1999 Pontiac Grand AM
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1999 Pontiac Grand AM Review
A grand redesign for the Grand Am.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The Grand Am is consistently one of Pontiac’s top-selling cars. For 1999, the interior and exterior have undergone extensive redesigns.
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 3.4-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Pontiac Grand Am SE, Pontiac Grand Am SE1, Pontiac Grand Am SE2, Pontiac Grand Am GT1, Pontiac Grand Am GT2
The 1999 Pontiac Grand Am has been completely redesigned on the outside and has many more standard and optional features than ever before on the inside. Most notable is the 4T45-E transaxle, which increases torque capacity. Structural enhancements include a longer wheelbase, but shorter overall length, and increased structural rigidity. Rigidity is up by 32 percent thanks to reinforced pillars, side-door guard beams, and a full-frame front chassis.
Aside from the longer wheelbase and more rigid body, other improvements this year include cornering lamps in the back, which now match the rounded headlights up front. Thin A pillars help increase visibility. The SE features 15-inch wheels and has an optional rear spoiler. Meanwhile, the higher-end GT has a dual set of twin round exhaust outlets, body-colored exterior mirrors, blacked-out side glass molding, and GT logos on the door. GT models come with 16-inch alloy wheels and a rear spoiler as standard. The more open air dam and twin port grilles work with GT’s Ram Air induction system.
The 1999 Grand Am coupe and the sedan both seat up to five. The dashboard is angled toward the driver and controls are easy to read and use, although it can be difficult to see the speedometer through the steering wheel. The increased wheelbase adds more room to the back row. The front row comes with cloth-covered bucket seats. SE models come standard with air-conditioning, a tilt steering wheel, power locks, power steering, and an AM/FM stereo. Optional features include keyless entry, cruise control, a CD and/or cassette player, and power exterior mirrors. The top-line GT gets standard features, including keyless entry, a power moonroof, steering wheel-embedded audio controls, cruise control, a leather shift knob, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, power windows and mirrors, and an AM/FM/CD audio system. Optional GT features are a power driver seat and leather upholstery.
Performance & Handling
The most noticeable difference between the baseline SE and more expensive GT are in the engines. SE models come with a standard Twin Cam, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, while GTs come with a 3.4-liter V-6, which is optional on SE models. The 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine gets 150 horsepower and 155 lb-ft of torque. The GT’s Ram Air induction system directs cooler, pressurized air into the engine to boost horsepower, so the 3.4-liter V-6 gets 175 horsepower with 205 lb-ft of torque. The GT’s firmer suspension offers tighter handling and quicker response, but the ride is not as smooth as with the SE.
Standard safety features on SE and GT models include four-wheel anti-lock brakes, daytime running lamps, enhanced traction control that minimizes wheel spin on slick surfaces, battery rundown protection, driver and passenger front airbags, fog lights, power brakes, remote trunk release, and adjustable front headrests and fixed rear headrests. Warning gauges include oil pressure, low battery, lights on, key in ignition, low washer fluid, door ajar, bulb failure, and service interval. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rated the Grand Am coupe a perfect five-out-of-five stars for passenger safety, four stars for driver safety, four stars for side impact rear, and only one star for side impact front. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the car its lowest rating of ""poor"" in frontal offset crashes. The sedan fared better with the NHTSA, earning four stars for passenger and driver safety, and three stars for side impact front and rear. It also earned a ""poor"" rating for frontal offset crashes from the IIHS.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Plenty of standard features
- Redesigned exterior
You Won't Like
- Safety ratings
A grand redesign for the Grand Am.
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