Overview & Reviews
The Pontiac GTO may have been the first true muscle car, but that distinction has never been enough to assure it an uninterrupted production run. Already, the GTO has used up two lives. Originally produced from 1964-'74, the GTO was resurrected for the 2004 model year after a 30-year hiatus. There was no convertible body style this time, but the car was at least a proper rear-drive two-door coupe, courtesy of Holden, General Motors' Australian division. The new GTO (née Holden Monaro) was a definite sleeper style-wise, but in keeping with its muscle car heritage, it brought some serious under-hood heat. Unloved by consumers during its production run due to interior quirks and anonymous styling, this modern GTO now constitutes something of a performance bargain on the used-car market.
Most Recent Pontiac GTO
The original Pontiac GTO was nicknamed "the Goat" as much for its defiant, stripped-to-the-basics personality as for the letters in its name. The 2004-'06 incarnation was so much more refined and upscale that to call it a Goat would almost have been an insult. Many of the old car's charms had also been lost in translation, including its affordable price tag. The new coupe started in the low $30Ks -- hardly an attainable sum for young, cash-strapped enthusiasts. Bland exterior styling was another weak point.
Power initially came from a 5.7-liter V8, but Pontiac swapped in a larger 6.0-liter V8 the following year. The bigger engine took the GTO up to a cool 400 horsepower, but between the 2+2 coupe's high price and dull styling, Pontiac simply couldn't sell enough of them. As a result, the Pontiac GTO was discontinued after the 2006 model year.
Still, when it came to acceleration, there was no denying the reborn GTO's status as a full-on muscle car. Equipped with the LS1 V8 rated for 350 hp and 365 pound-feet of torque, 2004 models could get to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and blaze through a quarter-mile in 14 seconds flat -- quicker than any of the original GTOs. More impressive were the 2005 and '06 models, which had the 6.0-liter V8. Rated for 400 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, these models shaved more than half a second off that quarter-mile time.
Although the Pontiac GTO was plenty comfortable for highway cruising, its soft suspension really wasn't tuned to handle this much power. With its sluggish reflexes, excessive body roll and weak brakes, its dynamics were no match for the sharper-handling competitors in this price range. Had the car been priced $5,000 or so less, these faults might have been forgivable. Depreciation has mitigated this criticism, however, as used GTOs can be found for a fraction of the MSRP when new.
Past Pontiac GTO models
Introduced in 1964, the original GTO went through six generations before dying off after the 1974 model year. Always a rear-wheel-drive car, it was sold as both a two-door hardtop and a convertible with an assortment of big V8s. Legend has it that Pontiac stole the GTO name from the equally legendary Ferrari 250 GTO, a car whose name was an acronym for "Gran Turismo Omologato."
Save for the "detuned" 1973 and '74 models, just about any Pontiac GTO from the original era is considered collectible and will bring a high price at auction, provided it's in good condition and has a matching numbers engine (meaning the car still has the original factory engine). Convertibles are rarer than hardtops. The ostentatious GTO Judge model, sold in both body styles, is also less common. Among 1960s GTOs, models with one of the Ram Air packages are most prized, while the 1970 year saw the GTO's performance peak with the availability of a massive 455-cubic-inch V8 good for 500 lb-ft of torque.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 540.00
Aussies Rule - 2004 Pontiac GTO
By mustangterminator - December 29 - 2:00 am
Took delivery this weekend and havent slept since. Fantastic car!! This is an affordable,QUALITY, sophistaced hot rod. Forget the understated looks... its suppose to be that way. Just like the original. I added an aftermarket cold air intake and stage 1 chip to boost the HP to 455. Interior is far superior to any US built GM car, except possibly the Cadillac line. Save enough on the car to afford lots of tires and tickets. Gas isnt an issue with an average MPG of 20. Also very pleased with the interior room, as I am 63" and 280lbs.
verry fast - 2005 Pontiac GTO
By e. m. - December 27 - 2:56 am
no complaints except it could have a little better suspesion and a better stereo
The Great One - 2006 Pontiac GTO
By PG - December 23 - 4:20 pm
I have a 6spd manual Spice Red Metallic with the black interior. It was love at first drive. I grew up riding in my uncles 1968 GTO so when Pontiac came out with this car I knew that some day I had to own one. The torque of the LS2 is something you cannot describe accurately with words and the 6 spd makes it even more blissful. The suspension is adequate but you wont be winning any autocross meets anytime soon. Contrary to what some people may think as far as styling is concerned, the original GTO was nothing more than a dressed up Tempest with a bigger engine so I dont see the big deal with purists wanting a retro looking Goat.
Explosive GTO !!! - 2005 Pontiac GTO
By GTO 05 - December 11 - 8:36 pm
Since I purchased the car I look forward to driving the GTO on a daily basis. The vehicle has awsome torque on the take off, and pass ability. I have the six speed manual, the gears shift smooth and compact. Handling is above average holds very tight on curves, yet comfortable on long trips. Stability could be a little better.
The Great One - 2006 Pontiac GTO
By douglasrmyers - November 21 - 6:33 pm
GTO is by far the best car I have ever owned. Fast, powerful, comfortable, handles and rides beautifully. There is nothing else like it.
the review - 2004 Pontiac GTO
By stephms7 - November 16 - 2:00 am
the gto has an exhilerating drive the speed and handling of the car is great and is fun to drive it is affordable and comfortable and has a v8
Fuel for the Soul - 2004 Pontiac GTO
By Colorado Goat - November 16 - 2:00 am
This car is everything I expected it to be and then some. Performance, handling, ride, and interior comfort are superior to anything Pontiac has produced previously. It is a joy to drive and does live up to its heritage of being the first true Muscle Car.
Feeling Youthful - 2004 Pontiac GTO
By hemi335 - November 3 - 7:13 am
A great car and with GM Card Bonus cash, it was dirt cheap. Everything about the car seems wonderful so far and after owning Monte Carlos and Grand Prixs, I would definitely consider another when I am done with this one...
You have to experience the GTO in Person! - 2005 Pontiac GTO
By DurhDevilYellow05 - November 2 - 4:16 am
DONT BELIEVE the reviews in the car rags, I went and looked one over "closely" and test drive it! YOU WILL be impressed! Im a former Porsche owner (Both 911 and 928S4 so you know Im spoiled!) and I am throughly impressed with my 2005 "Yellow Jacket" M6 GTO. Vehicle is very tight and drives great.
best GTO yet - 2006 Pontiac GTO
By Jim Colaianni - October 27 - 4:13 am
Ive owned many 60s & early 70s muscle cars. The 2006 GTO is the fastest cart Ive driven.