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2001 Pontiac Bonneville Sedan

4dr Sdn SLE

Starting at | Starting at 19 MPG City - 30 MPG Highway

2001 Pontiac Bonneville for Sale

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  • $28,190 original MSRP
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2001 Pontiac Bonneville Sedan

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2001 Pontiac Bonneville Sedan

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2001 Pontiac Bonneville

Source: The Car Connection

Pontiac confronts SUV-envy with its sporty new Bonneville.

by Marc K. Stengel

Only an auto buff, I suppose, would sputter his coffee upon reading the recent Wall Street Journal headline, "Car, Truck Sales Nudged Higher in July." Actually, that's not what made me cough. Neither did the more-or-less predictable news that the bloom may be fading off some SUV roses, as Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chevy Tahoe suffered 12 percent and 21-percent declines, respectively, in July sales versus a year ago.

No, what got me sputtering was news about Pontiac Bonneville. Good, old, lost-in-the-clutter, low-key, middle-class-suburban Bonneville. Its July sales are up by more than double - by 128 percent - compared to a year ago. That's some nudge.

Consider, after all, that the Bonneville SSEi I recently drove costs $34,630 (as-tested), which is certainly not pocket change. And the car is a family sedan, for crying out loud. Those are supposed to be extinct in the Age of SUV. But come to think of it, a base price of $31,635 for the high-end 2000 Bonneville SSEi does compare extremely well with mid-30s pricing for the Grand Cherokees, Explorers, and Tahoes out there. Bonneville does ferry five adults in quiet, snug comfort (or six, if you opt for a front bench in the Bonneville SE.) Is there a subtle sea change taking place, I wonder? Do I detect, perhaps, a faint echo of the chant, "It's time for them to go" filtering through our SUV-knotted streets?

Certainly Pontiac is giving it the old college try. Bonneville, mired up to its wheel hubs in anonymity for most of the '90s, represents a startling resurrection beginning with model year 2000. What Pontiac has been unable to accomplish in saving the Firebird the GM division has pulled off with the Bonneville. Their once-tepid dud of a family sedan is now a cool dude. It's lower, leaner, meaner. It's a wide-glide sedan in a top-heavy world of mommy trucks.

I'll state for the record that I'm not the biggest fan of Pontiac's pervasive styling motif. Throughout the model line there is a predominance of snorkels, gills, louvers, and nacelles that clutters body styling. With the 2000 Bonneville (which is basically unchanged for 2001), all these body piercings are either banished or subdued - and in darker paint colors, you might not even know any of them are there. Only the fog lamps in their little octopus-sucker cavities remain to displease. You will certainly, however, feel that an aggressive, sporty spirit animates this very new car.

Ace in the hole

Two distinct features are the primary reason why. Bonneville's biggest news in 2000 was its adoption of the engineering platform formerly exclusive to Cadillac Seville. For all kinds of technical reasons - like hydroformed stampings, increased torsional and bending stiffness, lower NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) - this is a very good thing. Sportiness improves, since front and rear independent suspensions have firmer anchoring points. Comfort improves, since vibrations are managed and noise is muted. Even safety improves, since impact loads are deflected and absorbed better.

But it's the Bonneville's second ace that gives the new platform its soul. For several years now, SSEi models of the Bonneville have worn GM's supercharged version of the workhorse 3800 Series II V-6. But it took all of the other changes to Bonneville's engineering and design to give this entertaining motor a deserving home. Displacing 3.8 liters, the motor is relatively large for a V-6; and it's already notably smooth. Ram a charge of compressed fuel-air mixture down its throat with a belt-driven supercharger, though, and a docile V-6 mimics a whipper-snapper V-8. The SSEi's 240 horsepower is ample in this full-size sedan category, but it's the supercharger's unique personality of all-power-all-the-time that makes this motor such a blast to drive.

Enjoying the drive is, in fact, the key. Trucks, for all of their novelty of high-perch seating and go-anywhere overcapability, are simply not much fun to drive on paved roads. And I fear that because of the last decade's truck glut, a whole generation of commuters simply has no clue that driving can be fun - is supposed to be fun - even if it's also mostly a bald necessity. It's interesting to ponder whether auto buyers in the mid-30s price range might park their trucks if they happen to rediscover the concept of an enjoyable drive. Maybe that's why people who need seating for five or six adults, who know how to pack a full-size 18 cubic foot trunk, who want handling that's responsive and a cockpit that's quiet are "nudging" up sales of full-size sporty sedans like the Bonneville.

This very sportiness, moreover, is arguably safer. Amongst towering, high-mass SUVs, the Bonneville's trademark "wide track" stance is low-centered and inherently stable. Two of GM's cleverest technologies go even further in this regard: Magnasteer provides speed-sensitive steering assist that banishes the vague road feel of many competing systems. Stabilitrak puts a computer and sensors to work managing directional control. If the Bonneville skids or veers undesirably, Stabilitrak helps the driver "hold true" with precise, automatic applications of throttle and braking.

It's all quite an impressive performance for this made-over Bonneville SSEi. So impressive, one has to believe, that sensible people are beginning to question some prevailing preconceptions about status, safety, and utility on the road. In the '90s, you knew you had "arrived" when you spent $35,000 on an SUV truck. Now a dramatic bump in sales of the Bonneville makes a convincing argument that you can spend a similar sum to make your arrival even smarter, faster, safer, and more fun.

2001 Pontiac Bonneville SSEi

Base Price: $31,635
Transmission: electronically controlled four-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 112.2 in
Length: 202.6 in
Width: 74.2 in
Height: 56.6 in
Weight: 3590 lb
Major standard equipment:
240-hp supercharged V-6
StabiliTrak cornering-stability system
Bose eight-speaker sound system
EyeCue head-up display
Universal garage door opener

© 2000 The Car Connection

Printable Version

2001 Pontiac Bonneville Sedan

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
4-Wheel Disc Brakes Std
Traction/Stability Control Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Security

Alarm Std
Telematics Std
Printable Version

2001 Pontiac Bonneville Sedan

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Corrosion 6 Years/100,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 3 Years/36,000 Miles

Pontiac Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

2-year/24,000-Mile1 CPO Scheduled Maintenance Plan.

12-Month/12,000-Mile2 Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty.

5-year/100,000-Mile3 Powertrain Limited Warranty

1Covers only scheduled oil changes with filter, tire rotations and 27 point inspections, according to your vehicle's recommended maintenance schedule for up to 2 years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. Does not include air filters. Maximum of 4 service events. See participating dealer for other restrictions and complete details.

2Whichever comes first from date of purchase. See participating dealer for limited warranty details.

3Whichever comes first from original in-service date. See participating dealers for limited warranty details.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 2010 model year / Under 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 172-Point Vehicle Inspection and Reconditioning
Download checklist
Return/Exchange Program 3-Day 150-Mile Satisfaction Guarantee
Roadside Assistance Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $0

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2001 Pontiac Bonneville Sedan

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