"Great car; idiotic review"4.5 starson by wilsoch
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.