With any vehicle, car, truck, doesn't matter, regular maintenance is key. Buying a car off of a mechanic that he's owned for years is often the worst purchase. The mechanic hears a noise, says he knows what it is, and keeps on driving it knowing it won't cause immediate harm and thus the repair can wait. Often people don't realize the symptoms of a dragging caliper unless they've dealt with it first hand, or to know to check the oil after a long drive, if they're only used to driving short distances and put checking the fluids low on the priority list.
99% of parts are shared between manufacturers. In terms of brakes, rotors and pads differ in size, but the material is made up of similar compounds. Taking into account vehicle weight, where GM vehicles are often lighter for their size when compared to Ford or Dodge. This is often offset by larger braking surface so the 60-0mph braking remains on par with the competition in the respective size class.
Problems with my 2006 G6 GT since new include:
1. speaker failure, screw wasn't fastened securely at the factory, dealer needed 3 days to repair due to the sound system work being outsourced by a third party.
2. Sloppy steering, first noticed in 2010 with not even 30K miles on the car. Steering wouldn't return to centre either. Dealer replaced electric motor and it was fine until 2012, but then the heft increased when turning the wheel.
3. Stitching came out of the back seat below the cushion by the foot area after the initial warranty. I left it alone as the back seat isn't used much.
4. Panel to the right of the drivers footwell came loose (velcro decided to stop working) and no longer adhere's to the side of the console area so I now keep the piece in the trunk. I tried to tape it but it seems in the winter months, the excess heat from the floor vents makes the tape come right off.
5. Transmission manual shift. Was told I need a whole new TCM to be able to shift manually. Noticed it around 2010 when out for a Sunday drive. Put it into manual mode at a stop, started to accelerate, attempted to shift, and it wouldn't shift out of first gear. This is one of the few things that drew me to the GT model - and now it doesn't function without spending four figures on a repair (Canadian prices eh).
Again, I don't look at brakes, tires, shocks, etc, as to derate a vehicles performance because of abnormal wear. All drivers are different and my G6 has 4 different drivers using it throughout the week. I do most of the maintenance myself, within reason, and as the car primarily sees city driving having a set of brakes that last 50K miles is fairly decent for constant stop and go driving. It's also good to note that each year traffic indeed gets worse, congestion builds, adding the wear and tear to a vehicle.
As long as you follow the fluid change intervals, or the scheduled maintenance guide, the vehicle should last you quite a while before a major component gives you trouble. Changing fluids before they are due to get changed will increase the reliability of the vehicle. However, after saying that, I often go two years on an oil change with my 3.5L GT. I run Amsoil full synthetic, and the car only sees 8-10K miles a year - if that. After a full year, I analyzed the oil and it came back with 71% life remaining with no real signs of metal or minerals in the oil. So not only is my engine still tight, but I can go another year on the oil saving costs. After the last oil change, just shy of two full years, I still had 32% oil life remaining and all metals were still well within the safe operating limitations.
My old Dodge 5.9L ate oil, and it needed a change every 4K miles due to blow by contamination in the oil. My old 3.0L V6 in the '99 Taurus was a tight engine as well, but as I drove it more it needed an oil change at the 20K mile mark and I had to shorten it as the miles piled on due to wear and tear. managed to get 328K miles out of that car.
My current distance cruiser, 200 3.6L, also only gets one oil change a year as it's still under its powertrain warranty so I have to abide by the yearly change interval through Amsoil - who has their own warranty.
To put things into persective. My 3 year old 200 has had almost as many problems as the G6 has in a time period three times longer.
1. Power passenger seat adjustment motor failed. Dealer replaced under warranty.
2. Instrument cluster back light continuously flashing when on. Multiple visits, over a week at the dealer in total for two full cluster replacements and one electronic module replacement that controlled the LED back lights.
3. Harsh transmission shifts, would sometimes downshift 2-3 gears at a time or upshift 2-3 gears at a time if I let off the accelerator abruptly once up to cruising speed. Shifts were so harsh my coffee would spill out over top my shifter or worse, on my clothes.
4. Slow transmission shifts. When climbing a grade, I had to manually take off cruise control as it wouldn't downshift to maintain speed when climbing hills. I had to push the pedal to the floor, where there would be a solid 2-3 second pause before a downshift, in which case the transmission would drop to the lowest possible gear. A second transmission flash at the dealer did eventually solve this issue, but the hard shifts still remain to this day.
5. Rear brakes were replaced at 38K. Again, this is due to other driver error leaving the parking brake engaged...rotors also required replacement.
6. Multiple recalls performed over the last year and a half, from head restraint issues, to an engine flash. 3.5 days at the dealer in total. Rental was at least provided for this.
So, you can see the difference between a 10 year old car, and a 3 year old car. I'm not the only one getting similar issues with my 200. My G6 still rides better, and is less harsh over potholes, etc. The 200 is much quieter on the highway - where it lives, and despite the 283hp engine, gets 30-32mpg highway - better than the G6.
'11 Ram SXT 4x4 quad cab - 5.7L V8; 128,200kms
'09 Malibu 2Lt 3.6L - 140,000kms purchased 1 March 2019
'06 Pontiac G6 GT - 3.5L V6; 162,000kms (rear ended 15 Feb 2019, and given totalled title by insurance)