Pontiac's latest entry-level vehicle, the 2008 Pontiac G5, is another example of what is known in the auto industry as "badge engineering"--simply put, the designers at GM have made minor changes to the Chevy Cobalt and slapped the pointy Pontiac logo and G5 name on it.
Edmunds adds their two cents about the badge engineering on the Pontiac G5 by saying that the 2008 Pontiac G5 is "a twin of corporate cousin Chevy's compact Cobalt coupe. With its more stylish twin-port grille leading the way, the G5 is stuck with the same strengths and weaknesses."
For the 2008 model year, "there are two trim levels for the Pontiac G5 compact coupe: base and GT," according to Edmunds. Little differs externally between the two models; in fact, Car and Driver finds that the only real visible differences are the "17-inch alloy wheels" on the GT, along with a pair of fog lamps. Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com are quick to point out that the shared exterior of the two versions of this 2008 Pontiac is quite bland. While MyRide.com feels that the Pontiac G5 is "an attractive little two-door, with a nice rising beltline, slightly flared wheel wells, and a few styling cues where the headlights meet the hood," they can't help but notice "the generic shape and stance" and "less than modern looks." Reviewers at Cars.com find that "a rear spoiler is standard" along with "a double-cutout Pontiac grille," but they simply cannot find anything noteworthy about the exterior of the 2008 Pontiac G5 and wrap up their comments with an appropriate "yawn."
Inside the bland and dated exterior of this 2008 Pontiac is an equally boring, though acceptably functional, interior. ConsumerGuide finds the interior "control placement is mostly logical…though the climate control knobs are set too low for easy access while driving." Reviewers at MyRide.com also appreciated the interior layout, finding that "the climate system is easily operated with large, clear controls," while on the audio control side, they "also like the big center dial dedicated to power and volume functions, chrome accents, and clear buttons for primary controls." Edmunds feels that the interior's "attractive gauges and a full-featured stereo give the Pontiac G5 a contemporary feel, and metallic accents...brighten the otherwise stark cabin of the GT." Overall, however, there is little to propel the interior design ahead of the Pontiac G5's competition.