Monday, August 9, 2004

2003 Pontiac Grand Prix

Good Speed Sensitive Radio
Decent Speakers
Good Power

No Limited Slip (or a poorly designed one)
Horrible Interior
Non Intuitive setup
Poor Transmission
Bad Blind Spots
Poor Headlights
No steering wheel controls for radio

I had a chance to drive a 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix base model the other day which had about 17000 miles on the odometer. The car left a poor taste in my mouth reminding me why I don't like American cars. The car had good power, but without any good way to put it down. As soon as you touch the accelerator pedal, the front wheels spin and god forbid you are going around a corner. A quick jump into traffic around a 90 degree corner will leave you with billows of tire smoke coming over the hood and into the cabin.

Ride was firm but handling was lacking. The car tracked dead straight and you felt everything in the road, but any attempt to change direction left you with an uneasy feeling in your stomach. Cruising on the highway was comfortable and effortless with that much power. The transmission often would get confused tho and gear hunt on specific occasions.

The cabin was lacking in my opinion. The dash, while pretty was a bit overwhelming. I'm partly thinking that the speed I once thought the car had was just an illusion of by how big the speedmeter is (it's huge). The radio controls were functional, but to this time for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to turn on the interior lights without opening the door.

Hope that helps somebody.

2004 Nissan Murano SL

Good Power
Firm Suspension
Good Radio
Good Interior
Great HVAC controls
CVT Tranny
Huge gas tank

Horrible Torque Steer
Plasticy Interior
Huge blind spots


I got to drive a new Murano SL the other day. There were probably about 1200 miles on the clock. The car/SUV thing drove rather well. The CVT tranny made for an interesting drive as it mostly held it's RPM as long as I didn't do anything abrupt with the throttle. The highway drive felt good and the HVAC controls worked excellent. The controls on the steering wheel felt slightly awkward to me, but that's just personal preference. The screen in the dash could have been done better, but it served it's purpose.

The power was good, but with horrible torque steer, you constantly had to fight the steering wheel during corners. I think I'd opt to go with the AWD version to help eliminate that. The sound it made from the exhaust was good.

That's it...