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by Steve Siler

Pontiac Grand Prix
2004 Pontiac Grand Prix

With an on-sale date of March 2003, the all-new Pontiac Grand Prix is the freshest sedan in this bunch. And although its looks are clearly akin to the outgoing Grand Prix, this roomy four-door is improved in nearly every way, particularly in the area of versatility.

Take, for example, its rear doors. Yes, it's a sedan and therefore must have rear doors, you say. But these rear doors open a full 82 degrees-which in effect appears to be a full 90 degrees. This does amazing things for getting large items into the rear seat…things that might be too large for the trunk (which itself is huge). Speaking of the trunk, it is wonderfully deep, with a low, wide aperture. And as if that's not enough, not only does the rear seat fold down 60/40-style, but the front passenger seat folds forward-flat -- thus enabling you to carry items up to 9-feet long and still close the trunk. Nice.

The Grand Prix is available in base GT form, as well as GTP and GTP with the Comp G package (Comp as in Competition). The GT is powered by a 200-hp version of GM's tried-and-true 3.8-liter V-6, which has electronic fuel delivery that enables it to garner up to 27 mpg combined fuel economy (!) whilst providing the driver plenty of power for acceleration and passing. The GTP and Comp G cars each are equipped with 260-hp supercharged versions of the same engine, both of which also achieve fuel economy figures in the mid 20's (and, as you can imagine, even better performance). Nice.

Inside, life is good, with the best interior Pontiac has designed in memory, equipped very, very competitively for the price. Great job, Pontiac. Your Grand Prix is a winner.