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1999 Pontiac Bonneville Review
Full-size car, midsize price.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 1999 Pontiac Bonneville is a fairly priced, simple, and solid sedan. Moderate in all senses of the word, the Bonneville is not flashy or high powered. What it does offer is a good ride in an appropriately-powered vehicle with European styling conventions. In addition, the SSEi model provides enhanced performance with a more powerful engine and an improved handling package. With this model year being the final year of the current model cycle, the 1999 Pontiac Bonneville has little in the way of new updates or options. Instead, Pontiac elected to wait for the all-new 2000 model to introduce any further changes to the platform.
Engines: 3.8-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Pontiac Bonneville SE, Pontiac Bonneville SLE, Pontiac Bonneville SSE, Pontiac Bonneville SSEi
The 1999 Pontiac Bonneville has a dealer-installed OnStar mobile communications system available.
The 1999 Pontiac Bonneville’s exterior is more European than many of its other American counterparts. It avoids Ford’s typical oval shape and Dodge’s signature flying wedges, instead going for an upright shape reminiscent of European sedans. Unfortunately, the Bonneville’s rear end sags, taking away from the rest of the exterior styling. The addition of a deck lid spoiler does nothing to offset this. The front end appears slightly elongated with short headlights and a very small grille opening.
Much like all the model years prior, the 1999 Pontiac Bonneville continues to offer a spacious interior with room for the whole family. Both leather and cloth seats are available. The seats are comfortable, and there is plenty of leg room. The instruments are ergonomically sound, and it's avoided the overuse of plastic inserts found in many of the lower tier GM models. The Bonneville also offers a gracious amount of cargo space. Due to the high roofline and upright cabin, the Bonneville has a good amount of visibility from within.
Performance & Handling
The SE, SLE, and SSE provide adequate performance and handling. Capable of passing on the highways while carrying a family and luggage, the V-6 is stout enough that the car does not lag. The suspension is a bit mushy, and the steering is not the most precise or responsive, but the handling is capable enough. The SSEi improves on the handling while adding an additional 35 horsepower under the hood. The handling is upgraded with larger shocks and springs, allowing it to be more responsive and provide control with power. The trade-off for this performance, aside from sticker price, is the lower fuel mileage and necessity for premium gas. Both the SSE and SSEi have heavy-duty transmissions.
All models of the 1999 Pontiac Bonneville come with standard four-wheel anti-lock brakes and dual front impact airbags. Traction control is standard on the SSE and SSEi and optional on the SE and SLE. This vehicle received high marks from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for front crash protection but below average for side impact, especially for rear seat passengers.
EPA Fuel Economy
Pontiac Bonneville SLE: 17/25 mpg city/highway
Pontiac Bonneville SSE: 17/25 mpg city/highway
Pontiac Bonneville SSEi: 16/25 mpg city/highway
- Surprising performance from a V-6
- Cargo room
- Passenger cabin space
You Won't Like
- Fuel mileage
- Mushy handling, except in the SSEi
- Awkward deck lid spoiler
Full-size car, midsize price.
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