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STYLING | 8 out of 10
Sporty sheetmetal is devoid of tacked-on plastics
Kelley Blue Book
Controls are easy to reach and use
Contains sporty controls and racing-style gauges with red LED backlighting
One of the biggest criticisms of Pontiac's old Grand Am was its bland, forgettable exterior styling. Several years ago, Pontiac replaced the Grand Am with the G6 Pontiac, and for 2008 Pontiac offers the G6 Coupe, which represents a vast improvement over the Grand Am.
The exterior styling on the 2008 Pontiac G6 Coupe is decidedly performance-oriented, reflecting Pontiac's renewed emphasis on building fun-to-drive vehicles. Kelley Blue Book writes that the G6 Pontiac Coupe is both "sleek" and "sophisticated," and notes that for 2008 Pontiac has targeted "import buyers who want a bit more flair but don't want to break the budget." Cars.com adds that the "wedge-shaped profile" gives the 2008 Pontiac G6 Coupe a "sporty" appearance in both of the available trims, which Pontiac denotes as GT and GXP. There are several minor differences between the two trim levels, which Motor Trend says include "modified front and rear fascias, unique rocker panels, body-color mirror caps, and dual chrome exhaust tips" on the GXP. Kelley Blue Book reviewers approve of the "familiar Pontiac split grille and swept-back headlamp lenses" that adorn the front of both versions of the G6 Pontiac Coupe.
As much as the standard exterior styling is well received on the GT and GXP coupes, the one optional appearance package offered is equally disliked by most reviewers consulted by TheCarConnection.com. That package, the GXP Street Edition, "adds gaudy bodywork and a huge 'hammerhead' spoiler," according to Edmunds. Reviewers at Motor Trend had some choice words for the appearance package, describing the new nose as "a buck-toothed beaver grille," while "more outlandish is the GXP's jumbo-jet rear wing" that is simply "obnoxious."
After a thorough walk-around to enjoy the 2008 Pontiac G6 Coupe's sporty exterior, especially in the absence of the Street Edition package, expectations might be on the high side for the interior. In terms of styling and interior layout, there isn't much of a letdown, though quality (which is addressed later) is a sore point. Reviewers at Cars.com approve of the "sporty controls and racing-style gauges with red LED backlighting," which are surrounded with "brushed metal accents and chrome trim." The typically conservative reviewers at ConsumerGuide find little to fault with the interior controls of the 2008 Pontiac G6, saying that the "audio and climate controls are easy to reach and use." Kelley Blue Book agrees and especially likes "the optional steering-wheel mounted switches for the audio system" and "orange backlighting and large, legible numbers and letters," which help "make night driving easier on the eyes." Overall, reviewers find that the interior styling is appropriate and features several nice touches.
The 2008 Pontiac G6 Coupe offers solid styling and makes an effort to stand out, but goes beyond overboard with the optional GXP Street Edition package.