November 16, 2009
There's so much that GM fundamentally got right with the 2008 Pontiac G8 GT-- steering, ride/handling, thrust, space, looks (especially its rear three-quarter angle) -- that polishing it up for a second-generation would have been a snap.
Just rejigger some of the interior controls, slap in the six-speed manual and/or liven up the sluggish autobox, an external trunk release, larger side-view mirrors, sexier wheels, and... hmm. I think that would cover the major issues.
Not very major, are they?
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 34,480 miles.
November 10, 2009
The G8's cabin reminds me of my older brother's basement. Descend those stairs and you'll find that the room is a bit messy, and some of the furniture looks like it belongs in a time capsule. But the couches are comfy and the vibe is mellow -- all in all, it just feels right.
So it is with the Pontiac. The car's cabin looks dated in some respects, but the seats offer just enough support and I love the way the steering wheel feels in my hands. Now if only it had pay-per-view and a Wii...
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 34,170 miles
October 14, 2009
It was a dark and stormy morning here is Los Angeles, so I quickly reached for the seat heater button in the Pontiac G8 GT.
It didn't get very hot, then I realized it defaulted to the lowest of its three settings. Most cars usually default to the highest and its up to you to knock it back. Or they default to the highest and gradually dial themselves back over time.
Not our Pontiac. It politely lets you warm up gradually.
Do you have seat heaters in your car? What is the default setting, high or low?
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor
September 21, 2009
I've enjoyed my time with our long-term Pontiac G8 GT, particularly when I drove it to Napa Valley last fall. But there are some things Pontiac might have handled better (not that this is of great consequence anymore). Over the weekend, I was conscious of how much noise there is as the suspension extends over particularly nasty bumps and ruts. Maybe I wouldn't notice this as much if the cabin wasn't so serene otherwise. I don't think it's a fatal flaw on a $32K car.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 31,252 miles
August 26, 2009
A few days ago I was about 200 miles northeast of our Santa Monica office cruising our long-term Pontiac G8 GT through Baker, California. Baker is home of the world's tallest thermometer, which is a don't miss attraction should you be in the Mojave, and it's considered the Gateway to Death Valley. While I was there, I ate, I gassed and I managed to grab a few choice shots of the car just as a storm was rolling in.
These three pics are the best and I promise you that no Photoshop was used in the creation of these images, just good luck, Mom Nature and my trusty Canon.
By the way, the G8 is awsome on the highway. Great road trip ride.
August 19, 2009
I'm surprised no one else has noted this in the blog yet (at least not that I can tell by scanning 119 entries), but the steering wheel of our 2008 Pontiac G8 GT feels pretty nice to hold.
July 06, 2009
Nothing's more American than baseball, right? So two friends and I drove to San Diego's Petco Park in our long-term 2008 Pontiac G8 GT on Saturday to watch the Padres and Dodgers. Two of us are Dodger fans. The third friend bought our tickets in Field section 125, just left of the right-field foul pole, where he hoped Adrian Gonzalez would homer. It didn't happen. But the Padres did of course win 7-4.
One thing we all agreed on was that the G8 was a very comfortable and likable car for the nearly 300-mile trip. The only 6-footer in our group sat in back the whole time and said he had plenty of room. He also liked the adjustable rear air-conditioning vents.
May 29, 2009
A few weeks ago, I was flipping through channels on TV and stopped on The Transporter. It was a 2002 film starring Jason Statham; his ex-military character earns a living by driving potentially illegal packages or cargo around Europe using a manual-shift BMW 730i and not asking any questions.
I was actually driving our long-term 750i at the time, and The Transporter also made me think of BMW's series of The Hire short films from 2001 and 2002 starring Clive Owen. After a bit of contemplation, I decided that neither the "transporter" nor the "hire" would drive a 2009 750i. As capable as it is, there's just too much technology in it. It's not a true driver's car.
I could see them driving a Pontiac G8, though. Like a 7 Series, it's big, roomy and an exceptionally handling car for its size. But it's not overly pretentious like a new 7 can seem. Not too many other motorists notice our black G8, either, so one can dip into the V8's extensive power reserves without drawing much attention. Plus, you can get a manual transmission in the GXP version, something BMW no longer bothers with for the new 750i. If there any real "tranporters" or "hires" out there, this is the car for you.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor
May 26, 2009
Our Pontiac G8 GT's term is almost complete, but I managed to squeeze in another rotation before it's gone. Coincidentally, it was almost one year ago that I first drove our G8. Much of the experience this time around has been familiar. The sedan is still silly fast, especially when already rolling; it takes great restraint to obey the speed limit when driving on lightly trafficked freeways.
The G8 is noisier on the freeway than I recall it being 11 months ago, though. In particular, there's notable wind noise from the passenger-side mirror or door area that I don't remember. And assuming my memory is correct about such things, the suspension damping also seems a little softer, leading to a bit more body roll during initial turn-in for cornering.
Even so, I gained renewed fondness for the G8. It's not perfect by any means, and it won't likely be around much longer. But any car enthusiast needing a family sedan would be remiss if he or she didn't add the G8 GT to their comparison list.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 22,209 miles
May 11, 2009
"I read an interesting article recently about walnuts and hazelnuts," my barely vegan college roommate Mumbles told me when I picked him up at the airport on Friday.
The Professor was also in the mix, of course, as was Big Sleep, another old roommate who actually wasn't known as Big Sleep until he set an unofficial Man Weekend record by taking 13 naps between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon.
Our destination was a cabin a few miles from the west entrance to Joshua Tree National Park.
Our gear included three guitars, two bags of organic pesto pumpkin seeds, 48 bottles of reverse-osmosis-purified water (Mumbles' personal reserve), one U2 mix CD, and one long-term 2008 Pontiac G8 GT.
It was going to be a hell of a trip.
May 07, 2009
After more than 20,000 miles the interior of our long-term 2008 Pontiac G8 GT is holding up wonderfully. The seats, steering wheel, shifter and dash would all look new after a good scrubbing. But there is one spot showing some age.
The above photo is of the top of the rear seat. It's the top of the seat's center section that folds down to create a trunk pass through and that button is how you release it from the rear bulkhead. Notice how the upholstery has pulled away from the button's plastic trim exposing the padding underneath.
Disappointing, but the top of the rear seat does get a lot of sun. Obviously it's having an effect.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief
May 03, 2009
1) To improve weight distribution the G8's battery is in the trunk.
2) It has more comfortable seats and better ergonomics than the Cadillac CTS.
3) It's entire rearseat does not fold down, but its center section does, so long items that are not too wide can come along for the ride.
4) There are no cupholders for its rearseat passengers (The two in the center fold down
section are so lame they don't count.) (Sorry cocarguydj.)
5) Only the G8's two front windows feature auto up and down. (thanks cocarguydj and carguy622)
6) It does not require premium gasoline, nor does it use expensive sythetic oil.
7) It'll out drag race a Dodge Challenger R/T 6-speed.
8) Its 6-speed automatic has a Sport mode that really works, and it matches revs perfectly when you downshift it manually.
9) It has more tire noise than it should.
10) When you use its 361 hp to burn its Bridgestones through first and second gear it really pisses off the hottie behind you in the SLK55 AMG.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 20,614 miles
September 26, 2008
At lunch today, several of your favorite editors piled into our long-term 2008 Pontiac G8 GT. There was a sale at Fred Segal. (You can't live in LA if you're not shallow, so don't bother telling us we're shallow and extravagant. We already know.) I rode in the G8's backseat on the way there and couldn't believe how roomy and comfortable it was. On the way back, our copy editor Doug Lloyd (6'-1") took a turn in back and proclaimed it equally so.
I realize the Pontiac G8 is big and thus should be comfortable, but I'd honestly thought its Australian-market packaging would make it tight in back. On the contrary, this backseat is as comfy as a Toyota Avalon's.
Erin Riches, Edmunds Senior Editor
July 08, 2008
There's little question that our 2008 Pontiac G8 GT possesses solid sporting credentials. I've been curious to find out how well the G8 could serve as a family sedan, however. So over the holiday break, I packed up the G8 and made a trip to visit my in-laws. Overall, I was pretty impressed with the G8 in regards to family-carting duty. Some specific observations about fuel economy, comfort and utility follow.
The Trip and Mileage
We (my wife and 1-year-old) put about 700 miles on the G8, most of this coming in the form of highway driving (70 to 80 mph) from our home in central California down to southern California and back. For the trip, I averaged 19.8 mpg. (The EPA's highway is 24 mpg.) Using the in-car mpg gauge, I noticed city mileage (for me, anyway) sinks to about 11 or 12 mpg. I managed the G8's best tank so far on this trip, 22.6 mpg, as well as its furthest distance on a tank, 351 miles.
I found the front seat to be adequate in terms of comfort but nothing more. My wife sat in back for the trip (to be with our daughter) and commented favorably about the copious amount of rear legroom and comfortable seat bolstering. (Note: the front passenger seat was not occupied.) Specific comments: 1) Sitting in the middle of the rear seat sucks because of the high hump for the driveshaft. 2) The rear head restraints aren't adjustable, but they're high enough so that most adults should be OK.
In this regard, our G8 GT isn't as comfortable as other midsize sedans. The ride is firm, though I'd say it's acceptable given the car's performance. Wind, tire and engine noise are also more noticeable than on other top sedans during highway driving.
May 21, 2008
The above photo is supposed to illustrate a suspension, but I wasn't prepared to remove the wheel. Because the suspension on our long-term 2008 Pontiac G8 GT is a bit confounding to me. I drove it last night in Los Angeles' hateful, seething, evil, boiling cauldron of vile commuter traffic. The G8 was relatively comforting, nice stereo, all that...
But every time I hit a pothole, it felt as if the car had fallen INTO it. And every bump? WHAM! Imperfection? SMACK! Bump? BIFF! If I had dentures, they would have fallen out, and as it was, the glovebox actually popped open. What is up with that?
I assume this is either due to the sport suspension or maybe the combination of summer tires on 19-inch rims. Later in the evening, at higher speeds, the car was as pleasant as could be, and of course, as powerful as I needed it to be. I guess it just hates slow-moving commuter traffic as much as I do.
Doug Lloyd, Senior Copy Editor @ 3,927 miles