Last post on Nov 30, 2010 at 8:21 AM
You are in the Pontiac G8
What is this discussion about?
Pontiac Grand Prix, Pontiac G8, Future Vehicle, Sedan
#999 of 1278 test drive - 2009 G8 GT
Nov 07, 2008 (10:07 am)
So – I drove a 2009. The current incentives bring the actual transaction price of a G8 GT ( Premium, Sport, Roof ) to approx. $2K below invoice. Just over $30K, on this ‘old invoice’ 2009.
I do like the G8 GT – a lot.
I currently drive a Corvette Coupe with A6 \ 6L80 trans. – driveline is very similar to the G8 GT. I have driven 2 2008 G8 GTs. And posted my impressions here – several months ago.
I waited for the 2009 for 3 primary reasons:
1 = A [ model ] year of US production. In case there were any significant issues.
2 = XM.
3 = A color I really wanted = Silver.
I was also hoping [ expecting? ] that GM \ Pontiac \ Holden would address the few issues I had with the drivelive.
Compared to my Corvette, the G8 GT [ even with the Sport Package & 19” wheels \ relatively low profile tires ] is a much less ‘intense’ riding car than my Corvette. Understandably so. Yet I was still pleasantly surprised that the ride \ handling compromise is so close to what I would consider ideal – for a 4DR high-performance sedan. Well controlled & well damped.
The interior is somewhat ‘plain’, one could argue – and the missing “Atari Gauges”, with only a very small rubber shelf & not even a raised lip seems a rather odd solution to THAT issue. Oh, well.
I find the seats comfortable & supportive, the visibility good. The ergonomics are generally OK. Nothing fancy here – but very functional.
I will certainly miss the HUD, and particularly the ability to display the MPH, RPM and the current gear selected a whole lot closer to my line-of-sight than the DIC. Again – oh, well.
The trans. appears better sorted \ tuned \ programmed than the 2 2008s I drove some time back. Upshifts and downshifts were quick & well-managed. Downshifts in particular were smoother than in those 2008s. I will miss the paddle shifters on my Corvette. One more time: Oh, well.
Think, think, ponder ponder . . .
Here are my trans. comments from a test drive of a 2008 G8 GT.
The trans. downshift behavior still concerns me a bit. I currently drive a GM V8 with the 6L80 trans. Corvette Coupe. With 2007 calibrations & hardware version. For 2008 the 6L80 version in the Corvette was substantially revised & updated ( hardware & software ) to quicken both the upshifts and downshifts – and to do a better job ( by some reports ) on the “rev match on downshift”. My 2007 does not do this at all ( or does it so poorly as not to be worthy of the name ) on 3 – 2 or 2 –1 downshifts.
Sadly, though, both of the 2 G8 GTs I have now driven seem to do a reasonably good job when manually commanded to downshift from 6 – 5, 5 – 4, and 4 – 3 ( the relatively “easy” ones ), but - I was ** NOT ** impressed with the 3 – 2 or 2 – 1 downshifts I tried. And I tried several.
These were not at all extreme downshifts – not 3 – 2 at 60 or 2 –1 at 35, for example. More like 3 – 2, while slowing through 30 or 25 MPH and about to accelerate – requiring a ‘blip’ to something like 2500 RPM. To me, these downshifts felt more like someone driving a manual trans, downshifting, and abruptly letting out the clutch – without a throttle blip. Seems to accomplish the actual downshift a bit more quickly than mine – and responds a bit more quickly – meaning: command to beginning of shift execution seems a bit quicker. But not nearly what I had hoped for, however, after reading the 2008 Corvette technical data & reviews.
Somewhat disappointing. Probably not a deal-breaker, for me.
Note: The trans. ** DOES ** perform ( in several respects important to me ) much better then the 6L50 in a 2008 Caddy CTS I rented & drove a couple of hundred miles last month . . .
Nov 07, 2008 (12:10 pm)
Excellent post "paisan". No matter what, I would still always prefer RWD. I love the feeling of power sliding a RWD car. Also there is the challenge of shifting as much weight as possible to the rear wheels during takeoff. Although, with the G8 Auto this is not an issue (accept in the rain), it barely lays rubber during acceleration. No FWD vehicle can provide me with such enjoyment. Then there is the torque steer issue. Every time read an article about a FWD sport sedan, the first thing stated "torque steer is virtually eliminated". That's when I know the author owns a FWD.
As far as after market parts, etc, those days are done. I have gone as far to weld on custom stabilizer bars, etc on some of my past dinosaurs. I purchased the G8 for a daily driver vehicle for my wife and a family car for both of us. As such it blew away the competition. Maxima, Avalon, Taurus, Accura products, Chrysler products, etc. The interior is spacious, plus it feels very confident in both in the twisties and at high speeds on the highway.
The only other comment about the weight/suspension issue that was not mentioned was size of vehicle. I bet there are tracks where you can get a midget FWD car to beat a Viper. Just make the turns tight enough to make the Viper feel huge. Yet on a huge oval track a super small lightweight vehicle would not be ideal.
Larger size/longer wheel base aids in tracking. For example, I own a F150 and it is a no brainier to drive on the highway. It is like having laser steering. The G8 tracks awesome on the highway especially at speeds above 80MPH
#1001 of 1278 great info & posts here l8ly/g8ly / G8-camino
Nov 09, 2008 (9:33 am)
Great to hear about the testdrives & incentives on the G8s. Combining with GM card can make it an even lower price. Maybe GM card roundups will happen in a month?
I see so many comments about the auto trans which make me think some of you peeps are REALLY going to rave when you drive the G8 with V8 & stickshift...
There's probably no way i'd trade vehicles now since I have an 'optimal' pair of used vehicles, but if I were to trade 2 used for 1 new, it's fun to at least consider:
09 camaro SS (the v6 starts under $23k!)
09 base vette 6-spd, (recent-year/used more likely)
08 or 09 saab 9-3 6-spd wagon (a pal just bought 08 new under $24k with all options!)
vw tdi 6-spd wagon. (similar price to the saab)
I would probably like that wonderful G8-El-Camino monstrosity that Holden was going send to USA before GM ran out of money for any additional outrigger-canoes to transport the cars from Australia.
#1002 of 1278 '09 G8 GT-- Almost Perfect
Nov 11, 2008 (6:39 pm)
What a car!? This just came up on my rader after doing some car shopping. I have read about it and today I went and checked it out. How GM has improved. I went out and did some shopping for a new 09 Maxima SV and after not getting the deal I wanted did more searching. I looked at the 09 Acura TL, 08 Infiniti M35 great cars but have to pony up a bunch of cash. The M35 was the most fun with a great exhaust note and RWD, but it came down for bang for my buck. I think I am now in love with the Pontiac G8.
With the MSRP and great incentives, I think it would a great buy compared to the others out there.
Today I sat behind the wheel and just soaked it all in. What a nice vehicle. With a small family, I cant justify spending money on a BMW but with the Vette engine and 4 doors, I think the G8 could work. The seats were great, great plastics and dash, yet a bit more style is needed. GM has a winner with this but they need to give us a bit more style.
First of all, the center caps on the 19 rims look like a matchbox toy's plastic center. Give us more Rim options. The gauges could use some silver rims around them and some two tone color. Homelink and those cool GXP gauges. And a 8 way power seat.
I read about the updates to the 2009.5 with Bluetooth, rear cupholders are coming which make better sense.
Any of you that have driven a GXP prototype think it could pass as a family hauler or would it be too much vehicle?
This vehicle is so close to stealing the show from the others in its category, even a few higher ups. Why not drive a great priced four door sports cars? This family man wants it!
#1003 of 1278 Re: '09 G8 GT-- Almost Perfect / snow-wheels&tires?
Nov 13, 2008 (3:42 am)
mach speed 1, dude, I use an 05 GTO as a family-hauler and am considering (fantasizing) about a G8GXP for that . I think there will be great GM-card round-up offers just before GM becomes nationalized and/[or acquired by Citroen, maybe later this year or next year! :|
My GTO would be better for family-haulin it had 4 doors and a good snow-wheel/tire solution. 100% of adults who sit in the back of the GTO comment about how they are surprised how comfortable it is.
GXP has bigger brakes than G8-GT? I am wondering about possible snowtire solution for both G8 GT as well as G8 GXP, will browse around tirerack to fantasize about wheels/tires for my imaginary G8 GT, probably they don't have the GXP info on there yet.
#1004 of 1278 Re: '09 G8 GT-- Almost Perfect / snow-wheels&tires? [elias]
Nov 14, 2008 (7:58 pm)
The GXP gets 4-piston Brembos. They are larger and probably lighter than stock.
#1005 of 1278 Shifter/transmission
Nov 15, 2008 (9:58 am)
From my experience, the g8 auto is best left in sport mode when racing around. I have driven several (foreign and American) vehicles with the manual shift feature and they never seem to produce crisp accurate down or up shifts (my daily driver is a vette w/6 speed manual). Timing is critical during when horsing around. I wouldn't want to see a Maxima blow by me while I wait for a manual gear change. I don't see why they can't seem to get the Auto to shift instantaneously. Automatics if implemented correctly can provide benefits over a standard. For example, power to the rear wheels is lost when you shift a standard.
In regular mode, the G8 auto seems to change gears with economy in mind. Sport mode seems to keep the engine in the power band. The transmission works decently in sport mode.
I do know that todays autos are totally controlled via firmware (embedded software). I have a 05 F150 that had weird shift points and manual control was impossible at best. I made a complaint to ford and they updated the software. The transmission now shifts totally differently and manual control is much more precise. I am hoping GM will issue a firmware upgrade for the G8.
One other oddity I see with the G8 is that the engine does not provide much breaking power when down shifting. Maybe the cylinders are deactivated (valves open) when down shifting. I think it is a joke when auto writers complain about the fact that pushing the shift lever forward instead of backwards produces up shifts. This is more intuitive to me since it is the same way I shifted bikes/floor autos all my live.
#1006 of 1278 Re: Shifter/transmission [mrpushrod]
Nov 15, 2008 (1:50 pm)
This ** MAY ** help:
Here is the text of a bulletin [ TSB ] including the VIN breakpoint.
#08-07-30-036: Automatic Transmission Delayed Downshift,Lack of Acceleration, Flat Spot (Reprogram TCM)- (Aug 13,2008)
Subject: Automatic transmission delayed downshift,lack of acceleration,flat spot(reprogram TCM)
Models: 2008-2009 Pontiac G8 GT with automatic transmission(RPO MYC) built prior to VIN breakpoint 9L210304
#1008 of 1278 Bought one ( Helping the economy & GM )
Nov 24, 2008 (3:14 am)
First – a sincere “Thank You” to those who have posted useful information here over the past several months, as I considered a G8 GT purchase. I appreciate you taking the time to post and specifically for answering several of my questions.
This is as close to a ( reasonably priced ) 4-door Corvette as I see available today. With just over 2 years and just over 32,000 miles in a current generation Corvette, this is exactly what I was looking for. Having driven her just over 100 miles, I am quite please & satisfied!
A few details & impressions.
Car: Silver 2009 G8 GT with red & black seats, Premium, Sport & Sunroof.
Interesting ( to me ) that the VIN happens to end in: 888
With quite a lot of ‘seat time’ in a car with a very similar drivetrain ( 6L80 trans. and LS2 V8 ) I was looking for improvements in the trans. behavior & hoping that GM \ Pontiac \ Holden had addressed several concerns I ( and others with the 6-speed automatic trans. in their Corvettes ) had regarding shift speed and some other specific behaviors.
This trans works very well, for me. The delay between shift request & beginning of shift execution is improved compared to my ‘Vette. The actual shift events, up & down, are quicker than in my Corvette and a couple of 2008 G8 GTs I test drove, & they are very smooth – and the ‘rev match on downshift’ feature ( at least in mine ) actually works quite well, indeed! Good job, GM. [ Though listed in the Corvette brochure, no pre-2008 Corvette with 6L80 automatic actually does this at all . . . ]
The drivetrain make this rather large & fairly heavy sedan feel quick & smooth – and the acceleration feels seamless & effortless. I prefer this trans behavior & the programming selected ( by far ) to the 3 & 5 series BMWs I have driven - even with their latest 6-speed ZF automatic trans. Kudos!
The absolute maximum acceleration rate is clearly not quite what I am used to, in the Corvette - obviously. Mid- to high 13s in the quarter mile is quick enough for me, however, in this class car. The acceleration is very smooth – and I expect that it will prove to be ‘sufficient’. Saying quite a lot, coming from someone who has been driving a [ roughly ] 3200 pound ‘Vette for over 30,000 miles, I think. I have so far found the G8 GT to exhibit what I’d call ‘a satisfying level of quickness’.
Overall, the experience in the G8 GT is rather dramatically less ‘intense’ than the Corvette – yet the feeling is remarkably similar, to me. The ride is quieter and much less firm, ( the Corvette has run flat tires – a big contributor here ) yet I find the steering feel of the G8 GT to be excellent and the body motions remain largely well controlled. The high speed handling, feeling of security & directional stability seem quite good. And the ride is really excellent on smooth but slightly undulating highway surfaces – again, very well controlled – and it certainly is quiet. On surface streets, the ride is very well damped, impact harshness is well muted ( over RR X-ings, for example ) and handling is very good, up to any cornering lateral Gs I’d use in normal street any driving. The ride & handling compromise results in a level of refinement I find rewarding – and pleasantly surprising in a $30K sedan. The various systems seem to work well together, resulting in a sense of a very well integrated machine that generally gives the impression it is responding as a whole – rather than a bunch of separate parts.
The interior ( with a couple of exceptions, listed below ) provides very comfortable & supportive seating and a well-finished appearance, with most amenities I care about. I find the tilt & telescope steering wheel to be particularly well done.
I knew that I would miss my HUD – had one in the Corvette – and a couple of Grand Prix sedans – back all the way to 1997. I still just find it weird that none is offered on any G8. I am still adapting to the display of ‘Gear Selected’ in the DIC – so low on the dash – compared to right below my line-of-sight out the windshield. I am old & slow to adapt, sometimes – but I expect that this will be OK, eventually.
I miss the paddle shifters that I had in my Corvette – and in a 2005 Grand Prix. Another odd option omission, seems to me. And no surprise.
I do ** NOT ** miss having to be [ oh, so very ] careful when approaching any significant dip or severe upward angle in the road, and even some ‘speed bumps’, due to the extremely low ground clearance of the ‘Vette. I scraped the front spoiler nearly every time I backed out of my garage & onto my street – not to mention a few hundred other times. And now I can actually see most overhead traffic signals without poking my head forward in front of the steering wheel. I find the visibility good. The ergonomics are generally very good. Nothing fancy here – but very functional & convenient.
I am still working to find the perfect sunroof position – but I do really appreciate again having the option of an opening roof – since the Corvette’s removable panel was really useless ( noise & wind buffeting ) at highway speeds, and could not be removed while driving, nor set \ adjusted in any way. And having the convenient option of the sunshade open \ partially open \ fully closed at any time is appreciated as well.
Anyway – so far, I am well pleased with her.
And at an actual transaction price near $30K – well it is the best alternative I see to a BMW 550i. And I actually like several aspects ( the looks, inside & out, the trans. behavior ) a lot better on the Pontiac!
G8 GT 09 driver . . .
I waited for the 2009 for 3 primary reasons:
1 = A [ model ] year of US production. In case there were any significant issues.
2 = XM.
3 = A color I really wanted = Silver.
Also: All comments above re: the trans. behavior refer only to Sport \ Manual mode.
You have by now all likely seen one, but here are a few quick pics:
Sticker of an identical one:
http://www.gmbuypower.com/ws/nvlWindowSticker.vs?gmMilitary=&makeId=002&model=G8- %20Sedan&makeDescrip=Pontiac&partnerID=900001&nameplateids=004^002^012^&sellingS- ource=16&year=2009&preferredColor=&userType=GMBP&optionCode=&typeDescrip=%20%20%- 20&searchType=0&modelId=085&VIN=6G2EC57Y19L199732&zip=28779&styleDescrip=GT%20Se- dan&pvc=208&make=pg&subModelId=251&iPi=5&preferredOptions=&subModel=&mmc=2EC69&b- rand=G8%20Sedan&styleId=GT%20Sedan&style=GT%20Sedan&fPi=5&vehicleModel=/images/g- mbp/16002/vehicle/2009/med/2009251.gif&type=%20%20%20&&dealerName=JOHNNY%27