The 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix, while breaking from Pontiac’s straked and cladded past, breaks little ground in the larger world of automotive styling. In 2004 it received a makeover with a sleeker outside appearance that did away with the much-maligned ribbed body cladding along the lower portion of the doors.
Calling it a “sports sedan wannabe,” Car and Driver claims “the Grand Prix’s image is one part swoopy styling and one part performance.” Kelley Blue Book celebrates the elimination of Pontiac’s ubiquitous tacked-on side body cladding “that once plastered every Pontiac with sporting intentions,” claiming that it “has finally been banished.” Automobile also remarks on the cleaner exterior styling when compared to prior generations, but feels that the Grand Prix “is a little underprepared for the competition.”
Though the Grand Prix’s sleek exterior still looks quite contemporary, its instrument panel in particular has a chunky silhouette with lots of unappealing plastic surfaces and appears quite dated, though it’s angled usefully toward the driver. On the inside, the attempt to generate excitement with gee-whiz features and oversize dials draws mixed reviews. Car and Driver finds the interior littered with “oddly textured plastics that don’t quite avoid looking cheap.” Yet Kelley Blue Book comments that “the Grand Prix’s dash is playful, with overlapping folds, large round air vents and prominent red lighting.” An Autoblog editor complains about an “overabundance of gray.”