2009 Pontiac G8 GT Car Review AOL On

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Tags: 2009 Pontiac G8 GT Car Review,2009 Pontiac G8 GT,2009 Pontiac G8 GT Review,2009 Pontiac G8 GT Sedan,Pontiac Sedan, 2009 Pontiac G8 GT,drive time,Pontiac,pontiac 6 speed automatic gearbox,pontiac g8 gt review,pontiac limited slip differential,pontiac small block v8,steve hammes

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With my first test drive of the G8 being of base V6 model, I was glad to clench that dull experience from my automotive palette with this car, the 2009 Pontiac G8 GT packed with a 6 liter V8 and all of the GT goodies like clear tail lamp lenses and quad-polished stainless steel exhaust tips hued in the new striker blue metallic paint and fitted with the optional 19-inch wheels and performance tires, this is the G8 that gets the senses aroused. Of course the big news for ’09 is the Corvette-powered GXP model, but that car wasn’t available for Drive Time so we’ll take the steps up the G8 ladder sequentially.


Of course the biggest upgrade over the base G8 is the GT’s newly configured 6 liter small block V8 rated at 361 horsepower and 385 pound feet of torque. It features GM’s active fuel management technology which allows the engine to switch from V8 power to 4-cylinder operation during light, low driving conditions enhancing fuel economy. Running on regular and equipped with the only transmission available, a 6-speed auto with sport mode, the G8 GT is rated at 15 mpg city and 24 highway.

This rear-wheel drive, Australian built, rebadged Holden basically replaces the GTO but in sports sedan style. It certainly has the look, it has the sound and the numbers don’t lie, 5.3 seconds to 60, the quarter mile in 12.8 seconds at 104 miles per hour and 100 to zero braking in 120 feet. Computing both the GT subjective and objective elements, you think this car would sell in the mid-40’s but surprise, the MSRP is $31,360.00 and mine, with the addition of the leather-laden premium package and 19-inch wheel sport package comes in at a bargain price of $33,210.00. And no, it’s not all straight line muscle here, the G8 GT has German-like driving attributes which constitute a superbly balanced ride with first class handling. These summer used tires up the grip quotient and combined with a sport-tuned suspension with a limited slip, the G8 GT brings BMW 5 series dynamics to the track and your favorite driving road.

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The variable ratio steering has an accurate feel and when it comes time to stop, the entire car just submits without any unwanted body motions or harshness.

It’s really a wonderful driving car for both everyday use as well as for serious play time. Issues don’t appear until you become a passenger, especially in the deeply recessed, flat bottom rear seat that will generate complaints. There’s plenty of room but it’s just not comfortable. The rest of the interior suffers the same ills as in the base G8 but slightly less. The Blaupunkt head unit and screen are just too weird and the empty space above is just ridiculous.

It’s too bad GM didn’t streamline the interior design with the rest of the Pontiac family before it got on the boat. Another bugaboo is that there’s no DVD-based navi available. There is OnStar however.

But this Pontiac is so good at such a rock bottom price that it’s possible to overlook these flaws and focus on the look, the drive and the performance. And based on most other traits, the G8 GT is a world class sports sedan.

For Drive Time on Yahoo! Autos, I’m Steve Hammes.

Posted: 10/20/2010 | Views: 3,867 | Duration: 03:35

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