Pontiac G8 review

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In person, the new G8 is a good looking car.
Although to me, bright red looks pretty cheap on anything that isn’t made by Ferrari
The black cars at the driving even looked great. so that’s what I picked.
(This picture is actually the GT)

I got to drive the car around San Diego for a few hours.
First I thought the interior of the base model was OK. I think the base cloth on the seats still looks a bit cheap.
So this would be one of these cars where you would want to spend extra on the leather. Plus the cloth doesn’t come with a rear armrest, but leather does. Go figure.
The steering wheel is OK. Not as good as the leather, but better than most. Like the cheap feeling one on the base G6.
The dash is also fine, but really uniteresting. At least it isn’t blocky like in a Jetta.
But I must say, there is nothing interesting or slightly original in the interior. The new Malibu is much better in that respect.
And it is black. No matter what. (not my thing, but that’s just me)
One of the main quality of the interior is the huge leg room space once you’re in the back seat.

One little annoying thing is this airbag warning light right inside the rear view mirror. it is stupid and always distracting.

Once you start the engine, you notice the nice smooth and quiet V6 from many other GM cars. The steering is fine. At least it doesn’t have too much of that “Nintendo feel” to it. But it does feel a bit light and inaccurate, especially for a sporty car.. .
The suspension is a very comfortable.

It is a very easy car to drive. But if you really push the engine, it sounds more like a scream. Basically telling you that’s not what this car is about.
Which is a bit surprising. isn’t it what the G8 is all about. A four door muscle car?

There were a couple of quality issues with the interior. The one pictures here, I just couldn’t fix, not matter how I tried.
I also noticed loose parts around the steering column. But that was in all the cars. So I guess it is “normal”.
the console was also a bit flimsy when you try to shake it. And the glove box opening has some cheap looking edges.

Sure I’m picky. But I didn’t see that in the Malibu.

I think the G8 is a fine car for someone looking for a roomy family sedan.
Starting at $27 500, it competes with V6 versions of the Camry and Accord. While being roomier and looking better.
Plus, you won’t be driving everybody else’s car.
A loaded V6 goes for $30 700. That includes premium audio, leather and sunroof.
No navigation system is available (yet), you get Onstar.
Compare this with a loaded Camry XLE V6 for $28 800.
Honda Accord EXL V6 at $28 700.

The equivalent Chrysler 300 goes for around $32 000.
So it is a step up from the smaller Japanese cars. With a worse resale.
Yet the Chrysler is even more.

The main problem for me is the lack of personality, compared to the Chrysler. But it does look like a younger person ‘s car. It drives very nicely, is comfortable and quiet, but nothing you really remember.

I am not sure who it is for. Muscle cars fans won’t get a V6. And Pontiac’s name will be no threat to Toyota or Honda.

Still, I would put it on my shopping list. (If I didn’t mind driving in a black interior)
A huge step forward for Pontiac, and a big step up from the G8.

Does the GT (V8) solves any of these issues?
Stay posted….

I will also post movies that really show much more of the car, inside and out.
Keep checking.

Conversation 24 comments

  1. Vince- do you even know how to drive a manual transmission?
    don’t bother with the GT, it isn’t meant for Highlander lovers like you.

  2. This site is not about sports cars or really expensive machines.
    It is about “regular cars for regular people”. Cars most people actually buy.
    Not the stuff they dream about. For that you should go and buy Automobile magazine.
    So even though I know how to drive a manual, I usually try to not test drive cars that have a manual transmission.
    Because automatics are what people actually buy in the US. Not manuals.
    Most car buyers in this country do not care to know how the manual version drives.

    And besides, the Pontiac V8 is NOT available with a manual.
    So I couldn’t drive one even if I wanted too…

  3. that is true, it’s funny that nowaday if you see words like “smooth” “roomy” “quiet” “isolated” in a automobile magazine, the car being described is actually bad car and will get bashed into the ground by the writer! on the other hand, if you see words like “harsh” “hard” “tight” “snug” “punishing”, that car will recieve praises and awards.

  4. Good for you, Vince!! And that’s exactly why I like your blogger so much. Dreaming about dream cars is fine. But reading about how some OTHER GUY had fun in some supercar gets to be kinda boring after awile. I prefer to dream about cars that I can actully [hopefully and maybe] afford. Craig!! :o)

  5. Great response Vince!

    That’s what makes this different, and I hope stays–real cars that real people buy, in review. Not just the big V8, stick, every toy cars all the magazines want & drive.

    As for the G8, the interior has been talked about quite a bit…but the weird thing is it has nothing to do with GM of NA, but is all Holden and all Australia. The odd part there being, with last gen cars like the GTO having such fantastic interior as far as materials & build, this new gen is still solid, but has gone down rungs in the overall quality of parts and design.

    Still, if successful, the interior is far from negative (well, except for that all black, only black thing), and it should sell on price, features, and RWD with great V6 or V8 engines. Should do well, if dealers actually can get them and don’t play tricks with people, and marketing drums up more.

  6. that separated plastic near the ignition would drive me insane. If manufacturing “quality control” allows for exposed assemblies to look this sloppy, what do you think lurks in the “unexposed” recesses of the car….not a good sign.

  7. There is no way the steering column cover is supposed to be like that. I hope these were preproduction test cars.

  8. Vince, idk why everyone thinks this, but, why does everyone think the toyota camry XLE V6 have such a great resale value. It really doesn’t. And for all you non believers, go check it out for ur self. A 2007 Saturn Aura XR 3.6 has a much better resale value compared to the 2007 Camry XLE V6. If my memory serves me correct, it didn’t matter what kind of mileage. I did this a few months ago on kbb.com go check it out!

  9. Vince, were these preproduction cars? I hope so with the poor fit and finish of the steering wheel column.

    That rear view mirror would drive me insane with that airbag light. Why could’nt they put that in the message center on top of the center stack? Better yet, get rid of that digital message center, put it’s info on the main display screen/radio, and put a storage bin up there. And I heard the trunk release was in the glove box?!

    Things I read:
    -They MIGHT get rid of the fake hood scoops on the V6 and 6.0l V8. I would like that. To me it would be a cleaner, stealthier look.

    -The GXP version will have functional hood scoops.

    -The GXP version may have either a 7.0l V8 or the new 6.2l V8 (I don’t know about the supercharger).

    I don’t know how truthful any of this is. It’s just some stuff that I read in car mags and websites.

    Thanks for the review Vince. Have fun in the V8.

  10. GM should be embarrassed by that steering column. That was just stupid.

    Good response to the first poster Vince. You are dead on correct…

    I look forward to seeing what you’ve got to say about the GT. I would like to own this car but unfortunately I’m going to have to buy something a bit larger in my next vehicle….

  11. And for all you non believers, go check it out for ur self. A 2007 Saturn Aura XR 3.6 has a much better resale value compared to the 2007 Camry XLE V6.

    $19,005 for the Camry
    $16,255 for the Aura

  12. In response to another comment, the GXP will get the LS3 6.2L as used in the regular Vette now. It’s actually already listed on the GM dealer program/site, but only as the model/engine choice and not available yet.

    As for the rest…still waiting to see more of a review, which Vince should have soon.

  13. I really think that the hood scoops will be a hard sell for the family of four buyer looking for an alternative to the Toyondas out there. Pontiac will have trouble drawing this same buyer in with stories that rear wheel drive is superior for performance reasons. The V6 buyer with two kids in the back is not that kind of moth. What will attract this buyer is a competitive price, decent ergonomics and a large back seat and trumk. Vince, you may be surprised by the number of “normal” car drivers that will be interested in the V8. It is not priced to the stratsophere and gets almost the same gas mileage as the V6.

  14. figure out the differences between msrp’s. saturn wins everytime.

    $19,005 for the Camry
    $16,255 for the Aura

  15. That’s pretty funny about the MSRP. The Aura’s price is stuck at MSRP thanks to Saturn’s policies; the Camry’s isn’t. Anyone with half a brain can get a Camry V6 for not much more money than an Aura V6. Why do you think the Aura’s resale sucks so much?

    Back on topic, the G8 is really too cheap looking. If I’m shopping for a RWD sedan for $30K, I’m going to wait to see the Genesis before plunking down that kind of money and having to stare at the G8’s econobox interior for several years.

  16. If I were in the market for a sedan today, I just couldn’t live with the dull Camry image, and I prefer the style amenities and interior of the Aura. I see Auras all over the place and they just look really good in person. A new Camry isn’t such a quality machine anymore that I’m willing to sacrifice style. I also like the G6 in V8 form. Pontiac will have to get a handle on the fit-n-finish issues if they want to shed their image of being the disposable performance car division.

  17. Love the car. Hate the fake hood scoops. Also, what’s the deal with having massive amounts of information on the rearview mirror? Mine has a compass and a light that indicates whether the autodim is on or off. That’s enough info. What the hell is passenger seat information, four Onstar buttons, and a compass doing on there? It’s not supposed to be an information center. Since the passenger airbag on/off function is automatic, there is no need to even have an indicator light illuminated unless the airbag is faulty or unless it’s been manually switched off. Less is more in this case.

  18. From a design standpoiint, a rather clumsy, boring looking car with a very inelegant dated looking dash, steering wheel, and center stack. Absolutely no flair. Maybe the target market doesn’t care about this, but my two cents.

    Sounds like a great driver – but why buy one of these, especially with the obvious quality problems, and the unknown resale value?

  19. you missed the point you ugly man!!

    This car is the first rear wheel drive sedan gm has given us
    it is not a stupid camry competiotor!!!!

  20. figure out the differences between msrp’s. saturn wins everytime.

    I proved either you or somebody wrong in their assertion that the Saturn has a better resale value over the Camry. Do you want to talk about the issue at hand, or do you just want to whine about something else?

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