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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off, a Grand Am is no BMW and is far from it and a comparison is not the subject of my thread. What I noticed once I was back in my 325ci which was in the shop for over a week and had a door ding fixed and a new hood and paint. I found some new appreciation for my car and some dissapointment. The first thing is the huge gap between a 20k car and a $36k car.

The first thing getting back in my car was the ergonomics of it. Where I felt awkward in the rental with a gauge cluster on the pontiac that looked like the cluster designers were in a strip joint and some woman put her @ss in his face and he was imagining butt cheeks for a cluster. The seats were horrible and no good position. It was either straight back or lounging and nothing inbetween. The interior was the cheapest plastic you could find with mouldings falling off and broken all over the place. My 325 was like a nice pair of leather gloves when I got back in the seat. The steering and handling was the biggest difference I noticed. My BMW was like butter on the road and turning didn't have me falling out of my seat like the Pontiac.

The biggest dissapointment was the absolute lack of power in my car? The pontiac seemed to lack the electronic gizmo throttle by wire and adaptive transmission and when you pressed the gas, the car went. My 325ci, it seems like the gas peddle is there for looks. They might as well have a "go" button instead of a peddle. I mashed the gas to the floor in my 325 and I was wondering what happened. Maybe my peddle is broken or my tranny cable is loose but there is no power. The power difference between a 195 HP car and my 184 HP is just to great. I was thinking there must be something wrong with my car. Granted my car sat for over a week and took probably 25 miles of driving before a tiny bit of the power returned. But I was absolutely stunned that my car simply refused to move when you press the gas. The pontiac was all giddy-up and my car was the old shoe horse. The pontiac I floored the car "front wheel drive" and the wheels just keep spinning all the way down the road until you let off the gas and they caught pavement. My car, floor it, and it slowly accelerates. :banghead: So my next service I'm going to have them check the step tranny cable. It might be lose or something because it can't be that my car is so slow with only a 10hp diff compared to a Pontiac. I like my car but it seriously needs a kick in the rear, it's just to slow on the low end.
 

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Remember that the "feeling" of acceleration is ruled by torque and not hp. Torque is the amount of instantaneous kick that you'll get at a given speed.

My Grand Cherokee kicks much harder than my M3 from a stoplight due to the low end torque. But of course it isn't faster over any appreciable distance.
 

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Also keep in mind that it's a lot easier to make the wheels spin in a front wheel drive car because the weight transfers to the back. You might feel like it's more powerfull because it peels out but it's just an illusion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The pontiac is in the high 180's in torque

Yes you are correct.

There still is a lack of pedle feel in my car. Unfortunately the pontiac in the entire RPM range was faster than my car. I believe it does 0-60 in aroudn 7.1 seconds compared to my steptronic in 8.1. Oh I'm sure at speeds of 90-135 MPH my car would smoke a Grand Am but where you going to drive that fast.


Hota said:
Remember that the "feeling" of acceleration is ruled by torque and not hp. Torque is the amount of instantaneous kick that you'll get at a given speed.

My Grand Cherokee kicks much harder than my M3 from a stoplight due to the low end torque. But of course it isn't faster over any appreciable distance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That only works in your 330 not my 325.

In order to do what you descibe on the 325, I have to torque brake the car meaning apply brakes and press the gas so that launch happens at a higher RPM. Also DSC has to be off.


ak330i said:
to spin the wheel and feel the kick, try turning off DSC. just don't do it on wet roads
 

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I had a rental Grand Am for a week on a business trip and thought it was pretty crappy. It was very comfortable to drive as I figured out after some long freeway drives, but the interior materials and fit and finish as well as the handling was horrible! Talk about some torque steer!! On some on and off ramps, I could turn the wheel into the turn and then step on the gas and basically just let go of the steering wheel! It would keep turning! It does have some decent "kick" off the line if you can keep the wheels from spinning, but I think it also seems a little faster because it's such a rough ride and it's louder than our cars.
 

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ak330i said:
to spin the wheel and feel the kick, try turning off DSC. just don't do it on wet roads
the only way to spin the tires with step is in wet road
 

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the pontiac has mechanical linkage for the gas pedal- no computer to get in between you and the car- also american cars are geared and enginered for torque- american cars are shadows of what they used to be- a 60's big block muscle car would be 1000 times more thrilling than any e46- and worth more than one by now too....
 

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love getting back in my car after driving anything other than bimmer.... feels just SO solid and responsive. makes me apreciate the car so much more :thumbup:
 

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If you think your car is slow, first why the hell did you get Step if you wanted a faster car. Second why don't you do somethign about it.
 

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Why don't you have the dealer check out the sticky throttle issue that so many have complained about?
Also, it's common to have manufacturers place most of the throttle feel in the early part of the peddle depression. It gives the impression that the car is more powerful during a test drive. You give it a little gas, and your like, "whoa". People rarely floor it during a demo. However, after you buy it and you do floor it, you realize that halfway and all the way are the same. You were at WOT already and there's nothing more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
One word

Wifey.


Also the problem with doing something about it is the F'ing damn dealers :ben: and their "well we test drove it and didn't find anything". What I need to do is get the car on a dyno and see what my bottom line numbers are. The issue is I simply haven't had time. I had to take the car in several times for other problems and it just came out of the body shop for almost two weeks for some simple repairs.

I've heard Curry's in Chantilly is the best and they now have a new dyno there. They were actually on Pat Gosses radio show recently and recieved his endorsement. It would probably be worth it for them to put it on the dyno and do a diagnostic to find the problem rather than getting the lame shiat from service reps who think all your car problems are in your head.

tpzblu330ci said:
If you think your car is slow, first why the hell did you get Step if you wanted a faster car. Second why don't you do somethign about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
yeah I forgot to mention the torque steer. Horrible

I turned and let go of the wheel and you have to physically pull it back. Scary when doing a fast sharp right or left turn.

Dre325 said:
I had a rental Grand Am for a week on a business trip and thought it was pretty crappy. It was very comfortable to drive as I figured out after some long freeway drives, but the interior materials and fit and finish as well as the handling was horrible! Talk about some torque steer!! On some on and off ramps, I could turn the wheel into the turn and then step on the gas and basically just let go of the steering wheel! It would keep turning! It does have some decent "kick" off the line if you can keep the wheels from spinning, but I think it also seems a little faster because it's such a rough ride and it's louder than our cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Actually you might be on to something.

At first when I heard about this issue, I though it wasn't happening to me. But since I got my car back I notice that at whatever position the gas is in the car goes to same speed. Hmm this might be the phantom fast one day and slow the next that I've complainted of for almost two years now. I have to search the archives for info on what the TSB's to refer the dealer to.

AlexRDI330ci said:
Why don't you have the dealer check out the sticky throttle issue that so many have complained about?
Also, it's common to have manufacturers place most of the throttle feel in the early part of the peddle depression. It gives the impression that the car is more powerful during a test drive. You give it a little gas, and your like, "whoa". People rarely floor it during a demo. However, after you buy it and you do floor it, you realize that halfway and all the way are the same. You were at WOT already and there's nothing more.
 

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..

from the looks of this thread and previous posts it looks like you're really unhappy with the performance of your car. Since your car worth a pretty decent amount, I wouldnt consider trading it in for something that might be a bit more quick and responsive. There are many cars in your price range that would work. It just seems like your looking for something in your car that simply isnt there and wont be unless serious measures are taken.
 

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Wow what a coincidence. I had a loaner Grand Am on Friday. It sucked arse!!! The interior felt so cheap...like a 99 cent store. When I got my car back (the same day!! WOW!), the thing felt so powerful and smooth. :drool:
 
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