Performing admirably under normal conditions, standard brakes have to work hard on panic stops. Result: long distances.
A top comfort option that made things especially pleasant for us was Pontiac's new automatic temperature control, used with their air-conditioning system. We had only to set it and forget it. Whenever we pushed the on button, the unit automatically brought the temperature up or down to our predetermined setting and kept it there regardless of the outside temperature. Just like the Cadillac's, this system is about the simplest and best available today.
All Pontiacs use the same basic brake setup, although options are available for stronger stopping. Since the Bonneville uses the same brakes but weighs more than our other test cars, the binders had more work to do. Normal driving found them perfectly smooth and adequate, but after hard use during our performance testing at Fontana drag strip, we noticed some pedal pressure build-up of the power-assisted unit. Our maximum-effort stops from 30 and 60 mph brought out some rear-wheel lockup, which was hard to control or unlock. Stops were relatively straight, but they seemed overly long. We'd order the aluminum hub and drum option that allows quicker cooling.
Naturally, Bonneville owners can choose Pontiac's endless lists of options and accessories, but in standard form, we found it a most pleasant automobile. Quiet and smooth, comfortable and controllable, it excelled admirably for a car of its proportions and weight. And it wasn't overly thirsty for gas. The Bonneville ranged from 10.2 mpg of premium fuel in the city to 14.9 mpg at cruising speeds not bad for an Indian chief that pampers its passengers in the highest degree.