2008 Pontiac G8 Long Term Road Test

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2008 Pontiac G8: Center Stack

November 11, 2009

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I'd mentioned in a previous post that though I love the comfort of the G8's cabin, some aspects of its overall presentation strike me as being a bit dated. I think the biggest offender on this front is the center stack. That digital display at the very top reminds me of an Atari video game from the '80s, and the rest of the stack looks cluttered to my eyes.

While we're on the topic of the center stack, the control layout on that panel isn't that intuitive. For example, there are two audio knobs; one controls volume as you'd expect, but the other isn't a tuning knob -- it's used to govern menu setup choices. And pressing the volume knob doesn't turn the stereo on and off as you'd likely expect; instead, it serves to mute the volume.

Am I being too harsh? What are your thoughts on the G8's center stack?

Anyway, these are relatively minor nits on an otherwise superlative car. R.I.P., G8.

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor

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2008 Pontiac G8 GT: Unreliable Compass

July 07, 2009

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We've already written about how the autodimming rearview mirror in our long-term 2008 Pontiac G8 GT vibrates at highway speeds and has that distracting passenger airbag light (a consequence of it being an Australian car hastily retrofitted for the U.S. market). But I'll bring up one more issue: The compass is unreliable.

On several occasions over the holiday weekend, the compass would get "stuck" in one particular direction and cease to be of any use for 5 minutes at a time.

For example, after a decade in Los Angeles, I still get befuddled at the National/Overland exit off the eastbound 10 freeway. After exiting, I consulted the mirror as I began making a series of turns that I thought would take me to my destination. Soon realizing I'd just driven in a circle, it dawned on me that maybe "NW" wasn't really northwest. In other instances, the error was more blatant -- I'd be driving due west as the compass insisted the car was pointed "E."

Thank goodness I just installed the Google Maps app on my phone.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 24,518 miles

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2008 Pontiac G8 GT: Blaupunk'd (WITH ADDED VIDEO)

February 02, 2009

I just ran out to take the Pontiac G8 to the car wash. I was in a hurry so didn't bring any entertainment with me, no iPod, no CDs. The radio DJ was getting on my nerves, so I pushed the volume button on the Blaupunkt audio system. This doesn't turn the system off, it just mutes it. I was driving and didn't have time to fiddle.

But then I realized I could still hear the radio very low. So, even though the screen displays "MUTE" in a huge font, it doesn't actually mute it, it sorta mutes it. I had to turn the volume down to zero to get rid of the DJ.

I used the CD player all weekend and it sounds pretty good when you feel like listening to it.

Sorry, no picture.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 17,881 miles

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2008 Pontiac G8 GT: How Long is Your Commute?

January 19, 2009

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I've never come across a car with a "Rest Reminder" before. Our 2008 Pontiac G8 GT apparently has one. It comes on after 2 hours of continuous driving.

How do I know this? Driving across the desert to Vegas this weekend would be a good guess. A good guess, but wrong.

No, the way I discovered this little gem was far more demoralizing: It came on during my Friday evening commute, an especially bad one this holiday weekend. That's right, it took me over 2 hours to get home.

Thanks a helluva lot for rubbing it in, G8.

According to the manual, the 2 hour trigger threshhold is not changeable. But you can press the DIC access button (GM's cheerful acronym for Driver Information Center) to override the above display when it appears. If you do that, however, the warning will come back again in 20 further minutes, with a chime this time. And every 20 minutes after that. It won't stop until you switch off the car. You know, rest.

At least I got home before the 2:20 chime.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 17,174 miles

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2008 Pontiac G8: A Bit of Throttle Lag

August 18, 2008

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This weekend was the most time I've ever spent in our 2008 Pontiac G8. And I have to say that yes, that car can go pretty fast. Really easy to move in and out of traffic, jump onto the freeway in front of fast-moving cars and hit those extra-legal speeds. In fact it seemed at its best when it was going fast.

Only a few things about it that I wasn't crazy about is that it seemed like the throttle had a bit of a lag like when I was trying to backup. If I carefully touched the throttle, like I usually do when going in reverse, nothing would happen. And so when I went to press down more, the car would suddenly lunge backward with the engine revving. One time I did that I felt obliged to apologize to my passenger. She had thought that I was trying to pull a 180 just to get to that parking spot behind us right quick. "Calm down, Caroline. We'll get that spot. Eesh," she said.

My other gripes are the radio controls which another editor had already blogged about and that huge battery/oil display that takes up space in the center of the dash. Do we really need that there? Every time I'd go to glance at the time I had to remember it's not up there, it's located in the radio display.

Oh, and our G8 received a number of compliments when it was out and about this weekend. One time I parked in front of a Toyota dealership and one of the Toyota guys pulling up in a stickered Highlander pulled alongside me, "Is that the G6?" "It's the G8," I replied. "That's a good-looking car!" he said but not in a surprised way. And in another instance my friend who was walking me back to my car said that it looked like a Mercedes. But then again, it was kinda dark outside.

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 7,750 miles

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2008 Pontiac G8 GT: Whadda Knob

July 25, 2008

After a late night photo shoot, I was heading home across downtown LA. This was the first night I had gotten to drive our G8.

I'm really liking this car. It shows a lot of promise that American cars are and can be great. The enigine is reverberating off the tunnel walls and I'm having great ol' time. Though I'm normally not a fan, I was in the mood for some George Thoroghgood and the Destroyers or Lynard Skynard as I blasted down the dark empty streets.

As I'm unfamiliar with the car and driving at night, I briefly looked down at the stereo as I'm driving. It has a nice volume knob, but it doesn't have a tuning knob. The dial opposite of the volume is a Menu control. It's a pet peeve of mine to not have a tuning knob. Instead you have to toggle the Track switch.

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I find the lack of a tuning knob very irritating. Sure, if I was an owner I'd get used to it, but that doesn't mean I'd give a pass to a feature I think sucks.

Scott Jacobs, Senior Photographer

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2008 Pontiac G8 GT: The Audi-Like Interior

July 02, 2008

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In our Pontiac G8 road test, we noted the interior seems to have been inspired by Audi's design playbook. At night, the controls and gauges illuminate in Audi-like red and white.

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2008 Pontiac G8 GT: Interior could use an upgrade

May 06, 2008

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I've heard a lot of great things about our G8 GT. It's fast, it's roomy, well built even. There's hasn't been much said about the interior though and now I know why. It's not a disaster, but for $30K it's not pretty... The cheesy dashboard gauges are utterly pointless, and the rest of the center stack looks like it was pulled from another car. The switchgear isn't exactly top quality either.

Then again, it does great burnouts. I kind of like it.

Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor @ 2,981 miles


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