By on May 27, 2008

g3.jpg"Pontiac is … car." And car is rebadging. Ipso facto. The Pontiac Torrent, G5, and G8 are blatant dirty rebadges. The G6 is a bit more unique looking, but same deal. And now… the Chevy Aveo! I mean Pontiac G3! The 2009 Pontiac G3 is listed on the fed's fueleconomy.gov site. Judging from its 1.6-liter engine, four-speed automatic, interior dimensions and 25/34 mpg, a rose by any other name will smell vaguely Korean (you might also say like dead dog, but I couldn't possibly comment). In Canada, the Pontiac version of the Aveo is called the Wave. but we're getting the G3– which raises a [relatively insignificant] question as to whether Pontiac is pursuing odd numbers or even numbers for its alphanumeric model names. Yes, this new model rounds out Pontiac's car collection as G3, G5, G6, and G8. Are we getting a G4 or G7? If I said yes, would you be interested? Meanwhile, the former excitement division will offer the G3 in sedan and hatchback versions. So is it going to suck? Why yes, thank you for asking. 

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64 Comments on “Pontiac Terminates Excitement with Rebadged Aveo...”


  • avatar
    shaker

    That car should get 29/40 EPA — buying one is truly an act of desperation, or only comparing it’s MPG to existing GM products.

  • avatar
    SupaMan

    Pontiac had me at G6, then I got a little lost at G5 (no GXP/GTP version at least?). Then they had me really intrigued at G8 and now this?

    Totally lost at this point. What’s the deal? They call this “driving excitement”? If I want an exciting runabout that gets 30mpg I’ll stick with the Fit.

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    I get 34mpg in my GTI.

  • avatar
    lprocter1982

    Hell, if I want a car that gets 34 mpg, I’ll stick with my Impala. It’s bigger, faster, more powerful, more comfortable, better built, looks better, doesn’t suck, and actually gets better mpg than the Aveo (I’ve been averaging around 36mpg.) So, I would say the Aveo, I mean, G3, is говно.

  • avatar
    holydonut

    Maybe they’ll sell that upcoming Pontiac-Sport-Truck thing with one of these free in the truck bed.

    I wonder why the Pontiac dealers signed up for this one.

  • avatar
    Theodore

    Why??? One horrible little penalty box of an econocar isn’t enough? I can see a Pontiac dealer from here, and later today I’m going to go over there and see if they have any G8s. Just for the fun of it, I think I’ll see if I can get a salesman’s reaction to the G3. Now that’s excitement.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    This puppy has been in GM showrooms in Mexico for over a year. I guess the G5 and Matrix/Vibe weren’t enough for Pontiac dealers. Now, they get to schlepp a Daewoo G3.

    http://www.pontiac.com.mx/content_data/LAAM/MX/es/GMMGM/showroom/pontiac/modelos/g3/diseno.html

  • avatar
    factotum

    You see, Pontiac was so excited about American Top Gear, they thought, “Hey, they’ll need a car for the ‘Star in a Reasonably Priced Car’ segment.” Thus, the G3 was born. Stillborn, yes, but nevertheless…

  • avatar
    friedclams

    lprocter1982, you are getting 36 mpg with an Impala? Which engine does that have and what kind of driving do you do? I can’t crack 36 with my Protege!

  • avatar
    KixStart

    lprocter1982, Are you getting your mileage figures from the Impala’s computer or do you log fuel at the pump and mileage? And have you checked your odometer?

  • avatar
    Skooter

    Fit= exciting?????????

  • avatar
    Skooter

    Hey, wait a minute on the Impala 34 mpg. I drive an ’06 and average 24-26 mpg.

  • avatar
    menno

    So when gas hits $12 a gallon, will Pontiac dealers in the USA be selling G1’s (Matiz) with 800cc’s packed (!) into three cylinders and CVT belt-drive? Or will that only be Chevrolet dealers selling the Matiz with 800cc’s and CVT belt-drive?

    Actually all joking and mocking aside, if gas prices do hit $12 a gallon (and GM survives long enough), maybe it would not be so dumb after all…

    How about selling the 1 litre Matiz at the Pontiac dealer as the G1, and the 800cc engine at the Chevy dealer as the Matiz?

    That gives Pontiac 200cc extra “excitement” (and one more cylinder!) Except that the 1-litre motor is only available with a 5-speed.

  • avatar
    jaje

    Chevy Malibu – average mpg for the 2008 4 cylinder redesign – 21.1 mpg
    https://www.fueleconomy.gov/mpg/MPG.do?action=browseList2&make=Chevrolet&model=Malibu

    Golf GTI – gets up to 26mpg
    https://www.fueleconomy.gov/mpg/MPG.do?action=browseList2&make=Volkswagen&model=GTI

  • avatar
    beetlebug

    What the heck does the “G” stand for anyway?

  • avatar
    Blastman

    The 2008 Honda Fit is rated 27/34 with a 5-spd automatic (1.5l). I think 25/34 is competitive considering the G3 has a 4-spd auto.

  • avatar
    Russell

    GTI doesn’t get 34mpg.

    Most of VWs do not get very good gas mileage.

  • avatar

    Are we sure this car is coming to U.S. dealers?

  • avatar
    N85523

    What the heck does the “G” stand for anyway?

    My guess would be “Goodnuff”, as in it’s goodnuff for guvment fleet sales.

    I suppose Pontiac just ran out of all of the good names that start with G so they began using a more alpahnumeric system starting with G.

  • avatar
    TEXN3

    I think somewhere, in the pea-sized brains of GM’s marketing team, the G was supposed to tie in with GTO and also replace Grand Am and Grand Prix. Doesn’t really work for me…

  • avatar
    wmba

    lprocter1982, I’m disappointed that you’re only getting 36mpg in your Impala, because I’ve been getting 47mpg from my Legacy. However, the head of the Hamster’s Union, whose members live in a box under my car, petitioned me yesterday for 36 new pairs of Nike Airs, Version 27. Seems the WalMart special sneakers they’re used to just don’t hold up that well. Whoda thunk it?

  • avatar
    brettc

    Why would GM call this car the G3 in The US when it’s already sold as the Wave in Canada? The stupidity of the naming of their models in different markets makes my head hurt. I wondered when Pontiac would get thier version of the Aveo. I guess my question has been answered.
    GM executives: Dumb as fu*k.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    I would call it the G-WHIZ since it’s a piss-poor excuse for a car…

  • avatar
    plee

    Re:36 mpg Impala, He must be reading the trip computer when it is calculating instant mpg and his foot is off the gas.

  • avatar
    mel23

    Yet another of Wagoner’s blunders. Apparently he’s not satisfied with tarnishing Chevrolet’s (relatively) good name with this POS. I’m holding out for the Cadillac version.

  • avatar

    jaje, the sample size on the fuel economy estimate for the Chevy Malibu is way too small to make the claim that it averages 21.1 mpg. If you look at the details, 3 of the 5 people report over 25 mpg average, 1 reports 19 mpg on 70% city driving, and 1 reports a ridiculous, Tahoe-like 15.3 mpg in 98% stop-and-go in NY. One hypermiler reporting a 36 mpg average to these numbers would send the average to 24.3 mpg or so. Those numbers aren’t of much use until there are at least 15+ people reporting.

  • avatar
    Rix

    This will sell to the fleets. They will sell enough to make money. Nobody else will ever see one.

    Except for the rentals that 20% of the population will sit in and think ” Now that G3 sure is driving excitement.”

  • avatar
    geozinger

    If this is for sale in the US, this is probably another one of those dealer-demanded cars, so they have SOMETHING to sell to folks who are looking for fuel economy. Kind of the same way the G5 came to life, due to dealer demands.

    As for the Impy getting 34 MPG, it colud happen. I have a Malibu Maxx, and if I drive normally (70 MPH) (well, what USED to be normal) I would get about 28 MPG on the highway with a car full of family and luggage, the A/C on, etc…

    Yes, I check from tank to tank, and AFAIK the speedo works correctly. I bet you could do it with a 3.9L Impy, single driver (no passengers) on a long straight, flat road at 60 MPH. It probably wouldn’t be fun, but I bet it could be done.

  • avatar
    raast

    Aside from all the fun a colleague of mine who has an Aveo has experienced (he’s taking GM to small claims court), some folks here (among other places) also seem to be experiencing similar issues:
    http://autobytel.espn.go.com/content/research/forums/index.cfm/action/topics/fid/4822

    CU reported for example that the Torrent does a bit better than the Equinox, reliability wise, qualified by a statement to the effect that it’s bit newer, so could we expect the same for the G3?
    Ya think?

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    They really blew the name selection. They should have named it the Astre

  • avatar
    menno

    How about calling it the Pontiac 1000?

    (For those of you too young to recall, that was Pontiac’s version of the Chevette and was built in the 1980’s – and yep, Canadians had the car before Americans, and yep, it had a different name in Canada. It was the Acadian).

  • avatar

    There’s always Lemans…

    raast: CR only reports better reliability for the Torrent because of the mechanical, unthinking way in which they report results.

    The 2005 drags down the prediction for the Equinox. There was no 2005 Torrent to drag down the prediction for the Pontiac. But CR fails to either adjust the Equinox upward or the Torrent downward.

    The G3 could similarly end up “more reliable” than the Aveo.

    TrueDelta’s Vehicle Reliability Survey has found that the reliability of GM’s vehicles is often much better in the second year of a new design than in the first.

    http://www.truedelta.com/reliability.php

  • avatar
    beetlebug

    The Pontiac Chevette was called the “T100”. T better than G? Not sure.

  • avatar
    SupaMan

    If this is for sale in the US, this is probably another one of those dealer-demanded cars, so they have SOMETHING to sell to folks who are looking for fuel economy. Kind of the same way the G5 came to life, due to dealer demands.

    But why though? If people walk into a Pontiac dealership looking for a small car, I’m sure the dealer would point them down the road to the Chevy dealer for an Aveo….what, the G5 wasn’t good enough on gas?

    And who walks into a Pontiac dealership looking for a 35mpg car anyway (unless its used)?

    I really hope you TTAC guys are kidding about this G3 crap.

  • avatar
    86er

    plee:
    Re:36 mpg Impala, He must be reading the trip computer when it is calculating instant mpg and his foot is off the gas.

    Kids, this is in Imperial, not U.S. gallons. lproctor1982 is Canadian.

  • avatar

    Please GM, make it stop. Put Pontiac out of it’s misery already.

  • avatar
    rottenbob

    This isn’t such a bad idea. With the price of gas as it is, I’m sure the Pontiac dealers were probably all over GM for a subcompact. Besides, most people will have no clue that the Pontiac G3 and the Chevy Aveo are the same car. My sister drove a Geo Prizm for years and had no idea that it was a Corolla.

    Blastman: The 2008 Honda Fit is rated 27/34 with a 5-spd automatic (1.5l).

    That is ridiculous! A tiny little thing like the Fit ought to get 37/44 fuel economy. Why on earth are people buying these subcompacts when the fuel economy is no better than a more spacious and less-humiliating-to-be-seen-in compact?!

    SupaMan: And who walks into a Pontiac dealership looking for a 35mpg car anyway (unless its used)?

    Someone who loves Pontiacs, has always had Pontiacs, wants a new Pontiac, and is struggling with the price of gas.

  • avatar

    rottenbob:

    Someone who loves Pontiacs, has always had Pontiacs, wants a new Pontiac, and is struggling with the price of gas.

    So, would YOU buy one?

  • avatar
    Orian

    The G naming started with the G6, which is/was technically the 6th generation of the Grand Am. Why they chose to run with that nomenclature for all of their new cars is beyond me.

    This car makes absolutely zero sense under the Pontiac brand.

  • avatar

    I say Pontiac should pursue prime numbers for all its car names. Or perhaps even better, perfect numbers. Or better still, maybe imaginary numbers, like my favorite, the square root of minus one. No, take that back. Pontiac isn’t good for imaginary numbers, or even perfect numbers.

  • avatar
    Kevin

    A ream of Hertz rental forms included right from the factory floor!

    Seriously, what better idea than to rebadge the only subcompact economy car in the U.S. whose sales are plummeting?

  • avatar
    Areitu

    It already gets better gas mileage than anything else in their lineup, even though it’s not the best-in-class, and that’s enough for most people. Throw in some dealership incentives and they’ll be selling as well as the Aveo.

    rottenbob : Regarding people buying the Honda Fit despite it’s relatively lackluster fuel economy (The Honda Civic is larger, more powerful, gets similar MPG) is due to the perception of getting great gas mileage, or people preferring a loaded Fit to a base Civic. The Fit is an aging platform and the next generation should place it closer to the Yaris as far as gas mileage goes.

  • avatar
    NickR

    A word to the, um, wise at GM. You do realize that Canadians watch American tv? And that when you use different names in the US your Canadian dealers aren’t benefitting nearly as much as they could otherwise and vice versa? Is there a reason for this strange naming convention…I’d love to know?

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Does this mean that the new division slogan is going to be “Pontiac: We sell excrement!”?

    FWIW, the Pontiac Chevette was the T1000. Aside from that or the Astre moniker, they could always call it the LeMans.

  • avatar
    lprocter1982

    To everyone questioning the mileage in my 01 Impala: I have a 3.4L V6, and no fuel mileage computer – it’s calculated mathematically at each fill up, by me, in the proper, accurate, way. But, I do drive all highway, and do no, or virtually no, urban driving. I end up being able to go over 400km on half a tank.

    By the way, I used to own a Hyundai Accent, and averaged around 36mpg in that as well. I imagine the Aveo/Wave/G3 would get similar. I think I’ll stick with my Impala.

  • avatar

    The EPA changed its formula for calculating fuel economy averages last year. Most cars lost a couple of points off both their city and highway numbers, even if the cars were completely unchanged.

    The Fit is not exactly tiny. In many respects, it’s similar in size, weight, and power to the old late-80s Civic Wagon, just not quite as boxy looking. People have the perception of it being Geo Metro tiny, but it’s really what used to be a C-segment car.

    The Fit has a disadvantage over the Civic in rated highway mileage because of its shorter gearing (which has its engine spinning faster at any given speed) and higher aspect ratio — the way it’s packaged makes it 3.5 inches taller than the Civic, because the front passengers are essentially sitting on the fuel tank. The hatchback profile is also less aerodynamically efficient. On the highway, the Civic might even win out, but in real-world mixed driving, the Fit is going to have an advantage over the Civic in mileage, just because of its 300-pound weight advantage and 300 cc smaller engine.

    One of the main virtues of the Fit, though, is not just fuel economy, it’s packaging. The front and rear seats are almost as roomy as the Civic, and with the fold-away rear seats and hatchback, it’s a lot more useful for schlepping stuff than the Civic sedan (and certainly the Civic coupe). It’s also almost 20 inches shorter, which makes it easier to park in crowded city streets.

  • avatar

    This just reveals that Pontiac is simply another tarted-up Chevrolet. Always has been, always will be. I think we couldve seen this AveGo3 coming. Well it cant be as bad as the LeMans was right? Oh wait yea that was korean too.

  • avatar
    Sammy Hagar

    This just reveals that Pontiac is simply another tarted-up Chevrolet.

    Now, now, that’s not entirely true. The Vibe is a tarted up Matrix/Corolla…and it’s generally one of the few GM vehicles that gets decent reliability and resale numbers. Of course, that is probably because of it’s NUMMI bloodline.

    BTW: Maybe the Vibe will become the G4, when they finally run out of “Vibe” badges.

  • avatar
    Jonathon

    I was browsing Fueleconomy.gov a few days ago and just about gagged when I saw the Pontiac G3 on there. Will you ever learn, GM?

  • avatar
    SupaMan

    rottenbob: Someone who loves Pontiacs, has always had Pontiacs, wants a new Pontiac, and is struggling with the price of gas.

    That someone must be awfully desperate. Especially when they learn that their G3 is just a an Aveo with a pyramid up its nose.

    Its that same kind of “badge engineering” that GM in trouble in the first place.

  • avatar
    NickR

    This was the same thinking that created the Asuna debacle here in Canada.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    Sunbird.
    T1000 (not the Arnold type).
    Lemans.
    J2000.
    Phoenix.
    Sunbird.
    Sunfire.
    Vibe.
    Aztek.
    Torrent.
    The other Lemans.
    Bonneville.
    Parisenne.
    Catalina.
    Safari.
    TranSport.
    Montana.
    SV6.
    GTO
    Firebird.
    Grand Prix.
    Fiero.
    Solstice.

    23 models, only could claim to be exciting. Let’s be honest, Pontiac never was exciting. I know it’s heartbreaking to Poncho fans worldwide, but let’s be honest. Pontiac is the poster child for the horrors of badge engineering. Most Pontiacs were nothing more than Chevrolets with split grilles. It’s an exercise in dishonesty to say that Pontiac ever had any excitement to begin with. They never were excitement, and they probably never will be excitement. Sad, but true.

  • avatar
    Droid800

    Come on TTAC, you know better than this.

    GM has absolutely no plans of selling the G3 in the US. (check GM’s media site) If they were planning on selling it here, it would have been unveiled already.

    GM may have gotten it approved for reasons beyond our knowing (I’ve tried to look at the Fed’s site, but its currently down), but it certainly isn’t going to be sold here.

  • avatar
    Theodore

    So while kicking the tires on the G8, I asked the salesman about the Aveo/G3. He hemmed a little bit: “Well, the Aveo is fine for basic inexpensive transportation…”

    “Yeah, but a Pontiac?”

    He said nothing, just gave me a look that said, “What are you complaining about? I’m the poor guy who’s going to have to SELL the damn things.”

    So there you have it.

  • avatar
    raast

    Some notes on previous comments…

    1)http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/f16/pontiac-g3-31632/
    sure looks like “G3” is a valid moniker – in Mexico right now anyway.

    2)about the Impala mileage, with the 3.4 I can get 37mpg with it on the 401, cruising ~117 till I hit TO then I esentially get zero in the gridlock. I’ve measured this on numerous occasions. (Talking Imperial gallons now folks).

    3)the very limited cross section of people I know personally with Equinox / Torrents (a grand total of two, wow) have experienced issues pretty much in line with the CU graph, in fact one wishes she never bought it (new) – it’s been in the shop that much.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Soooo….if it leaks oil in the driveway that’s a g-spot?

  • avatar
    levi

    Nothing much at GM has changed since the Chevy Chevette / Pontiac T1000.

    Oh well.

  • avatar
    Mcloud1

    I don’t see this on the upcoming models section of Pontiac’s website, so I am hoping that maybe the facts got mixed up, and this isn’t getting sold here.

  • avatar
    revjasper

    Impala mileage? Portland to Seattle and back on one tank, reset the trip odo upon starting the car (at Alamo…) and got an honest 31 mpg. US gallons. That was keeping the speed under the radar (literally, counted 15 speed traps on the way up!) and not getting stuck in traffic.

    Could that 3500 motor do better? Probably not.

    On the other hand, the rental Altima last week got 42 mpg for the same type of trip.

  • avatar
    cheezeweggie

    Laugh all you want. I see a LOT of these little POS cars on the road lately.

  • avatar
    radimus

    If Cadillac gets their version of the Aveo I want one. Just for the sheer rediculousness of it.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    radimus: “If Cadillac gets their version of the Aveo I want one. Just for the sheer rediculousness of it.”Just think, they can give it leather seats along with a ‘deluxe’ grill, charge twice the price of an Aveo, and call it a Cimarron.

  • avatar
    TomAnderson

    rudiger:

    Nah, it would have to be some lame three letter name in order to be consistent with the rest of the lineup (other than the ‘Sclade, of course).

    May I suggest the POS?

  • avatar

    So we’re back to the same ol’ same ol’. “I want one, too!” screams the poor stepchild of a division. I was excited for the G8, the G6 — they’re what Pontiac SHOULD be. And I thought they were on the right track. Nope. Apparently not.

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