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2001 Pontiac Grand Prix REVIEW

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 4/5/2017

Con: Overstyled interior, cheap-looking dashboard plastic and switchgear.

Pro: Strong powertrains, sporty styling, loads of features, fun to drive.

Edmunds Say: High in performance, value and cheesy plastic interior pieces.

What’s New: The Grand Prix receives only minor changes for 2001 including a Special Edition appearance package on GT and GTP models and optional 16-inch three-spoke aluminum wheels. The OnStar system is now available on GTP models while SE models receive a slight front-end revision.

Review: Loaded with standard features and available in a potent, supercharged 240-horsepower edition, Pontiac's Grand Prix successfully blends form, function and performance into one appealing and affordable package. Buyers can select from one of three models: SE (in sedan form only), GT (coupe or sedan) and GTP, the latter a stand-alone model as either a coupe or sedan. The SE is still powered by a 3.1-liter V6 that makes 175 horsepower while managing to meet low-emission vehicle (LEV) standards. (The supercharged 3.8 also meets the same standard, and the naturally aspirated 3.8 meets ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) standards.) Despite the commendable numbers for the 3.1, we recommend the 200-horsepower 3800 Series II V6 (optional on SE Sedan and standard on GT). The award-winning 3.8 offers more power yet still delivers about 19 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, figures that nearly match the base motor.

GTP models come equipped with a supercharged version of the 3800 V6 that makes a whopping 240 horsepower. Traction control works in conjunction with four-wheel antilock disc brakes, which include beefy rotors and state-of-the-art calipers for better stopping ability. Power is put through the front wheels via a standard four-speed, electronically controlled automatic transmission. The GTP gets a heavy-duty version that allows drivers to pick "normal" or "performance" shift modes.

All Grand Prix models benefit from hydraulic engine mounts to isolate noise and vibration normally transmitted into the cabin. And all powertrains feature long-life fluids and parts, such as coolant designed to last five years or 150,000 miles, and platinum-tipped spark plugs that last 100,000 miles under optimal conditions. Interiors feature analog instrumentation and large, easy-to-use controls. In the Pontiac tradition, the dashboard is a cockpit-style arrangement with gauges designed to look like those in a jet fighter, all backlit in a soothing red glow at night.

There is still no split-bench front seat available in SE Sedans, putting the Grand Prix out of contention when considering a six-place four-door. But dual airbags, air conditioning, power windows, door locks and mirrors are all standard fare. And if you like high-tech, you can opt for the EyeCue head-up display, which projects driver data onto the windshield for easy viewing. New for 2001 is the availability of the OnStar communications system. Standard on all GTP models and optional on GT versions, the OnStar system provides 24-hour driver assistance through an integrated hands-free microphone. Should sporty performance be part of your car-buying equation, Grand Prix delivers in the grand American tradition. This Pontiac packs plenty of power and a wide array of safety and convenience features in a package that's as easy to drive as it is on the pocketbook.

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