Safety enhancements highlight some of the Torrent's most noteworthy changes for 2007. Standard items now include GM's StabiliTrak electronic stability control system, front and rear disc brakes, and a tire-pressure-monitoring system. Newly available are rollover detection sensors for the head curtain side-impact air bags and a Passenger Sensing System for the dual-stage frontal driver and passenger air bags.
Pontiac introduced the Torrent last year as a replacement for the Aztek crossover. This 5-passenger compact crossover utility vehicle shares the same platform and 112.5-inch wheelbase as the Chevrolet Equinox, and together they represent the segment's leaders when it comes to size. The Torrent is available in two models, designated by drive systems. Both the front-wheel-drive model and the all-wheel-drive model are equipped with the same engine-a 3.4-liter 60-degree V-6 that delivers 185 hp and 210 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine is coupeed to a 5-speed automatic transmission with multiple shift schedules that adapt to varied load conditions. Maximum towing capacity is 3,500 pounds. The powertrain is backed by GM's new 5-year/100,000-mile limited warranty.
The Torrent comes with a healthy list of standard equipment such as power locks and windows, remote keyless entry, a lift gate defogger and washer/wiper, and a convenient flat-folding front passenger seat to accommodate long cargo items. Added to the list of standards for 2007 is an electronic Driver Information Center. Pontiac is also offering a new Preferred Package option for 2007 that includes added luxuries like remote starting, a 6-way power driver seat adjuster, cloth seat trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and cruise control. Revamped audio systems with MP3 player input jacks are also available now, as is a navigation system and a rear-seat entertainment system. Customers wanting to trick out their Torrent with specialized gear can choose from 19 different aftermarket items, available through GM Accessories. These include items like tubular step assists and an interior trim kit.
The Pontiac Torrent competes in the Compact Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) segment, which consists of 20 models. Buyers in this segment look for fuel economy, reliability, and comfort, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SM
The top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the Honda CR-V (170,028 units sold), Ford Escape (157,395), and Toyota RAV4 (152,047). The Pontiac Torrent sold 43,174 units in 2006, an increase of 319 percent compared to the previous year. Other models offered in the Compact CUV segment include the Chrysler PT Cruiser, Chevrolet Equinox and HHR, Saturn Vue, and Scion xB. Joining the segment in 2007 are two Jeep models-the Compass and Patriot, and the Kia Rondo.