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2009 Pontiac G5 Coupe

2dr Cpe

Starting at | Starting at 25 MPG City - 37 MPG Highway

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  • $16,980 original MSRP
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2009 Pontiac G5 Coupe

Benefits of Driving a 2009 Pontiac G5 Coupe

The 2009 G5 has plenty of Pontiac's visual flair. The G5's low price and EPA city/highway estimates of 25/37 mpg appeal to entry-level buyers and make the G5 a smart alternative to the Honda Civic.

What's new for 2009?

For the 2009 G5, Pontiac has dropped the 2.4L 4-cylinder engine that powers the G5 GT. In its place, the 2.2L has been revised with variable valve timing and is now standard in all G5s. The VVT increases fuel efficiency to 25 mpg city and 37 mpg highway, up from last year's 24/33. Power is also up from last year's 149 hp to 155 hp this year.

Model Strengths

  • Stylish looks
  • roomy interior
  • good fuel economy
  • value pricing.

Model Review

Pontiac's 2009 G5 employs the worldwide Delta platform to provide an economical and bold alternative in the compact coupe market. Two trim levels are available, both powered by a new 2.2L Ecotec inline-4 cylinder engine. It produces 155 hp and drives the front wheels through a standard 5-speed manual transmission. A 4-speed automatic is optional.

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2009 Pontiac G5 Coupe

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2009 Pontiac G5

Source: New Car Test Drive

Overview

The Pontiac G5 is a sporty two-door coupe that gets good fuel economy and is comfortable and enjoyable for daily commuting. It's sleek and stylish. The cabin is nice and all the controls are easy to operate. OnStar comes standard, adding safety and convenience.

For 2009, all G5 models come with an improved 2.2-engine equipped with variable valve timing. The 2009 G5 gets an EPA-rated 35 miles per gallon on the Highway, a 12 percent improvement over the base 2008 model. That kind of fuel economy puts the slickly styled G5 into the same economy range as a subcompact.

The 2009 Pontiac G5 comes in a standard version and as a sportier GT. For 2009, both are powered by the same 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine rated 155 horsepower. That's up for the standard version, down for the GT, with better fuel efficiency for both. With either model, a five-speed manual transmission is standard, a four-speed automatic is optional. Helping to maximize fuel economy with the manual transmission is a longer-legged final drive ratio (3.63:1, vs. 3.84) and, on manual base models, low rolling resistance tires. The G5 is front-wheel drive.

The G5 GT comes with a sports suspension, performance tires and wheels, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, and StabiliTrak electronic stability control, along with upgraded premium features.

For 2009, a passenger-sensing system has been added to the dual-stage frontal airbags, and Bluetooth wireless connectivity has been added to the OnStar system, which comes standard, enabling hands-free telephone use. New equipment packages are available for 2009, also. The G5 comes standard with head-curtain airbags, a tire-pressure monitor, and XM Satellite Radio.

With any coupe, interior space and passenger capacity are compromised for sporty styling, and that's the case here. Pontiac describes the G5 as a five-passenger car, but limited rear legroom makes carrying five adults a serious challenge. We view it as a primarily a two-seater, with the capability of carrying a couple more people in a pinch. The back of the cabin is best used for parcels. Flip down the back seats and this little coupe can haul a respectable load of cargo.

The Pontiac G5 shares mechanical underpinnings with the Chevrolet Cobalt, and we think that's a good thing, but the Pontiac is available only as a coupe.

Model Lineup

The 2009 Pontiac G5 comes in two trim levels, base and GT. Both are powered by a 155-hp, 2.2 liter four-cylinder. The standard transmission is a five-speed manual; a four-speed automatic is optional ($925).

The G5 ($16,275) comes with air conditioning; power windows, mirrors, and door locks with remote/keyless entry; tilt steering; four-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio; 60/40 split-folding back seat; height-adjustable driver's seat; and 195/60R15 low-rolling-resistance tires on 15-inch steel wheels. OnStar and XM Satellite Radio are also standard. The standard suspension, called FE1, is tuned for a smooth ride. Brakes are discs in front, drums in the rear.

G5 options: The Sun & Sound Package ($995) combines a sunroof with a seven-speaker Pioneer audio system. MyLink ($995) combines one year of OnStar Directions & Connections with 16-inch machined aluminum wheels, 205/55R16 touring tires, ABS, cruise control, auxiliary USB audio port, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. The Appearance Package ($295) adds body-color side moldings, a trunk cargo net, a chrome exhaust tip, and fog lamps.

The G5 GT ($19,575) upgrades with StabiliTrak electronic stability control, four-wheel-disc brakes with anti-lock (ABS), FE3 sport suspension, and 17-inch aluminum wheels wearing summer performance tires. The GT also adds heated seats, cruise control, foglamps, the seven-speaker stereo, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, audio and cruise controls on the steering wheel, and a chrome-tipped exhaust.

Options for both models include a sunroof ($750), USB input ($100), leather seats with front seat heaters ($795), engine block heater ($75), and remote starter ($190). A cigarette lighter and ashtray are available ($40). The seven-speaker stereo ($295), ABS ($400), and cruise control ($275) are available for the base model.

Safety features include dual-stage frontal air bags (now with a passenger sensor) and front seat belts with pretensioners (in a crash these remove the slack). Always wear those seat belts because they are your most important line of defense in a crash. Anti-lock brakes (ABS), standard on GT and optional on the base model, can help drivers avoid accidents by allowing them to maintain control of the steering at maximum braking effort. We recommend getting ABS.

The standard OnStar service includes the General Motors Advanced Automatic Crash Notification (AACN) system, which makes crash data available to participating 911 centers, to help them dispatch the appropriate life-saving personnel and equipment to crash scenes faster. Also available is OnStar's Vehicle Diagnostics notification system that allows subscribers to receive free monthly reports via E-mail. Each diagnostic report provides information on the remaining life of the engine oil, as well as tire pressures and checks on the engine and transmission, emissions controls, braking systems, and air bags. OnStar is highly useful for navigation and we've found the OnStar operators friendly and helpful.

Walkaround

no mistaking the G5 for anything but a Pontiac. Pontiac has steadily and consistently nurtured and developed this design theme since 1961, and now it is surely one of the most, if not the most, recognizable motif in the U.S. auto industry.

The G5 has a cleaner and smoother look than Pontiacs of the past, which tended to be cluttered with stick-on body cladding.

The strength of the G5's Pontiac identity is remarkable, given that only its grille, tail lights, and other minor details distinguish it externally from a Chevrolet Cobalt. Credit its designers for doing a good job.

Interior Features

Inside the Pontiac G5 is a nice cabin. We found the cloth material on the seats quite handsome. There is plenty of legroom for two people up front. The driver's seat is adjustable for height. However, it seems to work better for raising short drivers than it does lowering down to add headroom for taller folks. The problem is that when the seat is lowered all the way to accommodate a tall driver, the seat cushion tilts a bit forward. So the G5 is better for people of average or shorter stature than it is for those who are tall.

Leather seats are optional and, on the GT, are available in Ebony or the new-for-2009 Ebony/Red combination.

All the controls are easy to find and use but there is a shortage of storage bins and trays.

The back seat is barely suitable for a six-foot adult for a short trip across town. It is an excellent location, however, for parcels.

Like many coupes, which favor a low roof as they go for a streamlined look, the G5 has somewhat narrow windows. Some people like that because it makes them feel as secure as a turtle in a shell. Others find it slightly confining. One problem is poor visibility over the driver's left shoulder. Big roof pillars and a small rear window combine to make it hard to see vehicles coming up to pass.

OnStar is a nice security blanket. This option combines a global positioning system and a cellular telephone (far more powerful than a hand-held cell phone) to put the driver in contact with an OnStar center. Manned 24/7, the OnStar center can tell where the vehicle is located and can provide help, ranging from a calling a tow truck to providing directions when you are lost. In case of a crash severe enough to deploy the airbags the system will automatically call the center so help can be sent even if the occupants are incapacitated.

We liked the optional sunroof. On some cars the sunroof tends to scoop outside air and funnel it into the vehicle as if attempting to duplicate the tornado from The Wizard of Oz. That is not the case with the G5. There is so little turbulence it is possible to open the sunroof on a 20-degree day and enjoy the sunlight without freezing, with the heater turned up.

The trunk is rated at 13.9 cubic feet which is competitive in this segment. The rear seat can be folded down for carrying more cargo.

Driving Impressions

As with most sporty cars, the ride in the Pontiac G5 GT is somewhat firm, but encounters with potholes and tar strips do not result in any serious discomfort. The ride is comfortable enough for day-to-day commuting even in the Midwest where the roads are rough.

The GT steering is somewhat heavy and the effort increases during turns. The steering is tight, however. What that means is when the car is pointed straight you can turn the steering wheel a tiny bit and it doesn't feel disconnected. The car begins to respond. The G5 GT feels secure and fairly responsive on gentle or sweeping turns. However, when the turns are tighter and the speed increases the GT feels nose-heavy and not sporty.

The brakes feel great. The pedal was firm, but it was easy to slow the car either a little or a lot. Also, the front of the car didn't dip too much under hard braking, and we found it had a balanced, secure feel.

The summer performance tires that come standard on the G5 GT offer good grip on dry pavement. We found them unsuitable for winter use, however. (Maybe that's why they're called summer tires.) In packed snow (5F to 20F), we found extremely poor grip and traction even on flat terrain. Which is what we expected. We recommend all-season tires for drivers who must face wintry weather but don't want to maintain two sets of tires.

We found the G5 four-speed transmission downshifted quickly when we slammed the throttle down, and it held the gear until just past 5000 rpm. That means it was striving to get the most out of the engine.

Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 25/35 mpg for the Pontiac G5 with five-speed manual gearbox, 24/33 mpg with the four-speed automatic. The G5 runs Regular gasoline. A special Pontiac G5 XFE model gets an EPA-rated 25/37 mpg. The GT gets an EPA-rated 25/35 mpg with manual, 23/32 mpg with automatic. We'd guess the difference for the GT is related to its performance tires.

Summary

The Pontiac G5 looks good. It has a handsome interior and a decent trunk. Pontiac has added more standard equipment for the past two years. For 2009, fuel efficiency has been improved.

Christopher Jensen filed this report from Bethlehem, New Hampshire.

Model Line Overview
Base Price (MSRP)
$16,275
Model lineup:
Pontiac G5 ($16,275); GT ($19,575)
Engines:
155-hp 2.2.-liter DOHC 16-valve Inline-4 with VVT
Transmissions:
five-speed manual; four-speed automatic
Safety equipment (Standard):
frontal air bags, side-impact air curtains, pretensioners for front seat belts, tire pressure monitor
Safety equipment (Optional):
anti-lock brakes
Basic warranty:
3 years/36,000 miles
Assembled in:
Lordstown, Ohio
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSRP):
Pontiac G5 GT Coupe ($19,575)
Standard equipment:
cloth upholstery; air conditioning; power windows and door locks; daytime running lights; power outside mirrors; AM/FM/CD/MP3 with seven speakers; XM satellite radio; OnStar; foglamps; variable-speed wipers; split/fold-down rear seat; cruise control; tachometer; tilt steering wheel; remote/keyless entry; rear-window defroster; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; FE3 sport suspension; 17-inch polished aluminum wheels with P205/50R17 performance tires
Options as tested:
sunroof ($750); four-speed automatic transmission ($925); remote-vehicle start ($190)
Destination charge:
660
Gas Guzzler Tax:
N/A
Price as tested (MSRP)
$22,100
Layout:
front-wheel drive
Engine:
2.2-liter DOHC 16-valve inline-4 with VVT
Horsepower (hp @ rpm):
155 @ 6100 rpm
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm):
150 @ 4900 rpm
Transmission:
four-speed automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:
23/32 mpg.
Wheelbase:
103.5 in.
Length/width/height:
179.8/67.5/55.6 in.
Track, f/r:
58.7/58.1 in.
Turning circle:
33.5 ft.
Seating capacity:
5
Head/hip/leg room, f:
38.1/49.4/42.0 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m:
N/A
Head/hip/leg room, r:
35.7/46.3/32.2 in.
Cargo volume:
13.9 cu. ft.
Payload:
N/A
Towing capacity:
1000 lbs.
Suspension F:
independent, MacPherson struts, coil springs, hydraulic shocks, anti-roll bar
Suspension R:
torsion beam axle, coil springs, hydraulic shocks, anti-roll bar
Ground clearance:
5.4 in.
Curb weight:
2836 lbs.
Tires:
P205/50R17
Brakes, f/r:
vented disc/disc with ABS in.
Fuel capacity:
13.0 gal.

Printable Version

2009 Pontiac G5 Coupe

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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Rollover Resistance
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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 Opt
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Head Air Bag Std
Rear Head side Air Bag Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Std
Fog Lamps Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Accident Prevention

Handsfree Wireless Opt

Security

Alarm Std
Anti-theft System Std
Telematics Opt
Printable Version

2009 Pontiac G5 Coupe

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 5 Years/100,000 Miles
Corrosion 6 Years/100,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 5 Years/100,000 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 2009-2010 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

2009 Pontiac G5 Coupe

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