Pontiac was first released to the American public in 1973. General motors, Pontiac division is responsible for the car manufacture. The grand Am has undergone a series of changes over the years, but there was a time in 1980 when production stopped and the Pontiac 6000 replaced it. In 1985 it replaced the Pontiac Phoenix. Later in 2005, the Pontiac G6 replaced the Pontiac Am. The Pontiac Grand Am has being a best selling car item for GM. It has seen extensive production at the Lansing car assembly in Lasing, Michigan.
This mid-sized car was designed by Pontiac as a way of curbing the spread of BMW and Mercedes car models in the US market. The problem faced by the executives is they needed a sports car with luxury features. The solution was combining the features of the Grand Prix and the Trans Am. The car was first produced in 1973 but a fuel embargo by OPEC lead to a deep in sales. The model under review was later re-introduced to the market between 1984 to 2005.
The sedans or coupes come with a four cylinder engine 3.4 liter V6 engine or the normal four cylinder engines. You will only find the more powerful 3.4 liter V6 engine in the automatic transmissions models. You will find some similarities with the Oldsmobile Alero, like the Pontiac having a front drive chassis. When it comes to selection the Pontiac is available in four versions: SE, SE1, SE2, GT, and GT1. The Pontiac comes with four-speaker surround systems as standard with an optional Mp3, radio data system and equalizer.
In the 1993 the Pontiac Grand Am lost five HP in its four cylinder engines as GM attempted to reduce the noisy and harsh engines. Improvements were made to the SE as it got more graphical instrument based panel.
In 1994 some of the changes to the Pontiac included a new automatic transmission, a driver airbag, and new V6 engine. To make the Pontiac run smoother, the 1995 version was upgraded with a 16 valve Quad 4 engine and additional internal balance shafts. At this time the car had a standard 5 speed manual that delivered 150 hp. A variable effort power steering was added as an option while to improve handling the rear suspension were revised.
Most of the changes to the Pontiac exterior occurred in 1996 with the addition of front and rear fascias, headlamps tailamps, grilles, and other exterior trim treatments that changed the face of the Pontiac and made it more aggressive. Dual airbags were added for safety and a new instrument panel. There was the introduction of a twin cam, 2.4 liter 4 cylinder engine that delivered 150hp. If you did not like that you had the option of a 3.1 liter V6 engine. In 1996 some of the Pontiac versions now come with traction control. All the engines come with 100,000 mile spark plugs that worked well in between engine service. Little changes were done in 1997, with the air conditioning being standard as the only thing that stood out.
Differences between the car models – Grand AM GT and Grand AM SE
Depending on the year you bought your Pontiac grand Am the specifications vary in great detail. The Grand AM GT (model year 1999 – 2005) come with a 3.4 V6 engine that displayed 175 hp. It would be front wheel drive with a torque of 205 ft-lbs torque and come with front and rear disc brakes. The Grand AM SE (model year 1995 – 2005) is a front wheel drive car with an engine capacity of either 2.4l twin can 14 150 HP, 2.2l Ecotec engine producing 150HP or a 3400 3.4l V6 engine producing 170HP.
There some notable differences in the designs of the Pontiac Grand AM GT and the SE. For one the GT side mirrors are the same color as the car while the side mirrors for the SE are black irrespective of the car color. When you check out the car speedometer you will notice that the GT speedometer goes all the way up to 150mph while the SE only does 120mph.
When it comes to the exterior design, the GT spots a more aggressive look when compared to the SE. It comes with a dual exhaust, black window trim, thicker sway bars, useless ram air intake, front/rear disc brakes and tighter struts. Not to be left behind the Grand SE spots single exhaust, chrome window trim, stock airbox, looser struts, smaller sway box, front/rear drum brakes. Your purchase of the two will be informed on what kind of power you desire from the car. Both models are great looking and it is no surprise that you will find young college students driving them due to their excellent mileage.
2004 Pontiac Grand Am Specifications
- Engine type – 3.4l 3400 V6 SFI
- Horsepower – 175 @ 4800 rpm
- Torque -205 @ 4000 rpm
- Fuel economy – 24MPG
- EPA Fuel economy test (MPG) – 20 city/29 highway
- Drivetrain – Front wheel drive
- Fuel tank capacity – 14 gallon
- Brakes – ABS 4 Wheel disc
- Tires – P225/50R16
- Base curb Weight – 3,091 lbs
- Passenger capacity – 5
- Car length – 186.3”
- Wheelbase – 107”
- Maximum towing capacity – 1000 lbs.
- Cargo capacity – 14.6 cu.ft
The Pontiac sedan is quite spacious and can comfortably accommodate five people. Both the front and rear legroom is set at 38” while the front and rear shoulder room is at 54” and 53” respectively. The hip room is at 53” while the front and rear leg room is set at 42.1” and 35.5” respectively. The bucket seats in the coupe while accommodative in the front they can only seat two people comfortably in the back.
Inside you will find some cool features like the programmable door locks and protection, air conditioning, pass lock II theft-deterrent system, and CD player. All this are standard in the SE which also has a split folding rear setback. With this small addition you can set your storage space to more than the 14.6 cubic-foot trunk. The SE1 gives you more options in terms of power windows, remote keyless entry, cruise control and an optional satellite radio.
The exterior of the Pontiac is quite innovative with a high tail and low nose that accentuates the cars profile. All the Pontiac models come with four wheel suspension as standard with the GT come with extras like color keyed side cladding, front and rear fascia, deck lid spoiler and twin-post cladding.
The Pontiac has a length of 186.3”, body height of 55.1” and body width of 70.4”. The wheelbase is set at 107”. All these features enable the Pontiac to handle a variety of terrain with ease.
You will also find in the GT a rear spoiler, wipers intermittent, fog lamps, and rear window defogger. The front tires are P225/50R16 and the rear tire size P225/50R16. The front and rear wheel material is aluminum. For the weight the Pontiac has a base curb weight of 3,091 lbs.
Other dimensions include a turning diameter – curb to curb of 35.7ft and width max w/o mirrors (in) 70.4 inches. The front track width is 59 inches while the rear one is 59.1 inches.
You can get the Pontiac as either a manual five speed or four speed automatic. The engine is an ecotec 2.2 liter four cylinder engine that is able to comfortably deliver 140 horsepower. This is enough for maneuvering city traffic and cruising through highways. For the SE2 you have a 3.4 liter V6 engine that delivers 170 hp. This is standard but you can get it as an optional component in the SE1. The GT and GT1 come with a V6 cold air induction engine that is capable of delivering 175 hp. It also comes with a lower restriction exhaust system.
The Pontiac GT 4dr sedan comes 14-gallon fuel tank that has a EPA mileage estimate of 20 for the city and 29 for the highway. The base engine is a 3.4 liter V6 engine that delivers 175 hp. The HP rpm is at 4,800 and this gives you a torque of 205 lb.ft. The torque rpm is set at 4,000 and this gives the GT a maximum towing capacity of 1,000 lbs. Lastly, the turning radius is 18.8 inches and the car is front wheel drive.
Safety and comfort
Safety will depend on the type of Grand Am that you select. In the SE2 models you have ABS as standard while it is optional in the SE and SE1. In the GT models the all disc anti-lock brakes come as standard. The Pontiac AM GT comes with front and passenger air bags, daytime running lights, automatic headlights, traction control and engine immobilizer.
You will also get other safety features like keyless entry, front air conditioning, power mirror windows, power locks, leather steering wheel, steering power, and remote truck release.
How the Pontiac Grand AM handles
The Pontiac Grand AM handles differently depending on the car version that you have gone for. The GT has a powerful V6 3.4 liter engine that delivers more power. The front/rear disc brakes will help bring the car to a stop with ease.
The Ecotec four cylinder engine installed in some of the versions of the Grand AM has smooth acceleration but you may find some resistance when you are trying to go over very steep hills. The automatic transmission is smooth with few problems when shifting. When it comes to the ideal suspension, the GT steals the day with its tauter suspension. This will ensure you do not experience a bumpy ride under high speeds.
We will give the GM designers a heads up for the aggressive designs of the Grand AM. The car does retain a menacing look and has a mildly styled interior with comfortable seats that let you see the road head with ease. However, the radio controls are a bit cluttered and not the very best. Depending on where you stay, you may opt to go with a car version of the Pontiac that has air con.
The Pontiac Grand AM GT retails at a MSRP of $22, 280.
- Smooth Automatic transmission
- Aggressive exterior design
- Nice to drive and quiet even at high speeds
- Fuel efficient four cylinder engines
- Production has stopped for the models
- The riding comfort for the GT – especially in the rear seats – isn’t so good
Common Issues with the 2004 Pontiac Grand AM
For those Grand AM cars with keyless entry you may face issues with the passlock. Also, one of the HVAC blower may come off at high speeds. The car will go for many miles without any major electrical problems but when they start be ready to spend a few dollars on minor repairs. The Passlock has been major complaint with Pontiac grand Am. As the car gets older you may face issues with the coolant finding its way into the intake gasket manifold.
The 2004 Pontiac Grand AM is a great car to own. It offers great mileage at 21 MPG, which makes an excellent choice for city traffic. In fact it is a car preferred by many college students due to its affordability and the fact it produces over 140HP under the hood. The dashboard is minimalistic with all the dials you need to enjoy during your ride. The car handles well with smooth acceleration. The interior and exterior are aggressive and awesome. If you are looking for a sporty feel then go with the GT version.
2004 Pontiac Grand AM for sale
- Cargurus have the 2003 Pontiac Grand AM GT for sales at $2,450. The car has done more than 100,000 miles and is in good condition.
- Autolist quotes the Pontiac Grand AM AM that has done 153, 541 miles at $3,995.
- Edmunds has the 2004 used Pontiac Grand AM SE1 that has done 135, 475 miles retailing at $2,023.