Oppo Review: Pontiac Bonneville SSEi

You know what’s good? The Buick 3800. Also, forced induction. And torque vectoring. And leather. And heads-up displays. And sunroofs. Fortunately for humanity, the Pontiac Bonneville SSEi exists and has all of these things. And fortunately for me, I get to drive one on a regular basis.


This 2002 Bonnie has 166k on the clock but runs like a top. Here’s how it breaks down:

Looks (8/10)

There isn’t much to say here: the Bonneville is a pretty attractive car. The random creases on the side are a bit much and I’m not huge on the tail-lights, but for the most part it’s an attractive, unobtrusive design. Doesn’t look bloated or unnecessary, and I adore the wheels.

Interior (7/10)


I’m going to break this down further: For comfort and build quality the interior is a solid 8. Roughly the same as my Buick, but the bolsters on the seats are glorious and cup my back in just the right way.


As for looks, though... no. This interior is honestly hideous. It’s an air vent bukkake mixed in with hideous grey (!?!?!) switchgear that looks like someone grayscaled a children’s toy and threw it at the dashboard. No.

Audio (7/10)

The radio and speakers were nothing to phone home about, but the supercharger whine... dear god. I could listen to that forever.


Engine (8/10)


After driving my 4cyl Honda Civic around it was really weird being in a car with such a slow revving engine. Even weirder was the torque and how damned fast the speedometer was rising. This engine has torque, more torque, and then when you feel like you need some, it has even more torque. And this is all accompanied by the in-dash boost gauge (factory boost gauge!!!) rising to 10 (this one doesn’t go to eleven, sadly).

Transmission (6/10)

Meh. It’s a GM 4t65e. Whatever. No tapshift = no care.

Handling (7/10)

Meh. Better than my Buick, better than my Civic, but not fantastic. Surprisingly good for how enormous this car is.


Toys (7/10)

The heads up display is nifty, and the DIC in Pontiacs is pretty cool, showing you a top-down view of the car. And, of course, there’s a boost gauge and power leather seats. Other than that, not a whole lot.


Total (50/70)

This is a pretty solid car. Would car. Yes car. Very fun. Would drive moar. Too lazy to properly finish review.


Jake works at a buy-here-pay-here dealership in the ghetto of Wichita, Kansas. Sometimes he gets bored and reviews the cars at work when he should be doing work. This drivel is the result.

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