For 2006, the Pontiac Pursuit sedan is joined by an all-new coupe. Both are available in three trim lines, including a new upper-line GT that was missing in the 2005 line-up. As well, frontal airbags are now equipped with GM’s Passenger Sensing System, and a new Majestic Amethyst Metallic exterior colour has been added.

All-new in 2005, the Pursuit is unique to Canada and not sold in the U.S.; it is a Pontiac-trimmed version of the Chevrolet Cobalt. Two engines are available: the base and SE models use a 2.2-litre four-cylinder, while the new GT uses a 2.4-litre four-cylinder. The supercharged engine available in the Cobalt does not appear over at Pontiac. A five-speed manual is base on all models, and can be optioned up to a five-speed automatic.

All models include a CD player, rear defogger, electric power steering, variable intermittent wipers, 60/40 folding rear seat and driver information centre. Standard or optional equipment includes 16- or 17-inch wheels, power locks and windows, ABS, power mirrors, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, four-wheel disc brakes, traction assist, curtain airbags and heated leather seats.

Like the Cobalt, the Pontiac Pursuit offers good value, even with a slight price increase over 2005 (the base model goes up $215). Given that Pontiac has always been considered Chevrolet’s sportier cousin, the coupe is a welcome addition. Although the Cobalt is a well-proportioned little car, the Pontiac styling seems even better suited to it, and should be considered when comparison-shopping. The GT’s heftier engine definitely makes for more spirited driving, but be aware that it asks for premium fuel, which can add considerably to the cost of driving it, as well as the replacement costs of its 17-inch tires.

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