Pontiac Torrent

Thanks to the Subaru Outback, the crossover sport-utility vehicle has become a hit that isn't likely to disappear anytime soon. One of the reasons that these types of cars are so popular is because they offer the ability to transport plenty of passengers, while maintaining excellent fuel economy at the same time. The Outback was also sporty and had a certain type of off-road appeal that kept it popular at the dealership for years. Pontiac recently responded by designing and releasing its own version of the crossover sport-utility, called the Pontiac Torrent. Here is a short overview of the Pontiac Torrent and some analysis and recommendation for those of you currently shopping for a crossover.

The Pontiac Torrent is basically a revamped version of the Chevy Equinox, although Pontiac has decided to improve upon the original model. They've stayed true to the original design by offering a size that is large enough for a full passenger load, but still small enough to remain more practical than an SUV. The Torrent's engine is a standard V6 and gets approximately 20 miles per gallon, which isn't great but is still better than its competitor, the SUV, gets on a daily basis. This 3.4 Liter engine is rated at 185 horsepower, which isn't too shabby but still leaves a little bit to be desired.

The Torrent comes with the option of front wheel drive or all wheel drive and comes standard with AC, stereo system, antilock brakes, keyless entry, and 16" wheels. The wheels can be upgraded by an inch to 17" chrome wheels, but you can also choose to upgrade to a DVD system that is sure to please the kids. For those of you that want a stock GPS system and satellite radio, they've also recently added those to the list of available upgrades.

There is plenty of room for passengers and cargo, but in those special circumstances you have the ability to slide the seats and adjust them to fit more of each. The exterior of the vehicle isn't anything fancy, but practices utility over design. The same goes for the interior, which focuses more on being functional than being stylish or sporty. For people looking at a crossover model that is practical and more efficient than a bulky SUV, then this might be the way to go.

The crossover model features about 5 additional miles per gallon than the standard sport utility vehicle and offers just as much room. The only sacrifice you will make is in size, but mostly size of the frame not necessarily storage capability. The Torrent was rated very well in crash tests and as with most Pontiac models comes with a full assortment of airbags. This car is the perfect mix of functional use and fuel efficiency and is priced somewhere between $23,000 and $29,000 depending on the model that you choose. Either way, if you are looking for a cheaper alternative to the Outback, then the Torrent just might be the perfect choice.