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2008 Pontiac G8 Sedan Bookmark



The Good :)   Hot exterior looks. Feels like a performance sedan.

The Bad :(   Needs more exhaust note.  Should have navigation map as a option.

Engine 6Cyl 3.6 Liter

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Output 256 hp   @ 6300 rpm
248 lb-ft @ 2100 rpm
Top Speed 150 mph
0-60 mph 6.9 sec (est.)
Weight 3,885 lbs
Price As Tested $29,765

With new car sales weaning from their high’s GM is making better and better products hoping to lure new customers.  The new Pontiac G8 is just one example of the new machinery that has taken a while to come to US shores from GM’s european and australian assembly plants.  Being made in Australia with many components from France, the G8 is a good mix of European flair and American muscle.  For the first time in more than 20 years a Pontiac performance sedan will have rear wheel drive.  And it has been even longer since we have seen excitement from Pontiac. 

“With Pontiac’s commitment to producing vehicles with both style and performance, the G8 is the ideal flagship for the brand,” said Craig Bierley, Pontiac marketing director. “But, more importantly, the G8 provides a level of sophisticated power and handling normally reserved for those paying far more.”

With a aggressive front profile using the signature pontiac dual hood scoops, the G8 offers nostalgic pontiac agressiveness and head turning good looks.  New projector beam headlights are placed in sharply styled headlights and large oval fog lamps are placed low in the front valence. A sleek sloping front windshield and flared front wheel wells give you the impression of a high performance Euro sedan.  Slight touches of chrome around the front grille makes for a more upscale appearance, and this upscale appearance is carried nicely around the entire Pontiac G8. 

The side profile is large and smooth offering you a sense that you are sitting in a large sedan with muscular grab style door handles and a high roofline.  The overall look is very modern and balanced, not the usual we have seen from Pontiac in prior years.  Wheels gaps have been lessened and arches slightly widened to offer a more aggressive stance.  Large wheels in 18 inch double spoke design make this car look like a Audi of much higher price points.

The rear end is both curvaceous and aggressive.  The single piece bumper is large and smooth at the edges yet offers sports car like fins at the tail pipes and large dual chrome tipped exhausts.  A spoiler on top of the trunk adds to the sporty appearance with a sleek Pontiac medallion and the wording Pontiac G8 in chrome.  Tail lamps are small and smooth with a circular interior lamp.  When you get close you can see the detail in the lamps which offers a nice glittering effect at night. 

The interior of the G8 is styled with a great deal of precision and sporty character.  Because the G8 comes from Australia, the interior is much more upscale as compared to other Pontiac models from the U.S.  Just like the outside seems kind of toyish, so is the interior.  The cabin flows away from the center dash and surrounds you at the doors.  Materials used are a combination of dotted textured plastic on the upper dash, smooth plastic trim on the console and silver plastic trim as accent pieces.  Leather is used where you would touch the car, as on the thickly wrapped steering wheel, the nicely rapped gear shift lever, as well as the thoughtful use of leather on the door panels and armrest.

Many design cues seem to come from Audi cars amazingly enough.  On the central dash, dials are similar to those found on Audi vehicles with a ribbed metal look and a segmented feeling as you turn the button.  In Audi’s the buttons are really made of metal not plastic as on the G8.  The parking brake handle is built into the center console design.  Window switches are located here near the shift lever as on BMW’s.  The instrument cluster also houses a information display as seen on Audi vehicles as well.  Even the steering wheel has jog dials similar to those found on Audi vehicles.  The one strange thing was the location of the trunk release button, inside the glove compartment.  Also there is no button on the trunk itself to open it, which became quite annoying. 

On top of the central console lies a large digital meter showing you the battery condition and engine oil level.  This readout was rather large and was not changeable therefore became somewhat of a overdo.  We would have preferred this to be a real computer capable of showing us a trip computer, outside temperature and other functions rather than things which people would never really care about.  The main central screen shows you a large amount of functions all bunched together in a somewhat confusing layout.  Climate control settings and stereo settings are shown here.  The G8 does not offer any map based navigation system, something that would be have been perfect here.  The stereo system offers a ASM button for automatic storing of the six strongest stations in what ever area you are in, a feature common on Blaupunkt units found in Europe.  230 watts using 11 speakers make the sound quite good.  6 CD’s can be loaded into the unit and a audio auxiliary jack enables you to use a music player easily although the location of this jack means that you will have wires hanging all over the place, we would suggest inside the glove box for a input jack. 

The climate control system is a automatic dual zone system with electronic sun sensor and electronic ventilation control.  Both front seats are also heated by a 3 way switch.  The display for the climate control is located at the top of the large information screen and more on this can be seen in our photos and videos. 

The front seats are large and quite supportive while being easy to get into as well.  They are powered in their height and sliding motions only.  The backrest must be manually moved by way of a dial that was quite hard to grab.  There is also a manual lumbar support dial on both front seats.  Windows are also not automatic up and down, something we would like to see on all doors in the year 2008.  Only the driver’s window is automatic going down.

The glovebox is large and offers storage for more than just the owners manual.  The storage box in the armrest is also useful and quite large.  Doors offer large storage areas and bottle holders as well. 

The rear seats are deeply angled and have very deep lower cushions.  This makes for a very comfortable seating position, one that seems lower than that in the front due to the roof being closer to you in the front.  You have a view in back of a tall sloping roofline. Legroom is very good when you have average sized adults sitting in front.  Doors are missing the required grab handles that are so good in the front compartment.  However soft leather door panels feel great.  All seats look great as well with a perforated leather being used in the central cushions and smooth leather being used on the sides.  The roofline is probably going to be low for taller adults in front due to its deeply angled nature however in back there is more room and the view ahead is of a tall roof making it look like there is more room inside. 

Good features like seat belts which are loose as in German makes is another good trait borrowed from the Germans on this GM vehicle.  We just wish GM would learn quicker and perhaps lead in car design and functionality.  A pass through to the rear trunk is located in the rear seatback where the armrest is.  However seats do not fold 60/40.  We would have liked all interior door handles to be made of metal rather than plastic on the interior for a more upscale feeling. 

Handling is sharp and quite precise with good feedback to the driver.  The rear wheel drive nature of the G8 is felt quite nicely every time you launch from a stop.  Tires are a wide 245 size which provides great traction.  Exhaust sounds come from underneath the driver’s seat and we suppose this offers more feeling but it did feel a bit fake.  If the exhaust note was coming from the rear end of the car it would have felt more real.  It was fun to have a exhaust note in any case.  Power is plentiful and the sporty nature of the G8 makes you feel like having fun while driving. 

The G8 is offered with 2 engine choices.  The base sedan we tested had a 3.6 Liter DOHC V6 engine which generates 256 horsepower and 248 lb.-ft of torque.  This is linked to a five speed Hydra-Matic transmission.  The driver can shift manually and a sport setting is also available for higher shift points.  In manual mode the engine will go to redline and stop there, not moving up the next gear unless you push the shift lever.  This engine gave us a average of 19 miles per gallon in mixed driving, a figure that is quite low considering that most other cars in this class are getting 30.  We found that the window sticker shows a rating of 17 in the city and 25 on the highway. 

In real world conditions the G8 is very stiff and this makes driving it on curvy roads very enjoyable.  A long wheelbase at 114.8 inches and with wheels set at wide tracks of about 63 inches makes the G8 very comfortable and flat on most any road.  Four wheel disc brakes with large 11.7 inch front and rear rotors make stopping easy.  18 inch wheels with wide 245 sized tires are also quite helpful at achieving the great handling we witnessed in the Pontiac G8.

Backed by a sturdy, crash-absorbing body structure and state-of-the-art passenger protection technology, the G8 is designed to offer superior passenger safety before, during and after an incident with an extensive list of safety features:

    * StabiliTrak electronic vehicle stability system
    * Tire pressure monitoring system
    * Dual-stage frontal air bags with a passenger sensing system
    * Head curtain side air bags for front and rear occupants
    * Side thorax air bags for the front passengers
    * Three-point safety belts in all seating positions
    * Front safety belt pre-tensioners
    * Rear-seat LATCH child safety seat provisions in all three seating positions

The G8’s also benefits from OnStar’s Turn-by-Turn Navigation function. With the touch of a button, an OnStar advisor will route the driver to a destination and download the directions directly to the vehicle, where a combination of voice-guided and DIC-displayed instructions provide guidance. If the driver misses a turn, the system automatically updates itself to revise the directions.

Our G8 starts of at a base price of $26,910.  Added to this are optional items such as the low cost Premium package which truly changes the interior for $1,375 upgrading everything to Leather and offering heated seats, power driver and passenger seat as well as a leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.  It is a must have.  Optional on our car was the comfort and sound package for $795 which ads dual zone air conditioning, and the 6 disc stereo system.  Destination charges of $685 bring out total to  $29,765.  61% of all parts on this car come from Australia while 7% come from the US and canada.  The final assembly point is Elizabeth Australia.  The engine comes from Australia and the transmission from France. 

While we have not seen many G8’s on the road, the vehicle is one of the best we have seen coming from GM.  The car handles very well and the interior is luxurious and fun.  With gas prices reaching $4.50 a gallon, we think that most consumers are worried about its poor fuel economy of 19 mpg.  Having a car that gets you 30 really makes a big difference in your weekly fuel costs and so we think GM better end its cozy relationship with Oil companies and start making cars with very high fuel economy.  The world needs a greener exhaust pipe and we need cleaner air as well.  Global warming is for real.



 



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PRICING

INVOICE

RETAIL

Base Pricing

$25,565

$26,910

Destination

$625

$625

PCQ   Premium Package

$1,141

$1,375

PDD   Comfort and Sound Package

$660

$795

CF5   Power Tilt-Sliding Sunroof

$747

$900

 

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COMPARISONS 2008 Pontiac G8
4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 5A)
2008 Saturn Aura
XR 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
2008 Chrysler 300
Touring 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 4A)
2008 Volkswagen Passat
Turbo 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
2008 Audi A4
2.0T Special Ed. 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo CVT)
MSRP $26,910 $25,675 $28,590 $25,065 $31,050
Invoice $25,565 $24,006 $26,526 $23,432 $28,877
Destination Charge $685 $650 $700 $690 $775
Basic 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi.
Drivetrain 5 yr. / 100000 mi. 5 yr. / 100000 mi. Unlimited yr. / Unlimited mi.
5 yr. / 60000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi.
Roadside 5 yr. / 100000 mi. 5 yr. / 100000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / Unlimited mi.
Rust 6 yr. / 100000 mi. 6 yr. / 100000 mi. 5 yr. / 100000 mi. 12 yr. / Unlimited mi. 12 yr. / Unlimited mi.
Base Engine Type & Cylinders V6 V6 V6 inline 4 inline 4
Base Engine Displacement 3.6 liters 3.6 liters 3.5 liters 2.0 liters 2.0 liters
Valvetrain 24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
single overhead cam (SOHC)
16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
Horsepower 256 hp @ 6300 rpm 252 hp @ 6300 rpm 250 hp @ 6400 rpm 200 hp @ 5100 rpm 200 hp @ 5100 rpm
Torque 248 ft-lbs. @ 2100 rpm 251 ft-lbs. @ 3200 rpm 250 ft-lbs. @ 3800 rpm 207 ft-lbs. @ 1800 rpm 207 ft-lbs. @ 1800 rpm
Tires P245/45R18 96V
all season
P225/50R18 94T
all season
P215/65R17 T
all season
215/55R16 97H
all season
225/55R16 H
all season
One-Touch Power Windows 1 1 1 2 4
Traction Control Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Stability Control Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Navigation System Not Available Not Available hard drive navigation system w/voice activation - Optional Not Available DVD navigation system w/voice activation - Optional
Satellite Communications System OnStar OnStar Not Available Not Available Not Available
SPECS
Turning Circle 37.4 ft. 40.4 ft. 38.9 ft. 35.8 ft. 36.4 ft.
City 17 mpg. 17 mpg. 17 mpg. 19 mpg. 21 mpg.
Highway 25 mpg. 26 mpg. 24 mpg. 28 mpg. 30 mpg.
Exterior G8 Aura 300 Passat A4
Length 196.1 in. 190.9 in. 196.8 in. 188.2 in. 180.6 in.
Width 74.8 in. 70.3 in. 74.1 in. 71.7 in. 69.8 in.
Height 57.7 in. 57.6 in. 58.4 in. 58 in. 56.2 in.
Weight 3885 lbs. 3660 lbs. 3762 lbs. 3246 lbs. 3450 lbs.
Wheel Base 114.8 in. 112.3 in. 120 in. 106.7 in. 104.3 in.
Front Headroom 38.7 in. 39.4 in. 38.7 in. 38.4 in. 37.9 in.
Rear Headroom 38 in. 37.4 in. 38 in. 37.8 in. 37.1 in.
Front Shoulder Room 59.1 in. 55.9 in. 59.4 in. 55.7 in. 55.1 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 59.1 in. 54 in. 57.7 in. 54.6 in. 53.4 in.
Front Hip Room 56.7 in. 53 in. 55.9 in. Not Published Not Published
Rear Hip Room 58 in. 52.2 in. 55.9 in. Not Published Not Published
Front Leg Room 42.2 in. 42.2 in. 41.8 in. 41.4 in. 41.3 in.
Rear Leg Room 39.4 in. 37.6 in. 40.2 in. 37.7 in. 34.3 in.

 

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