Bold styling with aggressive ribbed body work is designed to draw attention to this sporty compact. Pontiac redesigned its Grand Am for 1999 with new exterior styling, a redesigned interior, a re-engineered chassis and suspension, a bigger optional V6 engine, and more convenience features. For 2000, a new Getrag 5-speed manual gearbox is available.
Grand Am's look-at-me styling features Pontiac's trademark ribbed body cladding. Ribs are everywhere. They start at the front bumper, wrap around the front fenders, along the doors, down the rear fenders and around the rear bumper. The design is carried through the side mirrors and the optional rear spoiler. It all works together to give the Grand Am a sporty look. Body-colored door handles and side moldings support this theme. Add cats-eye headlamps, a twin port grille, round driving lamps and that wide track stance and there's no question this is a Pontiac.
Small round cornering lamps positioned on the edges of the rear bumper are designed to complement the standard backup lights by directing light at 45-degree angles to the sides and rear of the vehicle. They should help illuminate obstructions and ditches when backing up at night.
Grand Am's bold exterior is carried through inside with a sporty retro-dash. Circular hoods shroud the instruments and ventilation ducts and remind us of sports cars past. It's an attractive look that adds to the sports appeal of the Grand Am. Warm, red light illuminates the instruments, which are large and easy to read. Audio and climate controls are angled toward the driver for easy access and heating, ventilation and air conditioning are adjusted with big round knobs.
Strapping on the new Grand Am reveals that the seating position is slightly higher than previous-generation models. Coupled with a lower cowl and thin A-pillars, that makes it easier to see out front. The Grand Am we drove was equipped with a four-way manually adjustable driver's seat, which we found to be comfortable during a stint around greater Miami. A six-way power driver's seat is optional with SE2 trim and Grand Am engineers put a lot of effort into its adjustable lumbar support.
Several features add convenience to the Grand Am. Automatic lighting control can be set to switch on the headlights at nightfall, then turn them off 20 seconds after the ignition is switched off, giving the driver some time to unlock a house or garage door. Battery rundown protection automatically turns off all accessory lights after 20 minutes in case they were left on by mistake.
A delayed locking feature can be programmed to automatically lock the doors within seven seconds of closing the last door. That eliminates the need for trusting passengers to lock their doors and permits quick retrieval of forgotten items. When the driver removes the key from the ignition, three chimes indicate the system is activated. It locks the car seven seconds after the last door is closed. If a door is opened before that time, the timer stops and starts over when the door is closed again. Exterior lights flash twice and the horn beeps to confirm the doors are locked. A related system automatically locks the doors when the shifter is moved out of the park position. Doors automatically unlock when the shifter is placed in park and the ignition is turned off.
Driving around South Florida revealed that the Grand Am offers a smoother, more controlled ride quality than pre-1999 models. There's a noticeable absence of shimmy and shake and rattles over potholes. It's also much quieter inside.
Miami's busy roads provided little opportunity to fully explore chassis dynamics, but compared with the previous model, the new Grand Am feels taut. It provides sharper steering response and makes the driver feel better connected to the road.
We focused on a sedan equipped with the standard 2.4-liter engine and the SE1 trim package as that's what most people buy. With its relatively flat torque curve, this engine delivers plenty of power around town and offers good acceleration for tackling freeway on-ramps. The four-speed automatic offers smooth, positive shifts and seems a good match for the engine.
That wide-track Pontiac stance gives the car more athletic handling response. The front track - the distance between the left and right tires - is a significant 3.3 inches wider than pre-1999 models, yet the width of the car has increased only 1.5 inches. Likewise, the wheelbase has been stretched a substantial 3.6 inches, while the overall length of the car is slightly reduced. In effect, the wheels have been pushed farther out toward the corners of the car. This gives the Grand Am a more aggressive, sporty appearance. It also increases stability at high speeds, in corners and in cross winds. Grand-Am's 107-inch wheelbase is longer than other compact cars.
Beneath the Grand Am's sporty appearance is a rigid unitbody structure. Pontiac says Grand Am's structure is more rigid than that of the Ford Contour and Nissan Altima. That's good news for drivers and passengers because a stiffer unitbody allowed GM engineers to design a three-link rear suspension that offers more precise control of the wheels and better noise and vibration damping. That adds up to improved handling and ride quality, areas where previous-generation Grand Ams left something to be desired.
Big front brakes offer good braking distances. Aluminum brake calipers present lower unsprung weight, which improves handling in bumpy corners. All Grand Ams come standard with antilock brakes (ABS) and electronic traction control, both of which make the car easier to control in limited traction situations.
Pontiac's Grand Am offers bold styling and is loaded with convenient interior features.
|Find great Pontiac Grand Am used car deals in your area.||See Used Listings|
2005 Pontiac Grand Am$5,988 | no mileage
2005 Pontiac Grand Am$7,500 | 117,579 mi
2004 Pontiac Grand Am$3,495 | 141,416 mi
2004 Pontiac Grand Am$4,781 | 164,608 mi
2003 Pontiac Grand Am$4,988 | no mileage
2003 Pontiac Grand Am$4,994 | 287,248 mi
2003 Pontiac Grand Am$4,995 | 160,467 mi
2003 Pontiac Grand Am$5,999 | 137,037 mi
2002 Pontiac Grand Am$4,840 | 113,057 mi
2002 Pontiac Grand Am$4,990 | 145,850 mi
2001 Pontiac Grand Am$4,495 | 148,091 mi
2000 Pontiac Firebird$10,000 | 73,582 mi
1999 Pontiac Grand Am$4,499 | 92,643 mi
1999 Pontiac Firebird$9,995 | 137,907 mi
1998 Pontiac Grand Am$2,986 | 150,030 mi
1998 Pontiac Grand Am$2,999 | 158,885 mi
1995 Pontiac Grand Am$4,950 | 103,023 mi
1994 Pontiac Grand Am$4,999 | 81,085 mi
1981 Pontiac Firebird$29,888 | 29,117 mi
1979 Pontiac Firebird$24,000 | 99,999 mi
1968 Pontiac Firebird$32,999 | 25,135 mi
1968 Pontiac Firebird$32,999 | 30,946 mi
1967 Pontiac Firebird$35,888 | no mileage