MPG-o-Matic Pontiac G8 GT Review Summary: The 2009 Pontiac G8 GT is an eye-opening performance sedan, with acceleration that will pin you back in your seat without emptying your wallet. Excellent handling, a roomy interior, crisp styling, and competitive pricing make this one a winner … with or without large factory incentives.
The 2009 Pontiac G8 GT is a classic American muscle car with a big twist. This V8-engined rear-wheel-drive sedan handles as well as it accelerates and provides plenty of room for five adults. But it’s not made in America … the G8 GT is a re-badged Australian-built Holden Commodore.
The G8 GT’s 6.0-liter V8 engine produces 361 horsepower (HP) and 385 foot pounds of torque. The big V8 is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with driver shift control and sport mode.
Now you’d expect any true muscle car to be thirsty, but the G8 GT’s V8 is equipped with Active Fuel Management, to good effect. The official mileage estimates for the 2009 G8 GT are 15 city / 24 highway miles per gallon (MPG).
We had a blast putting over 500 miles on our Stryker Blue Metallic G8 GT review unit and were able reign in the right foot (just a bit) and match the official estimates, with an average of 24.8 MPG on the Interstate highway and 19.9 MPG combined.
Test period temperatures ranged from the forties through the fifties, with freeway speeds between 60 and 72 miles per hour (MPH).
G8 GT Highway MPG Testing
Cruise control on @ 68 MPH – 24.2 MPG
Cruise control off, target speed between 60-72 MPH – 25.3
While it comes as no surprise that with such a powerful gasoline-powered engine, MPGs aren’t the G8 GT’s primary focus, driving this car with a light foot can be a real trick. Get seduced by the sweet song of the V8 and you’ll find yourself stomping on the accelerator pedal a good bit more often then you might in a car with less thrilling performance. There’s no denying that this is a remarkably fun car to drive. Over our week of testing, we found that true restraint and judicious use of the throttle are positively essential to hit or exceed the official numbers.
The G8 GT keeps everything in line with a limited slip differential and stability control. Forget about the muscle cars of days gone by … this rocket ship handles as well as it accelerates. Shave the badges, take a run through the twisties, and your friends just might think they’re riding in a far more expensive European sports sedan. It’s that good.
The G8 GT’s handling factors into fuel economy, by making it easier to carry speed into and out of turns. As always, the less you’re on the throttle and the more you make use of inertia the better your mileage results.
The G8 GT’s well designed and roomy interior is kind to both the driver AND the passengers. Your friends won’t complain about being relegated to the back seat. In fact, they just might relish it. Our test unit was equipped with the premium package, which included Onyx Leather and heated power front seats. Manual lumbar support is standard.
The 11-speaker 230-watt Blaupunkt audio system provides a dash-mounted line-in jack and steering wheel-mounted controls. There are two 12-volt outlets – one inside the center console and the other at the base of the dashboard. For better or for worse the G8 GT, like all GM cars, is equipped with OnStar.
While we always like to see higher fuel economy, our trio of gripes with the G8 GT come down to electronics that could be easily solved via the aftermarket. With a head unit swap, the lack of a navigation system, Bluetooth and USB integration would be taken care of in one fell swoop.
All-in-all, the Pontiac G8 GT is a remarkable bargain among performance cars and may present collectible value, as well, as possibly being the last hurrah for GM’s V8-powered rear wheel drive sedans. We can only hope they haven’t saved the best for last …
- by Daniel Gray
March 21st, 2009
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