2008 Pontiac G8: U R GR8
May 07, 2008
One reliable measure of a car's greatness is its ability to make you overlook the little things. Case in point: our long-term Pontiac G8 GT. When I commandeered the G8 for the first time, I immediately noticed the wonky relationship between the dead pedal (hey, at least it has one) and the accelerator. Not only is the dead pedal too far away, requiring my left leg to be virtually straight while driving, but it's also angled too far forward, so it doesn't prop up my left foot like it should.
Once I hit the open road, though, the dead pedal issue seemed, well, dead. That's because this car is flat-out awesome for $32k. You know that whole "bargain 5 Series" thing you've been reading about? It's no joke. The G8 is a legitimate canyon-carver, and it also provides good steering feel and feedback (much better than the new Challenger SRT-8, for example). Oh yeah -- and it's fast. "Stonk fast," as we say in the trade.
Indeed, the G8's performance numbers compare favorably to those of the BMW 550i, which starts at nearly twice the price of our nicely optioned Pontiac. And don't think for a minute that the G8's powertrain is unrefined. This V8 sounds GR8 from idle to (unfortunately unlabeled) redline, and the transmission is quick, smooth and even blips the throttle for you on downshifts. I found myself cackling uncontrollably whenever I went WOT (which I naturally did at every opportunity).
Okay, so there are two things I'd change. First, the G8 bobs and rolls a bit more than I'd like during hard cornering -- a "Sport Package" with the Australian-spec Holden Commodore SS suspension would presumably take care of this (Pontiac softened the G8 somewhat for American tastes). Second, I want a stickshift, and I don't want to have to ante up for the GXP version to get it.
But overall, this car rocks, period. It can be my wingman anytime.
Josh Sadlier, Associate Editor, Edmunds.com @ 3,042 miles