Downside: On the G6-6 Cylinder and G6 GT, the interior trunk lid lacks a vanity cover. So, various steel supports and locator holes are exposed, creating a less-than-attractive sight and adding an air of cheapness where none should exist.

Ride, acceleration and handling: Good marks all around in the G6 GT; good-to-excellent marks in the prototype G6 GTP. The G6-6 Cylinder is quite ordinary in every respect.

Head-turning quotient: A very nice exterior for the three models I played with. The interior in all three models is attractive -- but more so in the GT and GTP.

Body style, layout: The G6 GT and G6-6 Cylinder are front-engine, front-wheel-drive sedans with traditional trunks. Trunk-mounted release levers can be used to flip the rear seats forward for more cargo space.

Engines/transmissions: The standard G6 engine is a 3.5-liter V-6 that develops 200 horsepower at 5,600 revolutions per minute and 220 foot-pounds of torque at 3,200 revolutions per minute. The engine is linked to a standard four-speed automatic transmission that can also be operated manually. The GTP will get a 240-horsepower V-6 and a six-speed manual transmission.

Safety: Four-wheel disc brakes; anti-lock system and traction control standard on GT and optional on 6 Cylinder; dual-stage front air bags; seat belts (use them). Side bags are optional.

Capacities: The G6 sedans have seating for five people. Trunk capacity is 14 cubic feet. The cars can be equipped to tow up to 1,000 pounds. The fuel tank holds 16 gallons of recommended regular unleaded gasoline.

Mileage: I averaged 25 miles per gallon in city/highway driving in the G6 GT.

Price: The base G6-6 Cylinder starts at $21,300. The G6 GT starts at $23,925. No pricing yet available for the G6 GTP, coupe or convertible. The tested GT came with $2,000 in options and a $625 destination charge, taking its total price to $26,550. Estimated dealer's invoice price with those options and destination charge is $24,000. Pricing sources include Pontiac and

Purse-strings note: The G6 GT is a buy. People interested in the base G6-6 Cylinder would be better off buying the new Chevrolet Cobalt instead.