The 2004 Pontiac GTO is a continuation of the classic GTO family, and it certainly earns its name. The new rear-wheel-drive configuration offers a brand new feel to the GTO and ensures a more exhilarating driving experience. However, the fairly expensive price tag turns away many potential buyers, but fortunately, it is not quite high enough to kill the esteemed GTO legacy. For yet another year, the Pontiac GTO will be one of the most powerful cars on the road, kicking out 350 horsepower and leaving the competition in the dust – literally and figuratively.
Body Styles: Two-door coupe
Engines: 5.7-liter V-8
Transmissions: Four speed automatic, six-speed manual
Models: Pontiac GTO
The 2004 Pontiac GTO is a newly-designed continuation of the GTO family, sporting an all-new, real-wheel-drive layout. The bold, rear-wheel-drive layout offers better weight distribution and braking than a front-wheel-drive equivalent, as well as better braking for experienced drivers. This year, a six-speed manual transmission was also offered as an option for those who wanted a little more excitement in their driving experience. The drivetrain changes are by far the most drastic and risky, but consumers will feel the exciting benefits of a rear-wheel-drive configuration as soon as they take a seat behind the wheel.
One of the most disappointing aspects of the 2004 GTO is its overall look. While it does have some helpful features and standard options, the body styling is severely lacking – a definite turn-off for many car buyers. Its shape is boring and its curves are uninteresting, making for an overall lackluster appearance. There are some redeeming qualities however, such as variable intermittent wipers, a rear defogger, and all-season tires – all offered as standard features. It also comes with a rear spoiler, which is more cosmetic than functional, unless the vehicle is being driven on a racetrack. Overall, the exterior is disenchanting.
With such a small frame, the 2004 GTO unsurprisingly lacks adequate cargo space to store anything but the bare minimum. It has a full leather interior with eight-way power passenger and driver seats; both with manual adjustable lumbar support. There is a wide array of cool features, such as power mirrors, 12-volt front power outlets, and a tilt and telescopic steering wheel with built-in audio controls. As far as entertainment goes, the 2004 Pontiac GTO offers a Blaupunkt stereo system with ten speakers, 200 watt stereo output, and AM/FM in-dash six CD player stereo. Other than the lack of space, the 2004 GTO has an impressive interior with enough options to make even the pickiest car connoisseurs happy.
Performance & Handling
What the 2004 Pontiac GTO lacks in looks, it makes up for in pure power. Its 5.7-liter, V-8 engine puts out an impressive 350 horsepower at 5200 rpm and 365 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm. This impressive power, matched with a four-door automatic transmission on a rear-wheel drive layout, creates a powerful and exhilarating ride. To ensure a smooth drive, the 2004 GTO offers a four-wheel independent suspension system and rear limited slip differential. The rear-wheel drive makes the car a joy to drive for experienced drivers, but some may have problems handling the car at high speeds, as rear-wheel-drive layouts tend to allow for more fishtailing. Regardless of the added difficulty that a rear-wheel-drive layout entails, the benefits will outweigh the costs for most potential buyers.
The 2004 GTO offers plenty of safety features to protect not only passengers, but also their possessions. Included in the standard model is an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and electronic brake force redistribution to counter the stress of hard stops. It also comes with traction control and ventilated front disc/solid rear disc brakes to avoid accidents. A remote anti-theft alarm system has also been installed to protect your possessions. Overall, the safety features add up to offer excellent protection for both driver and passenger.
EPA Fuel Economy
Pontiac GTO: 15/20 mpg city/highway
- Independent suspension
- Great handlings
- Loads of features
- Powerful V-8 engine
- Rear-wheel drive
You Won't Like
A powerful and sporty car that’s fun to drive, but a bit pricey.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Ford Mustang
- Mitsubishi Eclipse