If you're looking for a muscle with modern day handling look no further. I own a 2004 Torrid Red GTO. It will lay down rubber with the best Muscle Cars of the 60's, however, it will hang with a 3 series BMW in the twisters.
The first thing to talk about is performance. The GTO is going to give you as much power as your going to want. Its your basic 2004 corvette engine with 350hp. Even if you have problems drag racing the local Ferraris, you can send your GTO to http://www.lingenfelter.com/pack.htm if you have the cash to spend. The GTO really shows its strong points on high-speed turns. It has a long wheelbase and a wide track. Despite its weight it does quite well on racetracks and on high-speed highway turns. If youre interested in cone slaloms the GTO in stock form isnt necessarily what you are looking for. Driving a GTO at an autocross is a lot of fun, but dont expect to beat out MR2's and S2000's. With some minor suspension upgrades you can compromise ride quality with a tighter suspension. There are two major gripes that most people have with the GTO. First the throws for the shifter are a bit long. However, the transmission is strong as an OX and gives great engine feel when shifting. Once you get used to the clutch it works in harmony with the shifter gracefully. The second major gripe is the steering wheel turning ratio is quite slow. You may find yourself having to move the wheel a little bit more than what you would expect. The side effect of that however is a nice drivability at high speeds. The stock tires on the GTO are All-Season. This is great for people who live in snowy climates. I would recommend switching tires for something stickier to improve overall handling characteristics. Don't expect to increase the tire width of the car because the wheel wells limit sizes much bigger than 275. The GTO has impressive performance beyond a traditional muscle car with great handling but with everyday drivability.
The second thing to talk about is the interior. Several magazines have quotes saying the GTO as having the best interior of any current GM vehicle. The leather is comfortable, but not too soft. The bucket seats give plenty of lumbar support and side bolstering. The leather steering wheel and shifter are mixed with aluminum which feels very classy (yes I just described a muscle car as classy). The instrument gauge has three separate computer screens in the dash. These windows can be customized to display many different things such as average fuel economy, instant fuel economy, digital speed, stopwatch, etc. The green backlight at night isnt my favorite color, but in the day the gauge cluster is red to match the paint and interior. For the other GTOs the gauges are matched to the exterior and interiors of the cars. My red GTO has a red interior. At first you think it sounds tacky, but in person it looks great. The backseats are also bucket seats with plenty of legroom. The one issue is climbing back there. Entry to the backseat is a pain because the front seats dont fold forward too much. One disappointing aspect of the GTO is the stereo. You would think Blaupunkt would make a good stereo system, but you would be wrong. It doesnt have enough power, and sounds flat most of the time in comparison to other vehicles in this segment. Overall its a very nice interior with a few quirks.
The overall exterior of the GTO has some people calling it bland. Others thing its a great looking car. In my opinion it looks great in red, black and blue. The look will definitely grow on you. The rear end of this car looks like nothing else you'll see on the streets in the US. Some people say it looks a bit like a Cavalier because of its rounder, less aggressive shape. GM addressed this by putting hood scoops on the current GTO's. The exhaust note on this car is so sweet. If you havent heard i go to your local and dealer and try it out. Its tough to keep a frown when you nail on the throttle of this car.
The GTO is a great middle ground for someone who wants performance, but doesnt want to be caught driving a ricer-boy car to work. There is no harsh ride, but handles great and has tons of acceleration. If this is what youre looking for, this is the car for you.