I had the pleasure of driving a 2005 Bonneville GXP with 30k today for the first time. I haven't been sold on the GXP because I didn't really think it would drive a whole lot different from my car. Obviously the power would be different, but overall I thought it would just feel like a faster version of my car.
First of all, let me say; the cars are two totally different animals. The GXP, in comparison to my SE, is not only faster, but also handles CONSIDERABLY better. Very minimal body roll and it is much more controlled over bumpy roads. It is literally like night and day, it'* THAT much of a difference. Much much more composed. And maybe it'* me, but ingress and egress are MUCH easier...seems like the car rides higher, or the revised seats sit higher?
The car feels more substantial and heavy, probably because the steering is MUCH more heavy than my artificially overboosted car. The engine is wonderful, with a nice throaty growl and a huge punch. However, I wasn't as impressed with the transmission. I hear alot about GMs transmission prowess (hell, BMW purchases them) and maybe it was just this particular car, but I notice it being very sloppy and you can certainly feel the shifts. It feels identical to my 4T65E...the shifts are very noticeable, and the car shudders.
This sort of angered me, because I was just driving my moms 2007 Ford Taurus, and the shifts are BUTTERY smooth, totally imperceptible. This, on a car costing half as much. Also, I was EXTREMELY unimpressed with the radio. Perhaps the speakers in my SE have been upgraded, but I don't think so. I'm no audiophile...but I am a fan of alot of bass, and the GXP'* Monsoon simply has NO bass at all. I have the mid-level stereo, not the basic one, in my SE and people ALWAYS say "What kind of system do you have?" and I say "it'* stock!" They're stunned at how the bass hits your chest. The bass BOOMS and sounds amazing in my SE, but not the GXP? What gives w/ that?
Overall...I was impressed with the difference between the GXP and lesser Bonnevilles, but I was let down by the lack of attention to detail in a car costing that much when new. Still, a VERY nice vehicle
This is the car they should have built in 2000.