The last great Bonneville.
The Pontiac Bonneville was on sale for 47 years before it was discontinued in 2005. The Pontiac brand itself was shut down by GM only five years later. The automaker's so-called "Excitement Division" had lost its way over the years due to GM's reliance on badge engineering, among other issues. By the time proper attention was given to Pontiac with models like the Solstice and G8, it was already too late. GM's bankruptcy was also the final nail in the coffin for the brand.
Aside from the Firebird, one of Pontiac's most celebrated and long-standing models was the Bonneville. Launched in 1958, a total of ten generations existed in numerous body styles, including a coupe, convertible, station wagon, and sedan. A majority of us still clearly remember the sedan, which Pontiac attempted to morph into a BMW fighter in the 1990s.
The Bonneville SSEi, for example, was a supercharged V6 sedan that cost less than a 5 Series. There was, however, an even better BMW 5 Series-fighting Bonneville that arrived for 2004, exactly one year before the model's death. The Pontiac Bonneville GXP represented the first time since 1986 when a V8 became available for the model, a consequence of the Oldsmobile Aurora being discontinued the year prior.
Like the second-gen Aurora, the tenth-gen Bonneville rode on GM's G platform and therefore could accommodate Cadillac's respected 4.6-liter Northstar V8. By today's standards, the engine is not that powerful. Total output came to just 275 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. Power was directed to the front wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission.
Company executives had hoped the GXP version could help bridge the gap previously held by Oldsmobile in the brand lineup between Pontiac and Cadillac. The GXP had a claimed 0-60 mph time of 6.5 seconds, meaning it beat both the BMW 335i and 535i. Another interesting fact is that the GXP featured the widest track in its class, measuring at 62.6 inches up front and 62.1 inches at the rear.
Unfortunately, Bonneville sales, in general, dipped too low for Pontiac's liking and 2005 was the final model year.
Three years later, the V8-powered and RWD Pontiac G8 arrived from Australia as a Bonneville replacement, though by this time, the brand's fate had been decided. Chances are the Bonneville GXP won't become a collector's car, but it's still a cool piece of Pontiac history.
This two-owner 2005 Pontiac Bonneville GXP can now be yours for the ultra-low price of $4,988. Its 209,993 miles explains why. Overall, it seems to be in relatively good condition and those interested will need to head over to Bridgeville, Illinois (just outside of Chicago), for a test drive.