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2008 Pontiac G8

Overview
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2008 Pontiac G8 Review

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Attempting to bolster its image -- and drive a whole new generation of performance-oriented buyers back into its dealerships -- GM's self-proclaimed excitement division has added the new G8 sport sedan to its 2008 U.S. lineup. Built in Australia and based on the popular Holden Commodore model, Pontiac's new flagship is its first rear-wheel-drive sedan in several years and is available two trim levels, a V6-powered standard model and the high-performance V8-powered GT. While it's aimed directly at the new Dodge Charger, Pontiac marketing types also envision this full-size four-door as a high-value and even higher-performance alternative to the Nissan Maxima. The G8's aggressive appearance, impressive array of features, superb handling dynamics and attractive pricing should also help it appeal to those who might want something with the performance and feel of a European sport sedan but at a lower price.

You'll Like This Car If...

Anyone looking for a car that matches the classic charms of a rear-drive full-size four-door with a 21st-century approach to performance, handling, and creature comforts will find an ideal choice in the new Pontiac G8.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Sticklers for ergonomic detailing may quibble with the positioning of some of the minor control switchgear in the G8's interior. While its standard OnStar system provides for proprietary hands-free calling and Turn-by-Turn navigation, there's no support for Bluetooth, no stand-alone navigation system and no factory satellite radio packages.

What's Significant About This Car?

With a spacious and smartly-styled package that offers an outstanding combination of price, performance and practicality, the new G8 has the kind of breakthrough potential that could return Pontiac to prominence in a category where it once was stron

Driving the G8

Driving Impressions Based on GM's newest global rear-drive platform (which will also underpin the upcoming 2010 Chevrolet Camaro), the G8 has a dynamic character that's more in line with a premium European...

sport sedan than a domestic four-door model. Whether you opt for the electrifying acceleration of the GT or prefer the more economical but still impressively quick base version, the G8's fully independent sport suspension is tuned to deliver a great combination of control and comfort that works as well on the freeway as it does on your favorite twisty two-lane highway. The G8's variable-ratio power steering feels positive and linear, and its anti-lock disc brakes slow it with confidence -- particularly the larger units used on the GT. Toss in near-ideal weight distribution, driver-selectable stability and traction controls and multi-mode automatic transmissions, and either of these Pontiac sedans has the tools to deliver performance that will impress even the most demanding enthusiast.
Favorite Features

Active Fuel Management System
Complementing its outstanding power and torque characteristics, the GT's 6.0-liter V8 also is fitted with Active Fuel Management, a computer-controlled mileage-optimizing system that allows seamless transitions from eight-cylinder to four-cylinder operation under lighter load conditions.

Driver Shift Control
Both of the G8's automatic transmissions incorporate tri-mode Driver Shift Control circuitry. In addition to "normal" and more-aggressive "sport" programming, each has a manual-style gate that lets the driver select a gear that is then held until the driver shifts, even if that's at the engine's redline.

2008 Pontiac G8 Details
Interior

Purposeful and understated, the G8's spacious cabin reflects its athletic personality in charcoal and grey tones (or optional charcoal and red leather) set off by brushed-aluminum-look accents. Main control layouts are good, the white-on-black gauges and red LCD readouts are legible and the supplemental switchgear is generally arrayed in a user-friendly manner. Highlighting the G8's features are well-bolstered, power-adjustable front bucket seats that provide excellent comfort and support, whether covered in standard cloth or available leather. The expansive rear bench can easily and comfortably accommodate a pair of six-footers or take three average-sized adults on shorter treks, while its cavernous 17.5-cubic-feet trunk handles suitcases and golf bags with equal ease.

Exterior

The G8 makes a powerful but tasteful visual statement, complementing neatly tailored bodywork with prominently flared fenders, a modest decklid spoiler, integrated side sills and functional cooling vents on its hood and front flanks. The face is pure Pontiac, highlighted by projector-beam headlamps, a signature dual-port grille treatment and an equally bold lower air intake. Both G8's wear 18-inch alloy wheels and 245/45 tires, although all-season rubber is replaced by a stickier, summer-spec alternative on the GT. Rear details also differ slightly. The V6 has conventional red taillamps and dual chrome exhaust tips while the appropriately-badged GT gets clear lens covers and a quartet of chrome tailpipes.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Apart from their respective drivetrain differences, both G8 models share a common and comprehensive array of power assists, a steering wheel with audio and cruise control buttons on a tilt and telescoping column, trip computer, anti-lock disc brakes, StabiliTrak stability control and front, front-side and side-curtain airbags. All G8's also come with a one-year subscription to OnStar's Safe and Sound service. The base car has single-zone air conditioning and a seven-speaker Blaupunkt AM/FM/CD/audio package with iPod/MP3 input, while the GT has dual-zone climate control and a more powerful 11-speaker sound system with a six-disc CD changer.

Optional Equipment

The well-equipped G8 offers relatively few extras. Base-model buyers can opt for the Comfort and Sound Package, which includes dual-zone automatic climate control and the upgraded Blaupunkt audio with six-disc CD changer of the GT model. Either G8 can be ordered with a power sunroof or the Premium Package, which includes heated and six-way power front seats, leather upholstery and trim and a fold-down rear armrest with trunk pass-through. GT buyers can also choose the Sport Package, consisting of metallic pedals, split-spoke machine-faced aluminum wheels, sport steering wheel and 19-inch wheels with 245/40WR19 performance tires.

Under the Hood

Each G8 model gets a unique engine and transmission combination. The entry-level matchup is a 256-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 and five-speed automatic transmission, while the GT comes with a 361-horsepower, 6.0-liter V8 backed by a six-speed automatic. Both transmissions feature multi-mode Driver Shift Control programming, but only the V8 also has GM's Active Fuel Management system to help bolster its operating efficiency in cruise mode. Even the base G8 V6 is an energetic performer, capable of accelerating from zero to 60 miles per hour in a brisk 7.8 seconds, yet EPA-rated at 17 mpg city, 25 mpg highway. But the GT is the real star here. It can nail that acceleration benchmark in a scant 5.3 seconds -- handily besting the more powerful and pricier HEMI-powered Dodge Charger SRT8 -- while earning relatively respectable 15 mpg city, 24 mpg highway ratings from the EPA.

3.6-liter V6
256 horsepower @ 6300 rpm
248 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25

6.0-liter V8
361 horsepower @ 5300 rpm
385 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/24

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2008 Pontiac G8 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.4
Out of 10

Based on 244 Ratings for the 2008 - 2009 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.6/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.7/10
  • Comfort
    9.4/10
    Styling
    9.5/10

The best car that GM never built.

By on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great performance bargain. Excellent handling."

Cons: "Power seats have manual recline."

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

"Ordered new in 2008. GM could not supply in Canada. Purchased 2009 in US through my local dealer. Then GM cancelled local dealer. Love my G8 GT. Have owned 34 new GM vehicles but; THIS ONE IS THE LAST!"

Best Car I have ever owned.

By on Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,600

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I have owned many cars in my life. I have owned 3 Acura TL's. When I bought my Pontiac G8 GT I thought I was probably taking a step down in quality assuming that Acura is supposed to be a luxury vehicle. I think I have only owned one other car for more than 3 years (I have OCD issuses with rattles etc.). I have never owned a car long enough to require a set tires. Until now. I bought my 2009 GT in 2010 sometime. It is the best driving vehicle I have ever owned. I still can't hear one rattle going into almost into my 5th year of ownership. I have to admit it - I'm in love with this car and can't find anything to replace it with. Driving this car almost makes me sexually excited. The sound, performance, and power are just beautiful. It actually goes quite well in the snow being RWD. Stabilitrak and anti-lock brakes work great. If I could buy another one new right now I would get up and go do it. I should buy a new but I just can't part with this car. PS - I did buy new tires."

A Dream Came True!

By on Tuesday, April 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 77,000

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: "Performance, comfort, head turner"

Cons: "Premium fuel, gas consumption"

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

"Owning a full-sized sedan with a manual transmission was a lifelong dream. My Pontiac G8 GXP fulfills that dream daily. I would love to buy another if I could find one with low mileage that's affordable."

last reviewed 3/31/13 love this car.

By on Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

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: "Looks,Comfort,performance,&terrific value."

Cons: "passenger seat rear travel,long red lights in town"

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

"motor trend mag nearly stopped me from buying this 09g8gt. there coty test was less than complementary,Stated they were concerned about overall reliability.5.5 yrs later the car has been nothing but a pleasure to drive.No reliability problems & over the last 3500 miles averaging 21 mpg.(65% hwy 35% city).After 24K the tires seem to be barely worn,at least 20K left on them.brakes have 85/90% pad life left."

Best Car Ever

By on Monday, March 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 82,000

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
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "I have one!"

Cons: "They quit making them."

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

"The G8 GT is an excellent car! I will never sell this car! I bought this car new in 8/09 and LOVE it! The ride is so good and it sticks to the road like you wouldn't believe. Power is incredible, walks away from 99% of the other cars out there. I gave the interior an "8" because the windshield pillars are a little big, a minor irritation that's easily overlooked when cruising down the road in a car that gets so many looks. I've had more compliments on this car in 4 years than I have in 12 years with my Vette. People love it. The only problems on the car so far were the On-star battery died (warranty) and 2 recalls requiring reprogramming: 1 on the tire pressure monitoring system and 1 on the air bag timing. A friend was looking for a new car and after he drove my G8 he opted for a used G8. Pulling the plug on this car was the biggest mistake in automotive history."

Great ride and the best handling dynamics

By on Thursday, March 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Handling & roominess"

Cons: "Gas mileage, but who buys a perf. car for mileage"

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

"I didn't know what to expect in 2009 when I test drove this car, but the minute that I pushed the 6 liter V8 to its maximum I knew that this had to be mine. Being built in Australia things were a little different inside, but once you got used to that, this car was an absolute joy to own. Low wind noise, great ride with the FE2 suspension and with the 50/50 weight distribution, McPherson struts on the front and 5 link suspension on the rear, all make for the best handling car that I have ever owned. I will be trading shortly on its successor, the Chevy SS and will be sad to see the G8 go. What a great car!"

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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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