville. I drove a 92 and 95 Bonneville and in 98 left the Pontiac family, mainly because I felt I needed a change--I didn't want to get the exact same car again. Well, to get to the point, I'm thinking Bonneville again. Any thoughts on the 2001's? My other cars were, I think, an SE and an SLE and now I'm thinking about the SSEi because of all of the options in it. How are the 2001s? Any problems? Would you recommend the SSEi? The only regret that I have is that I wish they had more colors/interiors to pick from. Anyway, I would appreciate any help you can offer, I am very open to suggestions!! Thanks in advance.
Apr 24, 2001 (11:35 pm)
I'm biased - if you want a full size car, look no further. What else is there for 30-ish grand?
Chrylser: Intrepid R/T, 300M, LHS (nice looking cars but the Chrysler powertrain reputation kept me away)
Toyota: Avalon (can be had with a bench seat, rides like the Buick LeSabre and not quite as large - I was unimpressed)
BMW/Infiniti/Lexus: nothing in the 30k ballpark
Ford: Crown Victoria / Grand Marquis (drives somewhat like the Buick but styling is a little dated - still, a lot of car for $25k)
Acura: TL (Type S is a nice car and you can get with a Nav system - $32k without Nav)
GM: Buick Lesabre Custom (or Limited) - nice cars but don't toss into the corners like the Bonnie. Plus: a lot of SSEi equipment is not available on the LeSabres. Aurora: an extremely nice car, not quite as big as the Bonneville but only the 3.5 is in the Bonnie's price range and, at least up here, there's a higher labour charge for servicing Aurora's.
Why go Bonneville? size - interior and trunkwell-built (one minor recall and only affects of cars built in Jan. '00 - methinks) but otherwise no serious problemsexcellent platform (shares with LeSabre, Seville STS and Aurora - not bad company)performance (particularly the SSEi) - corners well, accelerates very well and fuel economy's great (I'm getting 23.7 mpg in daily commuting - I know because I've never reset the fuel economy calculator since I bought mine in December)looks - that aggressive boy-racer ready-to-pounce look is definitely for meinterior - gobs of room, nicely set-up driver's cockpit (canted towards driver - the way it should be)creature comforts - the SSEi has everything you could want, the SLE's features are pretty good too.
I have a '00 SLE but looked long and hard at the SSEi - couldn't do it because I bought off the lot (end of model year discounts...) & all the SSEi's I saw had sunroofs. If headroom's an issue (like it is for me), watch out for the sunroof. The SSEi has a lot of great features (Heads-up display, stabilitrak, magnasteer, a tad better cornering than the SLE or SE, a Bose stereo, memory seats and a few other minor things that aren't even available on the SLE or SE) in addition to the supercharged engine but it takes premium fuel and the fuel economy isn't supposed to be as good. That being said, I would have snapped one up (even at the almost $5k premium) if headroom hadn't been an issue - as happy as I am with my SLE.
You might want to go back 400 posts or so - I had solicited a list of nitpicky items about the current Bonneville (useless front cupholders were way up there) but nothing that should keep you from buying one. Good luck and let us know what you decide - even if you go elsewhere.
Apr 24, 2001 (11:38 pm)
For me, my short list was Bonneville, Aurora, 300M and Acura TL. The other cars I mentionned above didn't make the 1st cut. I went with the Bonneville based on test rides that concluded it was the most car for the money.
Again, good luck!
Apr 25, 2001 (6:33 am)
I looked at all GM except the Caddies. I settled on a 2001 SLE. I was looking at 2000's at end of year but could not find one with power passenger seat. Heated seats were available in SLE starting 2001 so I ordered. Great option! The Bonnie has great handling good interior room and the gas mileage is very good. My wife and I liked the style of the car better than the other GM's. Also the two closest Pontiac dealers to me have great service departments. This was also part of my decision. I have 7k on the car and the only complaint was a drift to the left which was quickly fixed and the car was washed and cleaned on the inside when I picked it up. I would have liked the 12 way power seats in the SSEI but did not want to use premium gas. The SLE is also very responsive. Yes, the cup holders are poorly designed, the glove box is barely capable of holding the manuals that come with the car. Otherwise the car is great!!
Good luck with your decision.
#1368 of 4400 Pulley and Horsepower
Apr 25, 2001 (7:59 am)
Going to a 3.5 or 3.4 pulley is a very noticeable improvement. How much HP?? Who knows. Would need to dyno before and after. Thrasher did it on a gtp with a catback exhaust and saw 25 hp increase at the wheels.
A 3.25 feels even better.
In either case do something to improve intake. Either a drop-in K&N or better yet a CAI.
#1369 of 4400 Intense - Rocker Arms
Apr 25, 2001 (8:06 am)
Did you get the arms installed? How do they work? I only have a few thousand miles left until factory warranty is done.
#1370 of 4400 Excuse me...
Apr 25, 2001 (8:20 am)
I realize you guys are in the middle of helping Denise51 select her car (Go for the Bonne!), but I just had my first run-in with a not-so-nice Pontiac-Hater on another board and I need to vent.
News and Views "Actual names you gave your vehicle" (something like that). Wrote about my Beretta (Greta) and how I couldn't think of a good name for my Bonne. You can go read it yourself, if you want. I did tactfully come back, but there's just times when you would rather throw tact out the window. This would be one of those times...what a jerk...guess what he can kiss?
O.K., I feel better, I know I can come here and no one will say anything mean about my car...man, what a jerk, didn't his mother tell him "If you can't say anything nice...blah, blah, blah"? O.K., now I'm done...really.
Good luck in whatever you decide on, Denise51!
#1372 of 4400 C'mon guys - let's help Xena name her Bonneville
Apr 25, 2001 (8:39 am)
Xena's machina came to mind - too cutesy and not racy enough for a Bonneville. The name should bespeak luxury with attitude.
#1373 of 4400 Denise and Xena
Apr 25, 2001 (8:44 am)
It sure is great to have female participation here now!
Denise - Go for the Bonneville - you will absolutely love it - not be disappointed with your purchase after you've driven it a while and say "I could have had a V-8"!!
Seriously - I have the 2000 SE model - an affordable pre-owned Spruce Green beauty - see pics in the Bonneville owners photo gallery. It has tremendous power and terrific gas mileage on regular fuel (30 mpg on highway, 25 or so overall) It is such a pleasure to take out on the open road as often as possible (Turnpike Ken is what my monika means). I have the cloth buckets, CD and alum wheels, no SR - pretty basic but a great value.
I would definitely go for the leather wheel with radio controls - Gotta have em next time!!
If you can swing the SSEi you'll love the goodies, if not - the SLE is a great compromise, and the SE with the 1SC package is a terrific value - also slightly different front end styling that softens the aggressive look of the SSEi and SLE a bit if that matters to you.
Best wishes on your decision - BTW - have you looked at Impala LS too? You should at least do that before deciding - that is my other car of preference. Very similar to Bonneville and another terrific value at around 25 K loaded.