2009 Pontiac G8 GT

The G8 really does resonate as a half price BMW 5-series. The 361-hp V-8 provides strong low-end acceleration. It rides beautifully. Steering and stability are very good and on center.

I like that the six-speed automatic will hold gears without special manipulation in manumatic mode. The transmission did not misbehave during my time with it except for some minor chugging at times with the torque converter locked and unlocked. I think there are, however, calibration issues related to how this driveline handles fluid temps during hard driving.

The interior is slightly archaic, with most of the switchgear located on the center console or stack. Indeed, confusing controls are this car's most serious flaw. It took a serious search to find and operate the car's fuel economy meter, and many radio stations presets were lost during this endeavor. There's also no hand space between the seat and the door to adjust the drivers seat settings. Finally, the upper center stack used for a shelf seems wasteful. It does have a nice steering wheel and gauge cluster, save for the lack of redline marking.

Overall, the G8 is a strong, fast, enjoyable car for the money. It's also handsome. But the Pontiac brand has no prestige, and your neighbor will not be impressed by your purchase of a G8.

Don Sherman, Technical Editor

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