Often, a young first-time buyer’s relationship with a brand starts out with just such a price leader, a bare-bones base model with none of the extra trimmings, the kind of car advertised in the paper for a low price – this weekend only!. But if things work out the way the auto manufacturer plans, that buyer will be back time and time again as she ages and requires a bigger family car or a more expensive premium model that corresponds with her new Vice President title.
These are the reasons that Pontiac is debuting the new G5 coupe this fall, a slightly reworked and rebadged version of the Chevrolet Cobalt that’s sold as the Pursuit in Canada. This is not a new method of reaching downmarket – remember the Sunfire, essentially a fancier Cavalier? With a base price of $14,995, the 2007 G5 will be the least expensive Pontiac sold in the U.S., putting it almost $2,000 below a stripped G6 sedan or a base Vibe wagon. A G5 GT, offering more power and standard content, will start at $17,795. With its coupe styling and price tag well below $20,000, hopes are that this sort-of-new ride will put Pontiac on entry-level shoppers’ lists.
What it is
Why it matters
What’s under the hood
Moving up to the GT model requires an outlay of $17,795 and adds cruise control, a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel with radio controls, fog lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, antilock brakes, and a sport-tuned suspension. Buyers can add side-curtain airbags for $395 and OnStar telematics for $695.
What we think
When you can buy it
Photos courtesy of Pontiac of Canada