Pontiac G8 Overview
Mainstream sedans with rear-wheel drive sedans are uncommon, but Pontiac attempted to fill that void when it introduced the G8 for the 2008 model year. Built in Australia and based on the Holden Commodore, the G8 replaced the Pontiac Grand Prix sedan.
The G8 strikes an assertive stance on the road. Sloping headlights flank a standard black grille with a chrome surround. A profile view reveals standard power side mirrors and body-colored door handles. From the back, a standard rear spoiler is visible, along with a body-colored bumper.Eighteen-inch alloy wheels are standard. As an upgrade, 19-inch aluminum wheels set within optional summer tires were offered.
Upon its introduction, the 2008 Pontiac G8 was offered in base and GT trims. Both offer lots of visceral muscle under the hood, but they blend this with pleasing levels of refinement.
The base model is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. This model has output of 256 horsepower. The G8 GT is powered by a 6.0-liter V8 engine that’s matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. The GT creates 361 horsepower, and its estimated 0-to-60 mph time is 5.45 seconds.
Within its cabin, the Pontiac G8 supplies generous room for five and a spacious 17.5 cubic-foot trunk. Standard equipment included keyless entry, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, power-adjustable front seats, air conditioning, power accessories, two 12-volt outlets, an auxiliary input jack, cruise control and a seven-speaker audio system.
GT models added a limited-slip differential, summer performance tires, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control and an 11-speaker Blaupunkt audio system.
A power-operated sunroof was available on both trims. Package upgrades brought in leather seating surfaces, heated front seats and a sport steering wheel. A navigation system wasn't available.
For 2009, Pontiac made satellite radio standard across the entire model line, and the oil and battery gauges located on top of the center stack were eliminated. The G8 also welcomed a third trim for the 2009 model year: GXP. It featured a sport-tuned suspension and a detuned version of the 6.2-liter V8 seen in that era's Chevrolet Corvette. This model makes 415 horsepower and is governed by a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic transmission. The 2009 G8 GXP has a 0-to-60 mph time of 4.76 seconds.
Direct competitors to the Pontiac G8 include the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300. Other large sedans to consider include the Ford Taurus, Toyota Avalon and Chevrolet Impala. Also, the Chevrolet SS (introduced for 2014), is the most current U.S. model based on the Holden Commodore.