2008 Pontiac Torrent

2008 Pontiac Torrent Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Pontiac Torrent was new.

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable ride
  • Roomy interior, with adequate cargo space
  • High safety scores in government and private crash tests
  • Sub-par driving dynamics
  • Not for off-roading

Research & Ratings

Currently, the Pontiac Torrent has a score of 7.5 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 62 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 7.7
Performance: 6.4
Interior: 6.9
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2008 Pontiac Torrent Overview

Like its Chevrolet Equinox and Saturn VUE siblings, the 2008 Pontiac Torrent is a competent but unexciting option in its segment. Pluses are its exceptional roominess and comfortable ride, but critics find that the Torrent's driving performance doesn't live up to its sporty exterior. Motor Trend says, "For a vehicle meant to generate excitement, the Torrent accomplished the opposite among our judges, drawing criticism for its coarse V-6, unrefined automatic, sloppy handling, and numb steering, the last a result of more play at the helm than in the Queen Mary." The Torrent straddles the line between the compact and midsize SUV classes. While it costs a few thousand more than the smaller RAV4 and CR-V, it's a very low-priced option when compared to midsize competitors such as the Ford Edge and Honda Pilot. Most critics say it offers good value as a family SUV.

The Torrent's V6 engine may be hurting it in the current market.  The Torrent has so far been a sales disappointment for Pontiac.  Its fuel economy, in the bottom half of the small SUV class, may be a major reason why.

The Torrent comes with a standard 3.4-liter V6 engine and optional all-wheel drive. This year, the Pontiac has added a second trim, the GXP, with a more powerful engine and refined suspension system.

  • "The Torrent is among the best of the current crop of compacts..." -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  • "The test model, a front-wheel-drive GXP, retained what we like about the Torrent -- a comfortable interior, nice lines, a general feeling of being 'right-sized,' or big enough to handle most chores, and small enough to be nimble around town." -- Orlando Sentinel
  • "Torrent is basically a nothing-fancy SUV for those who want car-like handling and cargo-toting convenience for something less than an arm and a leg." -- Sacramento Bee

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