The Car Connection Pontiac G5 Overview
The Pontiac G5 was a compact coupe that was sold from the 2007 through 2009 model years. The G5 was nearly identical to the Chevrolet Cobalt Coupe, with only front and rear styling and badging differences. Rival models included the Honda Civic Coupe, Ford Focus Coupe, Scion tC, and Saturn Aura, as well as the somewhat related Saturn Ion. The G5 replaced the Sunfire (and farther back, the Sunbird) in Pontiac's lineup.
At launch, the 2007 Pontiac G5 came with either a 148-horsepower, 2.2-liter in-line four-cylinder engine or a 173-hp, 2.4-liter four in the G5 GT. They could be fitted to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, in this front-wheel-drive car. Those powertrains were carried over to 2008, although in 2009, the GT was dropped from the lineup and the G5 was only offered with the base engine.
At the time that the G5 was new, we found its performance to be adequate but its handling uninspiring, with a poorly calibrated, numb-feeling electric power steering system. Ride quality and cabin comfort were okay, as was interior noise, although the front seats weren't at all supportive, headroom was tight (packaging was odd and too reclined for some tastes). Interior materials were disappointing, with a low-rent parts-bin feel throughout the interior and switchgear.
These models haven't maintained much of a reputation on the used-car market; they were common in rental fleets during (and just after) the time when they were new, and their values dropped rapidly, although with full support from General Motors, replacement parts are plentiful.
Feature content was quite generous, though, including standard air conditioning and power windows and locks, with remote start, a sunroof, and satellite radio all available. Bluetooth and a USB port were even available on later models, from the 2009 model year on. GT versions added a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, additional aero work, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, and Pioneer audio.
In safety, the G5 was also uninspired and a bit behind the times when new, as it earned four out of five stars in most federal tests--those that were then more lenient--with neither anti-lock brakes nor stability control standard. For fuel economy and running costs, the G5 was a decent pick, and in the XFE trim that was offered in 2008 and 2009 it earned an EPA-rated 36 mpg highway.
The G5 was discontinued with the rest of the Pontiac lineup as GM axed the brand in 2009.