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Greetings all. I’m Looking for a little input while I mull over a decision on whether to give up my Mustang GT ‘vert for the power of an ’06 GTO (at the GM employee price).

With the LS2, I feel this is the biggest bang for the buck on the market today.

While some enthusiasts complain about this car’s unremarkable exterior, I can appreciate avoiding the unwanted attention with it’s understated design.


*Since this will be a daily driver, it will see some Michigan winter driving.
How does the GTO handle in snow? How about with a set of winter wheels/tires?

*Premium fuel only?

*Any known quirks with the ’06 I should be aware of?

Thanks all. Looking forward to your comments, and I’ll let you know how it goes.
 

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Well...I'm new to this forum and truthfully I'm a Jap car fan all the way...just can't afford a new acura RL, lexus sc430, or a OMG coveted NSX. I would have gone w/ a g35 coupe but price was also a little outta range. Now, to answer your question regarding the american cars...I had a pontiac grand prix gt before and it was an ok car if you babied it...probably similar build quality to ford. My good friend had his mustang cobra (2), and gt (1) and I'll tell you what...no offense but these cars were crapola. Good engine POOR everything else, no independant rear suspension??? What gives, cheap plastic everywhere in the interior. Now ask yourself this, how many corvettes do you see driving around (the answer should be lots of all years 95+...w/ similar powerplant to GTO), disregard the body since it's fiberglass but for the much smaller amount produced compared to the mustangs I see alot more older ones w/ high miles. The corvette engine/tranny is suposedly great...and I have my own hesitations about buying american. I can tell you that this car's power delivery is much smoother than any mustang I've ever driven, and you won't be like every other guy driving down the road in his GT.
 

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Well, I can't help with the winter driving. I've lived in Michigan, but that was a long time ago, and I've been in TX the whole time while owning my GTO. There are some others who live in the north who can help you with that.

For what it's worth, one complaint I had moving to TX compared to MI was that the roads in MI were made of a better material for traction. When I lived up there, I remember a lot of roads had a coating of small stones on top embedded into the tar. Though the road noise was a bit more with those surfaces, the traction was better too.

Down in TX, the roads are all smooth. So, even though I drove RWD V8 cars in MI--including in winter--I was first thrown by how easy it was for me to lose traction in a bit of rain on TX roads. Keep in mind I had a RWD V8 Thunderbird at this time, not the GTO. I've adapted to the TX roads, but am still thrown by how much you have to baby-drive a RWD car sometimes in light rain on TX roads, as you could get away with a lot more on MI roads.

Now, that said, I've had the V8 T'bird, then a Z28 Camaro. Now that I have the GTO, it holds the roads a LOT better down here than the Tbird or Camaro did. I think the traction control helps a lot. I've not had the rear slip any so far since owning the car, and I've dealt with some rains.

So, that doesn't answer your question entirely, but hopefully it would help a bit. Now some people who live in wintry areas do want to garage their nice car and drive a beater in winter just to keep their nice car nice, but that is a different situation.

The GTO is designed to run on premium fuel. Though you can use lower in a pinch (there is another thread on this forum that contains a quote from the owner's manual, something like 87 is the absolute lowest) it is best to use premium. You may lose mpg by using a lower grade fuel.

The main thing to watch out quirk wise on the 06 is strut rub (do a search for strut rub and you'll find plenty of threads). This is only if you get the 17" tires (245 wide) but if you go with 18" (235 wide) it isn't an issue. It does not affect all 245+ tires, and things like wheel alignments and camber adjustment can prevent it, from what I've read.

All in all, I say test drive one, but only if you are able to buy it at that time should you decide to go for it. The GTO is a bit heavier than the Mustang, but the ride quality should be a lot higher. It also sits a bit higher so you don't need to worry as much about angling the car right on sharp inclines, etc, for fear of scraping bottom. The build quality in this car is above average, and the interior should be better than the Mustang's. It is also a understated car.
 
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