By on June 2, 2008

pontiac_g3.jpgLast week, we told you the EPA had certificated the Aveo-based Pontiac G3. We posited it would hit Pontiac showrooms in the U.S. next year. Now Automotive News [sub]  is thinking the same thing, citing "dealer sources" who say it's true– even though many Pontiac Buick/Pontiac/GMC dealers say they didn't ask for the car. Nor do they want it. Interestingly, several Pontiac executives found out the EPA had certified the G3 over the Memorial Day weekend, about the same time we did. Like it or not, GM needs to raise its CAFE averages in a hurry and adding something small, cheap and based on an existing car is the easiest way to do it. It just isn't the best way.

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35 Comments on “The Pontiac G3 is Coming...”

  • avatar

    “even though many Pontiac Buick/Pontiac/GMC dealers say they didn’t ask for the car”
    Aren’t these are the same dealers that got to pick whether they wanted the buick that was doing well over seas or another cross platform buick? Though maybe they learned and this time its the general picking the wrong thing

  • avatar


  • avatar

    Is “certificated” the right word? I haven’t heard it, but the TTAC spell checker doesn’t come up red. Huh.

    In any case, that G3 sure looks like it might be a turd. It would be neat if Pontiac could pretty up the car, though, quiet down the ride, option it up, make it a little closer to a premium small car. They might find a willing market.

  • avatar

    As Queen Latifah said, “open the door for me, I don’t want to get Daewoo on my hands.”

  • avatar

    We have these in Canada now, under the name “Pontiac Wave”. We had the Pursuit (the Cobalt’s twin, since renamed to match the US) long before the US got the G5. I expect the 2009 Wave gets a similar rename.

    The reason why is easy, at least in Canada: Pontiac dealers are whining about not having something to sell, and GM has no backbone. That this kind of behaviour really harms GM as a whole doesn’t really faze dealers one bit.

    I could understand this is Chevy offered only the sedan, and Pontiac only the hatch, or if Pontiac offered the European Kalos three-door with a better engine. But no, that’s not the case here.

  • avatar

    give em a break!
    people have been buying basic cars since B-4 I was born and will be long after…
    If it helps keep Pontiac alive so what…
    How does it hurt the ALMIGHTY ‘motoring press’
    Give it a rest guys.
    If this car is cheap enough to let some have a ‘new car’,I’m happy for them!
    you know it seems funny that I never read any horror stories about the first Hundais and th american built rabbits on this site.
    its all about bashing our home industry out of existence.
    We cant all buy what YOU want us to….
    and thank god for that!!!!

  • avatar

    I don’t care whether it’s called Aveo, G5, Wave… or LeMans, for that matter.

    Until GM/Daewoo can get the MPG up to Fit/Yaris territory, who’s gonna buy this heap?

  • avatar


    There are better cars in this category, sometimes cheaper than another Chevy Aveo rebadged as a Pontiac. That is the point. It is not going to save GM or Pontiac. They are rebadging a turd. A turd is a turd no matter how you package it. Go check other automotive sites for reviews on the Aveo and you’ll get the picture why this is a bad idea.

  • avatar

    This will sell more than the Aveo does because it looks better. However it wont sell much more, its not like people buying these to begin with. The other day I was with my grandma in the car driving and she saw an Aveo and goes “Is that a Chevy?” I go sure is look at the badge, a Korean Chevy is still a chevy. Well GM needs to put a better offering on the table for a sub-compact, I may not say this very often but the Kiadai (Rio/Accent) is a much better car than this. Not to mention Pontiac at one point meant “Driving Excitement” Ha ha i am now choking on irony.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    My favorite part is… 34 mpg!

    One less than a (sigh) Corolla.

  • avatar

    For as small as the Aveo/G3 is it doesn’t get very good gas mileage. I’d rather have a stick shift cobalt sedan.

  • avatar

    look the answer is all the Chevy dealer bitched that P/B/GMC wasn’t handicapped enough.

    could be worse though, they could be given the Dacia to sell.

  • avatar

    GM can rebadge all they want, these “cars” are really Daewoo’s and a piece of Junk!

  • avatar

    these are the kind of cars that give small cars a bad name…we know all hope is lost when the Cadillac version is announced…Its not like pontiac has any brand awareness anyway..its just Chevy2

  • avatar

    oldyak :

    you know it seems funny that I never read any horror stories about the first Hundais and th american built rabbits on this site.

    Trust me, if this site had been around when those were on the market, you would have heard all about them here. The fact that we seldom mention them is a testimony to the improvements these manufacturers have made since then.

  • avatar

    We should leave Pontiac alone. It’s a dying brand, and deserves a few quiet moments and pats on the back before it drifts off into the ether and joins its brother Oldsmobile on the heap.

    I hope that there are other versions of the Aveo, too. The GMC version can have a big roof rack, so it can fit in with the trucks. The Hummer version can be jacked up on 24″ rims and have floorboards to match. The Buick model can have a bench seat and DaewooSoftRide™ suspension. The Cadillac version can have a leather interior and tailfins. Best of all, if you really want to drive one, you’ll be able to rent any one of them at Avis.

  • avatar

    Let’s see. A Yaris comes with a/c for about the same dough as an Aveo5 with air. According to the EPA, a Yaris will save you about $300 in fuel per year over an Aveo5.

  • avatar

    There has been plenty of press on how abysmal the first Hyundais and American-made Rabbits were. TTAC tends to deal with new vehicles, not those that were produced (shoddily) decades ago. GM ought to be admonished severely for this boneheaded decision. The Aveo is a dog, pure and simple. It doesn’t offer anything to set it apart from it’s competition…even price isn’t really an incentive enough to plunk down hard-earned money on. Instead of really concentrating on developing class-leading vehicles, we get a subcompact that gets worse mileage than a Corolla.

  • avatar

    My partner and I were passed down an (unwanted) Aveo. After about 1,000 miles, we promptly got rid of it. Compared to our econobox xA, the Aveo was a complete piece of S**T. Not only were the gas mileage and acceleration completely horrible, it handled as well as a 1990 Suburban with blown shocks and sagging springs – downright scary.

    Best part of all – after passing it along to other family members, the car was rear-ended at a stop-sign by a car going about 30mph or so. After the rear bumper foam broke off, 3 seconds later a thunk under the hood, and another 3 seconds, the airbags deployed (after the impact, after the car settled and everyone was fine…..). The engine and transaxle broke from the axle and the car was totalled.. from a 30mph rear-ending.

    I can only imagine if this car (or any car on this horrible platform) were involved in a 40+mph T-bone..

  • avatar

    Well, nothing we can do about it. It’s coming. Pontiac should at least do something like give it some larger, lighter wheels and a stiffer suspension, maybe a ducktail spoiler. And the interior can be changed, right? Kinda how the Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice have very different driver interface setups. ANYTHING to differentiate it from the Aveo.

  • avatar

    Under new CAFE regs (footprint based), this thing doesn’t help a lick. It might even be under it’s target. It might help in the pre-2011 time frame to generate some instant credits to carry forward.

    Finally, I would hate to know what a “G1” might look like…

  • avatar

    According to Edmunds, there’s a little over $500 difference between MSRP and invoice on the Aveo. Add a little for holdback, take out some for commission for the sales person, take out more for floorplan, etc., and finally write off this customer for life. I can’t see a dealer even ordering one of these things. I assume there’s at least some cost involved in selling a model; like parts for example.

  • avatar

    June 2nd, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    could be worse though, they could be given the Dacia to sell

    I’d rather drive a Dacia/Renault than an unrefined gas hog Aveo (for its size/displacement).

    Let’s face it: both interiors are the Plastech special, but at least one has a 21st century engine, more space and perhaps a better ride in the city.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    GM Executive: We all know the Aveo routinely rates at the bottom of the class in any comparison test, but our customers are uninformed loyalist. So, give ’em what they deserve and slap a Pontiac badge on the thing. You know, lipstick on a pig and all that.

    This isn’t the first time. The Pontiac “LeMans” of the late 1980s and early 1990s was an Opel Kadett based Daewoo product sold through Pontiac dealer … and rental car companies. I drove one as a Hertz rental back in the day. Craptastic.

  • avatar

    I don’t even see Canadians buying the Pontiac Wave up here. Changing the name isn’t going to help and with fuel economy numbers close to the Pontiac Vibe. Another car that isn’t selling much up here, though a lot of Toyota Matrix cars are. Build a VW Rabbit style competitor and I think more people will look at it. There are so many Rabbits and Golfs around here.

  • avatar

    It’s confirmed….GM has lost its way with Pontiac.

    I suppose they couldn’t slap a Buick or Saturn Badge on (or Cadillac!?…perish the thought) but come on. It’s a repeat of the Cobalt/G5 brand engineering that makes absolutely no sense. For instance, if Pontiac is GM’s excitement division, why isn’t there a G5 GXP? And now we’re supposed to think an Aveo can be “exciting”? And it doesn’t even get the gas mileage others in its class get (hell the Corolla and Civic beat it).

    I understand the Aveo is a necessary, if ill-thought out, car for GM but rebadging it as a Pontiac is just a slap in the face to all who KNOW what a Pontiac is supposed to be.

    G3 my @$$…..

  • avatar

    I’d buy it if it was cheap enough – one with auto, air, single CD player, and manual windows and doors would be fine with me if it was cheap enough.

    I currently drive a 2000 Corolla for a commuter car – it cannot be worse than that.

  • avatar

    mikey610 – maybe like this? Tack a Pontiac front end onto it and maybe some ribbed-for-her-pleasure Grand Am cladding and voila…the new G1!

  • avatar
    John Horner

    “I currently drive a 2000 Corolla for a commuter car – it cannot be worse than that.”

    Obviously you haven’t driven an Aveo to see how bad things can really be.

  • avatar

    *crickets chirping*

  • avatar

    As much as these things are (justly) derided, at least in my area they seem fairly common. So Chevy is selling these pigs to some suckers. There are some people who will buy a pig with lipstick, and GM is aiming at that demographic.

    I doubt it will do them any good, but there it is. They know their own market – the senselessly cheap and the terminally poor.

  • avatar

    At this rate, it won’t be long until GM no longer makes any of their own small cars.

  • avatar

    Even though the GEO Metro was a piece of crap, it got 40-50 mpg on the hwy. The AVEO/G3 barely breaks 35.

    What I don’t understand…can’t GM/Ford “detune” their truck engines via computer module to have less horsepower and more mpgs? Change the I6 in the Trailblazer from 275hp to 220-240 and gain 4-5 mpgs hwy? Silverado from 330hp to 270hp and gain 4-5mpgs? Is it not that simple? Would consumers notice the hp drop but appreciate the mpg gain?

  • avatar

    Pontiac needs this car (well, they need a car this size that gets 5 MPG more, but…). People need to understand that Buick/GMC/Pontiac is just Chevy Part Deux. Both a Buick/GMC/Pontiac dealer and a Chevy dealer need full line ups of vehicles to sell, including subcompacts. This of course means lots of duplication between the two, but that really can’t be helped. Pontiac is never really going to be the “excitement division”, although they will have some sporty products. Pontiac exists so GMC truck dealers have some cars to sell on the side (although, if things continue the way they have been, it will be Pontiac dealers sell some GMC trucks on the side).

    Now, all that being said, it’s quite possible that the only Pontiac dealers that will get this car are Canadian ones. The Pontiac Wave and Chevy Optra were certified by the US government, although both were Canada-only models. GM apparently does this so people Canadians who then move to the US can keep their cars (and, since they are clones of models sold in the US, no extra tests are needed).

  • avatar

    Both a Buick/GMC/Pontiac dealer and a Chevy dealer need full line ups of vehicles to sell, including subcompacts. This of course means lots of duplication between the two, but that really can’t be helped.

    Ouch. This is exactly the thinking that destroyed GM in the first place. When the brands lost their distinctiveness, it was the beginning of the end.

    If consumers don’t see a difference between a Chevrolet and a Pontiac, chances become higher that they won’t buy either one of them. It is this blunder being repeated, time and time again, that have led GM to deserving its Death Watch status.

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