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G8 a solid performer that packed punch

For performance buffs, the Pontiac G8 was only slightly less attractive than owning a four-door Firebird.

For performance buffs, the Pontiac G8 was only slightly less attractive than owning a four-door Firebird.

Simple premise with this machine. Shoppers could bring about $36,495 to their Pontiac dealers and leave with a brand new sedan stuffed with a V-8 engine that spun the rear wheels.

The 160,000-kilometre powertrain warranty and airbags made it an easy sell to that significant other, too.

Engine

Standard G8’s got a 3.6-litre V-6 with 256 horsepower. The G8 GT got a six-litre, 361 horsepower V-8. Automatic transmissions were standard on all models.

What owners like

A high-performance driving experience, aggressive styling and pleasing handling were mentioned by most G8 owners.

Spaciousness, muscular performance and even fuel economy were also highly rated.

What owners dislike

Complaints centre around cheap interior trim pieces, some fussy controls and difficult-to-recline front seats.

Common issues

Listen for popping, clunking, grinding or snapping sounds from the front end while travelling over bumps at various speeds and angles. Any unwelcome sounds likely mean a suspension component is worn out or in need of replacement.

A well-documented problem with premature lower control arm wear resulted in a service bulletin — so a GM dealer should be able to address the problem in quick order.

Verdict

The G8 looks like a solid, robust and reliable performer. Remaining factory warranty should provide used G8 shoppers plenty of confidence, too.

Shoppers after a muscle sedan shouldn’t expect any serious issues on a well-maintained used G8.

 
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