2005 was a remarkable year for the Pontiac brand. There were two powerful V8 offerings in the lineup for the first time in years, the GTO and the Grand Prix GXP. The Grand Prix sedan was known for having a V6 powerplant, so it was a surprise to shoppers when the Northstar V8 made its debut. The GXP featured chrome accents throughout the vehicle, as well as custom chrome rims. The Northstar V8 isn’t necessarily a performance-oriented engine but it did offer a good amount of power for a vehicle that was intended to perform.
Interior-wise the GXP got an upmarket treatment over the standard model. This was one of the first Pontiacs to offer a built-in navigation system. The Grand Prix GXP with the V8 was sold in very low numbers which made it a rarity. The GXP was a breath of fresh air for Pontiac enthusiasts as it offered a real performance sedan offering.
Although V8-powered sports cars are generally the way to go, GM has put forth some solid turbocharged V6 offerings in the past. The first that comes to mind is the Buick GNX, and the second would be the Grand Prix Turbo. The Grand Prix Turbo coupe was exciting enough, but there was also a limited edition McLaren ASC edition as well. The performance was derived from a turbocharged version of the original V6 powerplant. The design of the car culminated from the brand’s racing heritage.
The Turbo had an interesting plethora of options such as a heads-up display and a steering wheel that was full of controls. The Grand Prix stands out from the crowd for having a unique exterior styling and one of GMs better V6 powerplants. The ABS was still new on these cars and the wheels had that authentic 90s ABS badging on them. Finding a Grand Prix Turbo from this era might be difficult.
The reason why the Grand Am Coupe is on this list is that it is an iconic model. Before you start writing hate mail, just hear us out. The Grand Am Coupe was one of the few performances oriented mid-size sedans on the market. At a time when cars were generally lackluster the Grand Am was adding a touch of performance to the mix. The Ram-Air edition of the car featured a supercharged engine that gave the lightweight vehicle a serious amount of power.
Coupled with the standout styling features of the car, the Grand Am Coupe was a pretty unique vehicle to say the least. The car had a stellar amount of features for the price. Finding one of these users is a bargain. Sure, Pontiac used a massive amount of body cladding which was panned by the automotive press. But the overall design of the car was noteworthy enough to build a solid following behind the car that still drives it.
Perhaps no car is as universally hated in the automotive industry as the Pontiac Aztek. The car was the birth child of a GM plan to hatch crossover SUVs way before they were a thing. While the Aztek seemed like a great idea on paper, the final product was a dud. The styling was horrific, covered in grey body cladding and an ugly nose. Coupled with the addition of the cars notoriously horrendous V6 engine. The Aztek was smoothed out in its later years but this was not enough to justify sales of the hideous vehicle.
The Aztek gained a huge amount of notoriety long after its demise thanks to the TV show, ‘Breaking Bad.’ Although the SUV was panned for its looks, there has been a recent resurgence on the used car market. Now, all of the sudden, people are interested in this thing. The Aztek surely deserves to go down in history as one of the most iconic Pontiacs on the market.
The Pontiac G8 was the final hurrah of the Pontiac brand and one of the most influential cars to come out. The G8 has the misfortune of hitting the market during the economic collapse. In addition to that, the poor car didn’t stand a chance as GM discontinued the brand for 2009. This means that if you are lucky enough to have a G8m you have one of the rarest cars on the market. The powerful V8 engine and rear-wheel drive design made the sedan a performance powerhouse. Coupled with the noteworthy addition of the GXP model, the G8 is a legendary vehicle.
There was originally a G8 sport truck that was planned as well. Sadly, economic conditions caused the G8 to live a short life and it was only sold for two years. The last G8 rolled off of the assembly line on June 19th, 2009. A total of 23,157 models were sold in 2009, and only four made it to Canada. The G8 was an iconic car in many aspects and it was also the very last Pontiac car every produced.