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The Pontiac GTO is a formidable name in the halls of muscle car history. However, like the Challenge, the name disappeared just to get a modern comeback. Unlike the Dodge Challenger, though, the GTO’s refresh was a sales fail; few seemed enamored with the styling. Still, given a 2006 GTO’s performance bargain status, should you daily one drive? 

What year GTO was the fastest?

Although classics like the 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge were seriously quick in their own time, the fastest GTO is the 2006 model year. The 2006 GTO ended the General Motors refresh of the classic muscle car name. Instead of the large, lazy carbureted V8s of previous models, this one was powered by a 6.0L LS2 V8. As you might expect, that was more than enough to motivate the muscle car. 

The Holden Monaro is proof that you can daily drive a GTO like the 2006 GTO.
The Holden Monaro is almost identical to the GTO | Tim Graham, Getty Images

The 2006 Pontiac GTO could hit 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds, much quicker than a comparable Ford Mustang GT of the day. Furthermore, the last Pontiac muscle coupe was faster than the 5.7L V8-powered GTOs from 2004. According to Hagerty, the original Holden Monaro-based 2004 GTO could hit 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. 

How much horsepower does a GTO have?

The 6.0L-equipped 2006 Pontiac GTO produced 400 horsepower. That’s around 50 more ponies than the 5.7L models. Also, unlike the first retro-styled Dodge Challenger SRT8s, the 2006 Pontiac muscle car offered both an automatic and Tremec six-speed manual transmission. Pair all that horsepower with a limited-slip differential and independent suspension, and you’ve got an affordable performance car with a soundtrack to match.  

A red 2006 GTO is a solid prospect for those looking to daily drive a GTO.
Pontiac GTO | Patrick T. Fallon, Bloomberg via Getty Images

How much is a 2006 Pontiac GTO?

The last year of GTO before the automaker closed its doors is a bonafide performance bargain. According to MotorTrend, the typical retail for an example with average mileage and a clean title is $9,811. Of course, you should expect to pay more for a low-mileage model.  Much like the first S197 Coyote V8-equipped Mustangs, the GTO offers V8 muscle in an affordable coupe. 

Is a 2006 Pontiac GTO a good daily driver?

A Pontiac GTO is a surprisingly effective daily driver. It has 9.0 cubic feet of cargo volume, comparable to a Ford Mustang of the day. Furthermore, with an EPA estimated 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg at highway speeds, it’s more fuel efficient than a comparable Dodge Challenger SRT8. While it might not be as efficient as a modern four-cylinder coupe like a Toyota GR Supra 2.0, it’s a usable package with muscle car credentials.  

The Pontiac GTO went racing, too.
GT TRG Pontiac GTO R during the Grand Am Sports Car Series | Gavin Lawrence, Getty Images

Should you buy a newer GTO?

Granted, car buyers of the time voted on the GTO’s underwhelming styling by buying Ford Mustangs and Dodge Challengers. Also, the lower-mileage Goats cost much more than those with 100,000 miles or more. Additionally, if you want a convertible, you’d be better off shopping for a comparable S197 Ford Mustang. However, if you’re looking for a fun car with V8 power, independent suspension, and an affordable price, you should consider the last of the Goats, the 2006 Pontiac GTO.

Scroll down to the following article to read more about muscle cars like the GTO!


Fastest Pontiac GTOs in History Ranked