Complete Pontiac Grand Prix lineup, specs, economy, dimensions

2004 Pontiac Grand Prix (_IX_) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions2003 - 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix SedanGrand Prix (_IX_)4 Trims 203 to 307 Hp 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix Coupe VI (W) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1996 - 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix CoupeGrand Prix Coupe VI (W)4 Trims 162 to 243 Hp 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix VI (W) - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1996 - 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix SedanGrand Prix VI (W)5 Trims 162 to 243 Hp

The Pontiac Grand Prix is a great example of a nameplate that has been used for a very long time. In some cases, the idea and philosophy of the car have stayed the same throughout the years. In others, the nameplate is used on many different cars or the manufacturer would change the class throughout the generations. With the Grand Prix, it’s a case of the latter.

Originally introduced in 1962 as a full-size car, the Grand Prix has been seen as a coupe, sedan, full-size and mid-size car. It would undergo many changes in size, performance and even level of luxury as Pontiac would try to change its positioning for different reasons.

The Grand Prix started as a performance-oriented coupe that had bucket seats and a 6.4L Pontiac V8 engine that is capable of producing 303 horsepower. It was based on the Catalina two-door hardtop but was changed to have a more distinctive grille and overall aesthetic design. The instrument panel was padded and there were a few other more luxury features that were often not present on such cars.

From the third generation onwards, the Grand Prix would become larger and heavier and even though V8 engines were on a decline by 1973, they were still present in this generation. Another notable change was the now more aggressive hood and grille design as well as a fixed opera window. The wood elements present in a lot of the interiors were actually real wood compared to the simulated wood grain that was present in most car interiors at the time. Over the next few years, we would see a few more changes to the exterior, more specifically the grille would get increasingly more edgy.

In 1978, the fourth generation would see the first major exterior design change that would go far from the original design. One of the reasons was that Pontiac was generally making a lot of their cars smaller. By the fifth generation, the Grand Prix had taken a whole new look after it went from having an A-body to a front-wheel drive W-body. With the V8 engines gone, most of the available options were all V6 engines.

The sixth and final generation for the Grand Prix feels like the most complete one. It features elements from all of the previous exterior designs and the final package ends up looking pretty sleek. Powered by a 3.8L engine (200 horsepower) or a supercharged version that has a power output of 260 horsepower. This generation was offered in three different variations, one of which even saw the return of a V8 engine. Options would include different styling, a heads-up display, or a 4-speed automatic transmission with paddle-style TAPshift. Keyless entry, power windows, cruise control, and leather seating would also be available. The higher trim levels would of course have firmer and more powerful performance, but that’s to be expected.

Throughout all the generations, the Grand Prix would almost always have a slightly aggressive look that would make it stand out among the crowd. Not all of these attempts were successful, but a lot of them were positively reviewed. For the most part, the Grand Prix was reliable, packed a decent punch, and was able to deliver a great driving experience. The Grand Prix’s later models are still in pretty good circulation among the US used car market which is a testament to what Pontiac can do when they have their goals in sight. It would eventually end up being replaced by the G8 which would be one of the last cars that Pontiac would release before the entire division was shut down.