Pontiac G6

Pontiac G6Looking for a comfortable ride? We drove more than 6,500 miles over 30 days in the Pontiac G6 and didn’t feel stiff or twitchy in our seats once…

First things first, though. Before we could park our bums in those comfy seats we needed to make sure the Pontiac G6 could handle the amount of luggage that comes with a three-month trip across America.

Luckily for us, Pontiac has packed in plenty of storage space. The massive trunk allowed us to fit both of our very large suitcases side by side, still leaving room for an additional full-sized backpack and other assorted bags to be slotted on top and in the small gaps down the sides.

With the luggage stowed, it was time to hit the road. The model we drove was a front-wheel drive automatic and there are a few welcome safety measures built in. For example, you can’t start the car while the automatic gear stick is in drive or reverse – so if you’re renting one of these baby’s you shouldn’t be digging into that extra collision insurance too quickly.

There are also a multitude of warning signs and sounds to let you know not everything is right before you hit the road. If the driver or passengers don’t have their seatbelts on, warning. If there’s a car door ajar (as we found when crazy amounts of ice stopped the boot closing), warning. If you’ve driven more than 500 miles without changing the oil, warning. If the tires haven’t been checked for a suitable amount of time, warning. All of which is very welcome. If it had packed in collision-warning technology too we’d have been completely happy.

Air conditioning options also add to the safety aspects. Hot air can be directed onto the windscreen to clear condensation and moderate ice (even if you need to bang your windscreen wipers with a scraper to get rid of the really thick stuff). Two additional blowers can also do the same to keep your side mirrors visible through the left and right windows.

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The steering wheel also helps you keep your eyes on that all-important road thanks to some added controls. Stations can be retuned up and down with the right hand as radio sources get left behind, and the volume can similarly be adjusted with two other easy to access buttons.

Surprisingly, there’s No iPod connection as standard (we say surprisingly because most manufacturers recognise Apple’s dominance in the market and feel the need to include this). Thankfully, we did have the lead to plug a music device into the standard 3.5mm slot and automatically playback tracks on the auxiliary channel.

Cruise control settings on the left of the steering wheel also make for easy setting and adjustment of speed. These came in especially useful after a Kansas State Trooper wrote us a little warning note suggesting we stick to the set driving limits…

And the drive itself? Acceleration was very quick to automatically shift through the gears and was usually pretty smooth, with only the odd minor woooosh when changing up at very high speeds. Braking was as sharp as you’d want for the different environments thrown up by a cross country trip, handling everything from fast-changing lights in small towns to the myopic antics of other freeway drivers. We’ll forgive it the slide down a hill caked with black ice in Minneapolis, as no car could be expected to deal with that.

Overall, with enough space to store a mountain of luggage and a very comfortable, easy drive, the Pontiac G6 is a great choice as a sporty runabout or even a family car with a bit of class.

VERDICT: 8/10

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