The Pontiac G6, introduced in 2005, marked a significant moment for Pontiac enthusiasts as it aimed to blend style, performance, and affordability into one sleek package. In its debut year, it showcased a fresh design, offering consumers a compelling alternative in the midsize sedan market. Built by the General Motors Company, the G6 replaced the Grand Am before being discontinued after the 2010 model year.
While the Pontiac G6 was a good vehicle during its time, there are some years you should avoid. We ranked the best and worst years of the G6 and put the main points in the table below. Later in the article, we review the midsize sedan’s graphs, diagnostic trouble codes, and safety recalls.
Pontiac G6 Engine Reliability Score, Safety Ratings, MPG, and Value v.s. Maintenance & Repair Costs – Year by Year
In the following section, we look closer at the chart presenting the FIXD and Owner Reliability scores for the Pontiac G6. Our primary consideration when ranking the Pontiac G6’s best and worst years is its reliability.
We gather data from FIXD devices installed in Pontiac G6 sedans to generate an objective score, which we represent graphically as the FIXD Reliability Score. Additionally, we compile owner survey responses to create a subjective score, graphed as the Owner Reliability Score.
In most cases, the initial year of a generation tends to receive a lower reliability score than the subsequent years. This phenomenon arises because introducing new advancements brings about new issues that require rectification. Although this isn’t obvious in the G6 due to only one generation, there is an increase in reliability from the first year of 2005 to the final year, 2010.
Following our analysis of a car’s reliability, we examine the safety ratings of the Pontiac G6 by referencing data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). We then graph these safety ratings alongside the average safety rating of the automotive industry. Subsequently, we create a graphical representation of the average miles per gallon for the Pontiac G6 using data obtained from fueleconomy.gov. Finally, we utilize information gathered from owner surveys to determine the annual average market value from Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and the yearly cost of maintenance and repairs for each specific year.
After the graphs, we review each model year of the Pontiac G6, the most common diagnostic trouble codes (DTC), and the number of safety recalls.
The Pontiac G6 was famous for its affordability and exciting features, but other cars are worth considering. The Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Chevrolet Malibu, and Ford Fusion are all mid-size sedans worth exploring if you’re considering a used Pontiac G6.
If you’re in the market for a car, take a look at our article on the USA’s most reliable and cheapest to repair cars in the U.S. Don’t get stuck with a lemon, use our data to help you shop.
Engine Reliability Score – Over The Years
We use reliability to rank the Pontiac G6. We’ve devised two unique scores using our exclusive data, making it easy to compare. Both scores use the same scale: 1 is the worst, 5 is the average, and 10 is the best rating.
The first score is the FIXD Reliability Score, represented by the green line on the graph. We calculated this score by tracking the number of check engine lights (CEL) reported by our app users and dividing it by the number of cars. We then weighted the score based on the average mileage for that specific model year submitted by owners.
The second score, the Owner Reliability Score (gray line), comes from surveys taken by Pontiac G6 owners. These surveys capture their firsthand experience and provide subjective opinions on reliability. We translated these responses into numerical scores. For more details on the question asked and our methodology for determining this score, please refer to the note about data and information section located at the bottom of this article.
Older vehicles are typically less reliable due to the wear and tear they experience. While the Pontiac G6 was only produced for six years, the newest model year is 13 years old when writing this. Therefore, the lower reliability scores aren’t a major surprise.
Additionally, the FIXD Reliability Score is lower than the Owner Reliability Score of the Pontiac G6 yearly. A car’s reliability is often worse than an owner might want to believe. We hypothesize that owners of older models slowly become accepting of higher-than-average check engine lights being thrown because they have owned the car for a long time. They are either a frog in a pot of boiling water, not realizing the car is deteriorating slowly and getting worse. OR they simply haven’t compared the reliability of their older model to the often newer and more reliable models of today.
Loyalty to an older vehicle may also affect the Owner’s Reliability Scores. If a car has lasted 20 years, it would be immensely reliable in the owner’s eyes, even if it had to have repairs and triggered many CELs along the way.
NHTSA Safety Score – Over The Years
The average safety rating of the Pontiac G6 is graphed with a green line. The average safety rating of the automotive industry is graphed in gray.
The G6 is a safe vehicle, being above average for all years except its debut and almost getting a perfect 5/5 in 2008 and 2009. Its lowest score is 4.2 out of 5 stars for the 2005 model, while the highest is 4.8 out of 5 stars for the 2008 and 2009 models.
The G6’s safety ratings are comparable to the Toyota Camry, which was 4.2 in 2005-2006 and 4.8 in 2007-2010.
Having a good safety rating can help you get cheaper car insurance. If you live in one of the states listed below, we can show you the cheapest vehicles to insure in yours.
|What Used Cars Are the Cheapest To Insure In:|
MPG – Over The Years
The combined average miles per gallon for all trims of the Pontiac G6 is graphed with a light green line above.
In 2009 and 2010, there was a flex-fuel option. The average fuel economy for the flex-fuel G6 is graphed with a dark green line.
While the fuel economy isn’t overly impressive, it is comparable to other midsize sedans through the same period, such as the Chevrolet Malibu. The G6’s average fuel economy is consistently above 20 mpg, fluctuating between 21-23 mpg during its six years of production. The flex-fuel G6 has an average of 16-17 miles per gallon.
Current Market Value of All Pontiac G6 Years & Cost Per Year to Repair and Maintain Each
We used owner surveys and KBB.com to graph the current market value and the average annual repairs and maintenance costs. The market value is in green, while repair costs are in gray.
Newer vehicles usually have a higher market value than older ones because they are usually driven less miles. This is overall true for the G6, except for in 2007. The 2007 model year is worth less ($2,610) than the older 2006 ($2,902) because there are an average of 163,889 miles on a 2007 model and an average of 132,143 miles on a 2006.
The average cost of repairs and maintenance is reasonable for a car 13-18 years old. The average for all years of the Pontiac G6 is $516, while the 2005 and 2010 both report only $250 a year. The highest is $694 per year in the 2007 model.
When shopping for a used Pontiac G6, it’s important to keep in mind that not all vehicles are cared for equally. To protect yourself from lemons, take along a FIXD Sensor on your test drive. FIXD connects to a free app on your smartphone to tell you more about the vehicle you’re checking out, including check engine lights and other hidden issues that the owner or dealership may be attempting to hide. Click here to learn more and get FIXD for only $19.99 (regular price $59)!
Important Features Timeline
2005: G6 replaces the Grand Am, released with a 3.5-liter V6 with 200 horsepower
2006: New body styles, two-door couple and hard top convertible
2007: Increased horsepower in the GTP trim, side curtains available in more trim levels
2008: Side curtain airbags and antilock brake system become standard in all trims
2009: Satellite radio becomes standard, base model gets six-speed automatic transmission and a fuel economy boost
2010: Last year of the G6, power lumbar seats become standard in all trims
The Best Years of the Pontiac G6
We consider the FIXD Reliability Score, Owner Reliability Score, safety ratings, and annual repair costs to rank the best years of the Pontiac G6. Additionally, we review the prevalence of common DTCs and safety recalls for each model year.
The 2010 Pontiac G6 only has one response, but we have enough information to group it with the 2009 model year. Based on the listed criteria, these are the only two model years we can confidently say are the best of the G6.
FIXD Reliability Score: 4/10
Owner Reliability Score: 6-10/10
KBB Value: $3,991-$4,703
Fuel Economy: 22-23 mpg(Gas), 17 mpg(E85)
Annual Maintenance/Repair: $250-$583
Safety Rating: 4.6-4.8/5
The 2009-2010 Pontiac G6 is the best year of the midsize sedan due to its reliability scores, good safety ratings, and low annual cost of repairs. Although we only had one response to owner surveys for the 2010 model year, we grouped it with the 2009 model year based on the other metrics.
The FIXD Reliability Score for the 2009 and 2010 G6 is 4/10. The Owner Reliability Score for the 2009 model year is 6/10.
The NHTSA safety rating for the 2009 G6 is 4.8 out of 5 stars, while the 2010 received 4.6 out of 5. The score is above the industry average and better than the 2009-2010 Honda Accord, which has a 4.4/5 safety rating.
The average repair costs for the 2009 Pontiac G6 are $583, just a little above average. This is a small price for a 14-year-old vehicle with an average of 141,667 miles.
The top DTC for the 2009 G6 and the second most common for 2010 is P0128, which means a bad engine coolant thermostat ($477-$512). The next most common in 2009 is P0420, which might require a catalytic converter replacement ($1,538-$2,041). The third most common in the 2009 Pontiac G6 is P0455, which means “System Gross Leak Evaporative System Malfunction” and is usually caused by a loose gas cap.
The most common DTC in the 2010 Pontiac G6 is P0449, Evaporative System (EVAP) Vent Circuit Control Malfunction. The potential causes and repairs include:
- Gas Cap ($20-$60)
- EVAP Line ($20-$100)
- EVAP Vent Control Valve ($150-$200)
- Purge Volume Control Valve ($150-$200).
Lastly, P0010 appears, meaning “Intake Camshaft Actuator Circuit Open/Short (Bank 1).” The possible repairs are:
- VVT Control Solenoid ($500-$600)
- Wiring repair/replacement ($100-$1000)
- Camshaft position sensor ($120-$300)
- Crankshaft position sensor ($190-$250)
- Timing chain or belt replacement ($200-$1000).
The Worst Years of the Pontiac G6
We again use the FIXD and Owner Reliability Score, safety ratings, and annual repair costs to rank the worst years of the Pontiac G6 from worst to the “best of the worst.” We also go over recalls and common DTCs in the worst years. These cars are less reliable, have lower safety ratings, and have higher annual repair costs.
FIXD Reliability Score: 1-3/10
Owner Reliability Score: 7-8/10
KBB Value: $2,584-$2,902
Fuel Economy: 21-22 mpg
Annual Maintenance/Repair: $250-$536
Safety Rating: 4.2-4.6/5
The 2005 and 2006 models are the worst years of the Pontiac G6. The debut year of the midsize sedan has low-reliability scores and lower safety ratings than other years of the vehicle.
The FIXD Reliability Score is 1/10 for the 2006 model and 3/10 for the 2005. The Owner Reliability Score is 7/10 for the 2005 G6 and 8/10 for the 2006 G6.
The safety rating in the 2005 Pontiac G6 is 4.2 out of 5 stars and is the only year below the industry average. The safety rating for the 2006 model year is a great improvement, at 4.6/5. This safety rating fares better than the 4/5 the 2006 Ford Fusion received.
Repair costs are reasonable for a car almost twenty years old, at only $250 annually for the 2005 G6 and $536 for the 2006 Pontiac G6. These average miles are 150,000 and 13,143, respectively.
The top DTC for the 2005 G6 is P0102, Mass or Circuit Airflow (MAF) Circuit Low Voltage Input. This engine light can be connected to a dirty air filter ($50-$70), a bad MAF sensor ($220-$320), or a bad catalytic converter ($1,538-2,049). Another common code in the 2005 model year is P0742, which is related to the automatic transmission ($2,5828-$3,045).
The most common code in the 2006 Pontiac G6 is P0128, related to the engine coolant thermostat ($477-$512). Another frequent appearance is code P0401, Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Flow Insufficient Detected. The common fixes to repair this engine light are the EGR valve ($332-$413) or a vacuum leak ($90-$125).
The 2005 Pontiac G6 has six recalls, four investigations, and 670 complaints. 452 of the complaints are about the steering, and two out of six recalls are related to the issues. The 2006 Pontiac G6 has seven recalls, four investigations, and an impressive 1,877 complaints. There are 1,193 complaints about steering.
FIXD Reliability Score: 3/10
Owner Reliability Score: 7-9/10
KBB Value: $2,610-$3,934
Fuel Economy: 21 mpg
Annual Maintenance/Repair: $550-$694
Safety Rating: 4.6-4.8/5
The “best of the worst” year of the Pontiac G6 is the 2007-2008 model. This model saw the introduction of a GTP trim with increased horsepower. It also saw the issue of standard side airbags and antilock brakes.
The FIXD Reliability Score for the 2007-2008 G6 is 3/10. The Owner Reliability Score is 7/10 for the 2008 model year and an impressive 9/10 for the 2007 G6.
Overall, the Pontiac G6 has a great NHTSA safety rating, with the 2007 model year receiving a 4.6/5 and 2008 getting 4.8/5. The 2007-08 Toyota Camry received a 4.8/5 in both years.
The 2007 and 2008 model years are both above the average annual repair costs of $516. It costs owners $694 yearly to repair and maintain the 2007 G6 and $550 for the 2008. 2007 These vehicles still on the road have an average of 163,889 miles, while 2008 models have an average of 133,333 miles.
The top DTC for the 2007 Pontiac G6 and the second most popular in the 2008 is P0420. P0420 is usually a bad catalytic converter ($1,538-$2,049). The next most common in the 2007 model year is P0300, often a throttle body ($$321-$460). The third most common DTC in the 2007 and 2008 G6 is P0171. To take care of P0171, replace the MAF sensor ($172-$309). The top code in the 2008 G6 is P0128, which might require an engine coolant thermostat ($477-$512).
The 2007 Pontiac G6 has five recalls, three investigations, and 1,204 complaints. The 2008 G6 has five recalls, two investigations, and 1,058 complaints. Almost half of these complaints are about steering issues.
Our sources show that the 2007-2010 Pontiac G6 has DTCs that concern the catalytic converter, an expensive engine repair. The 2005 G6 has an engine code that warrants an automatic transmission repair. The 2005 model year also has a higher percentage of $500+ repairs belonging to the engine.
Every model year of the Pontiac G6 has a recall to fix a detached transmission shift cable.
The average number of miles on a Pontiac G6 is 131,576. High mileage on a Pontiac G6 is anything 181,576 miles or above. Our data shows the highest average is 163,889 miles on the 2007 Pontiac G6. The 2010 Pontiac G6 has the lowest average miles at 125,000.
High mileage in a vehicle is also influenced by age and the number of miles it has covered. For instance, a 5-year-old car with 120,000 miles may be perceived as having high mileage, whereas a 10-year-old car with the same mileage would not raise the same red flags.
Several other mid-size sedans stand out when considering alternatives to a used Pontiac G6. The Toyota Camry, known for its enduring reliability and excellent fuel efficiency, offers a smooth and dependable ride. Its practicality aligning closely with the Pontiac G6 makes it a strong contender for those seeking a sensible choice. Similarly, the Honda Accord combines reliability with a comfortable interior and impressive resale value, making it a worthy competitor.
The Ford Fusion presents a compelling choice for those interested in American-made options. Its stylish design and the availability of a potent V6 engine offer a blend of aesthetics and performance. Another noteworthy contender is the Chevrolet Malibu, a competitive mid-size sedan option for those seeking a balance between style and practicality in their used car purchase.
What owners of the Pontiac G6 like to use their car for:
Owners responded to the question “What do you use your car for?” on an owner’s survey. 50% of Pontiac G6 owners use their car as a family vehicle, while 36% use it for traveling or a long commute. Only 5% of owners use their G6 for sport or fast driving and 4% for luxurious driving. 2% responded that they use their vehicle for hauling/towing, and another 2% use the G6 as an office on wheels. Lastly, 1% claim to use their Pontiac G6 for outdoor or off-road driving.
|Frequent Use Categories:||How Useful? (Out of 5 Stars)|
|Lots of Driving (travel/long commute)||****|
|Office on Wheels||*|
A Note About Data and Information Sources
This article has many details about Pontiac G6 reliability; here’s what we used for our assumptions and recommendations.
- FIXD Reliability Score & Data: Engine reliability information is captured via the FIXD App.
The FIXD Reliability Score is calculated using the number of DTCs per year, weighted by mileage. This is then turned into a scale of 1-10 for easy graphing.
This is an objective score.
- Owner Reliability Score & Data: This data is the result of surveying Pontiac G6 owners who use FIXD.
The Owner Reliability Score comes straight from owners of the Pontiac G6.
This is a subjective score.
To determine the Owner Reliability Score we ask each car owner:
How reliable would you say your Pontiac G6 is?
a. Just point A to point B driving
b. A Daily Commuter
c. Good for a 100 mile road trip
d. Good for a 500 mile road trip
e. I could take a cross-country road trip, no problem
From here we translate their answers into the Owner Reliability Score:
a. = 2
b. = 4
c. = 6
d. = 8
e. = 10
Keep in mind, owners may think their car is more or less reliable than it actually is.
One potential problem is that people often buy the same make or model they are used to when they go car shopping, just a newer year.
Ford, for instance, has a number of consumer loyalty awards for the Ford F-Series, Ford Mustang, and Ford Expedition.
Car owners may be so loyal to the make or model they currently own that they would have trouble accurately comparing their cars’ reliability to others.
It’s for this reason that we ask car owners a question that is relative to mileage rather than relative to other cars.
Still, be mindful of the accuracy of these Owner Reliability Scores, people’s perceptions and unconscious blindspots can skew data.
We suggest looking at both the FIXD Reliability Score and the Owner Reliability Score for this reason.
- KBB Value: Average private-seller valuations as supplied by Kelley Blue Book (KBB), based on a Pontiac G6 with typical mileage for that respective model year.
- Fuel Economy: Mileage-per-gallon estimates according to the EPA MPG on Fueleconomy.gov
- Annual Maintenance/Repair: Upkeep expenses as reported by surveyed Pontiac G6 owners
- Safety Rating: Crash test data collected and reported by NHTSA. We average all ratings for each year to come up with a simplified, average safety score. This makes it easier to look at on a graph.
Keith Rollins is a copywriter and author that has been involved in the automotive industry for over 12 years. He has written for hotcars.com and is featured on Copywriting.org. When he’s not writing he’s spending time with his three kids, hiking, working on cars, or running. You can see his work at keithrrollins.com.