Pontiac Torrent Origins
Prior to the launch of the Pontiac Torrent, the Pontiac Aztek was Pontiac's midsize crossover offering. The Torrent was built by General Motors at the CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada, and was basically the same vehicle as the Chevrolet Equinox. The two SUVs were built on the same platform and shared the same drivetrain components and body structure. In order to differentiate the two, the Torrent had a different front and rear so that it looked more like other Pontiac vehicles and less like a Chevrolet product.Pontiac Torrent Features
With the Pontiac Torrent, General Motors wanted to produce a sportier vehicle than the Chevrolet Equinox. As well as making the cosmetic changes, mechanical parts of the Torrent were modified. The suspension was adjusted so that it was firmer than the one found in the Chevrolet Equinox, and the power steering was calibrated to make it more firm. The rest of the drivetrain was the same for both vehicles.About the Pontiac Torrent
The 2009 model year was the last for the Pontiac Torrent. There were very few minor changes for the launch of this model year. There had been plans to build a Buick Torrent to replace the Pontiac version, but in the end, the vehicle was taken over by GMC. The GMC Terrain took its place in the midsize crossover SUV category. Pontiac Torrent Evolution
When the Pontiac Torrent was launched in 2005, it was equipped with a 3.4-liter V-6 engine with a power rating of 185 horsepower, which was the exact same engine found in the Chevrolet Equinox. It came with only a five-speed automatic transmission, while front-wheel and all-wheel drive systems were available. Anti-lock braking systems were standard for all vehicles, and traction control was standard on the front-wheel drive versions.
The Pontiac Torrent seated up to five passengers. As well as having a 60/40 split, the rear seat could be moved forwards and back about eight inches so that the maximum amount of room was provided for cargo or passengers. To allow further cargo space, the front passenger seat folded flat to accommodate longer items. It was a five-door hatchback, and at the time, Pontiac stated that it had the widest rear doors of any vehicle available.
With the launch of the 2007 model year of the Pontiac Torrent, several safety features were added. Anti-lock brakes, traction control, an anti-skid system, and rear-wheel disc brakes became standard features. Rollover deployment for curtain-side airbags was an option. As well as the increase in safety features, a further premium trim level was introduced that included heated front seats and leather upholstery.
The Pontiac Torrent GXP version of the SUV was launched for the 2008 model year. It was equipped with a 3.6-liter V-6 engine and a new six-speed automatic transmission. The power rating of the engine was increased to 264 horsepower. The new automatic transmission came with manual capabilities. The driver could choose gears by manually tapping the gear shift up and down while driving.
In addition to mechanical updates for the launch of the GXP version, the body and other features were improved. Instead of the standard 16-inch wheels, or optional 17-inch aluminum wheels, the GXP version was fitted with 18-inch wheels. It had a ground clearance of just over 6.5 inches and sat lower to the ground by one inch when compared to the standard Pontiac Torrent. By removing the roof rack, the GXP had a smoother and sleeker design flow.
To give the drive and handling a sportier feel, the suspension was tuned to improve its performance. The steering system was changed to a hydraulic power-assisted system instead of the electronic power-assisted version. The interior trim was upgraded to include chrome trim and GXP-specific gauges on the instrument panel. Options included a navigation system, heated seats, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, and a sunroof.