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Pontiac's flagship luxury import fighter, the Bonneville, was the most aggressive front-driver in the GM fleet and the company's warrior against domestic sport sedans, including the Acura Legend, BMW 5-Series, Lexus ES 300, Mazda 929 and Millenia, Nissan Maxima, Toyota Avalon and the MoPar triplets: Chrysler Concorde, Dodge Monaco/Intrepid and Eagle Vision.

Year-to-year changes

1992

Two models of this sport sedan were available: SE and uplevel SSE. On the SE, the blower only came with the Sport Luxury Edition (SLE) package that included a leather interior, rear spoiler and 16-in. tires and wheels.  The SSEi option offered a supercharger on the SSE, in addition to a specific instrument cluster with boost gauge, special badging and speed-rated 16-in. tires. Both models came standard with dual airbags, electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission, air conditioning and antilock brakes.

Standard on SSE and optional on SE were variable-effort power steering, electronic load leveling and the Computer Command Ride handling package. The latter added larger diameter swaybars to the SE, and featured an adjustable dampening system that would automatically switch between three levels of ride firmness depending on driver input and road conditions. Traction control, which used a combination of engine management and braking to limit wheelspin, was an option on both models.

1995

Horsepower was the news for '95, as the standard engine for both models was now the 205-hp Series II V6, which replaced the previous three years' 170-hp version. The supercharger option returned for both models, which would upgrade the V6's output up to 225 horsepower.

1996

A restyling makes Bonneville look more road-hungry than ever, with new grille, front and rear fascias and front fenders. Antilock brakes, dual airbags, electronic load-leveling suspension and Pass-Key II theft-deterrent system are standard on both. A 4-page options list recalls the 1960s when you could really personalize your car in the showroom. Bonneville SE comes with GM's corporate 205-hp 3800 Series II V6, air conditioning, power windows, cruise control, full analog instrumentation and a 55/45-split bench front seat.

The more aggressive SSE includes larger wheels and tires, variable-effort power steering, Computer Command Ride suspension, bucket seats, upgraded interior, automatic climate control and 6-speaker AM/FM/cassette sound system. Both models achieve an impressive 30-mpg highway rating with the standard engine. Each Bonneville has a major upgrade package. The SE can be turned into the Sport Luxury Edition (SLE), which includes bucket seats, floor console, 16-in. 5-spoke aluminum wheels and lower-ratio driveline gearing for quicker acceleration.

The SSE can be turned into a BMW-hunter with the SSEi package, which boosts horsepower to 240 courtesy of a supercharger. An optional head-up display projects vital information onto the windshield.

Retail prices

  • $21,820 (1994 Pontiac Bonneville SE)

As of mid-1994:

  • $20,804 (1995 Pontiac Bonneville SE)
  • $25,804 (1995 Pontiac Bonneville SSE)

As of August 1, 1995:

  • $21,589 (1996 Pontiac Bonneville SE)
  • $26,559 (1996 Pontiac Bonneville SSE)

Shipping prices

  • $575 (1994 models)
  • $585 (1995 models)
  • $590 (1996 models)
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