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      01-07-2010, 08:46 AM   #1
11Past9
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GTO?

I've been thinking about what my next car will be and while on a limited budget I've concluded that this may be the best option. The Pontiac GTO, now normally I would never consider another domestic but it is not really a domestic but a Holden in fact. I've driven a few and they seem to hold up pretty well when it comes to build quality and with the 04 having a 350hp 5.7l LS1 and the 05+ having a 6.0l LS2 with 400hp it's a tough bargain to pass up.

They are heavy as shit though at 3700lbs but still run low 13s to high 12s. I've been told that they can actually be made to handle very well with some modifications. You can get them for under $13,000 now.

Some gripe about the styling, saying it is too Grand Prix, others seem to like it's subltle sleeper nature. I'm considering one though, what do you think?
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      01-07-2010, 09:27 AM   #2
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I mentioned this in the other thread, and it's good to see you're actually giving it some consideration. A lot of the time I get blasted for even mentioning a Pontiac on a BMW forum

I had one, and I miss it.

I had an aftermarket CAI, cat back exhaust and a good dyno tune on mine, and it put down 348WHP in 95 degree FL weather. That same night it ran 12.83@109MPH, and that was on the factory 18" tires, which aren't known for being easy to launch (that run was done with a 1.9 60' time). The guys running long tube headers were dipping into the low 12s on Nittos.

The GTO is, hand down, one of the best GT cars on the roads in America today for this kind of money. It's comfortable, quiet (assuming you don't get carried away with an aftermarket exhaust, and even then it sounds so good you don't mind it), and it will cruise effortlessly at triple digit speeds. I'd much rather be in the GTO on a long trip than my 135i (which I also love). I'm not sure if it's the seating position, or the fact that the engine is just loping along at 2k RPM when you're doing 80MPH, or the ride, or a combination of them all but it's just more relaxing over long distances. Driven at the same speeds, the GTO would match the fuel economy I see in the 135i on long trips, but it's a couple of MPG worse around town. Driven sanely you can expect 17/26 city/highway from them.


Now, having said all that, it's not flawless.

One of the biggest issues I had with the car was the lack of utility. At the time this was my only vehicle, and if you need to haul something larger than a laundry basket, you're screwed. They had to move the fuel tank up into the trunk to meet some crash regulations, and because of that the trunk is tiny, and the seats don't fold down.

The second thing I'll mention is the shifter. This would be above the trunk issue if it weren't for the fact that you can correct this, and you can't correct the trunk. The factory shifter SUCKS. It doesn't sort of suck, or suck just a little, it sucks majorly. It's like a knife in a cup...no, make that a bowl (because the throws are that long) of oatmeal. The good thing is the Australian aftermarket has good (but not cheap) solutions for this, and they completely correct the problem.


The third downside is the lack of tech goodies, like bluetooth and Nav. The car comes with a factory 6 disc CD changer that doesn't sound bad, and is nicely integrated, but there's no Aux in, so you're stuck with an FM modulator or burning CDs. Again, this issue is easily corrected in the aftermarket, and there's a guy selling a really nice installation kit that allows a double DIN deck to drop in and look right at home. The car does have a pretty nice trip computer built in, that's actually got more features than a 1 or 3 Series BMW. It allows you to have two seperate trip counters, so you can measure total trip and tank mileage, has a "Time to destination" feature so if you know how many miles your trip is, you can enter it and it will give you an ETA, and it's got a cool rest reminder that pops up and shows a graphic of a picinic table under a shade tree that I always liked. (It's the little things sometimes)

The cars are pretty damn reliable overall, and the interior is solid. You don't want an '04 model if you can help it. They had the LS1, with 350Hp, and smaller brakes. In '05 GM dropped the LS2 into it, and put the larger brakes on that were being used on one of the higher performance Holdens at the time. They weren't world class by any means, but they're not bad at all.

There were basically no options for these cars other than color, transmission, and a choice of 17 or 18 inch wheels. They've all got the same stereo, and the same power equipment, so if you find one you like, you don't have to worry about it not having an option you wanted....there aren't any!

The '05 and '06 cars were basically the same, except they added an unlock pushbutton in the console, and made the seats move forward faster. The back seat in these cars is perfectly fine for an adult, but getting them back there is a PITA. The seat moves forward electrically, and the '04 and '05 cars were slow as hell.

That's my take on it. Hope that helps.
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      01-07-2010, 09:31 AM   #3
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BTW, if you're a fan of Top Gear, check out the episodes where they tested the Monaro. They tested the LS1 and LS2 versions, and loved them both.
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      01-07-2010, 10:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11Past9 View Post
I've been thinking about what my next car will be and while on a limited budget I've concluded that this may be the best option. The Pontiac GTO, now normally I would never consider another domestic but it is not really a domestic but a Holden in fact. I've driven a few and they seem to hold up pretty well when it comes to build quality and with the 04 having a 350hp 5.7l LS1 and the 05+ having a 6.0l LS2 with 400hp it's a tough bargain to pass up.

They are heavy as shit though at 3700lbs but still run low 13s to high 12s. I've been told that they can actually be made to handle very well with some modifications. You can get them for under $13,000 now.

Some gripe about the styling, saying it is too Grand Prix, others seem to like it's subltle sleeper nature. I'm considering one though, what do you think?
Try and find one now since they're liquidating inventory...now is the PERFECT time to buy one, if you can find what you want.
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      01-07-2010, 10:41 AM   #5
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Try and find one now since they're liquidating inventory...now is the PERFECT time to buy one, if you can find what you want.
GTO is long out of production(2006 last year) so he'll be buying used.

Agreed on going for an '05 or later. Get the LS2.
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      01-07-2010, 10:59 AM   #6
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Plus, they look pretty cool. I was behind/next to one the other day with what sounded like straight pipes on it. Fvcker was LOUD, but it sounded good.
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      01-07-2010, 11:03 AM   #7
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definitely get the older version gto. it looks way more badass than the newer one
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      01-07-2010, 12:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremyc74 View Post
BTW, if you're a fan of Top Gear, check out the episodes where they tested the Monaro. They tested the LS1 and LS2 versions, and loved them both.
+1 They say they are fantastic drift cars.
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      01-07-2010, 01:21 PM   #9
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Great info Jeremy! They seem like a great value and something I may look at personally, but I don't know if I can get over the styling...
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      01-07-2010, 01:58 PM   #10
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Great info Jeremy! They seem like a great value and something I may look at personally, but I don't know if I can get over the styling...

It's the Grand Prix styling that makes them such great values!

It's like an ugly chick with a great body who's great in bed. People think you're crazy when they see you out in public, but they have no idea what they're missing.

BTW, there's a company that will send you the Monaro body parts from down under so you can turn them back into Holdens.

Changing the front bumper does a lot for them:



This one's a drag car, but you get the idea:

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      01-07-2010, 03:19 PM   #11
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GTO is long out of production(2006 last year) so he'll be buying used.

Agreed on going for an '05 or later. Get the LS2.
I wasn't exactly suggesting he buy new. They have used car inventories on those lots, too. :P They're not even keeping many of the lone Pontiac (or Saturn, or Saab) dealerships open, so all of their inventory needs to be cleaned out.
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      01-07-2010, 09:44 PM   #12
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kinda looks like a mazda with the bumper change.....zoom, zoom
Great value for money though. I actually don't mind how they look. They have more of a European style to them but they look neat compared to some of the retro style muscle cars on the market now. I think the new camero and mustang are all a little too big. They look like they need to be scaled down about 10%. 20" wheels as standard?? I also hate how high the mustangs and Cameros ride, a homeless person could sleep on the tire under the wheel arch!
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      01-07-2010, 10:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremyc74 View Post
It's the Grand Prix styling that makes them such great values!

It's like an ugly chick with a great body who's great in bed. People think you're crazy when they see you out in public, but they have no idea what they're missing.

BTW, there's a company that will send you the Monaro body parts from down under so you can turn them back into Holdens.

Changing the front bumper does a lot for them:



This one's a drag car, but you get the idea:



This ^

I have much respect for the GTO. Although I would bet that within the next year G8 GTs and GXPs will come down a lot in price aswell. If you can get past the center stack with its 80s LEDs they are a hoot to drive too.
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      01-08-2010, 09:24 AM   #14
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This ^

I have much respect for the GTO. Although I would bet that within the next year G8 GTs and GXPs will come down a lot in price aswell. If you can get past the center stack with its 80s LEDs they are a hoot to drive too.

The G8 offers class leading value IMO, but the GT was only available with an automatic, which takes it off the table for a lot of people, and the GXP was brought over in such limited numbers that I doubt it will ever be a good deal on the used market.

It's really a shame that Pontiac had to go, right when GM was finally starting to move it back in the right direction. Their vision of making it the performance division and positioning it to fill the same slots as BMW at a lower price, with nearly all RWD offerings could have really worked out if they'd stuck to it.
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