- Attractive contours
- Neutral handling
- Roomy interior
- Ample rear passenger accommodations
- Inconveniently located controls
- Non-optional all-wheel drive
- Bluetooth and navigation system
The G8 gives Pontiac real sport-sedan credentials and hits the mark with only minor faults.
This is the second year for the Pontiac G8 sedan. The G8 returns as a rear-wheel-drive vehicle with a five-speed transmission. Joining the V-6- and V-8-powered GT for 2009 is the new GXP. The GXP features a big, torquey 6.2-liter V-8 engine, as does the GT, but has a more extreme, sport-tuned package with a sport suspension, limited-slip differential, and added standard equipment.
Last year’s introduction of the G8 vaulted Pontiac to the top tier of performance-oriented big sedans. The G8 matches the likes of the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 on all points with a more sophisticated look and better performance. Handling, especially, is a strength for the G8; it can be hustled along twisty roads with a level of dynamic feedback and body control found in the best sport sedans from Germany. However, the G8 has no all-wheel-drive option, unlike some of the competition. Fuel economy isn’t stellar, at only 15 mpg (city) for the V-8 model.
With 256 horsepower, the V-6 model has quite acceptable performance, along with handling that’s just as sure-footed—and possibly better balanced—as the V-8 model. The only thing that’s missing is the deep thrum of the V-8.
The G8 is exceptionally roomy both in front and in the rear, while retaining a large trunk. Its look is distinctive, though not overly aggressive.
Unlike most sedans in its price range, the G8 does not offer an optional navigation system; however, almost every other luxury feature that’s expected in a sport sedan is available, including a wide range of standard features. Bluetooth hands-free connectivity is standard.