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Northstar

Test drove a G8

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My dealer finally got a G8 GT in and my mom and dad went with me after work to test drive it. I got to take about a 10-12 minute spin in it after my dad drove it for about 10 minutes and my mom about 4-5. I was quite impressed.

The suspension was superb, even over one of the worst roads around here (riding over that road in every other car I've ever rode over it in is hell). Smooth ride, but still very firm through the corners. The GTO is a good drive, but the G8 is better (though you can feel the added weight of the G8). Steering is very similar, but the G8 is smoother and never once got unsettled through a corner (or on a straight piece of road, for that matter). The GTO is still good, but the G8 is that much better, as it should be seeing as how it's suspension is 10 (?) or so years newer.

Acceleration was obviously very good, but I didn't get on it too much. Nothing past 4k rpm. I used the manual shift mode, but I thought the 1-2 shift took longer than it should have (2-3 and 3-4 seemed quicker). The 6-speed definitely is a HUGE upgrade over the GTO's 4-speed. Smoother shifts, slightly quicker $h!s, and obviously 2 more gears for accelerating.

Interior was quite nice, especially considering the price of just $32k and the powertrain and world class suspension to go along with it. The stereo sounded very good, though I didn't turn it up too loud. It is VERY quite, much quieter than I thought it would be inside. I found myself at 60mph in a 45mph zone, and I had no idea I was going that fast. Thought I was going around 40, that's how quite the car is and how smooth of a ride the car has. My only real quibbles on the interior was the glove box door was quite cheap (not uncommon) and if you pulled much on the center console in would move slightly. I guess you probably wouldn't be pulling on your center console much, but they still could have done a better job there. Overall though I was quite impressed. Nice materials and fit and finish with those two being exceptions, nice seats, HUGE back seat, nice trunk... not much to dislike.

Another quibble is that the sunroof is tiny. I mean it has to be one of the smallest I have seen. Not a huge deal, but a bigger sunroof would be nice.

My dad is somewhat considering buying one now. We may trade in the Trailblazer and my mom and dad will switch between the GTO and G8 when I'm at school (ie not in the summer). My brother will be getting the Malibu either way (which would mean my dad would drive the GTO and mom the TB if we did not buy the G8). Unfortunately, there aren't any G8s equipped without the summer tires but with everything else around here in orange. We could try to have the dealer find one, but I searched for 15 minutes on Pontiac's site and couldn't find one. Not a deal breaker, but the V6 that the dealer had in orange looked great. I'd pick either black or orange if it were up to me (I have seen all except the blue that changes to a blurple at an angle).

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Just take the summer tires and get a set of steelies with snow tires for the winter. On a high perofrmance car like that, I don't think an all-season tire is going to cut it when you're trying to manueuver through slush and snow. You're better off swapping.

Nice review. The G8 is a fantastic car in any trim.

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Just take the summer tires and get a set of steelies with snow tires for the winter. On a high perofrmance car like that, I don't think an all-season tire is going to cut it when you're trying to manueuver through slush and snow. You're better off swapping.

I'd suggest that for any car. after a year, no-season's suck ass in winter.

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I'd suggest that for any car. after a year, no-season's suck ass in winter.

What's all about this latest "fad" about winter tires in snowy climates? I lived in MI for 7 years....and Philadelphia for 2 years.....and drove all manner of cars (some RWD, some FWD).....and NEVER had a problem!

Usually the cities are pretty prompt about clearing, salting, or sanding the roads.......

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What's all about this latest "fad" about winter tires in snowy climates? I lived in MI for 7 years....and Philadelphia for 2 years.....and drove all manner of cars (some RWD, some FWD).....and NEVER had a problem!

Usually the cities are pretty prompt about clearing, salting, or sanding the roads.......

In 15 years in snowy climates (Michigan, Illinois, and Colorado), I drove 4x4 SUVs with all-season/off-road capable tires..never had problems. The 6 years before that (Ohio and Michigan), I drove RWD cars with snow tires on all 4 wheels Oct-March.

Next winter, I'll probably still be in Phoenix, so winter tires won't be an issue.. :)

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I really have to find the time to go drive one of these.

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I've seen two now...a red one in Denver over Memorial Day Weekend and silver one last weekend at Denver airport late at night parked at Alamo...I don't know if it was a rental or just there (it was sitting outside the National/Alamo offices). They really have presence...

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I've seen quite a few, and have given one in a showroom a very quick once-over.

I know how and where they are built, am very familiar with both the configuration and equiptment they carry, and have even traded e-mails with Lutz about them - but none of that means anything without a test drive.

It's time.

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What's all about this latest "fad" about winter tires in snowy climates? I lived in MI for 7 years....and Philadelphia for 2 years.....and drove all manner of cars (some RWD, some FWD).....and NEVER had a problem!

Usually the cities are pretty prompt about clearing, salting, or sanding the roads.......

The combination of large diameter rims, skinny summer tires, and a high performance engine makes for some...interesting...adventures in the snow. I've seen many a BMW, Lexus, or Infiniti sedan stuck on the side of the road with a minimal amount of snow on the road. All seasons do work well for the most part (at least with the storms we get here), but in the case of Northie's dad hesitating over buying a G8 because it only comes with summer tires, it'd be better for him to buy, say, a set of 15" or 16" steelies with snow tires and just swap them in the spring and fall. It'll probably be cheaper in the long run - 18" tires are expensive in any variety, and good luck finding a set of 18" all season or snow tires

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in my thunderbird experience (last rwd car) buying separate snow tires and rims meant i also was able to use my OEM all seasons well beyond the 75k mark.

Your gonna buy a second set of tires eventually, so why not get snows? Snows are cheaper than good all seasons anyways.

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My G8 ST will never see snow, so the summer-only tires won't bother me.

I will always have a 4X4.

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What's all about this latest "fad" about winter tires in snowy climates? I lived in MI for 7 years....and Philadelphia for 2 years.....and drove all manner of cars (some RWD, some FWD).....and NEVER had a problem!

Usually the cities are pretty prompt about clearing, salting, or sanding the roads.......

I feel a large number have lost some simple car control skills over the years of FWD.

I too have driven since the late 70's in all types of RWD cars. These cars have had anything from a V6 to a BBC in them with HP far beyond what is in the G8. Also most of them had All season tires but no where as good as we have today.

A good set of All season tires and a limit slip diff will go almost anyhwere you want it to go. Now is you put dedicated snow tires on there are no excuses other than poor driver skill.

I today can take my present 2 wheel drive truck right through where my wife gets her stability/traction controled FWD gets stuck.

Only traction aid in the truck is at times a 190 pound main landing gear tire from the space shuttle in the bed. No joke!, it fits under the cover and makes the truck ride better. Nothing like getting space age technology to do the work.

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I feel a large number have lost some simple car control skills over the years of FWD.

I too have driven since the late 70's in all types of RWD cars. These cars have had anything from a V6 to a BBC in them with HP far beyond what is in the G8. Also most of them had All season tires but no where as good as we have today.

A good set of All season tires and a limit slip diff will go almost anyhwere you want it to go. Now is you put dedicated snow tires on there are no excuses other than poor driver skill.

I today can take my present 2 wheel drive truck right through where my wife gets her stability/traction controled FWD gets stuck.

Only traction aid in the truck is at times a 190 pound main landing gear tire from the space shuttle in the bed. No joke!, it fits under the cover and makes the truck ride better. Nothing like getting space age technology to do the work.

I love this post!

Oh, and I agree too.

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here's a story for ya. i got the hail damage on my car estimated yesterday. it was at a dealer and so i went lot cruising in all the dealers nearby.

the pontiac shop had 2 g8's. one in the orange which i just don't know........the other had cloth, which, the cloth looks like its kind of nice.

ANYWAYS.....both g8's had massive hail damage. such a shame to see such a hot car with all that hail damage. they were both v6's i think.

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The Poncho dealer in town got in a white and a black GT both have been sold.

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ANYWAYS.....both g8's had massive hail damage. such a shame to see such a hot car with all that hail damage. they were both v6's i think.

Ouch. That hurts just reading about it. I can only imagine how they looked :(. Wonder if they'll be totaled out or sold at a cheaper price....

Cort:34swm."Mr Monte Carlo.Mr Road Trip".pig valve&pacemaker

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"It's such a cold blow from out of the dark" ... Brooks and Dunn ... 'That Ain't No Way To Go'

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The 2009 G8 model showed up on the car locator on GM Canada... hopefully that means someone has them up here.

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