2009 G8 GXP Review
The 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP is snarling and potent, waging war (and often winning) against much more expensive imports.
The G8 GXP is a performance-tuned variant of the Pontiac G8, which ranks high in the muscle car class for its mighty powertrain options, composed handling dynamics, aggressive design and comfortable interior cabin.
For 2009, Pontiac builds upon the success of the much-desired G8 by mating it to a 415-horsepower Corvette-sourced V8 engine, as well as other performance-enhancing components. Overall, auto critics claim that it's a success. "The 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP is just the sort of four-door Corvette Americans have long prayed for, with sharp steering, fabulous response from the four-piston Brembo brakes, exceptionally balanced and neutral handling, and a simple and classy look to the interior layout and trim-all for a price that undercuts that of a comparable BMW by $20,000," writes Car and Driver. Be warned, however, the GXP is not so great on gas.
If you're considering a G8 GXP, now is the time to act fast. Due to a record sales slump, General Motors has recently announced that it is shutting down Pontiac. This means that you may be able to get a great deal on a new GXP -- with warranties still being honored. Still, keep in mind that because the company is being nixed, the value of Pontiac vehicles is likely to depreciate at a fast pace. If, however, you plan on holding onto your Pontiac for a long time -- that shouldn't matter.
The 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP can be equipped with either a six-speed automatic transmission with manual mode or a traditional six-speed manual.
- "The Pontiac G8 is a modern muscle car, with rear-wheel drive and a snarly V8. Under full-throttle acceleration, the new GXP model reminds us of a Corvette, pasting us into the back of the seat as a guttural roar comes from under the hood." -- New Car Test Drive
- "The G8 GXP is a terrific, all-around sport sedan that runs with high-priced Germans. Its strong value message isn't a qualifier either, just a bonus. You could also think of the G8 GXP as a four-door Corvette of sorts." -- Motor Trend
- "At $36,995 (before destination and gas-guzzler fees) the latest Pontaic G8 is a performance bargain compared to many of the hot European performance sedans. And best of all, this GXP should build back some credibility for Pontiac as GM's performance division." -- Popular Mechanics
- "This powerful yet refined rear-wheel-drive performance sedan is unlike anything Pontiac has offered in recent memory -- and we mean that as a sincere compliment." -- Edmunds
The Bottom Line
The 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP is badass. Not only does pack enough power and road-ripping abilities to leave competitors in the dust, but it's comfortable too. The fact that Pontiac is closing up shop and taking the G8 GXP is a major loss to the muscle car class.
On the bright side, the all-new Chevy Camaro SS still shines bright, and packs more power and an aggressive stance. Plus, it's cheaper. If you're wary of buying the G8 GXP in its final year of production, the Camaro SS makes an awesome alternative.
Test drivers report that the G8 GXP is a true muscle car -- providing loads of power, smooth transmission options and superb big-car handling chops. Its main drawback, however, is poor fuel economy.
The G8 GXP features a 6.2-liter V8 engine that produces 415-horsepower at 5,900 rpm and 415 pound-feet of torque at 4,600 rpm. While a six-speed automatic transmission with manual mode is standard, a traditional six-speed manual is optional. According to Pontiac, the GXP can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds.
Aiding performance for the rear-wheel drive G8 GXP is a performance-tuned suspension system, as well as BREMBO calipers, brake assist, Traction Control and Electronic Stability Control.
The EPA reports that the G8 GXP nets a city/highway fuel economy of 13/20 mpg.
- "The G8 GXP may look similar to the 6.0-liter V-8-powered G8 GT, but underneath its vented hood is the 6.2-liter LS3 V-8 from the Corvette. Producing 415 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque, this engine makes the GXP the most powerful production Pontiac ever." -- Automobile Magazine
- "The moment you wrap your hands around the beefy leather-wrapped wheel, slot the manual-shift lever into first and hit the street in the GXP, you'll feel a rush of 1960s muscle car deja vu courtesy of the rumbling exhaust, firm ride and torquey throttle response." -- Popular Mechanics
- "The automatic offers standard Drive, Sport Drive, and Manual modes. Drive is responsive yet smooth; ideal for normal running. Sport shifts quicker, holds gears longer, and downshifts sooner. Kudos for GM delivering a true manual mode, too. Click the shifter to the manual gate, and it'll hold gears right to the rev limiter without upshifting. And it won't downshift however hard you mash the gas." -- Motor Trend
- "The G8 GXP, like most high-performance automobiles, is a gas-guzzler. It gets 13 miles per gallon in the city and 20 miles per gallon on the highway, requiring premium unleaded gasoline 'for best performance,' which means it is not likely to win any awards from the Sierra Club or from President Obama's auto task force." -- Washington Post
- "The GXP also benefits from a sport-tuned suspension and larger, more powerful Brembo disc brakes that feature 14.0-in. front and 12.6-in. rear rotors. Pontiac estimates the GXP's 0-60-mph acceleration at 4.7 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 13 sec. flat." -- Road and Track
- "Those who buy a V8-powered G8 because they want a four-door modern-day muscle car will not be disappointed. If you turn off traction control, the GT or GXP will lay thick stripes of rubber in your favorite parking lot until the cows come home -- or until you run out of tires. What buyers may not expect is the tight handling that comes with the package, particularly in the case of the GXP, which rides on GM's sport-biased FE3 suspension." -- Edmunds
- "Final chassis tuning was done at the Nurburgring in Germany, and the result is a truly likable machine with deft, Euro-sedan handling. The steering is lighter and less communicative than the best racks from, say, BMW, but it still manages to instill confidence in hard corners." -- Car and Driver