Already successful in Canada (as the Pontiac G3 Wave) and Mexico (as a sedan model), the G3 offers an EPA estimated 27 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway while providing the best shoulder and hip room in the segment for seating five adults.
"The small car segment has literally exploded in recent months, with sales up nearly 33 percent in the first six months of 2008 alone," said Susan Docherty, vice president of Buick-Pontiac-GMC. "With its proven success in other markets, we felt the time was right to bring the G3 into the BPG portfolio for our U.S. customers."
The 2009 G3 will join the all-new 2009 Vibe (32 mpg) and recently enhanced 2009 versions of the G6 sedan (33 mpg) and G5 coupe (37 mpg) in Pontiac's "Over 30" club.
"More than ever, fuel economy is an important factor in Pontiac's formula of style and performance," said Docherty. "The Vibe, G3, G5, and G6 prove that you don't have to sacrifice sporty design and responsive driving to achieve impressive fuel economy."
Generating 106 horsepower (79 kW), the G3's 1.6L Ecotec four-cylinder engine is mated to a five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic transmission. It will also feature an unusually rich mix of standard features for an entry-level car, including air conditioning, a CD/MP3 audio system with auxiliary input jack, fog lamps, rear spoiler, OnStar, and a host of standard safety features, including four airbags, that gain the G3 a five-star frontal crash rating.
Interior space is optimized to comfortably seat five adults, including "theater"-style seating for rear seat passengers. The rear seats also feature a 60/40 split to offer up to 42 cubic feet of cargo space.
The Pontiac G3 will arrive in U.S. showrooms in spring 2009 as a 2009 model and will be backed by GM's five-year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty.