Overview & Reviews
The five-door Pontiac G3 subcompact hatchback enjoys the dubious distinction of being the shortest-lived Pontiac model of all time. It debuted for 2009 and GM went bankrupt shortly thereafter, necessitating the discontinuation of the Pontiac brand. If you're interested in a G3 (though frankly we're not sure why you would be), keep in mind that the car of which it is a clone, the Chevy Aveo, continued to be produced after '09.
Like the Aveo, the Pontiac G3 traced its roots to GM's Korean Daewoo division, which had a little runabout called the Kalos available for rebadging purposes. There wasn't much to be said for the G3 when it was new, and there's even less going for it on the pre-owned market -- other than its assuredly rock-bottom price, that is. Despite the G3's diminutive size, its fuel economy wasn't any better than the larger Honda Civic's, and its performance and refinement were unimpressive.
Most Recent Pontiac G3
Produced for 2009 only, the Pontiac G3 was a five-door subcompact hatchback available in a single trim level. Standard equipment included steel wheels, foglamps, a rear spoiler, a tilt steering column, manual accessories (meaning no power windows and such), air-conditioning and a six-speaker CD/MP3 stereo with an auxiliary input jack. Notable options were power accessories, cruise control, satellite radio, aluminum wheels and a sunroof.
Power came from a 1.6-liter four-cylinder rated at 106 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque. This engine was backed by a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic. The former's EPA-estimated fuel economy was 30 mpg combined, while the latter's dropped to 28 mpg combined.
Inside, the Pontiac G3 was attractive enough, sporting decent-quality materials adorned with metallic-look accents. Climate controls were straightforward, though the stereo employed an array of buttons instead of more user-friendly knobs. The G3 offered a convenient 42 cubic feet of cargo space with the 60/40-split rear seats folded, but the 7.1 cubic feet available behind the rear seats won't hold more than a few bags of groceries.
In reviews, we noted that the Pontiac G3 got the job done in a competent but forgettable way. The steering was responsive enough and the ride was adequate by subcompact standards, but the engine protested loudly when full power was needed. We actually preferred the optional automatic transmission to the manual gearbox. Though the five-speed was rated as slightly more economical around town, its ratios were overly wide, and it was a chore to shift.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 25.00
Nice for what it is. - 2009 Pontiac G3
By Small town fool - November 23 - 8:33 pm
Tried to get a Vibe but for the price, this was better. Great handling and fuel mileage.
just got it - 2009 Pontiac G3
By sm - January 15 - 12:20 pm
We needed better gas mileage. I never liked hatchbacks. We were looking at the Corolla, Prius or Civic when the G3 was shown to us. Someone had it for 3 mos and put in an in dash navigation system/sirius radio, etc. We looked at it, test drove it - took it him that night. We just got it, but I really like driving it. Roomier than it looks.
Well...it's a cheap car - 2009 Pontiac G3
By axle2152 - October 6 - 6:15 am
I bought my G3 in August of 2009. I currently have 71,100 miles. I have not had any mechanical problems, however I have 2 camshaft position sensors go bad. This causes the car to sputter and lose power and causes a lot of jerking which is bad for the transmission. The ride is a little rough, about what you would expect in a sub-compact. Power is a joke, 12 seconds to 60 MPH, and fuel economy could be better, and other cars in it's class (from the same year model) get better gas mileage and still have better performance. On-Star never worked from the start and the dealership gave me the run around about fixing it, so it never was, not that I would subscribe to a nonsense service anyway.
Seems better than I expected - 2009 Pontiac G3
By Dave - June 26 - 11:20 pm
Just purchased with clunker deal. With all discounts ; clunker, GM , card and other discounts, bought $18,000 car for $8,000 plus Tax and Title. Just wanted a bridge car to hold me until all the Electric ,Hybrid and other new innovations come to market, but am pleasantly surprised. This a neat ,fun to drive little car.
Not a happy camper - 2009 Pontiac G3
By Not a happy camper - August 19 - 10:00 am
I have now had this car about a year in a half! Mind you it's my first brand new car! I thought i picked a great choice for my first new car. Well I was WRONG! My car has been to the shop 8 times! Front end problems pulling me to the left hard, driver side mirror shakes so bad i cant even see out of it when it rains or on im on the high way! Thermostat has gone out. And just yesterday i had to get the heater blower thing fix! I am trading this car in! They will not see me again!nor get my business again! It sucks gas! It doesn't ride smoothly! Worst choice i could have ever made buying that car!! I regret every day of it!
Green Machine, not a gas guzzlin SUV - 2009 Pontiac G3
By Janko - August 14 - 12:23 am
I'm giving this car a 10 across the board. I'm doing this with the mindset of my expectations of a compact economy car. It met my expectations 100%. I'm 6'6" tall and cannot believe how comfortable the seats are. I love this car and it's exactly as I expected. For the people who rate the performance anything less than a 10, go buy a Corvette. I had a Honda and am soooo happy I sold it to buy the G3. No complaints, very happy!!!
Serios coil, plug and onbard computer problems - 2009 Pontiac G3
By g3_neveragain - February 19 - 12:12 am
DON"T BUY THESE CARS!!!! Yes, they look nicer than the Honda Fit and Yaris, and mine even came with power windows, moon roof, on-Star, sports interior and stylish wheels, BUT it is all show and no substance. The car is not even 3 years old and has had the PCM computer changed (the computer that controls EVERYTHING on the car - and would cost around $1000 if not covered by warranty, the ignition coil changed twice (each costing around $300 if not covered by warranty), and the oxygen sensors changed (each costing around $300 if not covered by warranty). Look online and the problems with the ignition coil, spark plugs and oxygen sensors are commonplace. I WILL NEVER BUY A GM AGAIN. Wake up GM!!
Great little Car!!! - 2009 Pontiac G3
By peewee - November 26 - 11:53 pm
Its a great little car for the price, I haven't had it very long so I cant say to much but its turning out to be a fun car to drive.
Is this a joke? - 2009 Pontiac G3
By HUMMER OWNER - August 10 - 1:40 pm
So i have a new 09 Hummer and due to the deteriorating economy the dealership has the G3 as their loaner fleet. Not a big deal since I anly (cross my fingers) have to drive this thing for a few days... Honestly GM rebadging a DAEWOO is about as lame as watching TV without TiVo... how can you people say that you like this gocart with a straight face??? its slower than molasses in winter, about as much sind noise as a motorcycle doin 90 the AC is horrible the seats belong in a john boat, this thing reminds me of cheap toys made in china - when you buy them new do they come in a box with crappy assembly instructions and plastic tools??
Very disappointed - 2009 Pontiac G3
By BB - December 23 - 4:06 pm
Thinking of heading to the Lemon Law on this car...going in for the 3rd time in 6 months for check engine light having to do with the gas vac. canister...Won't take this on any kind of a trip and would like nothing better than to be rid of it...Hate to look at the dashboard when we turn it on.