Pontiac G5

The Pontiac G5 is based on the Chevrolet Cobalt coupe. General Motors makes very few changes to the exterior, merely altering the grille design, the taillights and headlights, exterior styling, and interior materials. In spite of General Motors going into receivership in 2009, this model basically remains a Chevrolet, which should go some way towards reassuring buyers looking for a used model.

More on the Pontiac G5
Pontiac G5 Origins

While it boasts a more sophisticated appearance, the G5 is still a Chevrolet Cobalt underneath it all, and it offers a reasonable performance and ride quality. However, the Chevrolet Cobalt isn't a particularly great car, and the Pontiac G5 has inherited all the best and worst qualities. Given the choice of coupe models available, the G5 would sit pretty low on the list as it just doesn't have sufficient features to make it a desirable car to own. It offers a mediocre drive build quality.

The G5 used front drive and initially came with a choice of two engines: a 2.2-liter, four-cylinder engine or a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine. The larger engine comes standard on the GT, but Pontiac discontinued it in 2009. The one remaining engine upgrades for better fuel economy and more power. A five-speed manual transmission comes standard, but a four-speed automatic transmission offers an additional option.

About the Pontiac G5

The Pontiac G5 has an attractive interior and a contemporary feel due to the metallic accents on the steering wheel and doors. However this contemporary feel verges on the stark, and it uses mediocre materials; the interior looks and feels cheap. The seats do not offer a lot of comfort, and the back seat remains cramped. Although both engines provide a reasonable amount of power, and the car proves a suitable option for commuting to the office, it lacks something for driving around the countryside on twisty roads, as the steering reacts slowly and both models suffer from too much body roll.

With such an uninspiring ride, drivers cannot be surprised that the G5 gives such good fuel economy with EPA estimates of 25/37 mpg city/highway. Its sporty looking profile does make it a good choice for anyone looking for something affordable in this category, but with so much choice around, the G5 doesn’t offer enough advantages.

Pontiac G5 Features

In 2009, Pontiac dropped the more powerful GT engine, so the GT and base models use the same engine, albeit slightly more powerful and more fuel efficient. The new engine has variable valve timing, and alongside other tweaking, it has become as fuel-efficient as a Honda Civic. An optional package for the base model includes 16-inch, alloy wheels and a fancier stereo with iPod and Bluetooth compatibility.

The GT model features 17-inch, aluminum wheels, sport suspension, a Pioneer stereo, and steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls. The base model can be fitted with several of these extras. Optional extras for both models include remote vehicle start and a sunroof. The GT model offers the option of heated front seats and leather upholstery.

Unfortunately, the Pontiac G5 remains largely forgettable and unexciting to drive, especially compared to its competitors such as the Saturn Astra, Honda Civic, and VW Rabbit.

Pontiac G5 Evolution

The Pontiac G5 stays virtually the same as the Chevrolet Cobalt coupe; the only real differences include the Pontiac badging, grille design, and taillights. When it first came out, it carried a competitive price tag. It scores well in crash testing, achieving three stars in side-impact tests for passengers and four stars for passengers in the back.

The base model has a reasonable amount of power and offers a relatively quiet ride. However, it doesn't offer high enough build quality in comparison with its competitors, and it uses inferior materials and bland interior styling. It provides a decent enough choice for anyone looking for an inexpensive coupe, and the styling makes it pleasant enough to look at, but other models offer greater comfort and a better build.

The model comes in two different trim levels: the base and the GT. The entry-level model includes a reasonable amount of standard equipment, including power accessories, a CD/MP3 audio system, air-conditioning, and keyless entry. The GT edition features 17-inch, alloy wheels, cruise control, and a sport suspension. Optional extras include leather upholstery and a Pioneer audio system.

2008 saw relatively few changes to the Pontiac G5. All models have satellite radio and side curtain airbags as standard features, and the GT trim gains standard stability control.

Select a Pontiac G5 Year

2009 Pontiac G5

Coupe, Sports

2008 Pontiac G5

Coupe, Sports

The 2008 Pontiac G5 is a cheaper version of its platform cousin, the Chevrolet Cobalt coupe.

2007 Pontiac G5

Coupe, Sports

The Pontiac G5 is a four-door sedan or two-door coupe and was replaced the Pontiac Sunfire in the lineup.