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2002 Pontiac Bonneville Sedan

4dr Sdn SLE

Starting at | Starting at 20 MPG City - 29 MPG Highway

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  • $29,055 original MSRP
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2002 Pontiac Bonneville Sedan

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2002 Pontiac Bonneville Sedan

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2002 Pontiac Bonneville

Source: New Car Test Drive

Introduction

Pontiac's Bonneville sure is an eye-catcher: aggressive, distinctive, even slightly overstated. It backs up its looks with a responsive, sporting personality. The supercharged SSEi, particularly, can run with the best from overseas. Yet underneath those racy lines lives a practical sedan with real full-size room.

The Bonneville was redesigned for the 2000 model year, and has not changed substantially since then. For 2001, the OnStar navigation and security system became standard on all models, and heated front seats joined the option list. Revisions for 2002 are a little more substantial and include new front and rear fascias for the SE trim level, 17-inch wheels for SE and SLE, and more standard equipment all around.

Model Lineup

The Bonneville lineup comprises the base-level SE ($25,530), the sportier SLE ($28,720), and the supercharged SSEi ($32,950). All come with air conditioning, four-wheel-disc brakes with ABS, and front and side airbags.

All are powered by a 3.8-liter V6 with overhead valves, developing 205 horsepower in the SE and SLE. The SSEi adds a positive-displacement supercharger that boosts output to 240 horsepower. Performance is good even with the un-boosted engine, although most driving enthusiasts will appreciate the extra oomph of the supercharger.

For features and appointments, even the SE should satisfy the majority of potential buyers. Standard equipment includes a four-speed automatic transmission, air conditioning, tilt steering wheel, power doors, power windows, power mirrors, 16-inch alloy wheels and a reasonably good AM/FM stereo cassette system.

SLE adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel with redundant audio controls, dual-zone automatic climate control, six-way power driver's seat, remote keyless entry, an upgraded sound system, traction control, 17-inch alloy wheels and a performance suspension (specifically, a 30mm anti-roll bar up front, vs. the 29mm standard bar; and a 20mm bar added at the rear).

SSEi pushes the Bonneville's price into the near-luxury segment. But that price buys the supercharged engine, stability control, Magnasteer variable-assist power steering, leather upholstery, 12-way power seats, head-up instrument display, Monsoon eight-speaker audio, automatic mirrors and a universal garage door opener.

Many of the standard features on the higher level models can be ordered as options on the SE and SLE.

Walkaround

The Pontiac Bonneville demands attention. But whether its aggressive design is macho and muscular or borderline gauche, you'll have to decide for yourself.

The Bonneville begins with an assertive, pointed nose and Pontiac's signature bird-beak grille dipping down into the front bumper. Each trim level presents a slightly different face to the world. SE and SLE models come with fog lamps mounted in the outer edge of the bumper, while the SSEi's fog lamps nestle closer together, on either side of the grille. Bonneville's profile is a long, undulating S-curve that's emphasized by ribbed body cladding on the lower sides of the SSEi. Heavily trimmed taillights accent its round rump. Even the base SE model rides on 16-inch alloy wheels. Chrome wheels, new for 2002, are optional on SLE and SSEi.

Interior Features

The Bonneville's interior is roomy and comfortable. An optional front bench seat ($150 on SE only) provides theoretical six-person seating, although adult passengers will find the center of either the front or rear seat a little cramped. Rear-seat head and legroom is good for two passengers. The standard seating configuration includes spacious bucket seats in front that hold driver and passenger in quite snuggly, especially with cloth upholstery, which is a lot less slippery than the optional leather. The standard six-way power driver's seat helps folks of all sizes find a comfortable position.

A console that wraps around the driver, much like one would find in a sports car, lends a youthful, cockpit character to the Bonneville's interior. The front edge of this console wraps up over the top of the instrument panel in one great sweep. No less than eight fluidic vents in the dashboard can be aimed in any direction. Within the instrument pod, a group of six small but easy-to-read gauges cluster around the steering wheel. An oil pressure gauge and voltmeter join the speedometer, tachometer, fuel and water temperature gauges. The second set of audio controls on the steering wheel are convenient, and their safety value should be obvious. Yet the rest of the industry is only now catching up with this Pontiac innovation.

In addition, the SSEi comes with a message center that can display a variety of malfunction warnings. Individual settings for the driver's seat, mirrors, climate control and audio preferences can be programmed as well. All models come with catcher's mitt front seats designed to support the body in an accident. Seat-integrated safety belts contribute not only to safety but also to a comfortable fit. Rear-seat passengers are not forgotten, as they get a decent-sized center armrest with cupholders and a storage box. Pass-through access to the trunk for skis and other long items is available when the console is folded down.

Driving Impressions

The Pontiac Bonneville's driving characteristics live up to its looks. Even in the standard SE configuration, the Bonneville has enough power to provide respectable performance. Thanks to the engine's relatively large capacity, it has more torque than most of its rivals, and torque is what contributes to quick stoplight getaways and on-ramp acceleration. The four-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly, and the chassis responds promptly to the driver's input.

Pontiac advertising has bragged for years about a wide track for secure handling. In fact, Pontiac has not built a car with a significantly wider track than anyone else's since 1960. (The Dodge Intrepid covers only a fraction of an inch less road, front and rear.) But never mind.

The Bonneville rides on a stiff body shell and a firm suspension that acquit themselves well on a twisty road. This is a solid-feeling car, one that doesn't wallow like so many full-size American models of years gone by.

Nor does it torque steer, as some other powerful front-drivers do, thanks to its clever suspension design. (Torque steer is the tendency to pull the steering wheel in one direction or the other under hard acceleration.) Traction control ($175 on SE; standard on other Bonnevilles) helps keep the front tires from spinning when accelerating hard. All models ride on an automatic load-leveling rear suspension, which helps keep handling consistent regardless of the number of passengers or amount of luggage aboard.

The SLE and SSEi, with their slightly stiffer suspension, handle better than the SE but still ride without too much harshness. The base SE rides a little softer, but still offers better control than other cars of similar size, such as the Toyota Avalon and Dodge Intrepid.

A clever tire-inflation monitor is a useful standard feature, keeping the driver appraised of the pressure in each tire. StabiliTrak stability control, standard on SSEi, enhances active safety by selectively applying the brakes to the front wheels to counteract skids. The SSEi also comes with GM's Eyecue head-up display, which projects vehicle speed and other information onto the inside of the windshield, just in front of the driver.

Summary

Anyone who needs a full-size car, but prefers a car with a sporty personality, should enjoy the Pontiac Bonneville. It has a unique look that fits Pontiac's performance image. The supercharged SSEi offers acceleration performance fully competitive with top near-luxury imports, yet offers much more interior room.

In its base SE form, the Bonneville compares favorably with the Dodge Intrepid and Chrysler Concorde.


Model Line Overview

Model lineup: SE ($25,530); SLE ($28,720); SSEi ($32,950)
Engines: 205-hp 3.8-liter ohv 12-valve V6; 240-hp supercharged 3.8-liter ohv 12-valve V6
Transmissions: 4-speed automatic
Safety equipment (standard): dual front and side-impact airbags; ABS
Safety equipment (optional): traction control, stability control
Basic warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles
Assembled in: Lake Orion, Michigan

Specifications As Tested

Model tested (MSRP): SE ($25,530)
Standard equipment: ABS; air conditioning; power door locks; power windows; power mirrors; cruise control; automatic headlights
Options as tested (MSRP): Option group 1SC ($2,130) includes bucket seats with leather seating surfaces, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, automatic air conditioning with dual-zone controls, 3.05 performance axle ratio, traction control, OnStar; AM/FM/CD stereo, rear-seat arm rest with storage
Destination charge: ($655)
Gas guzzler tax: N/A
Price as tested (MSRP): $ 28,315
Layout: front-wheel drive
Engine: 3.8-liter ohv 12-valve V6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 205 @ 5200
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm): 230 @ 4000
Transmission: 4-speed electronic automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy: 20/29 mpg
Wheelbase: 112.2 in.
Length/width/height: 202.6/74.2/56.6 in.
Track, f/r: 62.6/62.1 in.
Turning circle: 40.5 ft.
Seating capacity: 5
Head/hip/leg room, f: 38.7/55.7/42.6 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m: N/A
Head/hip/leg room, r: 37.3/56.4/38.0 in.
Trunk volume: 18.0 cu. ft.
Payload: N/A
Towing capacity: 1000 Lbs.
Suspension, f: Independent
Suspension, r: Independent
Ground clearance: N/A
Curb weight: 3590 lbs.
Tires: P225/60R16
Brakes, f/r: disc/disc with ABS
Fuel capacity: 18.5 gal.

Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle.
All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) effective as of August 31, 2001.
Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges.

N/A: Information not available or not applicable.
Manufacturer Info Sources: 1-800-762-4900 - www.pontiac.com

Copyright © 1994-2003 New Car Test Drive, Inc.

Printable Version

2002 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
Traction/Stability Control Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std

Security

Alarm Std
Telematics Std
Printable Version

2002 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 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

2002 Pontiac Bonneville Sedan

Data on this page may have come in part, or entirely, from one or more of the following providers.

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