Sporty/performance car; Built in Australia
  • 2-door coupe
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $9,500 – $14,500*


2005 Pontiac GTO


2004 Pontiac GTO


2004 Pontiac GTO


2004 Pontiac GTO

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • Seat comfort
  • Steering/handling
  • Brake performance
Cons:
  • Fuel economy
  • Rear-seat entry/exit

A nicely appointed cabin with a usable back seat are pluses in this class, but it’s the blend of American muscle and Euro-worthy road manners that make GTO a Recommended pick. Low demand has dealers discounting already reasonable base prices, but be sure to budget for potentially heavy fuel thirst.

Overview

Pontiac revived its iconic 1960s “muscle car” for 2004 as a midsize V8 coupe based on a car built by Holden, GM’s Australian branch. A 350-hp 5.7-liter V8 derived from the Chevrolet Corvette drove the GTO’s rear wheels via a 4-speed automatic transmission or available 6-speed manual. ABS, traction control, and a limited-slip differential were standard. Seventeen-inch wheels and performance tires were the only available wheel-tire combination. GTO had seats for four and came with leather upholstery, in-dash CD changer, and remote keyless entry. Side airbags, sunroof, and antiskid system were unavailable.

Yearly Updates

2005 GTO
A 400-hp 6.0-liter V8 replaced the 350-hp 5.7 V8 as GTO’s sole engine for 2005. Also newly standard was a hood with two air scoops. A scoopless hood was a no-cost option.
2006 GTO
Available 18-inch wheels marked 2006 for what Pontiac said was GTO’s final model year. Slow sales and an aging basic design sealed this sporty car’s fate.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive

All GTOs used V8 engines and a 4-speed automatic transmission. Optional was a 6-speed manual. The 2004 models had a 350-hp 5.7-liter V8, and 2005 and later GTOs had a 400-hp 6.0 V8.

ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.7/346
Engine HP 350
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 365
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
4-speed automatic
17/29
16/21
16.0
15.7
ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 6.0/364
Engine HP 400
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 395
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
4-speed automatic
16/25
16/21
17.8

Road Test

Manual or automatic transmission, 350 or 400 hp, all GTOs have muscular acceleration, lending credence to Pontiac’s claim of less than 5 sec 0-60 mph. The manual transmission suffers from imprecise shift action, long throws, and heavy clutch action.

Test manual-transmission GTOs averaged 17.5-18.0 mpg in mostly highway driving. A test automatic-transmission model averaged 15.7 mpg in mixed city/highway driving. Pontiac recommends premium-grade fuel.

Testers are divided about GTO’s ride quality. Some fine ride control laudable for a sporty car, others criticize it for bounding over bumps and swells. The tradeoff is athletic handling, with minimal body lean, responsive steering, and strong brakes.

This coupe’s muscle-car acceleration is accompanied by a muscle-car exhaust note while accelerating, but it settles down while cruising. Tire noise is only prominent on very coarse pavement, and wind rush rises markedly above 70 mph.

GTO’s interior design is generally a step above other GM vehicles with a user-friendly controls and large, legible gauges. Materials quality also is better than in other GM products, but it still falls behind class-leader BMW.

Driver and front passenger comfort is quite good. Seats are firm and well shaped with exceptional lateral support in turns. These seats, coupled with a standard tilt/telescope steering wheel make finding a comfortable driving position a snap. Even with its sporty stance and standard rear spoiler, visibility is also very good. Some drivers, though, complain of tight pedal placement in manual transmission test cars.

The rear seat is surprisingly roomy for adults, but getting back there is a chore. The front seats power fore and aft via outboard buttons on the backrest, but do so very slowly. A lack of tipping front-seat backrests and no assist handles further complicates entry/exit.

Trunk space is meager for a coupe this size because the fuel tank intrudes into the cargo area. The actual trunk is deep and wide, but only 18 inches front to rear. That’s about enough for a weekend of soft luggage for two. Cabin storage is mediocre.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2005 Pontiac GTO base manual

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 9
90%
Fuel Economy - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 5
50%
Steering/Handling - 8
80%
Quietness - 4
40%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Rear - 3
30%
Cargo Room - 1
10%

Other

Value - 7
70%

Total: 54

Specifications

2-door coupe
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
109.8 189.8 72.5 54.9
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
7.0 18.5 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
37.3 37.3 42.2 37.1
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Front Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Clutch
Description: The clutch pedal may keep getting lower over time, then may not fully release because the pressure plate bolts come loose on cars built before February, 2004. (2004)
Fuel gauge
Description: The engine may not start or may stall because the tank is empty yet the gauge shows fuel remaining, or the fuel gauge will not show full after refilling due to sulfur corrosion of the fuel level sender and if after treating with Fuel System Cleaner PLUS the problem remains, the sender may need to be replaced. (2004-06)
Audio system
Description: The radio controls in the steering wheel may work intermittently due to loose connections between the wheel and radio head. (2004-05)
Audio system
Description: Radio reception may be poor or have static because the rear window defogger may have invisible cracks in the grid lines. (2005)
Seat
Description: The front seat may not move forward when the lever is pulled because the microswitch is not activated, requiring an improved switch (2004); and, some vehicles the easy entry feature fails because the module malfunctions, especially if battery voltage is low. (2005)

Recall History

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.