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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
the frisky G5 responds enthusiastically to the gas pedal
Kelley Blue Book
the four-banger was a little raspy, but it wasn't horrible
the automatic transmission is responsive and quick to downshift for more passing power
Most reviewers find the 2009 Pontiac G5 has adequate power, but they have plenty to complain about with respect to steering and handling.
The 2009 Pontiac G5 offers one engine choice. Edmunds states that a "2.2-liter inline four-cylinder with 155 horsepower and 152 pound-feet of torque motivates the base G5." MyRide.com adds that the "G5 GT [performs] admirably without any hesitation or lack of power." On the base version of the Pontiac G5, Kelley Blue Book reviewers report that "the frisky G5 responds enthusiastically to the gas pedal, while starting off or at speed."
Transferring the power on either version of the 2009 Pontiac G5 to the road is "a standard five-speed manual transmission, with a four-speed automatic available as an option," according to reviewers at Edmunds. For 2009, Pontiac's automatic transmission receives higher praise, as MyRide.com appreciates the "relatively smooth shifts" and Car and Driver describes it as "quick-reacting." Consumer Guide also chimes in by saying that "the automatic transmission is responsive and quick to downshift for more passing power."
Fuel economy is one of the highlights on the 2009 Pontiac G5, especially considering the car's above-average engine performance. The G5 achieves up to 25 mpg city, 37 mpg highway with the five-speed manual.
Now for the not-so-delightful side of the G5: handling. Edmunds says that commuters "will probably be less impressed with the car's handling and directional responsiveness when the road starts to bend" because the suspension of the Pontiac G5 "allows too much body roll, and the electric steering system on both models is slow, with minimal feedback." MyRide.com is less kind when they remark that "the highway ride is on the stiff side," and that, while driving the G5 is better than "your annual proctology exam, or the last child you delivered au naturel," it still "isn't all that fun." It may not handle or ride well, but stopping isn't a concern. Car and Driver contends that the G5 offers "excellent 164-foot stops from 70 mph," for the GT model with anti-lock brakes.
The 2009 Pontiac G5 has decent powertrain performance, but its handling and ride don’t live up to the promise of the brand.