The G3 is an all-new model in Pontiac's lineup--and the new lowest-priced offering from GM's sport-oriented brand.
A 1.6-liter four-cylinder is the only engine offered in the front-wheel-drive G3, and comes mated to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Even though the engine only has 106 horsepower, it's refined and powerful enough with either transmission to move the 2500-pound G3.
Top fuel economy is expected as well for such a small car. EPA estimates are 27 mpg city and 34 highway with the manual transmission.
The interior of the G3 is its strong point; it's quite spacious for its exterior size; there's room for five, with accommodations for three in back--provided they're narrow enough in shoulders and hips--thanks to elevated, "theater" seating. Pontiac says that it has the best shoulder and hip room in its class. The back seat is also split 60/40 and folds forward to expand the cargo space to 42 cubic feet.
The G3 rides on a suspension that incorporates MacPherson struts in front and a trailing-arm setup in back; Pontiac promises a sporty, fun-to-drive character for the G3, and that it is tuned to be firmer and more responsive than the Chevrolet Aveo. Maneuverability is also the G3's forte; small outward dimensions and good visibility yield a car that's very easy to parallel park.
Initially, the G3 will only be offered in one trim level, including a wider range of standard equipment than the lowest-priced small cars. Air conditioning, a rear defogger and wiper and a six-speaker, MP3-compatible CD sound system are all standard. Front side airbags are also included on the G3, but anti-lock brakes are optional and electronic stability control isn't available.
Highlights of the G3's extensive feature list include remote keyless entry, power heated mirrors, larger alloy wheels, a sunroof and XM Satellite Radio. A Sport Package spices the G3 up in appearance if not performance, adding painted aluminum wheels and leather trim inside and a Cruisin' Package brings cruise control and steering-wheel audio controls.