Kelley Blue Book ® - 2004 Pontiac Grand Am Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2004 Pontiac Grand Am Overview

Body
A Powerful Name With a Long History

This may be the last year for the Grand Am nameplate; Pontiac has an all-new European based sedan called the G6 ready to come aboard in 2005. While the G6 promises great performance and handling, there is still something uniquely American about the Grand Am that makes it highly desirable.

The Grand Am is offered as both a coupe and sedan, though the base SE1 and SE2 trims are limited to sedan form only. The GT coupe and sedan are identical in content and performance and differ only in the number of access points (doors.) For the money, the GT really is a great value and best fulfills the mission of the original 1973 Grand Am which was designed to take on the best European sport coupes and sedans of the day.

Pontiac has done much to clean up the exterior of the Grand Am GT, removing most of the heavy body cladding and plastic add-ons in accordance with Bob Lutz's new vision for the company's future image. Pontiac offers three versions of the GT, each building upon the other's strengths, adding features and styling that appeals to differing factions within the sport-car-loving community. The base GT comes fairly well equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels, four-speed automatic transmission, sport-bucket seats, Monsoon audio system, performance suspension, traction control and anti-lock brakes. The GT1 package adds a six-way power seat, power sunroof and steering-wheel mounted controls. The newest and most impressive looking Grand Am GT is the SC/T model that sports two huge air intakes atop its hood and an aero wing around back. We think you'll agree that the SC/T is the most aggressive looking Grand Am to date and a worthy stand-in for the now defunct Firebird Formula.

No matter which GT you choose, you'll get the same potent 3.4-liter Ram Air V6 engine under the hood. With a net horsepower rating of 175 and a torque rating of 205 ft-lb at 4000 rpm, the Grand Am can do far more than just look the part of a speed demon, it can actually deliver. Straight-line acceleration is strong in the GT and though you will experience some torque steer as you launch off the line, the Grand Am's traction control limits slippage and wheel chatter and keeps the car on track. The tight suspension setup all but eliminates the lean and roll found in the lesser SE cars and does so without punishing you with a harsh or jittery ride. You'll find Pontiac has done a nice job with the revised power steering system that gives the small steering wheel a nicely weighted feel without too much assist at high speed. About the only thing lacking on the GT is a nice 5-speed manual that we think would ratchet the driving experience up another notch, especially for those die-hard enthusiast types. As it stands, the Grand Am's four speed automatic does a good job of selecting the right gear, though in aggressive maneuvers, it lags a bit on the downshift.

The Grand Am's interior brought mixed reviews, earning praise for its roominess, comfortable seating and curvaceous dash board, but less than enthusiastic comments for its monotone gray and black plastic dash and door panels; night-time driving completely changes the dash board's personality thanks solely to the cool orange/red lighting that seems to glow from every possible switch, gauge and read out. You'll like the sport seats that strike a happy medium between all-out snug fit holding and appropriately wide seat bottoms and back. And if you're a music lover, you are going to flip over the Monsoon audio unit that features the option of XM satellite radio.

Pontiac has done a good job covering most of the desired accessories on the Grand Am. Standard features include power windows, power door locks, keyless remote with alarm, air conditioning, tilt wheel, full gauge package, anti-lock brakes, power seat height adjuster, cruise control, four speaker stereo and alloy wheels. Options are few but include the GT1 and SC/T packages, power glass moonroof, an MP3 audio system and chrome wheels.

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