Last post on Jul 23, 2010 at 5:36 PM
You are in the Pontiac Bonneville
What is this discussion about?
Pontiac Bonneville, Sedan
#2693 of 4400 ottawa guy
Apr 05, 2002 (6:54 pm)
I heartily agree with my colleagues here on the virtues of the Bonneville. The only GP I have driven was a base level rental, and although it's fun, it didn't have the panache of the Bonnie. For me, the rarity of Bonnevilles on the road is one of the plusses (I like being unique!), along with the fact that it is the flagship model (I only want the top-of-the-line!).
I am (and have been on this board) somewhat critical of the Bonneville too. I expect better build quality for a $30k+ vehicle, and this is not just a Bonneville problem but a GM problem. I also have a small but irritating vibration problem on my 2000 SSEi that is all too common on this platform (includes Aurora) and apparently difficult to correct. And as far as headroom -- I'm 6'2" and my car has a sunroof -- there isn't enough with the seat jacked up which is the way I like it. And I can't even sit in the back seat without slouching (the rear seat is higher than the fronts and the roofline is lower than LeSabre).
But don't get me wrong, I'm still here because I am just as passionate about this car as everyone else. I love the performance, the gadgets, the styling, and the pride of owning a full-size built-in-the-USA Pontiac. Maybe these are all subjective impressions, but isn't that part of the ownership experience?
#2694 of 4400 ice hit it on the head
Apr 05, 2002 (6:57 pm)
Other than the fact the GP folds up like cardboard in a crash, it comes down to preference. If I wanted pure 4 door performance I'd go for the GTP or Regal GS (I believe the moonroof actually retracts into the roof on the Buick... That over the roof design on the GP seems tacky at best). Easy to get great 1/4 mile times with the GTP, lots of parts suppliers. Ride quality, overall build quality seems better (a seat of the pants observation), technology, safety, and exclusitivity, you got to give the nod to the ssei. Mfahey: I'm good for next week end. 1st you must drive mine with the mods (or better yet line them up). As I have not driven a stock ssei in 2 years, I am curious how fast mine really is. I'll dig the puller out when you are a for sure. Bring plenty of RS pictures... My 10th anniversary T/A be here...too bad we can't line them up too!!! e-mail ezraponswbell.net
Apr 05, 2002 (8:10 pm)
I've got to pipe up here for Ottawaguy and say that the ride in my SE is definitely improved with the addition of the rear stabilizer bar. It's a smooth ride but corners well. It was kinda sloppy before. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another SE and beef it up a bit to firm out the handling.
Apr 06, 2002 (1:29 am)
that's were I'm a bit confused. The last '02 BV brochure I saw (I no longer have it) indicated front and rear sway bars for the SE -I know that'd be a change from '00-'01 if it's indeed true.
Can anybody else confirm/refute this?
#2697 of 4400 Mid- size vs. Full-size
Apr 06, 2002 (6:44 am)
Considering the comments made about mid-size exteriors with full size interiors (Ken), how does this relate to safety? Wouldn't there be great sacrifice in having less metal between the passengers and the exterior?
My wife once had a Mitsubishi mini van which had plenty of room inside but the rear seats were so close to the back window, It bothered me to have my family in it. We traded it for a Toyota Sienna.
#2698 of 4400 This might help...
Apr 08, 2002 (8:25 am)
I was shopping for the Olds equivalents (although I did check out the Bonneville too) in that I was considering an Intrigue vs. Aurora (well, I was pretty much set on the Aurora, but the price difference was compelling) and here are some things I considered. Size was a bit bigger in the Aurora, more comfortable interior and better quality materials (much more luxurious, I mean everything was: soft-touch plastics, real wood, much softer leather, beautiful gauges and lighting, thick comfortable steering wheel). Much quieter ride while still being athletic (part of that is the much sturdier G-body that was revolutionary for the original Aurora. Solid enough that Cadillac used it as a foundation for the Seville/Deville). Plus there were lots of little things like rain-sensing wipers and dual-zone climate control (although I think the GP might offer that. I know the Regal does), lumbar adjustments, memory seats (great!), load-leveling rear, and a DIC. One thing that wasn't an issue for me (because the Intrigue has it) but would be for Pontiacs is that the Bonneville can be had with stability control and the GP can't. I also like the Aurora's clean look without the chrome wheels and a spoiler that were standard on the Intrigue GLS, plus the bigger available engine; but that wouldn't really apply to the Bonnie/GP. The only trade-offs were a slightly smaller trunk (wouldn't apply to Bonnie, though) and forgoing fold-down rear seats for just a pass-through. These didn't bother me as the trunk space is plenty (more on the Bonnie) and I don't use the car as a junk hauler so I hardly need fold-down seats. Compared to an Aurora, the Bonneville doesn't get the extra two cylinders or the wood trim, but it has a lower price than an Aurora. All in all, I would have gotten the Bonneville for the money over a Grand Prix if Olds didn't exist. I don't know how helpful this is, but I guess it doesn't hurt to hear more opinions (you can always disregard it).
Apr 08, 2002 (8:34 pm)
Those Auroras are magnificent cars and I'd buy one in a heartbeat for the right price. The interior layout and overall level of comfort and trim is par Cadillac for sure - and arguable as nice or better than SLS. Enjoy your great ride!
#2700 of 4400 Test Drives
Apr 08, 2002 (8:46 pm)
Totally off topic but I thought some might find it interesting.
I took a couple of test spins this past weekend - one in a 1999 MB E320 and then in a 2000 SeVille SLS - just for the fun of it and to drive 2 cars I've never tried out before.
In a nutshell - the MB felt rock solid, extremely safe and BORING. It does everything well but I sensed that I would tire of the car very quickly.
The SeVille Northstar had a wonderful muted V-8 roar and smooth as silk steering, tranny, etc but the car has CHEAP plastic appointments. The armrest on the console was loose and rattling - felt ready to fall off but otherwise it was an enjoyable drive. I could see myself in that car more than the MB.
Next I'd like to drive the Saab 9.5 and the Volvo S80 just for kicks. Maybe a Jag S Type too. Haven't done this in ages - got to do more - just for fun.
Apr 09, 2002 (3:05 am)
None of us ever do enough of that. Test driving does way more than reading reviews examining spec sheets ever will.
Nice observations BTW
Apr 09, 2002 (5:44 am)
Well folks, thank you for the input so far. As I've said, it has been more helpful than I ever thought!
No, no purchase yet, but...
Tested the Bonne and GP side by side this past weekend. Wow. Lotsa subtle differences. One thing I was waiting to find was a GP with power seats and no sunroof, so I could find a way to fit in it. I did, then took a look at the seat. It looked really funny. I had the seat lowered to its lowest setting, back all the way, and tilted back almost 30 degrees. Noone would possibly be able to get behind me, and my wife pointed out that there wasn't a chance we'd be buying a car that I had to adjust that much just to be comfortable in...
The Bonne? Hardly any adjustments. Seems to fit better, overall, too. Love the dash - at first I found it a bit cluttered, but it grew on me pretty quickly. Interesting idea on the vents. The engine was nice - although its the same one, I did perceive subtle differences. The GP's seemed to be tuned to be abrupt and a bit jerky - almost like it is supposed to be thrown around the road. The Bonne's was smoother, but still stout. I'm curious... anyone know what is done for the "extra" 5 hp?
Well, still gotta debate with the better half (she, for some reason, wants a truck but is coming around...) but its lookin' like we'll be sitting in our new Bonne SE within the next couple months.