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PERFORMANCE | 6 out of 10
adequate for quick jaunts up freeway entrance ramps and around town trips and commutes
Kelley Blue Book
enough juice to inject some fun, but not so much that it's scary
The 2009 Pontiac base model G6 with the Sport Package 1 features a new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission combination. The new powerplant is rated at an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and 33 on the highway.
The 2009 Pontiac G6 Coupe offers two engines; Edmunds describes "a 3.5-liter V6 putting out 219 horses and 210 lb-ft of torque" on the GT and notes "performance-driven GXP models are equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 that generates 252 hp and 251 lb-ft of torque." Kelley Blue Book testers find that while "the GT's base 3.5-liter engine doesn't inspire performance driving," it is wholly "adequate for quick jaunts up freeway entrance ramps and around town trips and commutes."
The 2009 Pontiac G6 Sedan can be equipped with one of three engine choices, based on the trim level. Cars.com reviewers say that "the base sedan holds a 164-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder" engine, as does the Value Leader, "while GXP editions feature a 252-hp, 3.6-liter V-6." Between the two lies a "219-hp, 3.5-liter V-6" in the Pontiac G6 GT models, according to Cars.com. Edmunds notes that "the fuel-efficient 3.5-liter V6 delivers plenty of low-end torque for quick acceleration and easy passing," and the "GXP offers the most performance and sophistication for enthusiasts."
The 2009 Pontiac G6 Convertible is available with a choice of two V-6 engines bearing similar power ratings. Edmunds says the standard engine is a "3.5-liter V6" that offers "217 hp and 217 lb-ft of torque," and for 2009, Pontiac also provides an "optional 3.9-liter V6" that checks in with "222 horses and 238 lb-ft of torque." MotherProof testers remark that the 3.9-liter engine "has enough juice to inject some fun, but not so much that it's scary."
Cars.com states that the G6 Pontiac offers only a "very basic four-speed automatic" on the convertible. Kelley Blue Book describes this transmission as a "four-speed automatic" with the 2.4-liter and 3.5-liter engines, and the Pontiac G6 GXP pairs a "six-speed automatic transmission" with its V-6. The driving enthusiasts at Motor Trend are much harsher on the Pontiac G6 Coupe GXP's transmission, finding it "goes from buttery smooth to belligerently spasmodic" when driven hard.
Fuel economy from the V-6 models of the 2009 Pontiac G6 is acceptable, but there are certainly thriftier options in the class. The EPA estimates that this 2009 Pontiac in GT Coupe trim will return 18 mpg city and 29 mpg highway, while the bigger 3.6-liter on the GXP offers 17/26 mpg. The combined impact on fuel economy of the convertible's increased weight and four-speed transmission are pretty significant on the 2009 Pontiac G6 Convertible, especially when compared to its G6 siblings. The EPA estimates that the 3.5-liter engine will return 17 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. For the higher-displacement engine, Edmunds reports that the "optional V6 is thirsty, with a 15 mpg city/22 mpg highway rating."
One of the most common complaints in reviews read by TheCarConnection.com concerns the handling in this 2009 Pontiac. ConsumerGuide reviewers mention the steering "feels numb on the whole," though Edmunds adds that "the hydraulic power steering included on GT and GXP models (and optional on the standard G6) is much more communicative." In TheCarConnection.com’s opinion, the 2009 Pontiac G6 Coupe drives quite well, but the experience is unremarkable. Edmunds calls the G6 Convertible an "adequate handler," but mentions "uneven city streets can cause the G6 to hop and float the way cars from the 1970s once did."
The performance of the 2009 Pontiac G6 Convertible is forgettable, and the coupes and sedans are competent though not inspiring, especially when it comes to handling.