Pros Speed, handling, bang for buck power, profits go to an American automaker
Cons Fuel costs, don't look for luxury or an especially smooth ride.
Summary CNET once again misses the point of the product they are reviewing. The G8 isn't meant to be tech crazy, it's not meant to have the smoothest ride (it has sport suspension, are you kidding me?), and it isn't meant to conserve fuel. If you want to conserve fuel, buy a 4-banger and enjoy your lack of acceleration in peace.
The G8, plain and simple, is trying to bring back the cheap, American muscle car - a decent amount of horsies grafted onto a price not outside the realm of possiblity for most people. Is it a perfect vehicle? No, but for what it attempts to do, it does well.
First off, it gives you good power to price ratio, which is its primary turn-on. Secondly, it is suppose to give you the average of car cabin tech and styling, plain and simple. It is not meant to excel at cabin tech, or be extremely styled. This car is all about kicking ass and taking names at a cheap price.
I like how CNET links this vehicle in comparison with the MB C300, which is a V6 with only 228 HP. Good luck getting the same type of ride with the G8. Sure the MB might have some more cabin tech, features, etc., but that is because it is a completely different type of car. Comparing apples to oranges here.
Oh and by the way, if you don't know when to shift without a redline marking, stop reviewing sports cars CNET.
Pros Incredible power; nice handling
Cons Interior could use some upgrades; mpg isn't great
Summary I really wish that CNET would get out of the business of writing car reviews. They started out as reviews of the technology available in a car, which is fine, I suppose, but CNET seems to think it should review the car itself. This review is an example of why CNET shouldn't bother. The crowning jewel of the G8 is its engine, a superb 361-hp V8 which is available at a remarkably low price. The author nonetheless derides the engine because it "doesn't really compare with the 400-plus horsepower some automakers, such as BMW, squeeze out of lower displacement engines." He then later says that he "didn't expect much [fuel economy] from such a high-displacement engine." Give me a break. Since he brought up BMW, let's look at its closest examples. The 550i -- comparable in size and weight to the G8 -- has a 4.8 liter V8, which makes slightly less ********** and quite a bit less torque, all while returning worse gas mileage (15/22) than the G8 (15/24). It's also slower than the G8. The V8 in the M3 does indeed make more horsepower than the G8's using only 4 liters, but it makes significantly less torque, and it has significantly worse gas mileage (14/20) than the G8 even though the M3 is smaller and lighter. The point of my comments here is not to compare the G8 with either of these BMWs; it is to point out how useless the author's criticism is. Yes, the G8's engine is bigger, but it in fact gets better gas mileage than the BMW engines that the author implies are superior. What really matters in a car -- and what the author really fail to discuss -- is how the engine performs. So what if the BMW engines make more or less power, or more or less torque, from less displacement? They get worse fuel economy, and the author doesn't offer any reason why those engines are better. They may indeed be smoother, or more refined, but the author certainly doesn't say so, and I suspect he has no idea. Sorry for the rant, but this type of mindless auto criticism irritates me.
In any event, the G8 overall is a great car that will appeal to some but not others. It is significantly larger than one might expect. Given its size, I think it handles quite well --- better, for example, than the similarly sized Dodge Charger, or the new Honda Accord, which is smaller. It is not as hard-edged as I thought it would be, given its engine, which some may like and some may not. I think it strikes a pretty good ride-handling balance.
Overall, I think the interior is relatively nice, but it has some flaws. The gauges over the center stack look cheap; I have heard they will be removed next year. There is also no nav option, which is a shame, and it is missing some other more modern amenities (like bluetooth). But it's not bad for a $30K car, in my view.
The one real downside is fuel economy. At 15/24, it's not great. Of course, I think you will be hard pressed to find a car as big and fast as the G8 with better fuel economy, but those mpg numbers are not great with $4/gallon gas. At least the G8 works on regular fuel.
In any event, people who want a large, fast and fun to drive car will like the G8. People more concerned with fuel economy will want to steer clear.
Pros Power, rear wheel drive, great handeling
Cons Atari gauges, no manual in 2008
Summary For the price of this car, there isn't one out there that does it as well as the G8. The 550i almost has the same power, but comes with a 60K price tag. The Charger has a disappointing interior (the 300 C is isn't far ahead of the charger in that department).
This is a very competent rear wheel drive mid to large size sedan. The rear seat has room for three with plenty of leg room for 6 footers. I recently took my G8 GT on a 250 mile trip and averaged 25.7 on the way there, 26.5 on the way back.
It isn't a perfect car. The Atari battery and oil gauges are completely out of place. So much so that Pontiac took them out and now there is a cubbie in it's place. The aftermarket is already working on some nice analog gauges. The transmission in the standard mode spends a little too much time trying to save gas. It is a "Manumatic" transmission, so you can tap shift which help immensely during spirited driving.
Cnet's suggestion for a C class as an option doesn't make much sense. The G8 is a much bigger car than the C class.
I've owned one for about 2 months now and it has been great. (I do miss the 6 speed GTO I traded in for it. At least 2009 with have the GXP with a 6 speed)
Pros Great handling up to 8/10ths. If you want more than that, get the GXP model or install an aftermarket suspension package. Roomy backseat. Mine is a 2009.5 model, so I have XM Radio and Bluetooth. Very nice exterior design. V8 torque!
Cons Since it's a big car, it's also quite heavy at nearly 4,000 lbs. Fuel economy with the 6.0 V8 isn't great. In mixed driving, I'll get 17-18 mpg. City driving drops it to 14-15. The Blaupunkt radio isn't terrible logical in operation.
Summary This is a poor man's BMW 5 Series, but without the luxury. The interior is nice and well built, but not luxurious. I love the combination of handling and power for the size. Few cars at any price can will handle as well. There is no substitute for a good rear wheel drive chassis.
For anyone worried about parts, this car is still in production in Australia so parts are available. There is a very healthy aftermarket available for tuning this car and lots of enthusiastic owners. I've had mine over a year now and haven't had any problems with it. I only wish I could have bought it with a manual transmission.
Pros This car has great looks and I get positive comments all the time especially since there aren't too many on the road. I have a base 2008 G8 but have a sun roof, leather w/heated seats. Orange light dash lighting is cool; idiot gauge is not.
Cons It doesn't have in-dash NAV, Homelink, or XM radio and the radio is weird in terms of using the various functions. Window controls are in the center console and the performance tires took a while getting used to. Mileage is OK for a 6 cylinder 17/25
Summary This is a good sedan at a good price and that was my primary reason for buying it. Owning part of GM was a factor as well as being one of the few and last Pontiac owners. Had a 1996 Bonneville and previous Pontiacs and they always seemed to be ahead of the other GM brands in style and innovation (heads up display), interior lighting. I'm still satisfied almost 2 years later. Plus, just this year GM kicked in free tire rotation and oil changes for all of 2010 and when I add that to the dealers incentive of 5 free all changes for 2011, maintenance savings are fantastic. It rides nice and has enough power for me and my wife who likes to drive it as well, especially with the heated seats in Michigan's winters.