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STYLING | 8 out of 10
“sharp and far more restrained than the Charger”
“Understated cabin decor”
Reviewers loved the G8’s mix of assertive and tasteful lines, inside and out.
From enthusiast Web sites to mainstream consumer guides, most reviewers approved of the 2008 Pontiac G8’s sleek and trim four-door shape. Jalopnik called it a “discreet and tasteful look. Not really a head-turner, but sharp and far more restrained than the [Dodge] Charger.” Cars.com agreed, and said the G8 “isn't going to snap necks with its looks like the Chrysler 300 did when it debuted, but the bulging hood can't be missed when seen in the rearview mirror.”
USAToday noted the more dramatic elements in the G8’s profile. “The look is assertively Pontiac,” they said, “Drooping snout, oversize grille, red dashboard lighting, gimmicky hood scoops.”
Inside, the G8 racked up a demerit or two. The interior’s styling is pleasing enough. ConsumerGuide liked the “understated cabin decor” and said, “most surfaces are finished with quality materials and tastefully textured plastics.” They also noted the plentiful interior storage, down to the “useful cubby in front of the shifter.” Popular Mechanics felt that though it was nice, the G8’s cabin “certainly won’t be mistaken for a luxury sedan.”
TheCarConnection.com’s editors think the G8’s interior could use a final round of refinement, but it looked fairly flawless when compared to some recent Pontiacs. The niggles come down to materials: GM’s made huge progress in choosing the right textures, but the Australian-sourced plastic surrounding the radio and climate controls isn’t the best piece ever installed in a $30,000 sedan. And some of the fonts and digital readouts look more 1980s than 2008. Still, it’s by far the best Pontiac available, and a big step up inside over the Dodge Charger--even if its exterior isn’t as sharp as the Dodge/Chrysler twins. (The 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP adds even more exterior trim.)
Fine curves on the outside and a handsome cabin make the G8 the more refined alternative to the Charger.