2009 Pontiac G8 GXP Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Pontiac G8 GXP

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Pontiac G8 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 6.2 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 415 hp @ 5900 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 13/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Pontiac G8

  • If you want an affordable full-size rear-wheel-drive sedan with American muscle and European Úlan, the 2009 Pontiac G8 is the only game in town.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Sharp handling, firm but compliant ride, muscle-car power with either V8, spacious rear seat, sets a new Pontiac standard for interior design and quality.

  • Cons

    Thirsty, V6 sounds coarse, GT's automatic transmission could be smoother.

  • What's New for 2009

    The 2009 Pontiac G8 receives standard XM Satellite Radio across the board, and the high-performance G8 GXP makes its debut, featuring a detuned version of the Corvette's V8 along with a sportier suspension and an optional manual transmission. Also, the dorky Atari-style oil/battery gauges atop the center stack have been removed.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (17 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Ultimate sleeper

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Vehicle: 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP 4dr Sedan (6.2L 8cyl 6A)

Love this car. Was looking for a toy and almost went with a Vette, but have always loved sleepers (cars that 'surprise' without looking like they should). So much fun and the expressions are priceless, although not usually around to see them unless I catch a light further up the road. My overpowering thought when I leave someone in the dust is 'google it. G8GXP'. Sooo much fun, yet very drivable and comfortable on the road. Best MPH on a trip is just under 25, but like others have said, 'who cares'. BTW, I have the 6 speed manual. The drop down wouldn't let me choose.

Love it but lacks common

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Vehicle: 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP 4dr Sedan (6.2L 8cyl 6A)

Fast, comfortable and smooth ride on poor roads. Very quite cabin. Responsive steering. Good brake performance. Very supportive seats. Distinctive styling. Solid clutch and transmission. Good consistent power. Nice exhaust note. Head turner (thats a Pontiac?).

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

See ya!

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Vehicle: 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP 4dr Sedan (6.2L 8cyl 6A)

My GXP is a garage queen. 3000 miles after 15 months. BUT it has been slightly modified. Kooks headers, Vararram cold intake, cat delete, SLP supercharger, engine tune and trans tune. It is simply the greatest sleeper ever. A 4 door sedan that can blow just about anything off the road! If you like 500 HP at the rear wheels, this is the way to go. Keep in mind Fly wheel HP doesn't tell the whole story! All these inflated HP numbers are at the Fly Wheel. They made me rate fuel economy. WHO CARES? At this performance level and low miles driven, it does not matter.

G8 gxp rocks!

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Vehicle: 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP 4dr Sedan (6.2L 8cyl 6A)

I drive my car 60 miles one way to work daily, and I'm glad I saved the 25 grand more that I would have spent on a CTS-V! This car is a 4-door Corvette & is more than FUN to drive! I race/beat "ponies" and Camaros as well. Tried to get a vette to race me, but the driver simply wouldn't do it. With a few mods/tweaks, this car has more power & is faster than a base vette, and ANY mustang, even the over- priced supercharged one! I LOVE this car! The traction control works AMAZINGLY well considering the power. MPG is acceptable, but then again, didn't buy it for economy. The best mpg I've seen is 22.8, but the car isn't broken in with only 8500 miles. BUY one if you can find one!

Mid life crisis

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Vehicle: 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP 4dr Sedan (6.2L 8cyl 6A)

Bought a 2009 g8 gxp. Live in Houston n couldnt find any where. Found on eBay. Hot white with red n black interior. 6 speed. Wife asked if was going through mid life crisis. Fast loud with Corsa exhaust n very fun to drive. I really like stereo n love 6 speed n 2nd or 3rd gear. Very big car. Handles like a go-cart. Love no one else has. I have seem one silver gt. That is it. Love car. Very fast. I always have people ask what car is. No one has yet to try n race me. They know.

4 door vette

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Vehicle: 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP 4dr Sedan (6.2L 8cyl 6A)

Bought a used 09 GXP for 32.7k with 5600 miles. Hot White with black & red leather. 6 speed manual. Added Corsa exhaust already and sounds great, much deeper and burbly. Love the car! Really fun to drive, and you never see one and I live in Houston. Have had zero issues so far. Car feels solid & unlike some I really like the stereo. It's not as clear as some, but the windows down I can be driving 60 and still hear very clear. No one has messed with me yet. I have people all the time ask me about the car and what it is. They can't believe the engine specs. You pop the hood and tell them the battery is in the trunk and they laugh. At my age 42, wife asked if I was having a mid-life.

Full 2009 Pontiac G8 Review

What's New for 2009

The 2009 Pontiac G8 receives standard XM Satellite Radio across the board, and the high-performance G8 GXP makes its debut, featuring a detuned version of the Corvette's V8 along with a sportier suspension and an optional manual transmission. Also, the dorky Atari-style oil/battery gauges atop the center stack have been removed.


Thanks to a long line of uninspiring products over the past couple decades, Pontiac -- ostensibly GM's "driving excitement" division -- acquired a rather unfortunate reputation as fodder for rental-car fleets. But that's been changing as of late, thanks to a concerted effort by GM to reassert the brand's high-performance heritage. The 2009 Pontiac G8 is at the core of Pontiac's recent resurgence. This powerful yet refined rear-wheel-drive performance sedan is unlike anything Pontiac has offered in recent memory -- and we mean that as a sincere compliment.

The Pontiac G8 is a mechanical twin of the Commodore sedan from Holden, GM's Australian subsidiary. That's a good thing, as the Commodore has garnered accolades Down Under for providing affordable full-size functionality in a swift and agile package. Thankfully, Pontiac stylists resisted the urge to outfit the American version with the brand's traditional assortment of scoops, vents and spoilers, and the car looks muscular and purposeful from most angles.

The G8's mechanical merits are impressive, from its range of energetic engines to its impressive combination of sharp handling and supple composure over broken pavement. The new 2009 GXP model raises the performance bar even higher with a 402-horsepower version of the iconic Corvette's 6.2-liter V8. One of our few complaints about the G8 has been the lack of a manual transmission, so we're pleased to report that you can get one on the GXP (though still not on lesser G8 models). In any guise, the G8's BMW-like MacPherson front strut layout and multilink rear suspension yields a sophisticated driving character that's more typical of European sport sedans than large domestic rear-drivers.

The G8 also impresses inside, especially considering the plasticky depths to which Pontiac interiors had previously sunk. There are still too many hard surfaces, but the center stack is more than a little reminiscent of Audi's industry-leading efforts. Passenger room is plentiful, particularly in back, where all but the largest riders will have space to spare. The rear center seat isn't so hospitable, however, as the wide center tunnel necessitated by the G8's rear-drive layout essentially eliminates legroom there.

At the G8's moderate price point, the Dodge Charger/Chrysler 300 twins are the only other roomy, rear-wheel-drive, full-size performance sedans available. The Chrysler siblings are certainly competent, but the G8's sporting character sets it apart. We're not fans of the G8's lackluster fuel economy, but then, the Charger/300 duo aren't likely to win any efficiency awards from the EPA either. Bottom line: If you want a large sedan with American attitude and Continental manners, the 2009 Pontiac G8 is in a class of its own.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Pontiac G8 is a performance-oriented large sedan available in base, GT or GXP trim. Base models come with 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, four-way power front sport seats, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and a seven-speaker CD sound system with XM Satellite Radio and an auxiliary audio jack. G8 GTs add a 6.0-liter V8 engine, 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. The tarmac-terrorizing GXP version boasts a Corvette-sourced V8 as well as a unique front fascia, an upgraded sport-tuned suspension and 19-inch wheels.

Much of the GT's equipment can be had on the base model via the Comfort and Sound Package. A Premium Package is also available, featuring leather upholstery and six-way power heated front seats. A sunroof can be selected 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 base Pontiac G8 is equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 256 hp 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 that's mated to a six-speed automatic. The GXP's 6.2-liter V8 puts out a prodigious 402 hp and 402 lb-ft of torque and utilizes either the GT's six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission.

In track testing, the G8 GT roared to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds en route to a blistering 13.7-second quarter-mile. The GXP promises to be quicker still -- Pontiac expects it will shave at least half a second off the GT's 0-60 sprint. V6-powered base models should require roughly 7 seconds. Thanks to a cylinder deactivation feature, the GT 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. The GXP will likely be slightly less efficient than its GT stablemate. In short, the G8 is fleet-footed in any form -- and you'll pay for it at the pump.


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

Modern Pontiac interiors have hardly been renowned for their design or quality, but the 2009 Pontiac G8's interior is unquestionably a significant step forward. The center stack is pleasing to the eye, and while many surfaces are hard to the touch, they generally feel solidly constructed. Passenger room is befitting a large car, with generous accommodations fore and aft. The rear seats don't fold down, however, though a ski pass-through helps somewhat. The ample trunk offers 17.5 cubic feet of cargo volume.

On the downside, a navigation system is unavailable despite the G8's navigation-sized LCD information screen. The lack of a redline indicator for the tachometer is also unfortunate. In sum, there's still room for improvement, but the G8's interior is far superior to Pontiac's previous offerings.

Driving Impressions

Those who buy a V8-powered G8 because they want a four-door modern-day muscle car will not be disappointed. If you turn off traction control, the GT or GXP will lay thick stripes of rubber in your favorite parking lot until the cows come home -- or until you run out of tires. What buyers may not expect is the tight handling that comes with the package, particularly in the case of the GXP, which rides on GM's sport-biased FE3 suspension.

All's not perfect in the G8's world, of course. The V6 is noisy and harsh in almost all driving conditions and gets progressively worse the harder you push the accelerator. Also, the upgraded six-speed automatic on G8 GT models often transmits a firm kick during upshifts that's absent with the base five-speed unit. Brake feel isn't optimal either, as the long-travel pedal feels a bit soft for performance-driving purposes. But overall, the G8 should go a long way toward helping Pontiac reclaim its storied past. Driving excitement is once again alive and well.

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

Talk About The 2009 G8

Gas Mileage


  • 13
  • cty
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

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