Pontiac’s new G8 is a well-equipped sedan, but in some instances, its Australian heritage means the very latest in tech features are left off the options list.
The standard features found on every G8 are extensive. Even base cars come with 18-inch wheels; power front seats; air conditioning; a rear spoiler; and an AM/FM/CD audio system with an auxiliary jack for iPods and other MP3 players. The V-8 versions add on standard performance tires, Edmunds.com notes, along with dual-zone climate control and a premium Blaupunkt audio system. KBB highlights the G8’s steering-wheel audio controls and trip computer. And Cars.com adds that options include a sunroof, leather seats, and other features in reasonably priced packages.
But since the G8's been designed for world markets, some U.S.-specific and U.S.-popular options are yet to be integrated. The big one is satellite radio; G8 fans might wait until a late fall availability if they want XM installed from the factory. And Bluetooth connectivity has yet to appear on the options list. Something exotic, like Ford’s entertainment-controlling SYNC system, isn’t even in the cards, but we do expect the first two to be available on the 2009 Pontiac G8.
The other big omission is in a navigation system. Even though the center console seems designed for a built-in nav, none is offered. Instead, GM sells its “Turn-By-Turn” navigation service as a part of its OnStar system. The system lets you press a button and talk to an operator who can send recorded directions to your destination to your car. Jalopnik says this “more than makes up” for the lack of a built-in nav, but Car and Driver says that the setup is “not for folks with privacy paranoia,” and recommends a trip to an aftermarket electronics shop. As users of a portable navigation system (a $300 bargain compared to the usual $2,000 navigation system prices charged by car companies), TheCarConnection.com’s editors agree wholeheartedly.