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2009 Pontiac Torrent

2009 Pontiac Torrent
Versatile crossover offers a smooth ride.

By New Car Test Drive

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

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Overview

The Pontiac Torrent emphasizes a smooth ride and interior versatility. The Torrent is a crossover SUV, meaning it's built more like a car than a truck. The Torrent shares its basic structure with the Chevy Equinox.

Torrent is built on a front-wheel-drive platform, but all-wheel drive is available for winter weather. The standard engine is a 185-horsepower V6, mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.

We found the Torrent delivers quick acceleration and its styling is restrained, clean and pleasing. Inside, the available leather seats are nice, the premium stereo sounds good, and the low dash offers a good view of the road ahead. The back seat slides and reclines according to your needs for extended leg room or more cargo space. For 2009, XM Satellite Radio is now standard, and Bluetooth phone connectivity optional, adding to Torrent's appeal.

The sporty Torrent GXP boasts a 264-horsepower V6 and six-speed automatic transmission, along with sport-tuned steering and suspension components, and a unique look inside and out.

Options include a clever cargo storage system with handy bins in the floor and wheel wells, plus a lightweight polycarbonate shelf that can be placed in various positions for differing needs; it has hooks for grocery bags and can be configured as a table for tailgate parties. Three 12-volt power outlets come standard. Additional features include four-wheel disc brakes and StabiliTrak electronic stability control, all of which come standard. Dual-stage front airbags for driver and passenger include GM's Passenger Sensing System; and the now-standard head-curtain side-impact air bags are wired to detect rollovers. A tire pressure monitor is standard, too. Torrent has earned a five-star (best) rating in federal frontal crash tests. Also available are a remote starter, three different audio systems (one including navigation) and two different grades of chrome rims.

Model Lineup

The 2009 Pontiac Torrent with base trim offers a choice of front-wheel drive ($24,820) or all-wheel drive ($26,815).

Standard equipment includes air conditioning, tilt steering, power windows, AM/FM/CD/MP3 with six speakers and an auxiliary input jack, OnStar, remote entry and automatic door locks, fog lamps, roof rails, daytime running lights, a rear window wiper, and 235/65R16 tires on 16-inch aluminum wheels. For 2009, XM Satellite Radio is standard as well.

The Preferred Package ($1,595) includes cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, six way power for the driver's seat, up-level cloth upholstery, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror with compass, rear-seat armrest with cupholders, full-width rear cargo net, carpeted front and rear floor mats, deep tinted glass, and a remote starter. Preferred Package buyers may add the Premium Package ($845), with leather seating and heated front seats. Also available are 17-inch aluminum wheels: painted ($295), chrome-clad ($750), or chrome-plated ($850). Or for even more bling order the whole chrome package ($1,400), which includes a chrome grille, chrome bumper trims, chrome door handles, and 17-inch chrome-clad wheels.

The Torrent GXP is available with a choice of front-wheel drive ($29,420) or all-wheel drive ($31,415). Torrent GXP models come with a 264-horsepower V6, a six-speed automatic transmission, suspension upgrades, and 235/50R18 tires on 18-inch forged and polished aluminum wheels. Inside, GXP features heated sport seats, specific gauges, piano-black trim, and most of the content of the Preferred Package; while outside it sports some unique styling details, particularly at the front end. Perforated leather seat inserts are available ($595) and, presumably so buyers can choose a smoother look, the roof rails become optional ($150).

Audio/entertainment upgrades for all models include a Pioneer seven-speaker sound system ($395), AM/FM/CD/MP3 with navigation ($2,145), and a rear-seat DVD/CD/MP3 player ($995). The Sun and Sound Package ($1,580) combines a power sunroof with the seven-speaker audio system and six-disc changer. Stand-alone options include heated front seats ($250), Bluetooth phone connectivity ($50), luggage rack crossbars ($150), engine block heater ($75), trailer package ($350), and a multi-function cargo panel ($175). Safety features that come standard include four-wheel-disc brakes with ABS, StabiliTrak stability control (with integrated trailer sway control), a rear child-seat LATCH system, tire-pressure monitor, and the mandated front airbags. For 2009, head-protecting side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor are also standard. Front-drive Torrents come with traction control. All-wheel drive improves handling stability in slippery conditions.


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