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2004 Model Guide - Every Brand, Every Car


2004 Pontiac Model GuideFor decades now the Pontiac brand from General Motors has favored racy cars with sporty styling and muscular powerplants in a collection tagged with legendary nameplates like Bonneville, Grand Am and Grand Prix. That tilt toward sporty design intensifies this year as Pontiac brings back another fabled nameplate with the GTO.

Planned for a late arrival, the new interpretation of Pontiac's muscle car consists of a two-door coupe design with a Corvette engine aboard pumping up to 340 hp. The Pontiac lineup for 2004 also includes revamped versions of the mid-size Grand Prix series of sedans.

Flagship Bonneville sedan gets a new GXP edition with powerful V8 aboard, while best-selling Grand Am in coupe and sedan variations displays keen new styling points fore and aft plus larger wheels and tires.

Sunfire, the sporty Pontiac subcompact, appears strictly as a coupe with a fuel-efficient EcoTec engine, and Pontiac's Montana minivan comes in regular and stretched wheelbases with optional Versatrak all-wheel-drive (AWD) traction.

The Vibe, sport wagon, brings agile road manners like a small four-door sports sedan plus the cargo capability of a SUV and the miserly fuel efficiency and attractive price points of an economy car.

The Aztek sport-recreation vehicle returns with a Rally Edition dropped in the suspension up front and the boxy body dipped in Fusion Orange Metallic paint.

Pontiac GTO
2004 Pontiac GTO

Pontiac's original GTO led the muscle-car craze in the Sixties and ultimately accounted for more than half a million units sold. A new GTO, scheduled for production late in 2003, borrows the shapely two-door body of a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) Monaro coupe built by Holden, a GM subsidiary in Australia.

Then it's spiked with a 5.7-liter V8 Corvette engine cranked to 340 hp, plus 'Vette transmissions from a heavy-duty four-speed automatic or close-ratio manual six-speed. Expect mechanical gear oriented for performance with a limited slip differential, four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock brake system (ABS) and traction controller (TCS).

A 2+2 cockpit shows bolstered buckets in color-coordinated leather, a steering wheel in satin-finish chrome, plus metal pedals and a premium sound system with ten speakers and six-disc CD switcher.

Pontiac Grand Prix
2004 Pontiac Grand Prix

Revamping Pontiac's mid-size sedan amounts to a complete make-over that goes further than previous generations and transforms the car into a stylish and fun-to-drive vehicle that's also practical and easy to use.

There's no two-door coupe edition with the new design, although a pair of back doors on the sedan blends discreetly into the sleek flanks and merges into a fastback roofline so this new Pontiac looks more like a smooth coupe than simply another family-oriented sedan. It doesn't act like a conventional sedan, either, thanks to innovative features for a flexible cabin design and the performance posture of a sport-tuned Pontiac.

Two trim designations with different powertrains are GT and GTP, but the latter also offers a Competition Group (Comp G) package with suspension tweaking and sporty paraphernalia. The GT draws from GM's 3.8-liter V6 racked to 200 hp. The GTP goes further through supercharging to pump the action to 260 hp. GTP's Comp G kit includes StabiliTrak Sport, a four-wheel vehicle stability system that enhances tire traction during cornering maneuvers.

Further, two thumb-sized paddles - labeled TAPshift for Touch Activated Power - are mounted on right and left spokes of the steering wheel. A shift-it-yourself kind of driver can use the thumb and forefinger to move the paddles forward or backward and step up or down the powertrain's gear ladder in the same way race drivers control their open-wheel machines with finger-flicking upshifts and downshifts.

Read our Review: Pontiac Grand Prix

Pontiac Bonneville
2004 Pontiac Bonneville

For 2004 Pontiac casts the full-size flagship sedan in the models SE and SLE plus new GXP.

Arriving late, the GXP stocks a performance powertrain and special exterior adornments like curvy fascia, unique shapes for headlamps and taillamps, big exhaust pipes at the tail and a spoiler.

The engine, a 4.6-liter NorthStar V8 with dual cams, delivers 275 hp through a four-speed Hydra-Matic 4T80-E automatic transaxle with electronic controls. Bonneville SE and SLE draw from a 3.8-liter V6 plant that makes 205 hp.

Cabin for GXP contains rich appointments like suede inserts on the leather seats and a shifter handle in brushed aluminum.

Pontiac Grand Am
2004 Pontiac Grand Am

Rigged as either a two-door coupe or four-door sedan, the compact-class Grand Am looks sleek and clean with smooth fascia fore and aft and wheels that fill up the fender wells so it seems to hunker on the pavement.

Sedans show trims of SE, SE1 and SE2, plus GT and GT1. Coupes come strictly in GT and GT1 editions and SC/T performance appearance package. Grand AM SE and SE1 tote the GM EcoTec twin-cam 2.2-liter four-pack engine rated at 140 hp.

The SE2 sedan draws from a 3.4-liter V6 engine good for 170 hp. GT coupe and sedan cap the series with the V6 linked to Ram Air cold-air induction and a low-restriction exhaust, enhancements that kick the output to 175 hp. The coupe's SC/T package adds a composite performance hood and aero wing spoiler.

Pontiac Sunfire
2004 Pontiac Sunfire

Pontiac's subcompact shapes up as a two-door coupe in one trim but with three equipment packages. All variations stock the EcoTec 2.2-liter in-line-four engine with 140 hp. A five-speed Getrag manual goes on the first package, but a four-speed automatic Hydra-Matic 4T45-E works with the other two.

Front styling includes cat-eye headlamps flanking a dual-port grille and integrated foglamps in the fascia. Options this year range from the subscription-based XM satellite radio service to OnStar communications and security service and a 200-watt Monsoon audio package with eight speakers and a CD deck capable of playing MP3 format files. (CONTINUED...)

Pontiac Vibe
2004 Pontiac Vibe

Fusion Orange is the latest body color for Vibe, Pontiac's crossover wagon for the subcompact class. Exterior styling looks aggressive, with muscular lines spread across a broad structure where wheels push to perimeters and the body hugs the ground.

Vibe's structure is tall, which accommodates seats that rise high like chairs and creates voluminous space for people and equipment. A track system in the floor of the cargo bay adapts with various accessory kits to mount sports equipment like a mountain bike or snowboard.

A price-leading base Vibe and Vibe AWD feature either FWD or AWD format and an economical four-cylinder engine that hits 130 hp. Vibe GT with FWD skews toward the sporty side with a high-performance 180 hp engine tied to a six-speed manual transmission.

Vibe's base model also offers a boost by supercharging through a new SPO (Service and Parts Operations) kit that can be installed at a Pontiac dealer. Expect to gain about 35 percent in horsepower and torque with the supercharger aboard.

Pontiac Aztek
2004 Pontiac Aztek

Pontiac tags Aztek as a sport-recreation vehicle and casts it as a multi-purpose machine to accommodate active lifestyles with room aboard for hauling recreational equipment.

A new Rally Edition sparks up the series with a look-at-me paint job in Fusion Orange, Black or Silver Metallic. It rolls on 17-inch chrome wheels, has the front suspension dropped and the front grille matching body color. In the cabin, the Rally Edition brings power controls to the driver's seat with optional leather and special audio speakers in the cargo compartment with separate radio controls.

Aztek stocks standard FWD traction or the AWD Versatrak system. It detects tire rotational differences between front and rear wheels during low-traction conditions, then directs power to either or both rear wheels momentarily before actual tire slippage occurs at the front wheels. Power is supplied from a 3.4-liter V6 that produces 185 hp with a four-speed Hydra-Matic 4T65-E automatic transaxle.

Pontiac Montana
2004 Pontiac Montana

Regular and stretched wheelbases work with Pontiac's minivan. Versatrak AWD traction is optional on the stretched edition, along with MontanaVision, a DVD-based video entertainment system.

A Special Value model adopts a no-frills approach in a cabin layout that has seven seats with an integrated child's seat, plus standards like air conditioning and cruise control, power locks for all doors and a stereo package with in-dash CD deck.

Also, the Thunder Sport continues on the extended-wheelbase Montana with tail spoiler, 16-inch chrome wheels, four-wheel independent suspension and self-leveling rear shocks, plus seats covered in dual-tone leather. (...BACK)