Cadillac or competing brand model ? Why ? Discussion, Bonneville GXP? in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; How do you like the Bonneville so far? Doesnt that have a Northstar?
Any comparisons to Cadillac that you can ...
I drove one back in September. It felt like a slightly unrefined version of my STS. After all, they share the same chassis. However, it could outhandle my STS on the corners and the exhaust note was more noticeable. Throttle response felt the same despite the 275hp vs. 300hp in my STS.
Personally, I think it is one of the nicest all round cars on the road. Especially for the price. If I had to buy a car today to drive year-round I wouldn't hesitate and buy a GXP.
Excellent performance and handling. Seats are comfortable and the interior is very nice. The GXP gets an uplevel interior with the ultrasuede seating areas and special dash graphics and stuff. It looks nice and is very comfortable. I found the seats to be excellent with no discomfort on a long trip (friend owns one). The GXP has the HUD for the speedometer readout which I find invaluable. Once after getting used to the HUD I find that I really miss it when I get into a car without it.
Yes, it has the Northstar, the 275 horsepower LD8 version but with the elevated shift points of the L37 package and the 3.71 final drive of the L37 package. With the (seriously) low backpressure of the GXP exhaust the engine has no problem pulling off the 6500 RPM upshifts and with the raised lockout speeds on downshifts the car just leaps from 35 to 80. The exhaust system was specifically developed for the GXP and it's a very low backpressure system. I would probably buy one from GM if I wanted a system for a Northstar in a Cadillac rather than one of the aftermarket systems. It's just as good for backpressure, sounds good yet is not obnoxious at all while cruising. You can just barely hear the base of the exhaust note and a slight burble on deaccelleration. At WOT it's very noticeable but not too loud. Most importantly, at cruising speeds it doesn't have any annoying booms or other noise.
The brakes are very good with no fade and no noise but the pedal feel is not quite as good as a CTS-V. No fade, though, even in several track laps so the brakes are very capable.
The tires are good, pretty quiet on the expressway and very quiet even sliding with 44psi in the front and 38psi in the rear. The car is very well balanced like this.
Steering is a little heavy for my taste but this is what Pontiac wanted.
The chassis package is excellent not even making excuses for a FWD car. I would dare say that most drivers would not know this was a front wheel drive car until it pulled their arses out of a snowbank. The way the GXP handles makes a RWD car a hard sell unless you are really planning on some track days. The GXP with the monotube struts, straight rate springs, large strut tower brace and stab bar package will handle with most anything it's size up to the point that you start to use up the front tires after several laps.
I read that the GXP chassis package was developed by a retired Cadillac ride and handling car developement engineer so he knew going in exactly what the car needed and since the car was developed under the auspices of the GM Performance Division the ride and handling buy off decisions were made without the usual corporate meddling.
As good as the car is in the summer it can still handle the snow and ice even with the big tires on it. You could easily out run any people towing with SUV's and 4WD trucks on the interstate in snowy icy conditions with the GXP. The inherent stability towing with the FWD in slippery conditions really makes the car shine.
Plus, the car has the Northstar, the 4T80E transmission, the 18 inch wheels and tires, big brakes, all the electronic traction controls and stabilitrac just like the Cadillacs have and it's $18k to $20k less than an STS. I find the GXP to be just as well finished as the STS albeit without a few of the options.
One nice thing that I notice about the GXP fascias on the car (much smoother without the strakes and cut lines) and the simple 18 inch wheel design is how easy the car is to clean up. The body washes nicely in a car wash with no "un washable" spots and the wheels are very simple and easy to clean up with Fantastik and a rag. No intricate spokes or details to worry with. Simple easy flat surfaces to wipe off.
Yes, the 5.3 Grand Prix is a nice package, too. I haven't driven one so I don't know much about it specifically but it certainly has a lot of potential. I test-drove an 04 Grand Prix with the 3800 and it's a nice car. The Grand Prix has the HUD also which is nice.
Geno, do you know how fast the GXP will accelerate to 60 and the 1/4?
persoally, i like pontiac as a second favorite car manufaturer, and the GXP and the GTO top my list as favorites. the only car that tops those two on my wish-list is the CTS-V, which is far more expensive than those two are.
i would also like to have a 2000ish trans-am WS6, those ladies are just plain sa-weet!
Hey Geno, I have a couple of follow-up q's if you don't mind taking the time to answer.
Would you suggest only swapping the front struts, or the springs too to put them on my Aurora? Does the GXP have the same rears with ELC? And does it have like an engine-bay strut tower brace, or is it just that beam that's in front of the dash/behind the plastic cowling that all the cars have?
When did they move from Lake Orion? Did the LeSabre/Park Ave move to Hamtramck also? What's being made now in the Lake Orion plant?
Lastly, how hard would it be to swap out the interior and body panels of an Aurora onto that GXP? Heheh, just kidding!
One of the car magazines had a comparison to the Chrysler 300C and Ford Crown Victoria. They didn't care for the GXP. I don't recall why, but I think that they felt it was dated in comparison to the other models. If I find a link I will post it for you.