2008 Pontiac G8 Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Pontiac G8 Sedan

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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 G8 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 6.0 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 361 hp @ 5300 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Pontiac G8

  • GM's recent renaissance continues with the 2008 Pontiac G8, which offers performance, practicality and surprising refinement at an attractive price.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Commendable ride and handling balance, muscle-car mojo with the optional V8, the best Pontiac interior in recent memory.

  • Cons

    V8's overly muffled exhaust note, still a couple chintzy interior details.

  • What's New for 2008

    The 2008 Pontiac G8 is an all-new full-size sport sedan. It boasts available V8 power, rear-wheel drive and dramatic styling.

Full 2008 Pontiac G8 Review

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Pontiac G8 is an all-new full-size sport sedan. It boasts available V8 power, rear-wheel drive and dramatic styling.


For most of the 1990s and early 2000s, General Motors' products were automatic also-rans in just about every comparison test that automotive publications conducted. Moreover, with manufacturers such as Honda and Toyota having American production facilities, not to mention increased outsourcing by the General, even the patriotic argument for buying GM products lost much of its luster. Somewhere around the turn of the century, however, the folks at GM apparently decided to get their collective act together and started setting their sights on the best offerings from Germany and Japan. The 2008 Pontiac G8 full-size sport sedan is the latest fruit borne by this paradigm shift -- and it also happens to be one of the tastiest.

The G8 is based on GM's global Zeta platform, which was developed by GM's Australian subsidiary, Holden, for that company's Commodore sedan, and will also underpin the 2009 Chevrolet Camaro. The Commodore and the G8 are mostly mechanical twins, although the Pontiac benefits from more cohesive exterior styling that thankfully manages to incorporate the brand's traditional performance-oriented cues without going over the top. As platform-mates go, the Commodore is good company, having developed a sterling reputation Down Under for its enviable combination of speed, handling and spaciousness at a reasonable price. After spending some time behind the G8's wheel, we're pleased to report that none of these attributes have been lost in translation.

The 2008 Pontiac G8 will win performance enthusiasts over because it's a car that finally makes good on the brand's age-old promise of "driving excitement." This car does it right, packing muscular engines underneath its taut sheet metal and routing its power to the rear wheels, as a proper American (or Australian) muscle car should. The G8's handling is equally impressive, yet its ride is never punishing, which is no surprise given its BMW-like MacPherson front strut layout and multilink rear suspension. At the same time, the G8's overall refinement puts past Pontiacs to shame, and also boasts an impressive Audi-inspired interior layout we hope future Pontiacs will emulate.

Considering the G8's bargain pricing, refined athleticism and relative lack of direct competitors -- the Dodge Charger/Chrysler 300 twins are the only other roomy rear-wheel-drive, full-size performance sedans available at the G8's price point -- we think it merits strong consideration. As a straight-up family sedan, though, the G8 isn't quite as lustrous -- one look at the wide center tunnel needed for the transmission and driveshaft will make you understand why front-drive is still the king in terms of interior packaging.

Still, with the accomplished and affordable G8 in its stable, Pontiac is back. Score another one for the home team as GM continues to restore its reputation in the automotive marketplace.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Pontiac G8 is a performance-oriented large sedan available in base or GT trim. Base models come with 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, air-conditioning, four-way power front sport seats, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and a seven-speaker CD sound system with an auxiliary audio jack. G8 GTs add summer performance tires, a limited-slip rear differential, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a premium 11-speaker Blaupunkt sound system with a six-CD/MP3 changer.

Much of the GT's equipment can be had on the base model via the Comfort and Sound Package. For both trims Pontiac offers a Premium Package featuring leather upholstery and six-way power heated front seats. A sunroof is available as a stand-alone option. A Sport Package available for the GT adds 19-inch alloy wheels with summer tires and a sport steering wheel.

Powertrains and Performance

The Pontiac G8 base model is equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 256 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. It sends its power to the rear wheels through a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. The GT has a 6.0-liter V8 packing 361 hp and 385 lb-ft of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic.

In track testing, we clocked the G8 GT to 60 mph in an impressive 5.3 seconds en route to a 13.7-second quarter-mile. And thanks to a cylinder deactivation feature, the V8's fuel economy is close to the V6's; the EPA gives the V6 a 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway rating and the V8 a 15/24 mpg rating.


All G8 models are equipped with front seat airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability control and traction control. OnStar is also standard equipment.

Interior Design and Special Features

Pontiac's interiors have not been known for their style or subtlety in recent years, but the 2008 Pontiac G8's interior is a huge step in the right direction. The center stack conveys a sense of quality construction, and it looks good with Pontiac's traditional red lighting. The G8's seats are supportive and nicely shaped, with ample leg- and shoulder room front and back. The rear seats don't fold down, though there is a ski pass-through. The trunk is amply proportioned at 17.5 cubic feet.

Notably absent from the G8's interior, however, is a navigation system -- it's not even available as an option. We also aren't big fans of the '80s-style digital readouts for battery life and oil pressure, the cryptic control icons and the lack of a redline indicator for the tachometer. All in all, however, the G8's interior is leaps and bounds ahead of its various Pontiac predecessors.

Driving Impressions

On paper, the 2008 Pontiac G8 has all the makings of a classic muscle car: powerful engines, rear-wheel drive and defeatable traction control. Suffice it to say that the G8 doesn't disappoint in this regard -- if you want to engage in some tire-smoking shenanigans, the G8 GT is always ready to play. What you might not expect is the car's European sport sedanlike ride and handling balance. We don't throw BMW analogies around lightly, but the G8's ability to make haste on twisting tarmac while coddling its passengers in commendable comfort is genuinely Bimmer-like, faltering only in the brake pedal's undue softness. This dual personality should give the G8 an unusually broad appeal, particularly given its commodious interior and sub-$30,000 price point. Think driving excitement with a sophisticated flair.

Read our Pontiac G8 GT Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

The lemon

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Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac G8 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 5A)

The car had been in the shop several time handles poorly in the snow. Tires are very expensive to replace. The brake light was on when driving - did not know it until a state trooper followed me. I would say that 36,000 miles was the life before every thing began to break down and then lets not mention the warranty was up after that and obama motors did not have a stimulus for the replacing the warranty of the car, how about that for a change!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Best bang for the buck

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Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac G8 GT 4dr Sedan (6.0L 8cyl 6A)

Nothing can touch the Pontiac G8 GT in the same price range for overall performance and comfort. The G8 is Pontiac's 7-series sized, 5-series handling, 1-series priced, 3-series BMW. With time it would have gone from a very good car to a great car. GM dropped the ball, big time, when they canceled the Pontiac brand. I only hope that they will bring the Australian Beast back. Regardless what brand it would fall under, or what they called it, I would purchase another one. Out of the 20 vehicles I've owned, the G8 one is by far my favorite. It doesn't matter if I'm looking at her in my garage, detailing her, or drifting her around some corners, she always brings a big smile to my face.


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Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac G8 GT 4dr Sedan (6.0L 8cyl 6A)

The car is great, could not have asked for a better vehicle from GM. Had an 07 SS impala before and they improved just about everything i didn't like about the impala. the handling, suspension, rear wheel drive, it's just a smooth ride with everything you would need in a car and the ability to get up and go with cars that cost a good deal more. (ex: Taurus sho for 40 something, g8 gt for less than 30)

The problems i've had with

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Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac G8 GT 4dr Sedan (6.0L 8cyl 6A)

I've had my car in the shop now 6 times to fix the front suspension. There is a huge clunking noise whenever I go over bumps. The entire front suspension has been replaced (1 control arm, both struts and all the linkage) and the problem is still there. Did I mention that I only have 30K miles on the car. I miss my 2004 Grand Prix GTP, hands down a better car. As soon as the suspension is fixed I am getting rid of this car.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful


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Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac G8 GT 4dr Sedan (6.0L 8cyl 6A)

I traded in my 2006 CTS-V for this car. While the V was definitely much faster, the G8GT is very aggressive and a very comfortable sedan. Overall, only a slight concession at half the price. I frequently travel I75 in Florida, this car cruises VERY nice at speeds of 80-85 mph. I have driven this car in excess of 120 mph a few times and it stills tracks nicely without vibration or float. Cars are my weakness and have had many - this 2008 G8GT is probably my overall favorite. I have removed all the badges on the car and people often ask what kind of car it is. "that looks great" and "I never heard of that" are usually the comments made. Lots of bang for the buck!!!!

More fun for the buck

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Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac G8 GT 4dr Sedan (6.0L 8cyl 6A)

In my last post I mentioned that a Magnaflow exhaust system would be delivered the next day. Well, it was and it made my G8 even more fun. The exhaust made the car sound great, with out making everyday driving to noisy like other systems I have had. Another upside is that gas mileage has gone up from a average of 16.4 to 17.1 in every day commute.

Talk About The 2008 G8

2008 Pontiac G8 Discussions See all Started By

2008 Pontiac G8 Long Term Road Test We lived with the 2008 Pontiac G8 for a year. Read all about our daily driving experiences in our long-term road test....

2008 Pontiac G8 Long-Term Road Test Edmunds spent a whole year with the 2008 Pontiac G8 GT. How did it hold up? Read all of our findings here....

How many of you guys/gals would like to see this new 6.0 LS-2 V-8 RWD (Commodore SS-V) Grand Prix sedan hit out shores ?????...

Gas Mileage


  • 15
  • cty
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

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