2008 Pontiac Grand Prix Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Pontiac Grand Prix

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Pontiac Grand Prix Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.8 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 200 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix

  • With the elimination of the GT trim level, we would avoid the 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix. The competition and Pontiac's own new G8 are more refined and better all-around performers.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Strong V8, easy-to-use controls, big trunk, comfortable ride, solid handling and ride balance.

  • Cons

    Excessive torque steer on GXP model, no more supercharged V6, numb steering, below-average build and materials quality, tight backseat, noisy base V6, limited in-cabin storage.

  • What's New for 2008

    The GT model and its supercharged V6 are no longer available. There are no other significant changes to the Grand Prix for 2008.

Full 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix Review

What's New for 2008

The GT model and its supercharged V6 are no longer available. There are no other significant changes to the Grand Prix for 2008.


A lame duck is an aging or otherwise impaired water fowl that has trouble keeping up with the flock and is an easy target for predators. It's also a politician who's biding his time in office until his elected successor takes over. As far as metaphors go, the 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix nails both lame duck criteria, as an aging midsize sedan out of step with its formidable competition that's about to be replaced by an all-new model. While the two vehicles will overlap for at least one year, the new Australian-made Pontiac G8 is for all intents and purposes the Grand Prix's eventual replacement. For now though, the Grand Prix limps on with even less feathers on its wings for 2008.

The supercharged 260-horsepower V6 that used to reside in the Grand Prix GT is no longer available, leaving the underpowered 200-hp V6 and torque-steer-happy 303-hp V8 as the only choices. It's like Goldilocks discovering that Baby Bear's "just right" chair is out for refinishing. Against midsize family sedans like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, the base model falls short in refinement, build quality and interior space. Against V8-powered sedans like the rear-drive Dodge Charger and Pontiac's own G8, the Grand Prix GXP also fails to keep up with the flock.

We suspect that Pontiac dealers will be keen to deal on the Grand Prix. As such, it might make for a decent choice for someone just wanting an inexpensive daily commuter with enough sportiness to entertain on weekends. But given its many shortcomings, however, it's probably evident that the Grand Prix isn't at the top of our "must buy" list. We suggest checking out its many competitors or its spiritual replacement, the G8.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix is a four-door sedan available in two trim levels: base and GXP. The base model comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, keyless entry, cruise control, OnStar and a CD player. The GXP features a sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels with performance tires, an upgraded stereo system, heated front seats, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control and a head-up display. Most of these features are options on the base model, while both trim levels are available with a Sun and Sound package that adds a sunroof and a nine-speaker Monsoon stereo with in-dash six-disc CD player. Other individual options include a navigation system and satellite radio.

Powertrains and Performance

There are now only two engines available on the Grand Prix. The base model features a 3.8-liter V6 that produces 200 horsepower and 230 pound-feet of torque. Revised EPA ratings for 2008 indicate it gets 18 mpg city and 28 highway. The Grand Prix GXP represents a huge upgrade, with a 5.3-liter V8 that pumps out 303 hp and 323 lb-ft of torque. Both models are front-drive and come with a four-speed automatic, with the GXP featuring a manual-shift mode. Pontiac claims the GXP will run from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds, but in our testing we measured 6.7 seconds.


Antilock brakes and traction control are optional on the base model and come standard on the GXP. A tire-pressure monitor is standard on both trims. The GXP also has a stability control system. Full-length side curtain airbags are optional on both models. In NHTSA crash testing, the 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix earned five stars (out of five) for its protection of the driver in head-on collisions. The front passenger position earned a four-star rating. In NHTSA's side-impact tests, the Grand Prix scored three out of five stars (for front and rear occupants), but the car tested did not have the side curtain airbags. In IIHS frontal offset testing, the Grand Prix earned a "Good" rating, the highest out of four, while that agency's side-impact testing (with side curtain airbags) resulted in a "Marginal" rating, the second lowest.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Grand Prix features the last generation of GM build quality and materials, which not only puts it a few steps behind the competition, but behind GM's newer vehicles as well. The stereo panel is particularly out of date, while the surrounding pebbled plastics look and feel cheap.

A quick inspection of interior dimensions may seemingly reveal that the Grand Prix has comparable accommodations to other midsize sedans, but as Stephen Colbert might say, "facts can be deceiving." The rear bench is hard and situated low on the floor, causing a splayed, knees-to-the-ears seating position. This design is to counteract the sloping roofline, which still manages to chew into headroom. At least the back doors open up to 90 degrees, making access to the backseat more pleasant than actually sitting in it. The trunk does have a respectable 16 cubic feet of luggage-swallowing space, plus the rear seat and front passenger seat fold flat to allow a 10-foot Persian rug to ride shotgun.

Driving Impressions

On twistier thoroughfares, the 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix feels larger than most of its competitors, which is perhaps not much of a surprise when you consider that it's almost 10 inches longer than the Toyota Camry. In its favor, though, the Grand Prix is still fairly tight and tossable for a front-wheel-drive car. The base V6 is noisier than those in more refined competitors and fuel economy is less than average. The GXP is also not very composed, as the heavy V8 in its nose blunts the ability of the car to turn in crisply and make quick transitions. It's also rather thirsty and is prone to torque steer (the tendency of a powerful front-driver to pull to one side under hard acceleration). We used to recommend the supercharged V6 model, but alas, it is no longer available.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Favorite car

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix 4dr Sedan (3.8L 6cyl 4A)

I am writing this review on a 2008 Pontiac Grand Am that I own. I have owned this car for about two years and have only one bad thing to say about the car but other than that the car has been a great fit for me. I have owned the car for about five years. It has great gas mileage, great horsepower, it has needed only minimal repairs, and the only thing bad thing about it has been an issue with the ignition but that has been fixed. This is my first Pontiac I have bought and I don’t regret the decision one bit. Every day I have to commute about 20 miles to work, so most of the miles I have put on my car are highway miles. My Pontiac gets around 30 miles per gallon on the highway.

My favorite car

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix 4dr Sedan (3.8L 6cyl 4A)

I can't afford a BMW or Mercedes like the car magazines want you to, but count me as a Pontiac guy. This is my 3rd one and my 2008 Grand Prix is my favorite car of all time. I got it with 13k mile on it, have 89k on it now. No problems. Lots of horsepower, love the heated leather seats, the tire pressure system has come in handy. Slight hum from the climate control motor (drives my wife nuts, doesn't bother me). Started getting better gas mileage the more I drove it. I thought about trading it in on a 2014 Mustang but I would miss this car too much. I'm keeping it for now. (accidentally posted 1rst as comment to another review)

Very cheap interior and build

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP 4dr Sedan (5.3L 8cyl 4A)

I bought this car in May of 2012 with 28,500 miles on it. Currently has 62k on it and things are starting to go bad. Headlights turn off occassionally on their own, valve cover gasket is leaking, sunroof leaks, and ignition switch is going bad. It is fun to drive and does get pretty good gas mileage, recent trip to South Carolina resulted in 31.3 MPG cruising right at 71 mpg GPS verified. The torque steer is absolutely horrible as you could expect with a front drive V8 with 303 HP. Looking to get rid of it very soon.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Grand prix gxp 2008-still the

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP 4dr Sedan (5.3L 8cyl 4A)

Just an update on my 2008 GXP. I have 55,000 miles on it now and still running like new. It's hard to believe that most car mags blasted this car. This car will run with most sports sedans and knock the hell out of the rest. If you can find one thats been maintained, oil changes and the like, BUY IT. I'm 6' 3"" tall and 230 lbs and the leather seats are still in great shape. Why Pontiac was killed is a shame. Bring it back, somebody.

Excellent car!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix 4dr Sedan (3.8L 6cyl 4A)

I bought my Grand Prix used in 2009. I bought it with 60,000 Miles... Now July 6th 2012, It has 96,348 miles... it still runs great! The car was originally from California, and ever since i bought it i have never had any problems with it other thank the usual( breaks, wipers, etc..) i greatly recommend this car to any one who is considering buying one! Me and my son ( a high school/college student) share the car. We drive it A LOT everyday... gas mileage is okay. I would buy another one of these any day!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

2008 gp gxp

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP 4dr Sedan (5.3L 8cyl 4A)

I have had my red GXP for 3 1/2 yrs now. She got 48,000 miles on her and no problems, here that Consumers Report, Car & Driver and rest of critics. The car preforms day in and day out. Fast, comfortable and reliable. I am 6'2" and there's plenty of room Interior is standing up better than expected.

Talk About The 2008 Grand Prix

2008 Pontiac Grand Prix Discussions See all Started By

How many of you guys/gals would like to see this new 6.0 LS-2 V-8 RWD (Commodore SS-V) Grand Prix sedan hit out shores ?????...

Could someone help me please? I have a 2008 grand prix keyless. Last winter my car wouldnt start only if it cold and the starter worked half of the time. Now my phob lock clicker dont work and starter...

In still another Edmunds forum, there was mention of a RWD Grand Prix in 2008, based on the new "Zeon" ("Xeon"?) platform, meaning it would be "slightly larger than today's Gr...

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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