BoldRide introduces an interesting discussion piece, starts off with Pontiac

pontiac has fired up a new reoccurring post series that caught my attention. It’s called “Why Your Car Sucks/Rocks“, and the goal is to examine a specific automaker then discuss the reasons why said automaker rocks… and why said automaker sucks. First up, they start off light by going with a departed brand: Pontiac.

Some highlights? That’s easy, thanks to the GTO. Low-lights are easy too, though. Head over to BoldRide to check out the reasons that Pontiac rocked and also why they sucked.

[Source: BoldRide]

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42 responses to “BoldRide introduces an interesting discussion piece, starts off with Pontiac”

  1. engineerd Avatar

    I liked it. It left me wanting more.
    Sure, Pontiac is an easy target, but I'm just thinking that Mr. George Kennedy is also sharpening his knives, so to speak, for other automakers.

    1. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

      Wow, that was a short, fairly shallow piece in my opinion. Any piece about Pontiac heralds the old one, bags the 80's to 2000's, hates on the Aztec and Vibe.
      Seriously kids, come up with a reasonable discussion about how a brand got killed just as it got it's groove back. Even the hated versions of this brand are still running around somewhere, a lot of them even still have the body panels. Just think if they'd kept RWD longer than just reviving it at the end.

  2. dukeisduke Avatar

    Pontiac rocked because they marched to a different drummer, and its management didn't care if Chevrolet's management got pissed off and complained to the higher ups in GM management. Start off with Bunkie Knudson taking the reins in the '50s, ditching the Silver Streak moldings, introducing the Pontiac V8 (which was superior to Chevy's small block, IMHO), bringing out the Wide Track chassis in '59, and stuffing a 389 into a Tempest, birthing the muscle car era.
    They sucked when they tried to chase the Europeans, and build a poor man's BMW.

    1. Wolfie Avatar

      1966 2+2 421 4 speed Pontiac .
      May not have been the fastest car
      Sure did feel like it.

      1. dukeisduke Avatar

        The '65 2+2 was good for a 3.9 second 0-60 time, with the 421 Tri-Power and 4-speed, in Car and Driver's famous comparo against the Ferrari 2+2.

        1. Wolfie Avatar

          Good link
          The idea of a Pontiac and Ferrari side by side comparison
          Sleek bred in the bone race car / and Pontiac
          Torque specs real close on those two.

  3. dropgate Avatar

    No paragraph about why Pontiac sucked is complete with the words "body cladding".

  4. Wolfie Avatar

    Cheap criticism boldly applied to a defunct product..
    Get a real job.

  5. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    Pontiac Aztek wasn't shit! Divisive, yes. Misguided, certainly. A sales disaster? If you count actual living, breathing people and not rental or corporate fleets then yes, of course. And yes, it was a nail in Pontiacs coffin. But a GM car as controvertial as the Aztec could only be branded as a Pontiac.
    And that's why Pontiac didn't suck. Yeah, there was a lot of miserable crap with the triangular badge (I'm looking at you, Daewoo Lemans), but there was certainly more innovation (for better or worse) in Pontiac than in Buick or Chevy.
    I reckon on an approx 35% suck rating.

    1. longrooffan Avatar

      Ironically, I'm looking at an Aztek to replace my Comanche. I mean after a post from 1/2 way across the world about one is posted here in the Hooniverse, a Comanche is now not just obscure enough for this Hoon. 🙂 But no BS, I am seriously considering one.

      1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

        I'd totally rock one. I think I'd cut a certain dash if I took one camping. There are literally zero of them around over here so, owing to the fact that nobody's ever heard of them there's no ridicule, either. I'll never get one, of course… but hey;
        At Least I Have The Brochure.

      2. jeepjeff Avatar

        They've been growing on me. A good buddy has one, and they have their ups and downs. They're huge on the inside, the drive train ain't bad and the ride is pretty comfortable (compared to my TJ…). They won't win races, they are kinda ugly (but it's not as awful looking to me :), and the rear visibility sucks. Oh, and GM interior, but eh, I drive a Jeep.

    2. Scandinavian Flick Avatar
      Scandinavian Flick

      Is there any reason people hate the thing other than being feck-ugly? I mean, yeah, bad timing to introduce such a hideous looking porker, but other than that, I haven't actually read any criticism that warrants the title of one of the worst cars of all time. A title that many are quick to slap on it.
      I can see it being a decent option if it's the kinda vehicle you needed/wanted.

      1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

        Indeed. See also Ford Scorpio, Fiat Multipla et al. And me. I have a shit face, but am actually pretty awesome.

        1. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar
          C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

          I still, to this day, like the Scorpio.

          1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

            Me too. Post '94 it went a bit eww, but when they repositioned the badge to the centre of the grille, lost some of the chrome and darkened the lights, it looked great. Excellent drive, too.

      2. Wolfie Avatar

        Ugly is a subjective term .
        We must get past the part where we are judging by looks.

        1. Scandinavian Flick Avatar
          Scandinavian Flick

          That's what I'm trying to do. Even when I use the Googles, I get a C&D review which basically says it's neat, but ugly…
          Useful accessories, quiet interior, a good balance between maneuverability and cargo room.
          Does not include a personal disguise for when you're driving in crowded areas.
          A decent vehicle with nifty features that's blemished by adventurous styling."

          1. Wolfie Avatar

            The Ugly will be next to file discrimination suits.
            UGLY?facially and temperamentally disadvantaged.

      3. Devin Avatar

        I think it might have become a symbol for GM's wayward ways, but it was pretty much just because it was feck-ugly. The Buick Rendezvous never got near as much stick – though I find its design fascinating for some reason, I could actually write a great deal about why if I thought anyone would care.

        1. longrooffan Avatar

          Submit something….there is always Submission Thursday…

      4. jeepjeff Avatar

        As noted above, a near and dear friend has one, so I see his silver one all the time and have ridden in it more than a couple times. The visibility sucks. It isn't fast, but it isn't slow. The ride is quite comfortable. It has a GM interior, but a big handy one. It's funky looking. My friend's is a front driver. They're a solid Not Bad. Certainly much better than a number of things that bore a Pontiac badge during that time period.
        I'd never buy one. No manual transmission, too big and ungainly for my tastes, but I wouldn't look down on a hoon who bought one. One of the last GM oddballs.
        (EDIT: Of course, GM may come out with more oddballs, and some might throw the Volt into that category, but the Aztek was certainly one of the biggest risks that they've taken on in last decade or so.)

      5. PotbellyJoe Avatar

        The upside is when you're inside of one, you don't have to look at it.
        The rear suspension design was actually pretty awesome, and wound up modified to fit under the Pontiac Solstice concept car (a mishmosh of parts across the GM stable to rush a small concept car to the auto shows only a few months in the making when it was displayed)
        And since everyone universally pans its looks they are cheap used and decently bulletproof.
        For me, I would upgrade to the Rendezvous, but there are better outdoorsy accessories for the Aztek that would suit me better.
        Also, who doesn't want to own a "Car that killed a brand."

  6. Scandinavian Flick Avatar
    Scandinavian Flick

    Why your article sucks/rocks: Bold Ride.
    Why your article rocks:
    – It's an idea with potential.
    – Inspires discussion.
    Why your article sucks:
    – Unfulfilled potential
    – Inspires "discussion". (vitriol)
    – Subject that has been beaten to death.
    – Cheap shots.
    – Unsubstantiated arguments. (Hit-n-run style writing)
    – Self proclaimed hyperbole filling in a substance-free shell.
    Perhaps this series will fan out and provide something new. But for now, it's not…

  7. Alff Avatar

    Next up … KV Mini.
    Rocks because driven with rocks.
    Rocks because spare body parts available on nearly every corner.
    <img src=""&gt;
    Sucks because only two people at a time can enjoy the motoring experience.

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      Convenient, certainly, but I'm not sure it could move under its own power with such thick body panels.

  8. Maymar Avatar

    [youtube zERjM-S1EV0 youtube]
    This is why Pontiac rocks, distilled into 30 seconds of GET PSYCHED! This was a brand that had at different points, big torquey V8s, turbochargers, AWD, powerful inline fours (unrefined with the Quad4, high-revving in the Vibe GT), and multiple two-seat sports cars. Hell, at the time of Pontiac's demise, every car in their lineup except the Montana was available with a manual, sort of.
    But the malaise era meant they had to Brougham up, and in the 80s and 90s, there were too many cars that were Chevrolets cheaply ribbed for no one's pleasure.

  9. Jim Brennan Avatar
    Jim Brennan

    This is very old news, and I think I handled it better than most… Go here to read my Pontiac Memories:

    1. Felis_Concolor Avatar

      Thank you; that was a much better read.

    2. dead_elvis Avatar

      Nice to see you checking in here… hope you're well on your way to recovery!

  10. PotbellyJoe Avatar

    I disagree on the Vibe, especially the second generation. I won't say it was for everyone, but it was the closest we got to an economy wagon that could actually do some grunt work and wasn't Korean (When being Korean still meant BAD).
    <img src=""&gt;

    1. ConstantReader Avatar

      They were re-badged Toyotas!

      1. PotbellyJoe Avatar

        For less than their Toyota twin and with more content. Funny, I never hear this complaint for the Subaru BRZ….

        1. Devin Avatar

          It's a shame that generation of Vibe kind of got screwed, they're genuinely good cars.

          1. PotbellyJoe Avatar

            My driveway agrees. I needed something to replace a totaled Saturn Vue (of my wife, 5-speed FWD) that could cart the kid and our stuff (stroller, muddy gear, bike stuff, etc.) and still get reasonable gas mileage.
            We refused to be the family with one kid and a full-size SUV.
            Her list of requirements were short, but difficult to find cars that met it.
            -Under $20,000
            -Space for stroller and luggage at the same time for road trips
            -30 mpg hwy
            -Manual transmission
            We had the choice of :
            Subaru Impreza (smaller, more expensive and worse gas mileage)
            Chevy HHR (if you're in one you don't have to look at it, but you also can't see out of it)
            Ford Escape S (felt really cheap next to the Vibe GT, also rear drum brakes)
            Jeep Patriot (No thanks)
            Hyundai Elantra Touring (Felt pokey with the 2.0L, just didn't like it overall)
            I'll be honest, we'd do it again in a heartbeat. The car is really solid and has worked out really well for us.

          2. Devin Avatar

            I went with the Matrix flavor, I think Pontiac production was winding down when I was looking (I need my manual, and they're thin on the ground.) There are at least some different options out there now, but it's really rare that I drive something in that category that I think is actually better than what I've already got.

          3. PotbellyJoe Avatar

            My wife was still at the Toyota dealership when we got the Pontiac. But her dad was a GM retiree and my family has the Ford plan, so the Pontiac Vibe GT with the stick and no sunroof came down to under $18,000 with incentives.
            The Toyota XRS with XM (Hockey and baseball) and VSC was coming out at $21,000.
            So we knew which of the sisters we were going to pick if we went that route.
            Our biggest hang-up was that with incentives I could get a 2.4L ecotec HHR with a 5-speed, have more cargo, wider back seat, and better gas mileage for $14,500.
            I just couldn't get past the ugly.

          4. Devin Avatar

            The HHR also had awful steering, going by memory. That's all I remember about it though.

    2. Maymar Avatar

      I'd buy the second gen as a better car, although isn't the first gen with the peaky, high-revving 1.8 more exciting? It's practically (nothing like) an Elise wagon!

      1. PotbellyJoe Avatar

        For that 1100 rpm it was a blast. Actually the Corolla XRS is the sleeper of that group. They made the engine less frantic, but also it was in a boring looking Corolla.
        The problem was it required premium, or it wouldn't "Lift" (Toyota's word) to the hotter cam profile. Of course the other problem was you had to run your hatchback up to 6800 rpm to hit it.
        The 6-speed should have been kept to the newer GT, it could use an extra highway gear. But the 2.4L has a lot more usable power (and torque) than the 1.8L.

  11. marmer01 Avatar

    I actually thought that Pontiac brought off decent performance and styling in large and medium cars, especially for the price, way up into the 80s. Thought many of the big Pontiacs of the malaise years were the best looking American cars of the time. Especially when compared with the Blue Oval and the Pentastar of the day. Maybe that's because of generally good childhood memories of a '67 Pontiac Executive.

  12. ConstantReader Avatar

    The Aztek – Walter White drove one to and from his meth lab.