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PERFORMANCE | 4 out of 10
“it's a respectable ride for knocking out errands or engaging the daily commute”
“despite its small size and miserly engine, the G3 won't be the most frugal Pontiac on the highways”
The 2009 Pontiac G3 is powered by a fuel-conscious 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine. Edmunds reports that the G3 motor “generates 106 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque” and “is backed by a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic.” According to ConsumerGuide, the G3 is “quicker than one would expect, but no one will mistake these subcompacts for a sports car. The automatic transmission is relatively responsive, though saps a fair amount of what little power there is on tap.”
ConsumerGuide observes that the G3 is “nimble enough due to its petite size and responsive steering, though some testers say steering effort is a bit heavy at low speeds. They add that, “like Aveo, G3's body leans more in turns than class rivals. The brakes provide decent stopping control but are nothing special in terms of pedal feel.”
Edmunds says, “While the Pontiac G3 doesn't provide much in the way of vehicular entertainment, it's a respectable ride for knocking out errands or engaging the daily commute." Edmunds adds, "Though the five-speed is rated as slightly more economical around town, its ratios are overly wide, and it's not especially pleasant to operate.”
Regarding fuel efficiency, ConsumerGuide isn’t impressed, noting that comparable Aveo5 models "with the automatic averaged 28.3-28.7 mpg…These figures are not impressive for the class.” Motor Trend also finds discrepancies with Pontiac’s claim of fuel efficiency: “Surprisingly, despite its small size and miserly engine, the G3 won't be the most frugal Pontiac on the highways when it arrives in Pontiac showrooms. Pontiac lists the base G5 coupe at 37 mpg highway.”
The 2009 Pontiac G3 is far from being a performance vehicle but neither is it a class leader in terms of fuel efficiency.