2009 Pontiac G8 Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • 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.
  • Thirsty, V6 sounds coarse, GT's automatic transmission could be smoother.
Other years
2009
Pontiac G8 for Sale
2009
List Price Range
$35,411 - $42,990

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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

Vehicle overview

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.

2009 Pontiac G8 models

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.

2009 Highlights

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.

Performance & mpg

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.

Safety

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.

Driving

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

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2009 Pontiac G8.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Perfect Performance Sedan 170,000 Miles
techman8,02/17/2015
GT 4dr Sedan (6.0L 8cyl 6A)
I've owned my G8 GT for 4 years now and it's been everything a car guy could want, it's very fast, reliable, and easy to maintain. It's Corvette derived high performance power-plant with the 6 speed transmission is a match made in heaven! 0-60 in 5.3 sec. I'm more than satisfied with my 16/19 MPG average in the city and 20/24 in the highway while cruising at around 80-90 MPH it feels very stable and well planted. It's awesome around corners with it's 50/50 weight distribution. The interior is quiet and comfortable but definitely sports car like. I have had no mechanical issues even though it currently marks a bit over 170k miles on the odometer. It's a shame GM discontinued this car!!!!
Best dollar per pound USED high proformence vehicle
randallel,03/11/2015
GT 4dr Sedan (6.0L 8cyl 6A)
Pound for pound this is the best car for you the price. The V8 is powerful and responsive, tires get great grip, good handling the weight ratio is almost 50/50 which helps the suspension and handling but if you have the option the fe3 suspension on the GXP is better. The fact that you can buy one for under 20K and the car is competitive to hang with last model Camaro's and Mustang's that are twice the price tag is the best reason to buy this car.
Excellent
plumman,03/16/2014
GT 4dr Sedan (6.0L 8cyl 6A)
I purchased this car 14 months ago and love it. The car comes alive on the highway. The engine and tranny are matched for American highway cruising. Bmw performance at USA prices. The build quality is very good. I get around 19mph overall gas mileage. It uses regular gas. Get one of the plug tuners for tuning the transmission. Stock it shifts to late and makes the car seem sluggish, unless in sport mode. Tuning corrects this issue and transforms the car! Tires are pricey.
Aging like a fine wine
renter2,12/15/2013
GT 4dr Sedan (6.0L 8cyl 6A)
Purchased new 09 of 2008, after 134months of ownership I feel very comfortable with this car. Current mileage is 40300 miles original tires & brakes both still in pretty good condition other than stainless steel brake lines & a K&N air filter no other modifications. I drive it 2 or 3 times a week just to keep everything well lubricated. I have tried to stay on top of required maintenance & try to use only high quality replacement fluids & filters. So far no problems to report. At 77+ yrs old the car is driven carefully, it is comfortable & a pleasure to drive. I plan to keep it until I pass on , have not seen any thing I would want to replace it with. Always garaged & not driven in the rain way to anal I know. but I have a little suv for my daily driver. now have 41850 on the odometer still loving the car.

More about the 2009 Pontiac G8

Used 2009 Pontiac G8 Overview

The Used 2009 Pontiac G8 is offered in the following submodels: G8 GXP, G8 Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 5A), GT 4dr Sedan (6.0L 8cyl 6A), and GXP 4dr Sedan (6.2L 8cyl 6A). Pre-owned Pontiac G8 models are available with a 3.6 L-liter gas engine or a 6.0 L-liter gas engine or a 6.2 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 415 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2009 Pontiac G8 comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed shiftable automatic, 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2009 Pontiac G8 comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 100000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2009 Pontiac G8?

Price comparisons for Used 2009 Pontiac G8 trim styles:

  • The Used 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP is priced between $35,411 and$42,990 with odometer readings between 20362 and64225 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2009 Pontiac G8s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2009 Pontiac G8 for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2009 G8s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $35,411 and mileage as low as 20362 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2009 Pontiac G8.

Can't find a used 2009 Pontiac G8s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Pontiac G8 for sale - 7 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $24,240.

Find a used Pontiac for sale - 2 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $18,827.

Find a used certified pre-owned Pontiac G8 for sale - 3 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $15,785.

Find a used certified pre-owned Pontiac for sale - 8 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $14,210.

Should I lease or buy a 2009 Pontiac G8?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out Pontiac G8 lease specials