By on May 9, 2008

x08pn_g8026.jpgLet’s not dismiss the Pontiac G8 V6 out of hand. Sure, you give up a Smart-and-a-half of ponies with the less powerful powerplant. But 256 horsepower would have seemed like plenty even five years ago. (And the way things are going, it might seem like plenty five years from now.) For enthusiasts who’ve advanced beyond the raw thrill of gut-sucking torque, it’s not the meat, it’s the motion. Yes, Virginia, it’s possible for a car to be fun to drive even if it can’t flatten you against the seatback off the line. Ah, but does this G8 V6 fit this bill?

In the G8 V6’s favor, even the GT variant is not a one-trick pony. It offers an attractive (if not distinctive) BMW E46-influenced exterior, a plenty roomy interior and a fine handling, even driftastic chassis. All of these strengths transfer to the V6. So the potential certainly exists for a fun-to-drive sedan that’s less expensive to buy and operate.

x08pn_g8020.jpgUnfortunately, the G8 V6 isn’t exactly what you'd call a bargain (mate) compared to the G8 V8. Base to base, you save $2400. That, my pistonhead pals, is a pittance for an extra 105 horsepower. But wait, there’s less! The GT comes complete with the V6’s Comfort and Sound Package as standard. It also boasts other extra standard kit, including a leather-wrapped steering wheel and limited-slip rear end.

Inside the V6 version, the hits keep not happening. The base model's oversized urethane wheel looks fleet and feels worse. The cloth seats are much grippier than the optional leather, but they do nothing to alleviate the interior’s downscale ambiance. So attired, the V6’s interior is so uniformly black, joyless and basic that it makes a Dodge Charger’s cabin look like a Lincoln. Were the panel fits this imprecise in the GT, or were they just less obvious in the premium interior?

x08pn_g8024.jpgThe V6’s base interior isn’t the automotive poster child for the New Zealand rugby team. Red digital auxiliary instruments rest atop the center stack. The crude oversized graphics would have looked out of date a decade ago. Taken as a black hole, the spartan interior crosses the fine line between functional and cheap and heads straight for K-Mart.

Even the V6’s Premium Package’s red leather seats and instrument graphics are only a partial fix. Pop for the packs and make an allowance for the GT’s trick diff, and V6 buyers save just a touch over a grand. With a price difference this small, the V6 needs to bring something else to the party– even for those [four of us] who aren’t torque junkies.

x08pn_g8027_01.jpgFuel economy! Nope. With EPA ratings of 17/25, the V6 goes two miles farther than the eight-pot on each gallon in the city, but only one mile farther on the highway. Sure, the G8 V6 is competitive with other gas-powered two-ton sedans. And? Anyone seeking fuel economy in a G8 best pray for a diesel variant.

With [perhaps] a hundred fewer pounds on the nose, the G8 V6 may be a better handling car than the GT. But if there is a difference, it isn’t large. With either engine, the G8 is a fine-handling, throttle-steerable sedan that’s too large to be tossable.

chicagopontiacg801.jpgThis year’s G8 comes with any gearbox you like provided it’s a manually-shiftable automatic. In the V6’ case, you get five cogs instead of six, which partially explains why its fuel economy advantage isn’t larger. The V6’ cog swapper is a bit more responsive. When used as a manual override, the shifter feels crude, as is the GM way of such things.

That leaves but one attribute in the “possible advantage” category: smooth revving. The V8 relies on pushrods to operate its two valves per cylinder. The V6, in contrast, has a pair of cams in each head and an extra set of valves. DOHC good, pushrods bad, right? The V6’s tach needle should head for the red zone more readily than the V8, and sound and feel more refined whilst doing it.

2007gmcarcadiav6engine01fixedsmall.jpgOnly it doesn’t. For two decades, GM has been finding ways to make DOHC engines sound and feel absolutely ordinary– or worse. This Zeta iteration of GM’s DOHC 3.6 continues this oft-tragic tradition.

Up near the redline the six isn’t awful. But getting there is no fun; the engine lacks the urge to rev and the midrange is, well, unpleasant. There’s no whir of fine machinery, only the grunt and roar of a poorly tuned intake and exhaust. Go part-throttle, as in typical suburban driving, and the midrange sounds especially cobby. Right foot up or right foot down, there are no joys to be had from this powertrain.

x08pn_g8023.jpgThere’s inexpensive, and then there’s cheap. The G8 V6 is cheap. It combines a slew of promising parts– clean well-proportioned exterior, driver-oriented interior, DOHC engine and all-independent rear-drive chassis– into something much less special than it could have, indeed, should have been.

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61 Comments on “2008 Pontiac G8 V6...”


  • avatar
    seoultrain

    The battery and oil pressure gauges are such a blunder it’s almost comical. Who actually decided to put these two largely useless bits of information presented so horribly in such a prominent position? Is this person still employed by GM?

    Anyway, the 5 speed auto on the V6 might be the only reason to get this over the GT. The V8′s 6-speed auto will take almost a full second to decide on a gear, only to change its mind and take another half second to actually shift. No exaggeration. Sport mode works well, but it’s too aggressive for everyday driving. I’d wait for the manual in the V8 at all costs. The dealer said they’re planned for Christmastime.

    Lastly, one thing I noticed about the V8 (haven’t driven the V6) was that I was underwhelmed by what was supposed to be 360hp. With two and a half times the horsepower of my Mazda3, I expected more from it. A G37 (also auto) felt like it had considerably more power. Is the auto tranny to blame? Or is 2 tons really just that heavy? Has anyone else experienced the same?

  • avatar
    nehoc93

    Despite all of the “negatives” in the article, I would consider the V6 G8 IF IT HAD A MANUAL. It would be kind of a cheaper alternative to the nearly perfect CTS. With the automatic and small price difference to the V8, though, it is not in the running.

  • avatar
    BEAT

    I think 256 hp horsepower is a lot of power until to this day. I haven’t driven any 21st century American cars and couldn’t tell if 256 is power.

    I like the car’s design it doesn’t look like A BMW and doesn’t look like a Mazda 3. It’s still Americana to me. A European will like this one or a Japanese who likes American cars.

    Pontiac is still in the Market for performance and a lot of them are out there.

    Pontiac is here to stay. Long Live This American Car

    Feasiblity study

    Probably there is no Manual Because We Americans Don’t know how to drive a Manual or We know how to a drive manual but still purchased Automatics. Not like Europeans especially the British Loves driving manuals.

    Hey!!! but if you wanna save on brake pads and gas drive a manual but learn how to drive first.

  • avatar
    dean

    The garish display atop the center stack is one of the unfortunate byproducts of the dash design required to accomodate the ever more ubiquitous satnav options. Automakers are left to fill the space when the option is not ordered. Some obviously do it better than others.

    The price difference between V6 and V8 models is boggling. While the difference probably reflects the additional actual cost of the larger motor, nobody ever sells cars on that basis. The obvious conclusion is that they decided to lose $x per V8 model sold and wanted to limit any further bleeding on the V6 variant. Had the price difference been a more typical $4k-$6k they would have lost more of their shirt for every car sold.

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    This pricing actually makes sense to me. How much more should a V8 really cost you? It’s not like it has THAT many more parts and is that much more complex (and in the case of pushrod V8 vs DOHC V6, it may be LESS costly to manufacture).

    i hate that cars *start* at $20K and end up costing $27K when you opt for the bigger engine and a sunroof.

  • avatar

    dean: no satnav is available, so that’s not the reason.

    It would not surprise me if the 6.0 actually cost less to produce than the 3.6, since it has one cam instead of four, 16 valves instead of 24, and so forth. GM has spent decades figuring out how to minimize the manufacturing costs of an OHV V8.

    I went into this test drive hoping to report that the V6 was a surprisingly viable option. I still remember the first time I drove a DOHC four-valve engine, in a rear-drive Toyota Corolla, and so for years associated multi-valve with fun to drive.

    But GM isn’t the only manufacturer capable of producing a no-fun DOHC engine. We own a Mazda Protege5 and Chrysler PT Cruiser (my wife wanted one, okay?), and neither DOHC four begs to be taken to the redline.

    TrueDelta might have reliability information on the G8 in August, but November is more likely. Depends on how quickly people buy these and sign up to participate.

    Know a G8 owner? Send them here:

    http://www.truedelta.com/reliability.php

  • avatar
    ash78

    So this thing is a red herring for the GT, huh?

    Great review and wonderfully objective perspective. I knew it was Mr. Karesh without even reading the credit. Sounds like this one is destined for the rentals, where saving a Hamilton or two per month is substantial over an entire fleet.

  • avatar
    seoultrain

    Michael, I looked up the Holden site after dean’s post, and the Commodore indeed does have sat nav as an option (and for only 1290 Aussie dollars!). I guess they left out an American conversion of the nav in the rush to get the G8 to market.

    I should add to my prior post up top that I did enjoy the G8 a lot. I guess I’m just very frustrated that such a great vehicle was ruined by the transmission. I thought the interior (on the V8) was pretty nice. Audi-inspired and done well. The chassis is great, suspension tuned very well. With the salesman in the car I couldn’t take it past 6/10ths, but it knows its way around the corners. A bit more steering feel could inspire more confidence, but overall it’s surprisingly good.

  • avatar

    Interesting. But is it positioned where the aux gauges are, or is it integrated into the audio system lower on the IP?

    I vaguely remember reading that the satnav was left off because the location would be too low for American lawyers.

  • avatar
    seoultrain

    Good point, MK. Looking at Holden’s brochure for the Commodore:

    Multifunction colour LCD display

    The centre console mounted full colour
    screen displays full audio system details
    and the dual zone electronic climate
    control settings for driver and front
    passenger. It also provides full colour
    mapping when the optional satellite
    navigation is installed and, when the
    vehicle is stationary, acts as a second
    DVD display if the optional DVD player
    is fitted.

    looks like that screen can do a lot in Australia. So i guess the screen was too low for America, and GM didn’t bother to redesign the top of the dash.

    Audi seems to have their screen pretty low as well:
    http://www.audiusa.com/etc/medialib/cms4imp/audi2/aoa/product_my08/s4sedanmy08/interior.Par.0002.Image.jpg

  • avatar

    I wonder how the power train in this care can be reviewed so badly when it’s basically the same power train out of the previous generation CTS.

  • avatar
    ash78

    With the Garmin nuvi and TomTom selling as low as $150 (small, portable AND cheap), I don’t really see how integrated sat-nav has much of a future in cars. I don’t fault them for not bringing it over…litigation aside, I don’t see them staying very popular except in high-end models. Just my $0.02 from a profitability perspective.

  • avatar
    BEAT

    I don’t get the complaint about the gauges being comical? People especially TUNERS Spend A LOT of money on gauges they even put it on the side door panel or anywhere even under the steering wheel rack just to have gauges.

    Do you guys drive staring at Gauges or the car in front of you? if you do the former that would be comical.
    The American Transmission doesn’t break down so easily if it is Manual tranny.

    A Pontiac being a rental is fine but thank god it is not a Taxi that you can see in Boston or New York City.

    At least Pontiac is doing it’s best to Make DOHC
    if the Japs can do it why can’t We.

    A Nav system in a car that would be another $1,200 or more. Buy a Tom Tom for $150.00 a piece with no electrical problems in the future just change the battery once in awhile.

    So, What if it was design in Aussie or Africa.
    Do you think that all Honda cars are all made in Japan?

  • avatar

    Oldsmoboi: I was expecting to find the powertrain satisfactory for that very reason. While some reviewers did find the 3.6 in the first-gen CTS insufficiently refined, I was not one of them.

    In the review, I blame the intake and exhaust. These likely differ between the two cars.

    The G8 is also a larger, heavier car, and might be geared differently (I haven’t checked).

  • avatar
    jaje

    GM has focused so long on getting away with ohv engines it’s behind the curve on dohc variants. Look at the Ecotractor engine – unrefined even with the assistance GM of Europe – the only way to make an Ectotractor engine make power is forced induction. Inline 4′s from the Eighties from other MFGRs are still smoother today (and I’m not talking the Iron Duke).

    Yeah the LS series v8s are an engineering marvel that happens when a close minded MFGR focuses on improving a single engine for decades where the majority of other MFGRs have moved away from OHV construction sans garden / lawn equipment.

  • avatar
    ronin

    >>”The V6’s base interior isn’t the automotive poster child for the New Zealand rugby team. ”

    I know the All-Blacks do a Haka prior to each match, but I don’t understand this analogy. Could you please clarify?

  • avatar

    ronin:

    I know the All-Blacks do a Haka prior to each match, but I don’t understand this analogy. Could you please clarify?

    You answered your own question. All-blacks.

  • avatar
    roberthelfrick

    I think satnav is unavailable because of Onstar.

  • avatar
    gamper

    I recently drove a G8 V6 and was rather underwhelmed by the experience. The V6 is only adequate, simply not able to extract the goodness from the chassis and RWD (which is quite good). The 5 speed auto is actually pretty good, the manumatic mode is decent as well but still a buzzkill compared to a true manual transmission. You could still have a little bit of fun in the V6 model, but really, another $2,000 for a V8 makes the V6 model rather pointless considering it doesnt really provide significant economy increases.

    My biggest surprise was the G8′s interior. Its decent to look at and tolerable overall. But having recently been behind the wheel of an Enclave, new CTS and new Malibu; the G8 is simply a step backwards. I believe the G6 may actually have a better crafted interior though equally drab.

    A nice write up Michael. It just clicked that you are the truedelta guy that I get e-mails from regularly.

  • avatar
    BEAT

    Mr.Karesh your Truedelta team are all over the internet especially on Evo or Lancer Forums.

    There is nothing wrong about that and it is really helping the consumer.

  • avatar

    I like the car’s design it doesn’t look like A BMW and doesn’t look like a Mazda 3. It’s still Americana to me. A European will like this one or a Japanese who likes American cars.

    The Ford Mustang does Americana way better. I also think the Malibu does it better, looks better, is more fuel efficient, and will probably wind up being more reliable if we can count on Maximum Bob here (my guess is no).

    My issue with the G8–in V6 form anyway–is twofold: price and fuel economy, just like the review says. 20 mpg? At $27K with $3.50 a gallon gas? Doesn’t work for me. I don’t mind a gas hog but at least give the car some horsepower to back up those EPA ratings.

    That said, I figure with this base V6 the Mustang will whip the upcoming Camaro on price, power-to-weight ratio, and sales. I can’t even begin to fathom somebody paying V8 prices for a V6, even if said V6 were V8 powerful. People will want V8 rumble, and you just can’t get that from a V6.

    Better luck with that V6 muscle next time GM.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    For two decades, GM has been finding ways to make DOHC engines sound and feel absolutely ordinary– or worse.

    There are certainly plenty of mediocre GM 4 valvers, but don’t forget they built the remarkable, far-from-ordinary 5.7L DOHC LT5 motor in the 1990-95 Corvette ZR-1.

    Yes, Lotus was involved, you might counter, but that motor, and many of it’s design features were incorporated in the Northstar DOHC V8, another not-so-ordinary multivalver.

    Hell, even the original Quad 4 of the late 80s may have been a bit thrashy, but it was very potent, esp in HO guise. Certainly didn’t feel ordinary, even to the most casual passenger.

  • avatar
    Mj0lnir

    The Luigiian :
    May 9th, 2008 at 10:22 am

    That said, I figure with this base V6 the Mustang will whip the upcoming Camaro on price, power-to-weight ratio, and sales.

    If you hang out on Camaro forums, and believe what “insiders” are saying, the V6 Camaro will be closer to 300 horsepower than 250, only cost $1000-$2000 more than an equivalently optioned Mustang, and be ~100 pounds lighter than the G8.

    If you believe all that, you’re looking at a decently optioned 280 horse V6 Camaro for around $24,000.

    That makes much more sense than a G8 V6.

  • avatar

    Mj0lnir:

    That makes much more sense than a G8 V6.

    Which should pretty much destroy G8 sales. More cannibalism. So… what was the point of this whole exercise again?

  • avatar
    Brendino

    What’s all this talk about E46? I only hear it on this site and I certainly don’t see it. This is a pretty fresh exterior; slightly conservative muscle.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    What’s all this talk about E46? I only hear it on this site and I certainly don’t see it.

    The front grille clinches it. It has BMW Wannabe written all over it.

    They should have left the Holden look as is, but found a way to punt the boy racer hood scoops. I know that they’re going for the family look, but in this case, you’ve got a lot of ugly siblings who didn’t need to be emulated. Consistency is good, but attractive is better.

  • avatar

    Richard Hammond said it best in one of his recent Top Gear magazine articles.

    “There will be a V6 version next year, for idiots to buy. Why would you want that? It’s like popping into the dragon shop for a pet and coming out with a poodle.”

    http://www.topgear.com/content/features/stories/2008/04/stories/06/1.html

    He’s referring to the V6 option for the new Challenger, but you can apply the same to any V6 muscle car including the new G8 here.

    The appeal of the G8 is it’s V8 engine and smokey burnout muscle car performance and hoon factor. It isn’t a car that’s really good with a V6 or meant to pack one, it’s there for idiots to buy.

    It’s also the model that sits on dealer lots here in Arizona. The V8s are gone within days and for good reason.

  • avatar
    oboylepr

    So, from the perspective of an automaker who is in deep do-do and badly in need of a few really hot selling, awesome value, better-than-the-other-guy, reliable and economical cars, what can be said of this one? Seems to me to be yet another example of what GM excels at: an almost but not quite there car that showed great promise and promised a great show hitting a crowded market just as gas prices are going ballistic. How do they do it? GM are just amazing!

  • avatar
    solo84

    while being an agreeable design, the hood scoops look ridiculous.

    takes me back to 2004 when the Pontiac Holden GTO was brought to America…without hood scoops. fanboys nationwide complained about the omission and Holden Pontiac added them a year later. with the attentive submission to the customer, where is the GTO now?

    ah, yes…

    the fate that met the GTO will soon come knocking on the door of the G8, whether it is a V6 or 8-cylinder.

  • avatar

    Successful or not the G8 is planned to run until 2012. The GTO was always planned for three years whether it was successful or not as well, kudos to GM for not pulling the plug on it early in 2004. It was a Hell of a deal for a Hell of a car and I’m glad I got mine.

  • avatar
    Geotpf

    Sat nav is not available because this car is not a Caddy nor a SUV, and GM corporate policy is that only Caddys and SUVs get sat nav domestically, because they make too much money off of the monthy fees from On*Star. It’s better than GM’s corporate policy on bluetooth, which is that nobody gets it (for the same reason)-only one Caddy has it domestically (although overseas, plenty of GM vehicles have both, because On*Star is North America-only).

    Of course, GM loses a ton of sales due to this stupid policy-and of high-trim level versions of vehicles to boot (which are much more profitable than low end strippers). I believe both policies have been rescinded a month or two ago (because GM finally wised up, about five years too late), but way after the G8′s design was finalized.

  • avatar

    Actually nav is not offered on this car because Holden didn’t engineer their nav system to meet NHTSA guidelines here in the US.

    The car’s interior and center stack could not be redesigned cost effectively and still meet the 2008 deadline (it was already put off more than a year because of the cylinder deactivation crap added). Nav is available in a ton of GM products expensive and inexpensive already.

    The interior will probably recieve a refesh on the Commodore soon when the Series II comes out, the G8 will get whatever Holden decides to give it.

  • avatar
    davey49

    This review actually is saying that the G8 V8 is a bargain, not that the V6 is expensive.
    Just say “The V8 is only a $1000 more.”
    jaje- any engine can be made to make more power. NA or forced induction. It just depends on your resources and engineering talent.
    Solo84- The GTO was a 2 door, the G8 is a 4 door, there’s a big difference there.
    Now everyone (including M.Karesh and other TTAC members) should imagine this car with the 2.4L VVT Ecotec from the Solstice in it. That’s what coming, soon.
    I’m pretty sure that Pontiac’s been doing the twin grille thing for longer than BMW.

  • avatar
    Mj0lnir

    Robert Farago :
    May 9th, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Which should pretty much destroy G8 sales. More cannibalism. So… what was the point of this whole exercise again?

    I was simply pointing out that (if rumours are true) the Camaro will fare fine against the Mustang, and I’m having trouble believing that a two-door coupe is going to cannibalize sales from a four door sedan.

    I don’t think that twentysomethings shopping low $20k coupes are a sales steal from a high $20k sedan.

    The G8 V6 will probably be a failure for several reasons, but losing sales to Camaro/Mustang/350Z is probably not one of them.

  • avatar

    The front end is the only Pontiac aspect of the exterior to me.

    Compare the side view to the E46, especially the E46 M3, and you should see what I’m talking about.

    On the reliability front, I’ll have some news next week about recent GM launches.

    As for the “TrueDelta team,” I got a good chuckle out of that. I post on only two Mitsubishi forums, neither of them devoted to the Evo.

    I did drive the new Evo right before driving this car. Very nice. The G8 V6 may have suffered a bit in comparison.

  • avatar

    Mj0lnir:

    The G8 V6 will probably be a failure for several reasons, but losing sales to Camaro/Mustang/350Z is probably not one of them.

    Agreed. Upon reflection, I was wrong. Live and learn.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The problem for this version of the car at this price point is that it has far more competition than does the V8 version.

    Not that many buyers will want the poor fuel economy of a V8, but those that prioritize affordable performance in a sedan have few other choices. In contrast, there are a lot of six-cylinder sedans in the market at around this cost, as well as some competitive four-cylinders, which takes away from the value proposition.

    Basically, the six-cylinder G8 needs to be cheaper than it is. The weak dollar probably won’t allow for that, though.

  • avatar
    BEAT

    MKaresh?

    I think that is your Mitsubishi Enthusiast Forum user name. Sorry forgive me you are absolutely right on your survey it was all about older Lancer and the New 08 Lancer.

    And Again you are really doing a great job for the consumer.

    For this Forum is it really important do have a built in NAV on your dash?

    I mean how many times a day do We use it.
    Are we going find our way to work by using a Nav system even though we know where we going.

    I definetly think that the NAV system is for Show Off only.

    Hey I HAVE A NAV do you have one?

    I really don’t like those Nav things. you tend to look at it every minute while doing 65 mph (even though you don’t need to look at it).

    It is an accident waiting to happen.

  • avatar

    It’s better than GM’s corporate policy on bluetooth, which is that nobody gets it (for the same reason)-only one Caddy has it domestically (although overseas, plenty of GM vehicles have both, because On*Star is North America-only).

    Actually, for 2009, it looks like the only GM models that WON’T have bluetooth will be the Aveo, Colorado/Canyon, and G8.

    just sayin….

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Expect to see most of the G8-V6 on Avis lots.

  • avatar
    CarShark

    This review actually is saying that the G8 V8 is a bargain, not that the V6 is expensive.

    He seems to be saying both. He said that the base trim felt cheap.

  • avatar
    Liger

    saw a g8 v6 at national car rental today….

  • avatar
    Jonathon

    The front end is the only Pontiac aspect of the exterior to me.
    Agreed. As with the GTO, it’s pretty obvious that they just slapped a Pontiac grill on a car that otherwise bears little in common with the rest of the Pontiac line-up. Of course, the problem is that half of Pontiac’s line-up are just Chevys with split grills, so who’s to say what a real Pontiac looks like anymore?

  • avatar
    Mj0lnir

    Pch101 :
    May 9th, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Basically, the six-cylinder G8 needs to be cheaper than it is.

    That comment is dead on.

    A manual trans V6 with leather seats and sport suspension would be perfect- at ~$25,000.

    A slushbox stripper at $28k isn’t going to cut it in this market.

  • avatar

    Actually the 2009 G8 (which is already in production) will feature Bluetooth.

    And for those of you who do not like the V6 you can take heart in knowing the majority of 2009 G8 production will be V8 models.

  • avatar
    Sammy Hagar

    Come on now, let’s get realistic here. The exterior of this car is much better than the Gran Prix it replaced. The interior is alas, pure black crap; but, then again, that hasn’t disuaded people from buying G6′s…which seems to be doing top-10 in it’s segment. And lastly, you’ll be able to count on one hand the number of GM dealers who unload a V6 G8 at the MSRP of $27K.

    Mark my words, six months from now you’ll open your Saturday/Sunday car section in the paper (yeah I know, dying medium) and see these at the inevitable $21K w/GM bankrupting incentives/employee pricing. That said, still a stretch for me.

    However, I might be tempted once one 1-yr old models start showing up at dealers w/GM 5yr/100K warranties at $17-18K. There’s probably a lot of value there compared to what you’ll get w/an import in the same segment.

    Note: $20 says there will be a Mary Kay version.

  • avatar
    Geotpf

    TriShield :
    May 9th, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    Nav is available in a ton of GM products expensive and inexpensive already.

    Name a MY 2008 or earlier US GM product that is not a Cadillac or a SUV that has normal sat nav (with a screen) (On*Star turn-by-turn does not count). I double dare you.

    Compare this to, say, Toyota. You can get sat nav in things as low-end as a Scion xD or a Toyota Corolla.

    Oldsmoboi :
    May 9th, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Actually, for 2009, it looks like the only GM models that WON’T have bluetooth will be the Aveo, Colorado/Canyon, and G8.

    Like I said, they recently did a 180 on this policy. But, for MY 2008 and earlier, I am correct.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Name a MY 2008 or earlier US GM product that is not a Cadillac or a SUV that has normal sat nav (with a screen) (On*Star turn-by-turn does not count). I double dare you.

    Corvette. Take that!

  • avatar
    jthorner

    I don’t see anything about the G8 which predicts a better future for it that the New GTO enjoyed. G8 has flop written all over it. Please GM, prove me wrong.

    Bringing out any new car without a satnav option is just stupid. Lots of money to be made there. Toyota and Honda offer it on almost everything.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    Lot of people expect the G8 to be a flop because the GTO was a flop. But the GTO was a flop because the expectations were set too high for it. It had a legendary nameplate to live up to, and it’s styling didn’t reflect that, unlike the Mustang which took you back to 1965.

    If the G8 fails, it’ll be because it’s the wrong car for the wrong times, and will confirm that the V8 is indeed dead.

  • avatar
    Sammy Hagar

    Why is this car being compared to the GTO? Isn’t it a large, 4dr sedan that is replacing the Grand Prix? Wasn’t the GTO a completely new 2dr model?

    Though I doubt this will be the game-changer Pontiac/GM needs, it’s not going to be a flop; rather, it’ll just be status quo. Take a look a look around at the number of Grand Prix’s on the road…it’s surprising, but mostly thanks to Enterprise & others. I really don’t see how w/a better styling package, the G8 will do worse than the Grand Prix.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Geotpf: “Compare this to, say, Toyota. You can get sat nav in things as low-end as a Scion xD or a Toyota Corolla.”
    Suzuki recently announced that every 2009 SX4 will have an integrated Garmin nav system as standard equipment. This actually makes sense since aftermarket nav systems can be had for as little as a few hundred dollars, yet the RPO price auto manufacturers charge for an optional nav system is almost universally around $2k.

    The MSRP base price of the 2009 SX4 (including shipping) will supposedly begin near or under $16k.

    As to Toyota’s nav systems, although they’re available in a large range of vehicles (the Yaris may be the only Toyota that doesn’t offer nav), I believe Toyota’s legal dept. have the nav systems configured in such a way that they will not operate while the vehicle is in motion, i.e., the vehicle must be in park for the nav to function.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    “I believe Toyota’s legal dept. have the nav systems configured in such a way that they will not operate while the vehicle is in motion, i.e., the vehicle must be in park for the nav to function.”

    It worked fine in the one we test drove last year. Toyota is also integrating a back-up camera with most of their satnav systems. When you put the car into reverse, the LCD screen becomes a real-time view from a camera in the rear bumper. That’s a good safety feature on vehicle where it is hard to see what is directly behind you.

    Back to the G8: Maybe it would have a better chance if it was sold as a Grand Prix. It makes me foam at the mouth to think GM ditched a once great name like Grand Prix for something which sounds like a boring annual economic summit.

    Wrong car + wrong time + wrong name + wrong division + wrong exchange rate = flop. It’s already showing up in rental car fleets!

    The GTO comparison is valid because it too was a Pontiac nose-job onto a Holden.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    jthorner: “It worked fine in the one we test drove last year. Toyota is also integrating a back-up camera with most of their satnav systems. When you put the car into reverse, the LCD screen becomes a real-time view from a camera in the rear bumper. That’s a good safety feature on vehicle where it is hard to see what is directly behind you.”
    I don’t think I explained it properly. In Toyota’s nav system, the vehicle must be completely stationary (in park) to enter any destination data. It then gives directions as normal with the vehicle in motion after that. At least that’s the way it works in the Prius.

    And Toyota’s back-up camera is exceptionally annoying. It has a proximity sensor that emits a constant beep which then gets more frantic as the vehicle gets closer to an object. Fortunately, Toyota hasn’t yet made the system to where the beeper can’t be turned off. It’s not in the manual and Toyota won’t tell you how to do it but the procedure can be found via a Google search.

  • avatar

    I’m with jak, they might be profit items for automakers but few options fleece a customer more or age a car faster than built-in factory navigation.

    Recently I was looking at used BMWs with a family member and the navigation built into 2004 and older models was more a detriment to the cars than a benefit for resale. A lot of them had outdated information and hard to use interfaces. Maps and portable units are still superior in my opinion.

    The G8 isn’t really a luxury car, it’s a muscle/performance car first which is reflected in it’s interior and exterior design as well as tuning.

    Should the G8 offer nav? Sure. But for performance minded V8 enthusiasts the car is meant to appeal to they will be more interested in dropping the $2k+ on engine mods like a tune, intake, heads, cam, exhaust, gears, etc

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Most of the Japanese and American OEM nav systems don’t allow input on the fly….that’s nothing specific to Toyota. You either have to have a savvy stereo shop put the speed sensor on a switch, or go aftermarket. So far, BMW and MB still allow you to input on the fly, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time until their lawyers convince them otherwise.

  • avatar
    Geotpf

    doctorv8 :
    May 11th, 2008 at 1:26 am

    Name a MY 2008 or earlier US GM product that is not a Cadillac or a SUV that has normal sat nav (with a screen) (On*Star turn-by-turn does not count). I double dare you.

    Corvette. Take that!

    I actually looked at the options list for the Corvette before posting that comment.

    http://www.chevrolet.com/corvette/features/

    The Corvette has On*Star turn-by-turn, but doesn’t appear to have a standard nav system with a map screen. If it does, it’s not listed on the options list on the website.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Geoptf,

    I just went and checked on the ’06 in the garage….yup, option code U3U. Look back at the link you posted, but click on the “audio systems” tab.

  • avatar
    Jamo

    That GTO y’all turned your noses up at, the one with the six speed and 400 hp?, well, them’s start’n to look pretty nice in retrospect. But we won’t be gett’n them no more.

  • avatar
    lambroast

    You guys who are criticising the G8+G8v6+G8-sport truck+GTO, will probably not like the new Camaro because it is also aussie designed !

    Here is a links to some new Holden models

    http://www.holden.com.au/www-holden/action/conceptcar?modelid=20004

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Overall I find the silly named G8 a lackluster attempt at a flagship Pontiac sedan. Sure it has rear drive and a tire smoking gas swilling V8 option. Yes is rides and handles nice like most cars do today. The bland BMW 5 Series cloned exterior does nothing for me whatsoever as is the case with the GTO before it. The exterior is so stark and plain and goes totally in the opposite direction of any Pontiac in recent memory. The base V6 models interior with it’s urethane wheel, cheap glovebox with no light, cheap cloth seat material and overdose of black lung are little better but a definate step in the right direction compared to the rental spec Grand Prix’s interior. GM at least saw fit to include Bluetooth for 09 and nix the dubmly located battery and oil guages but little else. The V6 is a decent mill and certainly better than the ancient 3800 powerwise but gas mileage takes a step in the wrong direction and 3 MPG less highway than the old 3800 GP. The base price is also a jaw dropper for 2009. Can you say nearly 29K for a base cloth seat V6 model. I also wish Pontiac would offer an AWD setup with this car as so many car companies are doing today. On the bright side, I did find the interior pretty roomy and the back seat fixes one of the largest complaints of the old GP of no room and terrible seats. Overall my first choice in a mid sized rear drive sedan would be a Charger SXT with 3.5 liter V6 and leather seat/steering wheel package for about 2K less than the basic G8.


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