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2009 Pontiac G8

Overview
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2009 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 last year added the G8 sport sedan to its 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 in three trim levels, a V6-powered standard model, the sporty V8-powered GT and, for 2009, an all new high-performance GXP trim with a proper six-speed manual transmission. 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 perf

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 stand-alone navigation system.

What's New for 2009

A high-performance GXP trim joins the lineup and XM Satellite Radio is made standard on all models. OnStar 8.0 now features Bluetooth hands-free connectivity (late availability).

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.

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.

2009 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 2009 Pontiac 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 and XM Satellite Radio, 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 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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2009 Pontiac G8 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.4
Out of 10

Based on 263 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

Pontiac G8 GT - Good bang for the buck!

By on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 87,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good V8 power. Decent gas mileage."

Cons: "Problematic stock suspension parts."

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

"I own this car and love it. It has good V8 power, a great shifting transmission when in SPORT mode and dual climate controls! It also has leather interior, heated seats, and the optional 19" wheel package. These cars original sold for around $30K. In recent years the prices have slowly started to go back up on the used car market. Probably because these are a great family car with the hot-rod friendly rear wheel drive and V8 powerplant. My car averages 17mpg in city and 23mpg in highway driving. The only known issues with these cars is the front lower controls arms, stuts, and strut bushings. I've had to change mine after they started giving problems at 80K miles. Other than that, the car is rock solid."

very good road performing vehicle

By on Thursday, March 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "very good touring vehicle"

Cons: "road noise, audio system could be better"

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

"Excellent vehicle for my driving experience. There is more road noise than I like. The interior materials and application of could be better than is. Performance of mechanicals are on par with what I consider to be good. Engine performance, transmission, brakes are all better than I expected. Steering is light and quick. The a/c and heating is up to par. I don't like the sealed transmission application, as I would like to know the level of transmission fluid. Overall pleased with this vehicle."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Very fun to drive with plenty of power.

By on Monday, December 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

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

"This is a very fun car. The power can be shocking, truely believe the HP rating was low by about 40. By far the best handling car I've ever driven. It's not full of goddies but plenty confortable. Sound system is good enough. Lots of room both in cabin and trunk."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Love this car!!

By on Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 140,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fast and roomy"

Cons: "Back portion of seats are not power"

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

"The Pontiac G8 GT is a great car for someone who needs room for friends or family and comes with a pep in it's step. Want to pass a car? Go ahead because you won't have to put much foot into the gas pedal. Want your seat a little warmer? Sure, there are 3 levels for that. Don't want an every day "mom car", get a G8 GT!"

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Excellent performer but poor quality control

By on Thursday, November 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

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
10/10

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

"This is the first Pontiac I've owned since my Pontiac 6000 disaster back in 86. I swore never to touch another pontiac since then. But this one I had to check out. I've owned the 09 GT sedan since new. Since then, it's been a blast to drive. I got it after Pontiac was dissolved but still a bit pricey for the quality of car you get. But when you consider the performance, all of the sudden it doesn't seem too expensive. You can't come close to the amount of room and options you get for the price with the amount of motor that comes along with it. The down sides: right out of the box, the hazard/flasher button was broken and top front strut mounts collapsed. I guess known issues. The transmission has a small flare between 2-3 that comes and goes but never worsened. Various leather trim/plastic pieces wanted to separate at 20,000 miles. I'm up to 36,000 miles so far and nothing else has gone wrong. Everything considered, with my Vararam intake and Corsa cat back, this thing is the most fun I've had with a car. I don't really put too many miles on it but I just can't seem to sell the car. The styling is timeless (IMHO) and performance more than adequate. And when I see how they bastardized the Commodore platform styling with the Chevy SS, it convinces me to keep it for a while longer."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

The car is one great machine

By on Monday, October 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Performance and looks"

Cons: "Interior lacking. Difficult controls to use."

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

2009 G8 sitting out showing off :-)

"Love driving it. Handles so well. Very fast too :-) Great looks..amazing hot. However, the seats aren't real comfortable for a tall guy and has many blind spots. Interior not very convenient to get to the controls, etc."

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

2009 G8 sitting out showing off :-)

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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

Buying this car?