Home > Reviews > 2006 Pontiac G6 Convertible

2006 Pontiac G6 Convertible

A Strawberry Shake at a Vanilla Price

    This is the ultimate compromise vehicle. It’s to be expected then that auto giant General Motors finds a way for you to have your cake and eat it too. It is the car for when you want something, she wants another. You want the wind in your hair, she just did her hair. You say ta-mato, I say to-moto.
     At the very least we can agree on this, the G6 hardtop convertible is an idea that works, and works well. The convertible used to be seen as the premium feature for a vehicle lineup. Now that Chrysler Sebring’s are the poster child for America’s rental car fleet, one has to offer something significant to get a decent foothold in this lucrative market. Once found only on premium upscale vehicles, the technology to drop the top of a steel-roofed car is slowly trickling down. The mechanicals they require for smooth operation are quite involved and rather weighty and add significant coin to the bottomline. By the end of the year though, the hardtop convertible market will have expanded to include entries such as the Pontiac G6 featured here, as well as the Volkswagen EOS and the Mazda MX-5 Miata. Three vehicles that are premium in their own right, but don’t classify as upscale.
     Forget the complicated mechanicals for a minute and let’s talk practicality. At the push of a button you have wind in your hair freedom. But when you don’t desire the ruffled breezy look you have the safety and security of a coupe roof over your head. The hardtop offers much more in the way of structural rigidity when up than an alternative soft top would and is less inviting to theft. The best perk has to be seeing people’s faces when you start lowering the roof for the first time in front of them as only trained eyes will spot the difference between the coupe and convertible G6’s. The compromise: trunk space. At 12.4 cubic feet there is plenty of room to be had while the roof is erect. Decide you want to work on your suntan, however, and that space is reduced to a Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky level of only 2 cubic feet. In typical Solstice/Sky fashion your luggage must also fit into a compartment of unusual configuration and around the spare tire. An amusing and time consuming scenario should you need something that is stowed away while the top is down.
     More amusing is the actuation of that top in motion. Once the multiple motors and gears start buzzing to work the roof is tucked away in about 30 seconds. A dramatic piece of ballet if you ask me. The roof is a two-piece unit with a hinge seam planted just ahead of the rear glass. The top folds over itself with the roof section nestling neatly inside the rear glass once folded. The rear trunk lid is a trick unit that is hinged to open clamshell style as well as open in the conventional direction for easy access to the trunk. A hard plastic cover folds down into place to fill the gap left behind by the roof pillars. The compromise? To maintain the roof profile the A-pillars are swept back at a pretty aggressive angle, the top of which resides not far from the front passenger’s heads. Rear seat headroom suffers a bit also but not as much as the rear seatback angle to accommodate the roof’s storage.
     In convertible guise little changes in the G6 from the sedan we reviewed. Most dramatic is the evolution of the rear seat to a +2 arrangement instead of the bench seat. Our GTP model came equipped with two-tone leather seating, which we might add were cleverly sculpted and provided ample support. The tan on black color scheme was very attractive but all detested the faux wood trim. It was cheap looking and way out of place. My suggestion: metallic pieces similar to those found on the steering wheel.
     The powertrain is another source of compromise. To keep exhaust noise at a non-intrusive level GM engineers detuned the powertrain to be bit more relaxed in comparison to the coupe. Yes, the badging says GTP but a quick review of the spec sheet will confirm that more than just couple of extra pounds is weighing you down. The 3.9-liter V6 produces 227 hp and 235 lb-ft of torque vs. the coupe’s 240 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. It isn’t a huge deficit but when hauling an extra 449 lbs it is noticeable. Putting the power down is also limited as the current transmission offerings are limited to 4-speed automatics. The marketing department will be quick to point out, however, that it features a manual shift mode. But the car’s relaxed behavior encouraged us to leave it in D.
     What isn’t incredibly noticeable is the exterior differences between coupe, convertible and even the sedan. While the top is up that is. The profile is slightly tighter with the lack of a B-pillar and a slimmer C-pillar. Our crimson red G6 showed the seam lines of the hardtop quite obviously but a dark colored car would not.
     All in all the G6 GTP convertible is there to fulfill a variety of needs. It isn’t top on our list but for $31,990 it is worth a look. The compromises are there but playing with the options and determining your needs and wants will leave you very satisfied with your fun in the sun convertible.

The Good:
Clever trick top, style and affordability.
The Bad:
Engine is detuned and weight is up.
The Verdict:
The G6 provides premium hardtop convertible convenience at an affordable soft-top price.


  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.
You must be logged in to post a comment.