2008 Pontiac G8 Long Term Road Test

2008 Pontiac G8 GT: The Words Between The Numbers

May 07, 2009

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If nothing else, Pontiac's departure from this earthly coil reminds us of the variety available to the car-buying public.

By nearly any measure on paper, our long-term 2008 Pontiac G8 and 2008 Mitsubishi Evo MR are doppelgangers. Acceleration is dead heat between the two, both are four-doors, have six-speed transmissions, heck, even the detailing down to the grille trim is similar. Furthermore, both haven proven robust.

We always put words between the numbers, though, and those words (hopefully) have spoken of a vast difference in driving character between these rides. Our comparison test of the Evo MR vs the G8 GXP last year demonstrated just how different two high-performance sedans at the same price point can be.

That test was with the GXP, though, and our long-term G8 is a GT. Still, aside from the GXP's faster numbers, they're very obviously cut from the same cloth. They're fraternal twins--one simply ended up more athletic than the other.

By contrast, the Evo is an entirely different animal from the Lancer upon which it is based. It's a Lancer in the way that the Six Million Dollar Man is a human male.

There's one thing that really separates the G8 GT and the Evo MR, and that's the fact that the MSRP of the GT undercuts the MR by ten grand. That's such a big difference that it might make you reevaluate how much you're willing to spend for the Evo's sharper character.

For me, the transmission clinches it. The Evo's all wheel-drive traction and twin-clutch gearbox puts it in another galaxy compared to the G8 GT's autobox. Sure, the GT has a shift-it-yourself mode, but it's sluggish, lacks paddles and the console shifter is logic-reversed.

What say you, fine IL LT blog reader--among the G8 GT, G8 GXP and Evo MR, which ride hits your sweet spot and why?

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 20,771 miles.

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