2008 Pontiac G5 Coupe Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Pontiac G5 Coupe

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Pontiac G5 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.2 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 148 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 24/33 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Pontiac G5

  • The 2008 Pontiac G5 trails the class leaders in terms of handling response and overall refinement. For a sporty coupe, there are simply better choices available.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Respectable acceleration, smooth and quiet ride, good fuel economy.

  • Cons

    Cheap cabin plastics, marginal backseat space and interior storage, lifeless handling.

  • What's New for 2008

    The Pontiac G5 enters its second year with minimal changes. All models receive side curtain airbags and satellite radio as standard equipment, while the GT trim gets stability control and OnStar as standard.

Full 2008 Pontiac G5 Review

What's New for 2008

The Pontiac G5 enters its second year with minimal changes. All models receive side curtain airbags and satellite radio as standard equipment, while the GT trim gets stability control and OnStar as standard.


Here's about all you need to know about the 2008 Pontiac G5: it's a badge-engineered knockoff of the Chevrolet Cobalt coupe, sharing just about everything with its corporate cousin except for minor differences in exterior styling and interior trim. Therefore, it shares both strengths and weaknesses with its platform-mate.

To its benefit, the G5 boasts a sporty profile, a couple of decently powerful engines and an affordable price. Unfortunately, the ledger sheet contains many more weaknesses than strengths. Despite a coupe-only body style and being a product of General Motors' "Designed For Action" brand, there's little actual excitement going on with the G5. Tepid handling and steering, a bland and low-quality interior and a general lack of refinement all put Pontiac's entry-level car near the bottom of our list of desirable coupes to own.

Perhaps if you just ignored those other models, the 2008 Pontiac G5 might be a reasonable choice for an affordable and sporty small coupe. But that would be just a tad silly, wouldn't it? Just about all of the G5's rivals, including the Honda Civic, Scion tC, Volkswagen Rabbit and GM's own all-new Saturn Astra are more fun to drive, with better build quality and generally superior execution. We strongly suggest taking a look at them first before deciding on this Pontiac.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Pontiac G5 is a compact sport coupe in either base or GT trim. The base G5 comes with 15-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, full power accessories, remote keyless entry, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, satellite radio and a CD/MP3 player with an auxiliary audio jack. The GT adds 17-inch aluminum wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, foglamps, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, a Pioneer seven-speaker audio system, and steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls. The base G5 can be optionally equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels as well as many of the GT's features. Other major available features for both models include a six-CD changer, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a sunroof and remote vehicle starting. The Pontiac G5 can be further personalized with an extensive array of dealer-installed accessories like 18-inch wheels, cat-back exhaust system, custom-colored interior lighting, high-mount spoiler and a body ground-effects package.

Powertrains and Performance

With either engine, the front-drive Pontiac G5 is one of the swifter economy cars on the market. A 2.2-liter inline four-cylinder with 148 horsepower and 152 pound-feet of torque motivates the base G5; a more potent 2.4-liter engine with 171 horses and 167 lb-ft of torque powers the GT. Both are connected to a standard five-speed manual transmission, with a four-speed automatic available as an option. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 22-24 mpg city/31-33 mpg highway depending on the powertrain combination selected.


Four-wheel antilock disc brakes are standard on the GT, while the base G5 comes with rear drums and ABS as an option. Traction control is available on models equipped with ABS brakes and an automatic transmission. Full-length side curtain airbags are standard on all G5s this year. Government frontal impact testing resulted in four stars out of five for the driver and a perfect five stars for the passenger. In that agency's side-impact tests, the 2008 Pontiac G5 earned four stars for both front and rear occupants.

Interior Design and Special Features

Attractive instruments, comprehensive audio controls and some well-placed metallic accents on the GT model brighten up an otherwise stark and unimpressive cabin. Some of the interior plastics feel cheap, and even with the optional leather trim, the seat design is plain and not especially comfortable -- particularly in back where the bench is low and flat. On the plus side, both models feature a trip computer that provides useful information like outside temperature, fuel range, coolant temperature and any necessary warning messages.

Driving Impressions

Whichever trim level you choose, the G5 has adequate power for most situations. A smooth and quiet ride will be a boon for commuters, as long as they don't place a premium on stellar handling. The standard G5 suspension allows excessive body roll, and the electric power steering that plagues both models is slow, with minimal feedback. In a segment that tends to emphasize fun behind the wheel, the 2008 Pontiac G5 lags behind the class leaders with regard to overall driving enjoyment and refinement.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Reliable, economical car!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac G5 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M)

bought the car in august of 2007 as an 08 model I've had this car for six years now and i am amazed, this is a great little economical car great in Canadian winters never had a problem no lights ever came on only thing that i had to replace is the sway bar (links)(my fault) only because I travel on a lot of bumpy roads and dirt roads a lot of the time and about 80% of my driving is city driving barely highway kms, the car has about 200,000 kms on it again never had any problems at all no noises or service lights never hesitated to start all ways started right up like the day I bought it, and i have to admit i don't take the best care of my cars it has a couple dents(me) very reliable car!!!

I love my g5 gt

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac G5 GT 2dr Coupe (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

I love the G5 GT! I have had mine for two years! It has been very reliable and is so much fun to drive! When I first test drove the car it was just a standard G5, I would recommend buying the GT. The handling of the car is a lot better and the performance is better as well. It comes with great stuff! The pioneer system! heated seats, remote start and its sporty looking! I get so many compliments on the car.

Never buy a gm again!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac G5 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M)

This car is nothing but problems! I will never buy anything from GM again. It feels like every day something else is wrong with this car and then when I bring it to the dealer for service, they tell me they have it fixed yet the problem never gets resolved until five trips back to the dealer and after buying parts I didn't even need! I HATE this car! Take my advise and save your money and time, I wish I did. NEVER AGAIN!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

This car rocks

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac G5 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M)

After reading reviews I'm starting to think people just like to complain. This car is great! I have had mine for 2 years and other than one minor repair it has been extremely reliable. It is one of the smoothest driving cars I've ever driven and everyone who drives it says the same. The interior is comfy, no noise, no rattles, not cheap. The back seat feels much larger than it looks and dips down giving more room for rear passengers. Battery is in the trunk, no big deal. You can't generally open the hood without getting to the interior either. I'm only 5'2" and the seats adjust for short drivers perfectly!

Wish i could get rid

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac G5 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M)

My car has had many small issues, speaker went out, air vents won't turn, blinker doesn't tick anymore. The one thing that set me over the edge is that the battery is in the trunk. That is really not a problem, until you combine that with the whole anti theft thing where when your battery is unhooked or dies, your key gets stuck in the ignition. How are you supposed to get to your dead or unhooked battery that is in your trunk with the key stuck in the ignition? Seriously? Most women (and this is a woman's car) do not keep their spare on them. So, that leaves us with either climbing into the trunk or calling a popalock to open our trunk. Oh, and now the thing is on the recall list FANTASTIC!

I love my g5

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac G5 2dr Coupe (2.2L 4cyl 5M)

I have had my G5 for sometime now, and have had zero problem. I travel approx 30 min from home to work, and back each day, plus i do a lot of additional traveling aside from that, so with that said i am very happy with my car.

Talk About The 2008 G5

2008 Pontiac G5 Discussions See all Started By

Due to issues with the salesman being well, for lack of a better word, an [non-permissible content removed], we went to the GM dealership where I was looking at a G5....

I just purchased a 2008 g 5, me and my wife went in to look at a vibe but found it too small. The g5 s were parked next to the vibes, we looked at it test drove it, came back and bought it ,so far...

is louder than mine, and is normal in Torrent, G5 and G6, Im going to call to the GM plant in Mexico to find out if that its true, because the service manager told me that the GM plant is going to ...

Gas Mileage


  • 24
  • cty
  • 33
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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