Comfort and Quality » 7
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QUALITY | 7 out of 10
“big car on the outside but smallish on the inside”
Car and Driver
“below-average build and materials quality”
“The GXP comes pretty loaded for under $30,000”
“interior is a product of 1990s GM”
Depending upon your priorities, the 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix offers compelling value or disappointing details, fit, and finish.
Car and Driver finds “front-seat space is good.” ConsumerGuide registers “ample legroom up front, but no excess of headroom, particularly with the available sunroof. The seats provide good side support in turns.” “Front riders are treated to wide bucket seats, with gentle bolsters,” says Motor Trend.
Reviewers don’t care for the rear seat in the Grand Prix. “Rear-seat passengers may feel a bit boxed-in,” laments Kelley Blue Book, blaming “the high upswept beltline” that “results in smaller windows that limit outward vision.” They also find “low rear-seat bottom cushions had our taller passengers riding with their knees uncomfortably high.” Other reviewers echo these comments. Car and Driver notes that “the rear seat lacks leg- and headroom.” And ConsumerGuide comments that “rear seat comfort is disappointing for a vehicle this size.”
Even more maligned are the Grand Prix’s materials and quality of assembly. Car and Driver finds little to love about the “appalling interior,” which they feel “has the look of melted air-traffic-control consoles and screams cheapness.” Kelley Blue Book is also critical, commenting “the quality of the plastics used inside the Grand Prix, and the overall design layout, are not up to the standards set by the Volkswagen Passat, Nissan Maxima or Dodge Charger.” “The stereo panel is particularly out of date,” snipes Edmunds, “while the surrounding pebbled plastics look and feel cheap.”
The only thing that seems to save the Grand Prix is its low price of entry (especially with GM’s rebates), some clever items like the fold-flat passenger seat, and lots of features and conveniences for under $30,000, even in GXP trim. ConsumerGuide is impressed with its “cargo versatility, and plenty of features at competitive prices.” Further, they recommend that “the potent GXP is worth a look for shoppers who put a premium on power and expressive styling.” In value terms, Kelley Blue Book declares “V6-powered models also stack up well when compared to rivals from Nissan, Volkswagen and Mazda.” An Autoblog editor praises “the nearly 90 degree opening” for the rear doors," and does “a double take because I expected the GXP to be priced much higher than what it is.”
Front-seat room gives the 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix a leg up, but the rear-seat room and plasticky dash take it away.