2009 Pontiac G3 Review
Daewoo calls it the Kalos, and Chevy named it the Aveo, but Pontiac has opted to call this five-door hatchback the G3. With the Pontiac brand being phased out, the G3 has one of the shortest lifespans of any car. Still, it goes head to head with the aforementioned Aveo as well as subcompacts like the Honda Fit, Kia Rio5 and Volkswagen Rabbit.
Unfortunately, General Motor's financial woes have hurt the sales of Pontiac models significantly. And without the established name recognition of the older Pontiac Vibe, G5 or Solstice, the sales for the G3 have been practically nonexistant. According to the Wall Street Journal, GM only sold 141 G3's in March, or "just one in every 19 of GM's roughly 2,700 Pontiac dealers sold one during the month."
The '09 Pontiac G3 has a 1.6-liter DOHC engine that makes 106-horsepower and pulls 105 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, but a four-speed automatic is available. The G3 also has dual-stage frontal and side impact air bags with a passenger sensing system, a six-speaker audio system with CD player and MP3 playback, and 60/40 split rear seats.
G3 reviewers seem disappointed that Pontiac has presented a rebadged Chevy Aveo as opposed to a new model. But as Pontiac dealerships around the country shut down, you might find the discontinued G3 is a great financial alternative to other affordable hatchbacks, even the similar Aveo. If you do purchase a G3 or currently own one, your Pontiac warranty will still be honored at the remaining GM dealerships.
- "Yes, folks, GM's decided the Chevy Aveo was just so nice, they couldn't let Chevy have all the fun, now foisting the rebadged Korean econobox onto the brand that was once all about 'driving excitement.'" -- Jalopnik
- "The new subcompact would supposedly bolster the offerings at combined Pontiac-Buick-GMC dealers by adding a new fuel-efficient vehicle to the mix. Oddly enough, however, the G3 only achieves marginally better fuel economy than the already-available Pontiac Vibe, itself a slightly redesigned version of the Toyota Matrix, thanks to its diminutive four-banger and old-school four speed automatic tranny." -- Autoblog
- "In the U.S., Pontiac will offer the 2009 G3 only as a five-door hatchback, powered by a 106-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The EPA rates the G3 with five-speed manual transmission at 27 miles per gallon in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. With the optional four-speed automatic, the car is rated at 25/34 mpg." -- Edmunds