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1998 Pontiac Bonneville Review
A chic, graceful sedan.
Reviewed by Automotive on
Pontiac is normally associated with small, fast, sporty vehicles, such as the Firebird and Sunfire, but it has more in its lineup. The 1998 Pontiac Bonneville is a large sedan that offers near-luxury amenities with the upper-end model. The Bonneville offers a wide range of standard equipment, even in the low-end models, providing a good value for the price. It makes a practical family vehicle or day-to-day driver, setting it apart from some of the less practical Pontiac offerings.
Pontiac’s attention to performance remains on the Bonneville, even with its focus on comfort. The 3.8-liter, six-cylinder engine feels very powerful, and the higher-end models have the option of supercharging it for more power. The Bonneville handles well given its larger size. The Bonneville might not look it, but it represents one of the most powerful vehicles in the Pontiac lineup.
Engines: 3.8-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Pontiac Bonneville SE, Pontiac Bonneville SLE, Pontiac Bonneville SSE, Pontiac Bonneville SSEi
The airbags in all 1998 Pontiac Bonneville models get upgrades. The standard equipment in the Bonneville SSE changes to incorporate more features. New colors also improve the style this model year.
The 1998 Pontiac Bonneville looks distinctive compared to most of the Pontiac lineup, which tends to favor relatively small coupes and hatchbacks. The 1998 Pontiac Bonneville makes for a fairly long sedan, measuring 202.1 inches in length. The styling, while curved and graceful, looks less sporty and more reminiscent of many near-luxury European sedans. Despite this, the ubiquitous rear spoiler found on many Pontiac models also graces the Bonneville. While this might seem odd, the low profiled rear spoiler works well on this vehicle and does not look tacked on or gaudy.
The 1998 Pontiac Bonneville offers a good variety of interior features, even on the less expensive SE model. Cruise control, a tilt steering wheel, air-conditioning, and an AM/FM radio come standard on all models. On the upper end, the Bonneville SSEi comes nearly fully loaded, adding an anti-theft alarm system, leather seating, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, power seats, automatic climate control, auto-dimming mirrors, and a CD player as standard equipment.
All Bonnevilles include standard power windows and power locks.
Performance & Handling
Pontiac is often associated with performance and the Bonneville makes no exception. The base, 3.8-liter, six-cylinder engine provides excellent acceleration and speed. The higher-end models also provide the option of supercharging the engine to further augment its speed. Handling feels solid overall, although not on the same level as Pontiac’s sportier vehicles. The 1998 Pontiac Bonneville doesn’t outmaneuver a Sunfire or Firebird, but it holds up well to other passenger-oriented vehicles.
The 1998 Pontiac Bonneville comes equipped with dual front airbags and four-wheel anti-lock brakes. Traction control remains available as an option on the SE and SLE, and it comes standard on the SSE and SSEi.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Powerful engine
- Good value
- Roomy interior
You Won't Like
- Less access to performance options on lower-end models
A chic, graceful sedan.
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