Overview & Reviews
The Pontiac Torrent crossover SUV was a rebadged first-generation Chevy Equinox. It was larger than compact crossovers, yet smaller than midsize SUVs. There was plenty of passenger and cargo space thanks to a long wheelbase, and a lengthy list of standard features sweetened the deal -- including a reclining/sliding second-row seat and a movable cargo shelf.
We preferred a few other crossover SUVs to the Pontiac Torrent, but we had a healthy respect for this underappreciated hauler. It had a smooth and quiet ride along with a spacious and versatile cabin, and it was reasonably priced. With the demise of Pontiac due to GM's bankruptcy woes, the Torrent quickly faded into obscurity. Still, it's a solid pre-owned option, especially given GM's commitment to supporting Pontiac products at existing service centers.
Most Recent Pontiac Torrent
The Pontiac Torrent crossover SUV was produced from 2006-'09. There was initially only one trim level; the uplevel GXP model arrived for '08. Standard equipment included alloy wheels, air-conditioning and full power accessories. Upgrading to the Torrent GXP netted more power, sport-tuned suspension and steering, bigger wheels, dual exhaust outlets, heated front sport seats and a power driver seat, among other features. Some of the GXP's upgrades were available as options on the base Torrent. Depending on the year, a navigation system, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and Bluetooth were available as stand-alone options.
Available in either front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive configuration, the Pontiac Torrent offered a choice of two powertrains: a 185-horsepower 3.4-liter V6 engine coupled to a five-speed automatic transmission, or the GXP's 264-hp 3.6-liter V6 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
In reviews, we noted that the base V6's power was meager by six-cylinder standards, though around-town acceleration was adequate. The uplevel V6 in the GXP, conversely, could really haul the mail when called upon. Inside, we applauded the midsize Torrent's ample room for both occupants and stuff. To accommodate larger passengers or bulky cargo, the 60/40-split rear seat could slide nearly 8 inches fore and aft. An adjustable rear cargo shelf further expanded the loading options, and could also function as a picnic table.
Tuned more for ride comfort than acrobatic maneuvers, even in "sporty" GXP trim, the Pontiac Torrent's fully independent suspension delivered a smooth and compliant ride. Putting serious miles on the Torrent was relaxing, as the lack of wind and road noise made for a calm cabin. Our only real complaint concerned the lifeless electric power steering, which struggled to keep up with the rest of the package.
Used-car shoppers should be aware that some desirable features, such as four-wheel antilock disc brakes and a navigation system, were not available for the Torrent's first year, and side airbags were not standard until '09.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 256.00
A Few Problems! - 2007 Pontiac Torrent
By Sandra Opsal - December 28 - 10:56 am
I've had my Torrent for 3+ years and its been fairly reliable until recently. Had a problem with stabilitrac and traction control lights coming on, they had to replace a valve (don't have paperwork in front of me). Just returned from a 500 mile road trip and stabilitrac light just came on again. Also car sounds like a plane ready for take off - transmission? Will be bringing that to dealership tomorrow. No extended warranty. Hope the powertrain warranty covers it. Have 48,000 miles on it and this could be the first serious problem I've had with it. Otherwise, have enjoyed driving it. Wish mileage were better but it is good on long trips and better in summer (21-22) than winter (19).
Loved Until Recently - 2008 Pontiac Torrent
By randy394 - December 22 - 11:57 am
Bought my 08 Torrent GXP in 2011 and, up until recently, I have loved it. However, Ive now had the power steering hose break three times and Im growing tired of repeatedly fixing it. My battery also died at only 44,000 miles and the all-wheel drive regularly goes out when the temperature dips below zero, which is the type of weather when you mostly need AWD. I love the comfort, look, features, and how the Torrent drives, but Im now looking at a new car as Im sick of these mounting piddly issues. I never once had my 04 Malibu 2LT in the shop beyond oil changes in the 7 years, 80K+ miles I owned it.
Knew What I Was Getting - 2008 Pontiac Torrent
By czuchster - November 26 - 10:00 am
There are some squeaks here and there, especially with the steering wheel, but I read the reviews before I bought the car and I knew what to expect. The only disappointment has been with the gas mileage, which hasn't quite been up to the EPA estimates. Even my Hondaphile and Toyotaphile friends have been impressed with the comfort and looks of my Torrent. On the safety front, I was in an accident three months ago that sent two other drivers to the hospital but I didn't get a scratch, or even feel sore the next day. I can't rave enough. I've looked at trading it in for something with better MPG, but I can't find anything I'd give up for Torrent for.
Solid Comfort - 2006 Pontiac Torrent
By Stewart Williams - November 21 - 11:23 am
It drives easily and offers a very comfortable ride. I especially enjoy driving it on long trips. It seems to ride most comfortably when it's fully loaded with cargo and passengers. Its V6 gives me plenty of power to ease onto Interstate highways and it climbs over the mountains of Western Maryland with ease. The 5 speed transmission is the smoothest shifting one I've ever experienced. I would rate the Torrent as a very good vehicle, but Pontiac would do better by not using so much cheap plastic around the dash area. Also, the front seat cup holder and emergency break placement are very poorly designed.
PoorFuel Economy - 2006 Pontiac Torrent
By Jeremy - October 17 - 11:26 pm
Father of 2 and happily married, We love out Torrent. But It seems to suck down the gas and we travel on the highway often because we live in a small town so to go shopping or to get to work we are taking frequent 15-20 minute trips. We have only been getting around 240-260 miles per tank? We are wondering if anyone else is noticing this? The specs say we should get over 300? Besides the punch in the face at the gas station we love it and it fits our sporty lifestyle.
It's been good to me so far - 2006 Pontiac Torrent
By Margaret - October 16 - 5:56 am
Before buying my Torrent, I also test drove it's Chevy sister, the Equinox. The decision maker was the Equinox had scratchy upholstery while the Torrent's was soft and comfortable. The Torrent has proven to be a comfortable vehicle, even for tall passengers riding in the back seat. Sharp exterior but the interior could use a touch of class. Three design flaws: (1) I don't smoke, but a removable ashtray should be standard for things like gum wrappers; (2) The CD storage area is not easily accessible; and (3) A wider cargo compartment would have been more beneficial than having the small side storage wells. No mechanical problems (knock on wood). Nice vehicle and GM offered 0% financing
Poor interior design - don't recommend - 2007 Pontiac Torrent
By Joan - September 22 - 8:33 pm
The performance of the Torrent has been wonderful. Was tail-ended, everyone safe, and the cost of repair was very reasonable because the rear bumper is in a couple of different parts. If the whole thing had been one piece, it would have been higher. The interior design is sorely lacking. If the cup holders are in use, the parking brake cannot be. You have to remove drinks from the holders to put on the parking brake as well as use the cigarette lighter for recharing cell phone. When putting on the parking brake by habit and there are drinks in the holders, the drinks spill or the holder is in danger of being broken. P Drives wonderfully. Fun. Even 17 year old son likes to drive it.
It's been nice - 2006 Pontiac Torrent
By sadiesangel - September 20 - 9:23 am
I have had my Torrent for 3+ years now and for the most part have loved it. I have been told that they are discontinuing this model which is upsetting. I have had some problems with parts/repairs. Wished it had a 5 year/100,000 warranty. I don't think the 3 year/36,000 covers long enough.
Comfortable Cross Over - 2008 Pontiac Torrent
By Rob L. - September 17 - 6:06 pm
This is a very good riding cross over type SUV. It gets very good gas mileage on the highway - about 25 to 26. The controls are pretty good, but the steering and handling on the base model is unacceptably sloppy. If you like this vehicle, get the GXP model which has a different and tighter steering system. The center console could be a lot better and more useful - it lacks storage and the center mounted power window buttons are not intuitive.
warren - 2007 Pontiac Torrent
By warren waters - September 9 - 6:36 am
the car drives well, handles the road bumps well, steering feels a little touchy. very quiet ride.a lot of room inside for people and cargo