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2008 Pontiac Grand Prix

Overview
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2008 Pontiac Grand Prix Review

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Until the arrival of the eagerly-anticipated G8, the Grand Prix takes top billing as Pontiac's largest and most sophisticated sedan. Despite tough competition from the HEMI-powered Dodge Charger, the V8-powered Grand Prix has held its ground, and the V6-powered models also stack up well when compared to rivals from Nissan, Volkswagen and Mazda. With a growing number of enthusiasts returning to rear-wheel-drive, the front-wheel-drive Grand Prix has its fair share of vocal detractors, but few, however, can complain about the car's impressive fuel economy, even when equipped with the optional 303-horsepower V8 engine, or the noteworthy list of available features, such as the GXP's standard Head-Up Display.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you like the strong lines found on the former Bonneville and Grand Am, you'll like the look of the Grand Prix. Big enough to carry five people, the Grand Prix makes a good choice for the family-oriented driving enthusiast.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're a stickler for a sophisticated interior, the quality of the plastics used inside the Grand Prix, and the overall design layout, are not up to the standards set by the Volkswagen Passat, Nissan Maxima or Dodge Charger.

What's Significant About This Car?

The GT trim has been discontinued, leaving just two models: Grand Prix and Grand Prix GXP.

Driving the Grand Prix

Driving Impressions The 200-horsepower, 3.8-liter V6 engine of the base model provides fairly strong off-the-line acceleration and passing power. Adding the optional 17-inch wheel-and-tire package gives the Grand Prix good reflexes while...

still delivering a smooth and quiet ride. More aggressive handling (not to mention pin-you-to-your-seat acceleration) comes with the V8-powered GXP, which feels so connected to the road you might easily be fooled into thinking it has all-wheel drive. It doesn't, of course, but for a front-drive sedan of this size and performance level the handling is remarkably good.

TAPshift
The GXP package adds Pontiac's TAPshift paddle shifter to the steering wheel.

Fold-Flat Front Seat
The Grand Prix's fold-flat front seat lets you load relatively long cargo.

2008 Pontiac Grand Prix Details
2008 Pontiac Grand Prix photo Interior

The Grand Prix's dash is playful, with overlapping folds, large round air vents and prominent red lighting. The steering wheel on the GXP has an additional set of touch paddles (GM calls this TAPshift—Touch Activated Power) that allow the driver to manually shift gears using only his or her thumbs. Rear-seat passengers may feel a bit boxed-in, as the high upswept beltline results in smaller windows that limit outward vision, and low rear-seat bottom cushions had our taller passengers riding with their knees uncomfortably high.

Exterior

The first thing you notice about the Grand Prix is its clean, uncluttered exterior. While the swooping lines, familiar split grille and cat's-eye headlamps are still in place, the heavy tacked-on body cladding that once plastered every Pontiac with sporting intentions has finally been banished. The large wheels eliminate the unsightly gap that can make a car look like it's riding on tires that are too small.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The Grand Prix has a four-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel disc brakes, a tire pressure monitor, air conditioning, rear defroster, six-way power driver's seat, power windows, power locks, power mirrors, remote keyless entry, AM/FM stereo with CD, one year of OnStar, tilt wheel, cruise control and 16-inch wheels. The GXP adds a Head-Up Display, two-way power driver lumbar support, Monsoon Audio with nine speakers, four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), StabiliTrak stability control, Bilstein shock absorbers and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Optional Equipment

Options include anti-lock brakes (ABS), trip computer, fog lights, flat-folding front passenger seat, Monsoon sound system, navigation, XM Satellite Radio, power glass sunroof, stainless steel exhaust tips, head-curtain airbags, leather seats and automatic air conditioning.

Under the Hood

The Grand Prix offers two very good powerplants. The base car's 3.8-liter engine has plenty of low-end torque to allow for speedy intersection crossings. The V8-powered GXP is the true performer here, turning out over 300 horsepower while its Active Fuel Management (AFM) helps deliver highway fuel economy figures better than some V6s. AFM works by cutting fuel to four of the eight cylinders when the engine is under a lighter load. The instant full power is needed, the system brings the deactivated cylinders back into action.

3.8-liter V6
200 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
230 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28

5.3-liter V8
303 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
323 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/25

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Buying this car?

2008 Pontiac Grand Prix Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 654 Ratings for the 2004 - 2008 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

car is indestructible. only routine maintenance

By on Sunday, October 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 149,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive good gas mileage very reliable"

Cons: "Can't think of any except no MPG 3 dock"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The car is indestructible. Only had routine maintenance. Fun car to drive. MPG city 20 highway 30 combined 23. Very reliable."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

I have had grand prix for a long time

By on Thursday, September 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "smooth ride and great power for a family car"

Cons: "my kids dont like it...thinks its for old people"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I currently own 2, I have had a total of 4, 1999,2000 and also 2004 and 2005, The 3800 series III engines are bullet proof. Change the oil and maintain the car they will last forever. Only bas thing I can say from all 4 cars in the 99,2000 transmission went out at 12000 each. but the 2004 and 2005 made it longer the 04 was 190 and the 05 just hit 245,00and started to slip. that's all I have ever had to do except one alternator and even after the repairs if a 5 year old would drive id let him go across country in the way I feel about the gp's... but the sad thing today my ex-wife wrecked the 04 was hit in the back and pushed her into another one and by the grace of god and the body of the grand Prix the car folded up like it was built to do and she's ok from a 40 mph crash. the cab stay safe. car is totaled but she's not.. it will be replaced with another GRAND PRIX GT maybe she will buy this one"

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Love this car!

By on Thursday, September 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 194,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive! Cool and Classy!"

Cons: "AC not strong enough."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Great car and been very dependable. Runs great and would recommend to any person. FYI, when she breaks, it cost me $1,000 every time(seems like) AC doesn't reach the back seat so well. Would definitely need to be a northern car, J/K Goes fast and handles well."

Excellent ride plus a dependable car

By on Monday, July 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 94,611

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fantastic tracking, holds the road great."

Cons: "No side bags or the newer safety features."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Why GM stopped making Pontiac's I will never understand? I'm 82 and have driven quite a while so when I say this is the best car I ever owned I mean it. Remember the commercial where the Eskimo is explained the wide tracking ability of the Pontiac. Nothing tracks like this car. It's just as tight as when we bought it in August 2003. I get a kick out of the Buick commercial, "That's not a Buick!" It goes to show you that they have to use ploys to get you to buy a Buick. You didn't need that to sell a Pontiac."

12 people out of 19 found this review helpful

very comfortable and dependable

By on Saturday, July 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 115,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "very comfortable seats"

Cons: "some what hard to get into because of low overhead"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"very comfortable and dependable with excellent mpg on the hwy.I have personally experienced 25-27 mpg in the V6 model"

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Good sports sedan

By on Friday, June 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 109,500

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, great price, nice exhaust note"

Cons: "No rear vents, cost-saving materials"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I purchased this car about a year ago; it now has 109,xxx miles. Overall, the car has been pretty reliable. In the past year, I have replaced a belt and tensioner pulley (usual at this many miles), I have flushed the radiator because of the infamous Dex-Cool that GM uses, and I will be repairing some wheel sensors which are quite expensive. The supercharged 3.8L engine is a torque monster which makes this car fun to drive, but also really loves the premium gasoline. The cost to fuel my vehicle is killing me considering I get 16 mpg in the city. The interior is decent for 2004: the dashboard is soft-touch along with the door panels and the console is stitched leather. Their are some chintzy plastics used such as the head-up display unit, which has cracked and broken on my vehicle. The piece surrounding the center head unit is also cheap and noisy. Still, this car is a vast improvement over the older Grand Prix. The transmission needs another gear or two (only 4-speed). The car handles well in all weather conditions, and the sport suspension really helps for cornering. The rear seat needs more room, especially since this car is longer than our 2012 Highlander. My biggest gripe about the seats is the design of the headrests. They are so uncomfortable and kill my neck on long drives. They do have nice side-bolsters. The sunroof shakes more than I'd like when I open it. I absolutely love the sport red color on my car. Overall, this car has been very good to me, other than the sensors going bad. I will be looking to sell or trade sometime soon."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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