Today’s car can claim to be special by dint of its rarity. GM never sold the G6 in Europe and so this vehicle must be one of a very small handful of examples on this side of Atlantic. In Denmark it has no peers**.
Three hypotheses: it came from the US as a by-product of work secondment from the US to Denmark (“We have to bring the Pontiac, Carol”). Two, it is a very specific and personal import for someone who just happened to really like the G6 (“There is nothing like this car, I must have it”). Three: it came to Denmark via a US soldier stationed in Germany (“We have to bring the Pontiac, Nick.”). A quick call might answer that and maybe I’ll find out.
Given its rarity I suspect that the next owner will be someone buying on a whim. I doubt many people are just hunting for a Pontiac convertible. The next owner may also already have an American car (60s or 70s) and wants nothing more than to have something newer that isn’t a boring Euro car.
In order to understand the Pontiac we’ll need to find out a bit more about it: Epsilon platform, 2.85 metre wheelbase, 4.8 metre nose to tail (the Cascada is 10 cm shorter, as is the wheelbase roughly). The convertible came only with the V6 engines but the saloon also could be had with L4 in the US-standard of 2.4 litres. Mom and apple pie, that.
With that in mind what does it compare to? In one sense it doesn’t compare to anything directly. As I said, the most likely future owner is the owner of a large and thirsty American classic and who will be happy that the car starts, stops and looks different. There is a better than off-chance that there might be a person browsing among all available convertibles and who sees this car by chance… they will be more demanding.
Getting back to the story. Pontiac’s G6 concluded the Grand Am series, the G standing for GrandAm and 6 being the sixth generation. There was G8 too and a G5. Production of the G6 ended when GM applied the bolt-gun to Pontiac’s brow in 2010, just five short years after its first model year, six if you count the year of first sale. This car is from 2007 with a 3.5 litre V6, the LX9 which is derivative of a long line of sixty degree V6s whose ancestor first turned over in 1980.
The Wikipedia page on this is so long it reaches from the laptop screen down to the floor (some may argue it’s not the same engine at all – be my guest). The G6 must have been among the last applications for this power plant so this fine car is veritably a piece of history, albeit a veritably very tiny piece of history.
And another thing, the G6 came as a saloon, a two-door and this convertible so it’s almost a full line of cars. Pontiac seemed to be trying. The only really significant version missing was the hatchback – a Pontiac estate makes no sense and even in 2005 the demand for long roofs must have melting as fast an ice-cube in cup of fresh tea. We are lucky it existed, a last throwing-up of the dice.
The G6 shared its platform with quite few other cars. How does this list strike you – Fiat Croma, Cadillac BLS, Chevrolet Malibu, Opel Signum, Opel Vectra, Saab 9-3, Saturn Aura. The core of that range is the GM Epsilon platform, engineered in Russelsheim. GM got a lot of value out of that, didn’t they. Presumably, Opel carried the cost but didn’t get a pay back for the cars derived from the platform. We’ve been here before.
Back to the car again: on the one side, this car can claim to be one of GM’s few convertibles, a hard-top convertible, along with the Saab 9-3, one of two on the Epsilon platform. It isn’t offensive looking on the outside. On the downside, the car suffered from a lot of scuttle shake, really a lot of scuttle shake. Nothing learned since the Olds Cutlass of 1990-something that also wobbled.
Furthermore, you sir and madam can see from the photos the interior quality looks a bit below par. I think that the dash plastic looks ungrained – is it? It certainly looks very shiny. Autotrader.com also considered it unconvincing. Evidently all the money went on heavy, complex and unreliable hard-top system. Still, it’s got performance.
If you do look at at this car and imagine you might like it you may start considering cars quite like it. From America there’s the Chrysler Sebring. I have shown the 2003 version. A short-lived successor appear in 2008.
Or a 2005 Saab 9-3 convertible. You know what that looks like but click here to see more.
Should you plump for the Pontiac, you will get ABS, an alarm, alloy wheels, automatic gearbox, central locking, electric steering, power operated seats, heated rear mirror, climate control, trip computer and a roof light and an information centre and cruise control and, of course, the retractable hard top. And heated seats too. That’s for when the roof is down and it’s cold. But not less than -10 degrees because then the mechanism will not function, by design.
In case you are wondering, the side view of the G6 looks like this.
It’s ended up looking like a Ford Focus CC and, I would gently argue, not really looking very Pontiac. What were they to do? The previous Pontiac style had depended on plastic cladding. With Olds dead, the plastic cladding could go, leaving cars with bland bodywork, just like a lot of lesser Olds.
That doesn’t say Pontiac, that side view. It says “convertible Opel Vectra”.
Let’s turn back to the particular car in question here. The seller has the only example of a car not otherwise on sale in Denmark and, well, they forgot to photograph with a clear view of the roof up. That’s why I’ve posted the silver metallic example. They have also managed to photograph the black car in shadow on a bright day.
The camera has closed its little retina to deal with the bright background and the car has sunk into a pool of black. It’s not a cheap car so it deserves at least clear photography to lure in that single buyer. People are looking for excuses not to buy this vehicle.
For my money, if I started looking at this car I’d start to consider either the Saab 9-3 for a lot less money or the nicer Opel Cascada which may lack the V6 yet has a far nicer exterior and interior style not to mention much more impressive quality.
** if you have a very tight definition. If you don’t there’s also the W209/C209 Mercedes Benz cabrio which matches the general size of the Pontiac and ran from 2002 to 2009 and had an idiotic mix of engines, all too big and some far too big.