Edmunds end of test - Pontiac G8 GT sedan

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by Mitchj, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Messages:
    112,090
    Likes Received:
    81
    [​IMG]

    Here at Inside Line, we're a bit like puppy breeders. We get attached to our new babies while we have them, but then we can let them go easily when the time comes.

    This time, however, things were different. When the 2008 Pontiac G8 GT came to us in 2008, we were hoping that it wouldn't be the last Detroit-built rear-wheel-drive sedan that we ever drove, and we also hoped that this car would bring back Pontiac from the brink of extinction, since it's a brand that we've always loved.

    But as it turned out, the 2008 Pontiac G8 GT would be our last-ever Pontiac. And we hated to see it go.

    Why We Got It
    For us, the G8 GT was the Great Big Hope. Not only did it have a massive V8 matched with rear-wheel drive in a combination that we covet so, but also it had a high-quality interior, European-inspired handling, sharp looks and, all things considered, a bargain-basement price. We were aware of the car long before its debut at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show and even went to Australia to test the 2007 Holden Commodore SS from which it's derived.

    This car appealed to old guys who remember the Chevy Caprice (especially the 1991-'96 Chevy Impala SS to which it led). It appealed to kids who have seen the test that Top Gear conducted of the G8's sister car, the Vauxhall VXR8. As for us, the Pontiac G8 helped us remember what we like about the traditional American sedan with a long hood, too much power, giant doors and room for six (eight if you double-buckle).

    Plus, just look at the thing. How cool is that? Forget the reasonable reasons; we pretty much bought this one because it made us feel cool.

    Durability
    With a 361-horsepower overhead-valve 6.0-liter LS76 V8 that can trace its roots back to the beginning of automotive consciousness (i.e., the '55 Chevy), we expected nothing short of perfection from the 2008 Pontiac G8 GT's engine room. But we weren't sure if the Australian planners and assembly-line workers had executed the chassis package in the same spirit. So considering that, it's something to say that we were pleasantly surprised by what the G8 GT returned.

    Not only did our 2008 Pontiac G8 GT provide just under 36,000 trouble-free miles, but it did so under sometimes stressful conditions — which resulted in a $684.67 bill for new rear tires.

    But for all that, our G8 required only three oil changes. That's three, not the 12 oil changes that might have been required back in the days when you had to change your low-grade mineral oil every 3,000 miles. We just let the Pontiac's electronic sensors determine when the oil had to be changed. And since the cost of each oil change averaged $35, we saved a lot of cash, not to mention a lot of time, by listening to the sensors. Also we saved a lot of oil, using 27 quarts instead of 108.

    "Inside Line," you're saying, "my daddy taught me to change the oil every 3,000 miles. He'd die and then roll over in his grave if I told him about a 13,000-mile interval between oil changes. Got any proof this works?"

    Yes, we do! Just before the G8's final oil change, Senior Consumer Advice Editor Phillip Reed sent a sample of the G8's oil to Blackstone Labs for analysis. The sample came back good on all fronts, but just barely so. Turns out that the G8's sensor was correct, and so 13,000 miles proved to be the perfect mileage to ensure that the oil's goodness had been used to its fullest, since there wasn't much life left in it. But another lesson here is, when the service light turns on, get it done fast, because the oil is done.

    These things were to be expected, though. What we didn't expect was a 14-day repair for a wheel-speed sensor/traction control failure, a broken key fob and a loose center trim panel (which Dan Edmunds fixed himself). New brakes were necessary at the end of the 2008 Pontiac G8's service life, but parts availability and time constraints meant that we sold the car at a slight discount after making full disclosure about the brakes.

    There were some complaints about useless knobs and an overly bright light for the "Passenger Air Bag off" warning light in the rearview mirror that were silly details that Pontiac probably would have fixed for the G8 Version 2.0. Sigh.

    Total Body Repair Costs: 0
    Total Routine Maintenance Costs (over 17 months): $179.74
    Additional Maintenance Costs: $684.67
    Warranty Repairs: 2
    Non-Warranty Repairs: 0
    Scheduled Dealer Visits: 3
    Unscheduled Dealer Visits: 2
    Days Out of Service: 15
    Breakdowns Stranding Driver: 0

    Performance and Fuel Economy
    During our initial testing of this 2008 Pontiac G8 GT at the beginning of its term with us, it returned some impressive numbers: 5.8 seconds to 60 mph from a standstill (5.5 seconds to 60 with 1 foot of rollout like on a drag strip) and a quarter-mile pass in 13.95 seconds at 101.3 mph. Its performance in our handling evaluation was equally impressive, including a 113-foot stop from 60 mph, a 66.3-mph run through the slalom and a 0.86g result on the skid pad. When we conducted our testing at the end of its term, the G8 GT performed nearly identically on its new Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tires.

    In the real world we weren't so concerned with ultimate performance, but most of us drove the car in Sport mode all the time, thereby exchanging an annoying fuel-economy calibration for a usable driving experience. That considered, we still averaged 18 mpg over the course of 35,332 miles. This is exactly what the EPA says we should get and our best tank ties the EPA's estimate for highway mpg. (Though it must be said that our low of 12 mpg is a full 3 mpg below what the EPA guesses you should get in a city loop. Oh well, I doubt its loop left any evidence of the trip.)

    Best Fuel Economy: 12 mpg
    Worst Fuel Economy: 24.3 mpg
    Average Fuel Economy: 18 mpg

    Retained Value
    Turns out that trying to sell a used car from a brand that no longer exists isn't the way to quick and easy profit.

    While few people balked at the idea of buying a used, full-size American sedan, there were hesitant questions about parts, service and warranty. A few were ultimately dissuaded and a few more were inspired to conduct aggressive price negotiations. But it didn't matter to us, as were happy to keep driving our First 888 G8 and wait for the right buyer. Eventually, he showed up, a Navy mechanic who owns six cars and does all the maintenance himself. He didn't ask about warranties or how the light worked for the service interval; he just wanted some cash off for the brakes and a little extra for the extra miles we'd piled on while waiting for a buyer. And then we took off an extra hundred bucks, our own military discount program.

    For $21,000 even, Angel Acosta walked away with what, only 17 months previously, had cost us $31,845.

    True Market Value at service end: $21,700
    What it sold for: $21,000
    Depreciation: $10,145 or 31% of original paid price
    Final Odometer Reading: 35,332

    And Then There Were None
    We walked into this test assuming we were riding the front of a wave — a tsunami of sales of full-size American-made rear-wheel-drive sedans. The 2008 Pontiac G8, we hoped, would prove the viability and marketability of such hardware. Ford would follow suit, bringing over the Aussie Falcon. Chevy would rebadge the G8 as a Caprice or Impala. We'd get the Holden VE Utility as an El Camino, and maybe a wagon, too!

    And then the economy went bust.

    And GM declared bankruptcy.

    And Pontiac shut its doors.

    And our dream died.

    We remember when our 2008 Pontiac G8 GT only had 7,028 miles on the odometer, yet Inside Line Editor in Chief Scott Oldham let go with an enthusiastic comment that ultimately summed up our year and a half: "This car just keeps surprising me. It's easily the best vehicle GM sells in America today.... When you look at the Pontiac's price, performance and package, it's easily the best of GM's best."

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Coach McGuirk

    Coach McGuirk OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,255
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    St Louis
    I can only afford a crappy firebird :(
     
  3. trixareforkids

    trixareforkids Taked baby. Meet at later bar, night or day someti

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Messages:
    15,664
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Wasatch Front
    One of the only cars GM gets right in the last couple of decades, and they cancel it :wtc:
     
  4. ReFreshing

    ReFreshing OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Messages:
    24,837
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Colorado Springs / California
    Best Fuel Economy: 12 mpg
    Worst Fuel Economy: 24.3 mpg
    Average Fuel Economy: 18 mpg

    wtf
     
  5. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Messages:
    112,090
    Likes Received:
    81
    ha, not really, we can still buy them

    and the irony is we can now buy them with the pontiac front end too.

    Im pretty sure you'll get the VE2 as a Chevrolet in the very near future. Lutz wants it to happen.
     
  6. CopenKagan

    CopenKagan OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2003
    Messages:
    72,641
    Likes Received:
    115
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Almost $700 for a pair of tires. :rofl:

    Still would love to have one though. :hs:
     
  7. ReFreshing

    ReFreshing OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Messages:
    24,837
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Colorado Springs / California
    the only thing that sucked about the stock gt was the nonexistent exhaust note.
     
  8. SimpleMan

    SimpleMan Yeti is watching you post

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2002
    Messages:
    25,485
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Algonquin, IL U.S.
    I want to drive one.
     
  9. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Messages:
    112,090
    Likes Received:
    81
    these are so badass

    [y]FNlgw1COym8[/y]
     
  10. ReFreshing

    ReFreshing OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Messages:
    24,837
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Colorado Springs / California

    one of my friends did the "washer mod", which is essentially a forced exhaust leak. feels kind of good, man.
     
  11. lump

    lump New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    Messages:
    17,629
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Such a bummer. :(
     
  12. Lope

    Lope Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2001
    Messages:
    32,946
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SoCal 909
    i quite like them :cool:
     
  13. supersymmetry

    supersymmetry Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Messages:
    76,637
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Brentwood, CA
    i always like seeing those on the road. the proportions and stance are perfect, like an M5.
     
  14. 1JZSC

    1JZSC OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Messages:
    15,622
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    North Shore
  15. JM Popaleetus

    JM Popaleetus OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2007
    Messages:
    49,359
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Noticed that too.

    Either being sarcastic-in-a-badass-way, or just a typo.
     
  16. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,822
    Likes Received:
    1,753
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    I had to have a ground fixed on mine the other day. Sales guys at the dealer were going nuts over it. They say they can sell G8s now for a lot more money used than they could new since it went out of production.

    Good for those of us who own them, bad for those who want one now.
     
  17. BlazinBlazer Guy

    BlazinBlazer Guy Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Messages:
    18,783
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lansing, MI USA
    :werd: :wtc:
     
  18. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow, that's like the gas mileage on my RX-8, except for me it's not highway/city/average, it's hot weather/cold weather/average. But anyway...

    It's a shame to see a car like that go away. I'm not a fan of big V8s, but as far as big-v8 cars that aren't the Corvette go, the G8 was pretty much the best one made in America in decades. However, I suspect that with Pontiac going out on a high note like that, they'll bring back the name someday when whatever new automotive paradigm has been hashed-out and everyone's gotten used to driving econoboxes again.

    I really think GM should release cars under its own name instead of specific brands, though. Everyone knows who makes the Corvette and the G8 and the CTS. Just put a GM badge on it and call it a day.
     
  19. CJPA

    CJPA New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Messages:
    114,304
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    AZ, USA
    WOULD DRIVE
     
  20. Havsie

    Havsie When I die, bury me inside the Pepsi 1893 store OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Messages:
    147,503
    Likes Received:
    414
    Location:
    Jersey
    They got some lousy times with their car..plenty of other reviewers have gotten their G8's way lower in the 5's and nearly high 4's and much lower in the 13's. Maybe they're using regular or something in it..who knows. Regardless, I enjoy my car every day and I'm glad with my choice. The best part about it is that I could sell it for more than I paid for it with 5500 miles on it :bowrofl:
     
  21. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Messages:
    112,090
    Likes Received:
    81
    you dont seem that enthusiastic

    dude the G8 is a far better car than the Camaro

    all the performance with nice interior and far better styling.
     
  22. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Messages:
    112,090
    Likes Received:
    81
    except it was designed entirely and built entirely in Australia by Holden.
     
  23. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Funny, back when I used to point that out, the response was usually "nuh-uh, only the frame comes from Australia, the rest of it is built in BC" or some shit like that.
     
  24. Havsie

    Havsie When I die, bury me inside the Pepsi 1893 store OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Messages:
    147,503
    Likes Received:
    414
    Location:
    Jersey
    I'm not talking about the Camaro, I'm just saying that they got some shitty performance numbers out of their car when other people get much better ones.

    Also, I wouldn't have been able to get a Camaro 2SS for 25k which is the only comparison to what I got for 25k.
     
  25. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,822
    Likes Received:
    1,753
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    I couldn't get into a Camaro 2SS the way I wanted it for as cheap as I got into the GXP either.
     

Share This Page