By on June 1, 2021

2007 Pontiac G5 GT in Colorado junkyard, RH front view - ©2021 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsWhile General Motors may have developed an alarming rod knock during the middle 2000s, culminating in Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009, The General’s Pontiac Division was shooting rods through the hood by 2007 or so. Oh, sure, the Solstice gave us all hope for the marque that gave us so many great machines over the decades, but few felt optimistic about Pontiac by the time the G5 hit showrooms for the 2007 model year. Here’s one of those first-year G5s, a Performance Red GT Coupe found in a Denver-area yard over the weekend.

2007 Pontiac G5 GT in Colorado junkyard, rear view - ©2021 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsThe G5 was a badge-engineered version of the Chevrolet Cobalt (yes, that Cobalt), available only for the 2007 through 2009 model years and only as a coupe.

2007 Pontiac G5 GT in Colorado junkyard, decklid badge - ©2021 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsThis one is the GT version, the higher-priced of the two trim levels available for the G5.

2007 Pontiac G5 GT in Colorado junkyard, Engine - ©2021 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsWith the GT package, you got the 2.4-liter Ecotec engine, rated at 173 horsepower, rather than the 148-horse 2.2 in the base G5. The GT also got a better audio system, nicer wheels, ABS, one year of OnStar, and some other goodies. The GT’s MSRP started at $18,375 (about $24,240 today), while the base G5 cost $14,725 (about $19,425 in 2021 bones, or clams).

2007 Pontiac G5 GT in Colorado junkyard, interior - ©2021 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsA five-speed manual came as standard equipment, but nearly all Cobalt/G5 buyers decided to spend extra for the four-speed automatic. How much more did it cost to convert this fun-to-drive car into a boring commuter? 850 bones, which comes to about 1,120 clams today. At least air conditioning came at no extra cost on all G5s.

2007 Pontiac G5 GT in Colorado junkyard, MyxedUp decal - ©2021 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsAs is typical for most used-up cars found in Denver-area car graveyards, this G5 boasts plenty of stickers from cannabis dispensaries.

2007 Pontiac G5 GT in Colorado junkyard, interior - ©2021 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsDepreciation hit late Pontiacs hard, so this car appears to have spent its final years in Hooptie Mode.

2007 Pontiac G5 GT in Colorado junkyard, front view - ©2021 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsIn the end, the very last US-market Pontiacs were 2010 G6s and Vibes, and I’ve managed to document those cars in junkyards; I’ve shot discarded examples of the Solstice and G3 as well. To complete the Final Days of Pontiac set, I’ll need to add examples of the 2009 G8, Torrent, and Montana as well.


Feel energized.


Yo! Yo! Turn it up! Take yo seat!

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21 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 2007 Pontiac G5 GT Coupe...”


  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    My God Pontiac was struggling at the end.
    The G3 and G5 were badge-engineered rush jobs just created to fill a hole in a lineup.
    The Solstice, while interesting, was such a compromised design that it was hard to believe that it started from scratch. When it takes up to a minute or more and you have to leave the driver’s seat to lower a top in a two seater, combined with the unusable trunk (thank you fuel tank), that’s proof that the details weren’t sweated and why the MX-5 took it behind the woodshed.
    The G6 – how many do you see on the roads today compared to the same era Acoords, Comrys, and even Altimas? After having driven so many as rentals back in the day, they just felt thrown together and shoved at the door to get people to get one for $199/mo.
    I still shed a tear for the G8. Of course it was built by a GM division that knew what it was doing, and what it became – the SS with a 6-speed manual is just awesome, but it just didn’t fit into the rest of the lineup of totally mediocre vehicles.
    So before anyone cries for the return of Pontiac, remember what they were before they died and the G5 was a solid example of why they died.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      +1 on every point.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “remember what they were before they died and the G5 was a solid example of why they died.”

      With the exception of things like the Holden, Pontiac models were reskinned Chevrolets. So by your logic Chevrolet also deserved to go out, or was it somehow acceptable?

      • 0 avatar
        theflyersfan

        If Chevy didn’t have the Corvette or major SUV/pickup sales in 2008 when the brand eliminations started, I would say they could have been on the block. There was nothing out there that would make a G5 different than a Cobalt or a G6 different than a Malibu.
        And if it wasn’t for China, odds are Buick would have been shown the door as well. Too many brands selling the almost same cars never equals success. It’s just small pieces from the same pie.

        Pontiac had almost no real identity in 2008. The “We Build Excitement” days were long gone, and even then, it was really other brand’s cars with plastic trim on the side and buttons on the steering wheel. The 6000STE was special. and the Fiero could have been something. But those days were long gone before these end of days at Pontiac.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    That first commercial for the ’07 is cool. Too bad they spent all that money advertising such a lame car.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I test drove a 2008MY of these in 2009 around when I started my first “real” job. Even though the world was melting down it seemed like buying a new car was the thing to do.

    I remember the G5 GT was okay overall but the gearing on the 4-speed was W-I-D-E which really blunted the power advantage I hoped the 2.4L would give me. I also test drove a Scion tC, Mustang V6, and Saturn Astra XR.

    I liked the Saturn the most but was concerned about GM’s future (the salesman assured me Saturn and Pontiac were totally safe brands) so I decided to buy nothing which in hindsight was a good move.

    • 0 avatar
      deanst

      My daughter is still driving my Saturn astra bought at that time. The GM bankruptcy sale made it an unbeatable deal.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        The Astra was a solid car. I’d say it was tops in pretty much everything against that set I listed above aside from acceleration, and even then it wasn’t as bad as the magazines made it out to be.

        My experience with the Astra made me excited to check out the Fiesta when it went on sale in 2011. I test drove one of the first ones available (a fully loaded SES hatchback) but unfortunately the Powershift was frothy diarrhea. After that I kind of moved on from the Euro compacts.

        On the Opel side I probably would have bought a Regal in 2014 if it offered more power. The Regal introduced in ’18 did finally give a V6 option but by then things at that price level were more crowded and GM hardly even built any Regals of that gen for inventory.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Astra was a gamble given its Opel origins and Saturn pedigree, glad you came out ahead.

        • 0 avatar
          MRF 95 T-Bird

          I remember reading during the 2008-2009 GM restructuring that Roger Penske wanted to purchase the Saturn brand and continue to sell badge engineered Opel Vauxhalls.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I don’t recall the exact details but there was a “Penske plan” which sadly GM did not follow through on.

          • 0 avatar
            MRF 95 T-Bird

            Found the Penske article.

            https://www.cnbc.com/2009/09/30/gm-to-shut-down-saturn-after-penske-walks-away.html

            “Penske, 72, had been negotiating to buy the brand under a deal that would have seen GM supply vehicles under contract until the end of 2011, leaving him free to tie up with other manufacturers afterward.”

            “However, people familiar with the discussions said Penske had been in advanced talks with Renault on Saturn. A Renault spokeswoman could not be reached immediately for comment.”

            Lord knows what rebadged Renaults they would have sold. Entry level Dacia Sandaro?

  • avatar
    4runner

    The naming convention General Motors employed in the 2000s for Pontiac intersected at confusing and stupid.

    With the release of the “all-new” sixth generation Pontiac Grand Am, General Motors decided to use a new naming convention. Instead of calling it the Grand Am, it was now going to be called the Pontiac G6 – as some kind of strange way of indicating that this was the sixth generation Grand Am.

    Not to be outdone, the big brains at General Motors went even further and decided to expand the use use of GX naming convention. So, we got highly memorable names such as the Pontiac G3, G5, and G8.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    I feel like people just sort of ended up with Cobalts (The forced induction SS models excluded). You needed a cheap, new car that would last and you just didn’t care…bam…Cobalt. Or you were looking for that cheap used car and bam…fresh out of rental duty.

    This car I feel like people had to sort of want and seek out which is baffling to me. What a crapbox.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    The Vibe was a decent vehicle. Still in demand on the used car market.

    The Montana SV6 was my favourite of all our minivans. Wish that I had kept it.

    The Solstice had some potential.

    It is a shame what happened to Pontiac. They did make some ‘exciting’ cars in their past.

    We might lament their loss more in Canada than in the USA, as comparatively based on their unique history in Canada, Pontiacs were more popular for decades in Canada than in the USA.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I only think Vibe gets attention because 1. AWD availability and 2. NUMMI assembly.

    • 0 avatar
      theflyersfan

      You might be right about lamenting them more up in Canada. A lot of my vacations are spent up in the Maritimes, especially PEI, and when Pontiacs were sold, you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a Pontiac up there. I remember seeing far fewer Japanese imports compared to American cars, but Pontiacs were thick on the ground.

      I can imagine that PEI winters have probably removed many from the roads by now.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Always wonder what killed it…powertrain? Timing chain is an easy fix unless you bent the valves.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I never understood why Pontiac decided to ditch their heritage names for nomenclature out of the latest Apple operating system. It probably contributed to their demise.
    The Chevrolet twin Colbalt SS had the supercharged 2.0 Ecotec with later models getting the turbo version. The G5 GT got the 2.4-liter Ecotec engine.

  • avatar
    mdoore

    I know this is a little off topic but everything Pontiac during that era looked the same. I remember considering G6 convertible. The hardtop design was interesting. I Did not like the fact the top of the windshield landed behind my head. You really did not feel like you were in a convertible unless you sat in the back seat. Bought a 2008 Mustang GT instead.

  • avatar
    Michael S6

    Unfortunately it was a Junkyard find when it was still in the showroom in 2007.

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