2008 Pontiac G8 GT 6.0 V8 from North America
The best daily driving performance vehicle under 45k
When the car was brand new, there was a blown fuse that caused some of the interior lights to be off or dim. Easily fixed.
GT model does not come with a spare tire, but is supposed to come with a GM fix-a-flat solution. Mine did not. Despite repeated attempts to get this, the dealership couldn't obtain it for me.
Eventually I spent 500 additional dollars and bought a spare.
At 15000 miles, started smelling antifreeze. Took it into the dealership, they claimed the water pump itself was leaking (very surprising for so low mileage) but, whatever the caused, they fixed it for no charge in less than 24 hours and the problem hasn't returned.
The leather develops wrinkles too quickly.
Some of the body work doesn't fit right... there are small gaps in the rear and front bumpers.
But it has started 100% of the time, and the coolant leak was very slight and never caused any problem.
The car is brilliant. When price is taken into account, it's the best car in the world, objectively speaking. That's not a dramatic statement. An examination of everything this car is good at, a comparison to competitors and of course, a consideration of value, will result in this judgment.
The engine cannot be ignored. It's not the best V8 in the world, but it's the best one underneath the Corvette (which is 45k--15k more than the base G8 GT). It has power, everywhere. My other car is a Subaru WRX, so I've been used to a peaky powerband, and the combination of the 6 speed automatic transmission with an engine with an amazingly flexible powerband means that at any point you can have huge power. The acceleration from a dead stop is very good, but the high speed acceleration is phenomenal. There are cars even in its price range that can out accelerate (citing, say, an STi) from a stop, but from a 100 on, the car pulls hard.
The fuel efficiency is phenomenal as well. It's rated at 18/24, as I recall, but I routinely get 30mpg on the highway (although, in fairness, the town is about the rating--it's hard not to keep it in 1st or 2nd to feel the power).
The handling is terrific--and don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you're going to turn top lap times in your G8--but it's terrifically fun. The car just handles so brilliantly at 9/10ths. It lets go of the grip gently, and in a balanced fashion--it's an excellent drift car. The engine and transmission are flexible enough to let you steer with the throttle during a drift at any speed.
The interior is quite nice. A moderate overuse of plastic, which is common in luxury cars under 50,000 (having tested IS350s, G35s and 335is rather extensively before this purchase), is present. The large red display in the middle of the console annoys many, but I appreciate little quirks. The gauge cluster is adequate, but the gauges, like in most cars, are in the wrong places. The speedometer or tachometer should be the middle of the cluster (depending on whether or not the car is an automatic/smg or manual), but instead, the speedometer and tachometer are on the left and right, while a helpful, though misplaced, data display is in the middle--that's okay, but that's not performance minded--go check out a Ferrari or Porsche gauge cluster to see it done right.
The manuamatic/tiptronic shift area is reversed. It's more intuitive, in the real world, to put upshift closer to the driver and downshift farther away.
The front bumper is too low for the real world. There's no paint left on the bottom of mine.
Wind noise is too loud--not more than an ordinary car, but this is a grand tourer, and it ought to be quieter.
Ride is nice, about where it should be for this segment.
Tons of room on the interior and trunk.
I love the heated seats, fully auto dual zone climate control, LCD display, onstar and remote ignition.
I could probably write a lot more, but this should be an adequate review for most potential G8 buyers.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 17th March, 2009
17th Aug 2010, 21:27
Probably the most effective and efficiently written review on this website. Thank you.
20th Jun 2012, 01:30
What an awesome review!! I've never driven one, but I like the looks, and have read about the great performance. You're right, it's one of the best bargains on the road. What a shame they shuttered Pontiac when it had just begun to make decent cars again.
However, it will still be possible to get this car under another name. The Pontiac G8 has been restyled and turned into the 2013 Chevrolet Caprice, a police-only vehicle. So, if you someone would like to experience this car's driving dynamics, wait a few years until the police departments start selling their used 2013 Caprices, and the public will be able to get them (albeit probably heavily used).