• Feb 22, 2008
Click above for high-res gallery from first drive of the 2008 Pontiac G8 GT

We don't know how it happened or who started it, but some automotive news outlets have published their first drive reviews of the 2008 Pontiac G8 GT before the imposed embargo by GM. Since we don't have one of our own (yet), we'll be sending you to a non-guilty party with a great review of Pontiac's new rear-wheel-drive performance sedan. Popular Mechanics had a chance to drive the G8 GT in Malibu, and we're not surprised that they were extremely impressed. Aside from the crazy fast performance numbers that come courtesy of the car's 6.0L V8 producing 361 horsepower, PM claims it's the steering and handling of the G8 GT that leaves the biggest positive impression. When was the last time you heard that said about a large domestic sedan? Even the six-speed automatic was praised, though a rumor that a Corvette LS3-powered G8 GXP version will offer a six-speed manual is music to our ears. Much thanks to PM for allowing us to host some high-res photos of their drive with the G8 GT, some of which you won't find on their own review, but make sure to click over and read the first round of many platitudes this car is bound to receive.


[Source: Popular Mechanics]


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  • 45 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Last week I was in the Honda dealership. So I was seating in all cars, just checking out what is up. I sat in Honda Fit Sport, it was OK, not all that amazing. After that I went to Gm dealership, there they had a top of the line G6, with leather seats and all that.


      That was the most discussing interior I ever saw, EVER. Honda Fit was so much better, so much better looking. G6 has a horrible looking dash, horrible cheap plastic, ugly seats and this was a high trim level.

      If G8 is anything like G6, and it will be, that car is not worth a penny.

      By the way, do look up the price difference between G6 and Fit Sport. And they say GM has turned the corner. Complete BS.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sorry to be OT, but I couldn’t resist a Lithous reality check.

        The Honda Accord that’s sold “at a premium” as the Acura TSX is a steal compared to its price in other markets. The TSX lists for $28,190 US. If you want to go bargain-hunting, by all means, snatch up a similarly-equipped Accord for £19,020 ($37,405) in the U.K., or for ¥3,118,500 ($29,015) in Japan.

        Incidentally, how do you like the interior on the $36,000 Chrysler Town & Country Limited?

        http://www.autoblog.com/photos/2008-chrysler-town-and-country-1/122435/

        Nice panel fit, eh? I notice the gearshift is right on the dash where you like it ;-)
        • 6 Years Ago

        I guess that is how it works sometimes. The import lovers at my work all think the odyssey is way over priced (just to show it isn't a domestic fanboy like me saying this) yet it is ugly on the eyes with that dash. Too many colors together and that shifter is quite beautiful located as such, isn't it?

        http://automobiles.honda.com/images/2008/Odyssey/interior-gallery/gal_lg14.jpg


        But I see what you are saying, looks are more important than function at Honda apparently. How easy is it to get a 3rd party head unit in the Fit? A couple hundred dollar plastic piece from honda if you are lucky that will help fit a standard head unit in there.

        http://automobiles.honda.com/images/2008/fit/interior-gallery/gal_lg5.jpg

        But then again, honda makes 50% (or more) of their world profits from the U.S. so they do a little extra (like making the Fit interior a little nicer) well, that is they do a little extra for us except they sell the Honda Accord, as the rest of the world gets it, at a premium as an Acura here.

        You give the public something, you bend them over some. That is just how it works in the car business I guess.

        That is one gorgeous interior on that $38K minivan they got there. /sarcasm

        You little geisha boy.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I don't know what exactly was so discussing about the G6. I went car shopping with my little brother a few weeks ago and we happened to take a look at the two cars you mentioned and I didn't notice any gross differences in quality between the two. Both cars ARE economy cars but I felt like both gave a fair amount of effort for the price. I've spent a lot of time with the Cobalt too (my girlfriend's car) and it's a nice little small car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The G6 is left over from when GM was in trouble. GM has just recently turned the corner with the CTS, Malibu, and the G8. Check out the link to the edmunds review above. The interior looks nice in the picture posted there.
      • 6 Years Ago
      WOW. 4,106 pounds.

      So are we talking great handling for its size, or just great handling, full stop? Because the latter would be nothing short of spectacular.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The edmunds review today says that it keeps up with the 535i not the 335i. Big difference in weight there. Still that is very impressive to keep up with a car that stickers for nearly $20K more.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well, from what I've read in this thread it's doing a good job of keeping up with a 335i.. And those guys weigh in around 3500lbs, I think. I'd say that's pretty impressive.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Still a (GM) garbage motor TURD!
        • 6 Years Ago
        What about the fact that your statistical nonsense means absolutely nothing compared to %100 favorable reviews from AUTOMOTIVE JOURNALISTS.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Dax,

        The praise being discussed is from Popular Mechanics. If memory serves, Popular Mechanics haven't said anything negative about any vehicle they have tested for at least five years.

        Edmunds' first "Full Tests" tend to be similarly complimentary. You have to wait for comparison tests from them, or from C&D/MT/R&T, to get anything approaching the editors' actual opinions on a vehicle. Such is the state of the US auto press.

        That said, I have full confidence that the G8 is going to be a home-run product. It would have been a surefire home-run seller, too, had it been released in 2003 or 2004. I'm not sure if the market will be so receptive to a V8 brawler of a family sedan in 2008, but the enthusiasts who pick up a 6MT are going to have a ball.
        • 6 Years Ago
        How about adding some substance.

        What about the lack of a tachometer posted redline? [what is this, a ford product]
        What is the real # for peak power/torque.
        Is it really 362hp@5700, 391ft-lbs@4400
        or 361hp@5300, 385ft-lbs@4400
        Does it require premium to make full power?

        What about the lack of VCT [variable camshaft timing]?
        http://www.mechadyne-int.com/vva-reference/papers/the-impact-of-variable-valve-actuation-on-engine-performance-and-emissions.pdf

        what about the mini-spare wheel with a 'limited-slip differential'?
        What about the 19x8" instead of 19x8.5" wheels
        What about the non-functional hood scoops
      • 6 Years Ago
      Looks like they decided to ditch the idea of the new logo.
      • 6 Years Ago
      GM is really kicking butt, this thing looks good...is roomy, and has the muscle to back it up. It's priced out of my reach (new) but it should sell well.

      My honest and only complaint, is that I like changing gears myself in a pure stickshift so forcing an auto really kills the desire for this car from me.

      GM, you did so great...why did you mess this part up?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I hear ya, but not even giving us lovers of the stickshift an option is disappointing. We all agree, 99% of the time a proper sports car or sports sadan or etc should have a stick, if you really want to be connected to it spiritually...lol.

        I have not tried some of the manu-automatics so I can't say much about that, but the standard auto's are NOT for me no matter how much I like the car.

        THANK GOD, my RX8 has a sweet 6spd.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Because 97% of cars are sold with slush boxes or worse, rubber bands. It's been that way since the days of the Torqueflight practically, and eventually we won't even have a proper transmission. Our only hope is for dual clutch automated manuals to take off, and become common in all levels of cars.

        Only niche sports cars and economy models offer them anymore, even trucks don't hardly offer them. Try buying a non-6 equipped full sizer, or heck, a midsize with anything but a 4 banger. You have to really step up, to a 3/4ton or heavier duty, like you do to get a diesel truck.

        I spent 6 months looking for a econo-box with a proper transmission. Two years later, and I'm still driving a damn slushbox. Hopefully one of the rich folks will total out my car, so I can switch to something with a proper transmission. I like my car, but it is a slushbox.
        • 6 Years Ago
        the first batch is auto only, later this year, manual 6 speed cars will arrive. GM has got your back
      • 6 Years Ago
      Correct me if I'm wrong, but how can this car be "domestic" in the USA if it was built in Australia?
        • 6 Years Ago
        By your logic that means the Camry is Domestic because it's built in the US.
      • 6 Years Ago
      well, for those who want the V8- you better act fast.
      Of the 30,000 that Holden/Pontiac say they will build/import for the US market-fully 70 percent will be V6 models.
      • 6 Years Ago
      * ? Question?

      If the V6 in the Cadi CTS is already making about 300HP +- and is HUGELY popular, would it not make more sense to pop it into this baby?

      I mean it gets very decent gas mileage it does, yes siree.
        • 6 Years Ago
        GM is intentional sandbagging it when it comes to the lesser versions.
        So that people will 'step up' to the 'premium' / 'top of the line' version. For more profit.

        GM could use the HO spec 3.6, and get roughly 280hp.
        or the direct injection version and make roughly 305hp.

        The biggest omission is the 6 speed automatic, where is the 6L50?
        Use that, and use the 3.27 axle ratio and the V6 will actually have good performance, even without a higher output V6.

        As it stands, the V6 will deliver 'rental car' levels of performance.
        • 6 Years Ago
        As it stands, the V6 will deliver 'rental car' levels of performance.

        Incorrect. The 3.6L DOHC V-6 has good torque across the power band. I drove it this past summer and was very impressed.
      • 6 Years Ago
      the one bad thing i have heard is that the brakes feel vague
        • 6 Years Ago
        That's because people are still back in the dark ages.... these days, a softer brake pedal doesn't mean soft brakes. Its because the thing called technology has come to a point where brakes are regulated as much by a computer as by your foot. :)
        • 6 Years Ago
        The bigger complaint with the brakes from all Australian reviews is that they fade insanely fast, to the point where doing more than 3 or so laps of a race track becomes really dangerous. It's been a complaint with Commodores for years and years, HSVs don't really have the problem, but even when the VE came out they still hadn't put decent brakes on the thing.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The fuel economy numbers are relatively easy to work out if you have a calculator.
      The main stumbling block is that people forget that the US Gallon is slightly smaller than the Imperial Gallon, so the numbers always look different.
      The math may sound complicated but once you know the numbers, the conversion is reasonably easy.
      The thing you have to get around is that it looks to be reversed here.
      Litres per 100KM as opposed to Miles per gallon.

      So. Converting.
      Go to the pdf fuel consumption page.
      SV6 Model with the 6 Speed manual gets 11 Litres per 100Km.
      Convert 11 litres to Imp Gallons. Convert Imp Gallons to US Gallons. Convert KM to Miles.
      11 litres converts to 2.9 US Gallons. 100Km is 62.14 Miles. That then works out to 21.4 MPG (US)
      For the SS V Series V8. That gets 14.3 litres per 100KM, and that breaks down to 16.5 MPG (US)

      The conversion numbers are.
      Litres to Imp Gallons. Multiply by 0.2199.
      Imperial Gallons to US Gallons. Multiply by 26.4 and divide by 22.

      Our MPG may look higher, but only because our Imperial Gallon is larger than the US Gallon.

      It just 'LOOKS' complicated.

      The further difference may be in the perception of averaging the figures, but the Math will always be the same.

      Tony.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why would anyone buy it in Red? I will be buying a black one. Inside out.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree that red on the outside looks bad, but the red inserts in the seats look awesome.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree. Mine would be Black with Black/Red interior or White with Black/Red Interior.
      • 6 Years Ago
      ""Aside from the crazy fast performance numbers that come courtesy of the car's 6.0L V8 producing 361 horsepower, PM claims it's the steering and handling of the G8 GT that leaves the biggest positive impression. When was the last time you heard that said about a large domestic sedan?""

      Chryslers LX cars - when ever an online or print publication drives it! That aside, the price is VERY appealing - and the interior alone would sway me from the 300/Charger (but not the Challenger, sorry).

      I know its not happening, but I would have loved the G8 Wagon.
        • 6 Years Ago
        'PM claims it's the steering and handling of the G8 GT that leaves the biggest positive impression. When was the last time you heard that said about a large domestic sedan?""

        The Chevrolet Malibu was one of the last I heard of this. It is pretty close to this size.
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