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1998 Pontiac Bonneville

1998 Pontiac Bonneville
Branded with class.

By Paul A. Eisenstein

Review Pages
1. Overview
2. Walkaround and Interior
3. Driving Impressions
4. Summary, Prices, Specs

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In the automotive world, "brand" is the buzzword of the day. And at General Motors, that means every product is supposed to deliver the sort of cues and features that best define its place in the automotive hierarchy. A midsize Pontiac is supposed to be distinctly different from a midsize Buick or Chevrolet.

Putting the brand concept into practice isn't as easy as it sounds, especially for a company as big as GM. But Pontiac has excelled in this area. Bonneville remains one of the most visually and technically distinctive products available from General Motors, underscoring Pontiac's role as GM's youthful, sporty division.

Pontiac's youthful look doesn't appeal to everyone, especially those who prefer clean, elegant, unbroken lines. Instead, Pontiac offers visual excitement. To help the Bonneville stand out, Pontiac has outfitted it with spoilers, scoops and body cladding. Likewise, the interior is a haven for those who like the latest bells-and-whistles.

Beneath its extroverted exterior, the Bonneville is a nimble sports sedan, offering exemplary handling for a car of this size. It appeals to driving enthusiasts who need or want a big sedan.

The SSE is the premium package in the Bonneville line-up. The base model is the SE. Between those two and the SSEi and new SLE packages, there's a selection of features and powertrains to fit a range of budgets and needs.

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