In 1964, engineers at Pontiac stuffed one of the marque’s largest engines into its smallest car and created a legend, the 1964 Pontiac GTO. In so doing, Pontiac launched what ultimately came to be known as the “muscle car”. The Firebird and the Firebird Trans Am models that followed (particularly the 1973 and 1974 Trans Am SD455 models), added even more luster to the performance halo crowning the marque.
However, the energy crisis of 1973 sucked all of the starch out of the brand. There were few real highlights in the post fuel crisis Pontiac portfolio. The Firebird in particular, after having been such an icon of high performance for so long, became something of a caricature of itself.
The 1984 Pontiac Fiero, with its unique plastic skin over a steel monococque, started life as a relatively limp (but interesting looking) commuter car—before evolving into a rather desirable sports car just before it was killed in 1988. The last couple of years of Firebird were also worthy of the name, but that model also died in 2002.
The 2004 Pontiac GTO, based on the Holden Monaro from Australia, marked the return of rear-drive V8 high performance cars to Pontiac. That model was followed by the last interesting rear-wheel drive Pontiac sedan to offer V8 power —the Pontiac G8—also a rebadged Holden. The two-seat rear-drive Pontiac Solstice sports car—though rushed into production and somewhat underdeveloped as a result—was nonetheless an interesting car.
GM shuttered Pontiac in 2010, however you’ll still find Pontiac reviews here on the Autobytel Website. Just as with every other car we consider, Autobytel Pontiac reviews feature detailed analysis of the engines, interior treatments, safety equipment, and our honest evaluation of how the cars compared to the others in their categories.