2009 Pontiac G8 GT

After my first drive in the new G8, I'm impressed but not astounded. The extremely comfortable Pontiac is a very good car that offers lots of practicality and rear-wheel-drive fun for the money. The 6.0-liter V-8 offers prodigious power and tons of torque, but the lurchy automatic transmission behaves like a bad automated manual.

I commend GM for adapting its Australian Holden Commodore for North American duty, and I can't wait to drive the 2010 Camaro with the same genes. Still, the G8's packaging is a bit of a letdown (not enough people/stuff room for such a big car), road noise is somewhat distracting at highway speeds, and the funky Aussie controls require a bit or extra familiarization (which shouldn't dissuade potential owners).

Once the G8amino, sorry, ST, reaches Ann Arbor, though, I may have a more difficult time restraining my enthusiasm.

Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor

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