The 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix is a sixth-generation sedan and coupe manufactured by General Motors under the Pontiac division. It was introduced in 1962, but the first model was built in August 1996. It also signifies Pontiac’s return to a racier, wide-track, performance-oriented Grand Prix.
Body Styles: coupe, sedan
Engines: 3.1-liter V-6, 3.8-liter V-6, 3.6-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Pontiac Grand Prix SE, Pontiac Grand Prix GT, Pontiac Grand Prix GTP
The 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix is redesigned with a newer and more modern styling. It's longer and wider than before and gets a supercharged V-6 as well. New standard features include traction control, dual airbags, side-impact protection, and anti-lock brakes. A built-in child safety seat is provided as an option.
The 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix has a wider wheelbase and track that reflects previous generations. The wider track increases the interior space and improves handling while giving it an aggressive appearance. Its exterior does not just provide a muscle car appeal, however. The body is quite curvaceous and modern looking, and several components that add to the appeal include the flaring black nostrils and cast-aluminum twin exhaust tips. It gets a sporty touch thanks to its low roofline and smooth, aerodynamic bodylines.
Inside 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix is quite spacious with plenty of headroom at the front and rear. The rear can seat four very comfortably, and five people can sit with ease, too; although it may be a bit of a squeeze. Legroom is more than adequate at the rear, even with the front seats pushed back to the maximum. On the other hand, the bench is placed quite low to the floor, and it does not offer much support. Entry and exit are not problematic thanks to the wide swing angle, although the low roofline causes a bit of a problem. The controls and gauges up light up with Pontiac’s red lighting scheme, making it easy to read. The switchgear is also easy to use. Visibility is good all-round, although the high parcel shelf can block the driver's rear view. The trunk offers lots of luggage space, too.
Performance & Handling
The 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix base model is fitted with a 3.1-liter, V-6 engine under the hood, delivering 160 horsepower. A 3.8-liter, 3800 Series II, V-6 engine is available as an option for this model and comes standard for the higher-end GT models. This engine delivers 195 horsepower, and the GTP version gets an optional supercharged 3800 Series II, V-6 engine that can deliver 240 horsepower.
The 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix' acceleration with the basic 3.1-liter engine is adequate for most purposes, but it gets better with the 3.8-liter engine and best with the supercharged one without any loss in refinement. The automatic transmission is quite smooth and offers quick and jerk-free gearshifts. At highway speeds, wind and engine noises are kept low, but road noise is quite loud. It offers good handling characteristics and maneuvering ability. The suspension is firm in all models, although the GTP gets a more taut one that offers sharper handling.
The 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix comes with several safety features as standard, including anti-lock brakes, dual airbags, and traction control. However, the GTP package that comes with the GT model does away with the traction control system. All models have improved side impact protection, and the front and rear bumpers can withstand a five-mph impact without any lamp damage or structural damage. The sedan version of the Grand Prix comes with child-safe door locks at the rear with an optional integrated child safety seat. It received four out of five stars in terms of driver and passenger safety during frontal-impact collision tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
EPA Fuel Economy
Pontiac Grand Prix: 17/27 mpg city/highway
- Great looks
- Good performance
- Many standard safety features
- Decent steering and handling
- Spacious interior
You Won't Like
- Poor fuel economy with the supercharged engine
- Base engine is not very powerful
Offers a style and pedigree that is not found in other competitors.
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