Rear wheel drive. Corvette powered American muscle car. Made in Australia, but who cares. Already you have the makings of a great vehicle, deserving of a great name. So what does Pontiac come up with? G8. G8 evokes about as much emotion as, well, G6. That is to say, none. Starting with such a great platform and engine, this car should have a seriously bad-ass name, and G8 just doesn’t cut it. Issue with the name aside, what’s the car like? Well, let’s take a look.
You have your choice of a 256 horse V6 starting at $27,595, or a 361 horse beast starting at $29,995. My advice? Pony up the extra $2500 and get the V8 – you will enjoy those extra 100 horsepower immensely. Gas mileage won’t even suffer that much if you can manage to stay out of the gas. Not that you’ll be able to, of course – 361 HP is way too much fun not to enjoy. And GM’s bean counters saw fit to drop the 6 speed auto in the G8, to keep you in the torque curve’s sweet spot while hammering it, and still get you good mileage on the highway.
Styling-wise, the G8 is a toss up. It’s not super-bland like the new GTO before it, nor is it in-your-face like the Dodge Charger. It’s distinct without being offensive, which overall is a good thing. The interior is OK… it’s no Malibu, but it’s no Cobalt either. Pontiac could have done much better here. Overall, the G8 is a very good car. The engine is what makes the car though -without the LS2, the G8 is just another ho-hum Pontiac. Thankfully GM did drop the big engine in there, and the power goes to the right ( rear ) wheels. If I had to choose between this and the Charger, it would be a tough call.
2008 Pontiac G8 Specs
- 256 HP 3.6 liter V6
- Available 361 HP 6.0 liter V8 ( GT trim )
- RWD standard
- Six speed automatic transmission
- 4 wheel ABS with side & side curtain airbags
- Curb weight: 3885 lbs (V6) / 3995 lbs (V8)
- EPA Says: 15 MPG city / 24 mpg highway ( V8 )
2008 Pontiac G8 Reviews
Popular Mechanics reviews the 2008 Pontiac G8 GT and says – ‘The G8’s suspension and steering systems are some of the best GM has produced. One afternoon we hit our favorite canyons—high above the crashing waves of Malibu, Calif. We were expecting a taut but detached driving experience, but we were wrong—the steering is direct, precise and lively. And the G8’s multi-link strut front and four-link rear suspension seems to have been tuned perfectly for running through rough, twisty sections of blacktop—must be that Aussie influence. In fact, the harder you run the G8 in the twisties, the smaller it tends to feel. Better yet, whether you choose the V8 car of the V6 model, you get the same basic suspension tune.’
The Hollywood Extra reviews the 2008 Pontiac G8 and says – ”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.
Edmunds reviews the 2008 Pontiac G8 and says – ‘With our test car’s optional 245/40R19 Bridgestone RE050A tires providing the grip, this big, heavy sedan is fast on a mountain road. Very fast. But it also rides right, with proper compliance, buttoned-down body motions and a tight overall feel. The one misstep is a rear suspension that can feel a tick underdamped over some surfaces, especially when the G8’s huge 19.2-gallon fuel tank is full.’