NEW FOR 2009:

– More powerful and efficient 2.2-litre Ecotec engine with variable valve timing
– New 3.63 final drive ratio on manual transmission and 15-inch low-rolling-resistance tires on manual-equipped vehicles for improved fuel economy
– 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine discontinued
– GT trim line is coupe only
– Standard 16-inch alloy wheels and anti-lock brakes on SE model
– Available Bluetooth hands-free compatibility, iPod-compatible USB port
– Dual-stage inflatable driver and front passenger low-risk deployment airbags with passenger sensing system
– Exterior colours: Quicksilver Metallic and Silver-Green Metallic added

For 2009, the Pontiac G5 pares down its engine choices. Previously also available with a 2.4-litre engine in the GT model, the G5 now uses a single engine that is more powerful and more efficient than the 2.2-litre it replaces. Other changes include enhancements to the SE model, an improved front passenger airbag system, and available Bluetooth and iPod compatibility. The GT trim line now applies only to the coupe model.

A sister car to the Chevrolet Cobalt, the G5 is available as a sedan or coupe. All models use a 2.2-litre inline four-cylinder Ecotec engine, mated to a five-speed manual transmission or optional four-speed automatic. Trim choices are the Base and SE on the sedan, and Base, SE and GT in the coupe.

Features on the Base include 15-inch steel wheels, manual remote mirrors, deck lid spoiler, variable intermittent wipers, driver information centre, front centre console, tilt wheel, cloth seats, driver’s manual height adjustment, 60/40 split-folding rear seat with pass-through, CD stereo, and automatic headlamps.

The SE adds 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, power mirrors, front centre console with armrest, floor mats, power windows, CD/MP3 stereo, anti-lock brakes, touring suspension, and power locks with keyless entry.

The GT adds 17-inch alloy wheels, sport fascias, fog lights, lower rocker moldings, cargo net, cruise control, tire pressure monitoring system, leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, XM satellite radio, Pioneer premium sound system, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, polished exhaust tip, sport suspension, curtain airbags, OnStar, and electronic stability control.

The G5 is strong value in a compact footprint, although given that Pontiac is traditionally the "sporty" brand, it’s unusual that the Cobalt retains its SS model while Pontiac scales back the power on the top-line GT. The new 2.2-litre engine falls between the previous 2.2-litre’s 148 horsepower and the now-defunct 2.4-litre’s 173 horsepower. The Base model is that, but the GT retains its higher level of features. Available options, depending on the trim line, include a sunroof, heated leather seats, and traction control.

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