2009 Pontiac G8 GT - $34,900
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With just over 8800 original miles, this final-year Pontiac G8 GT is pretty much a new car.

If there’s one group of people who know their way around V8 power and rear-wheel-drive fun, it’s the Australians. Specifically, we’re talking about GM’s Holden division (RIP), which somehow managed to build some of the world’s most entertaining 21st century muscle cars. And thanks to the fact that they’re all owned by General Motors, Pontiac engineers were able to take advantage of LS V8 power and one of the most sophisticated rear-wheel-drive platforms in the GM arsenal. The result was the Pontiac G8, probably the finest domestic performance sedan of the last 20 years. If it’s not familiar to you, that’s OK—they only built about 30,000 of them, which, in automotive terms, is a literal drop in the bucket. So to put things in perspective if you’re not familiar with the G8, perhaps you could just think of it as a 4-door Camaro instead.

With just over 8800 original miles, this final-year Pontiac G8 GT is pretty much a new car. Looking at the details, we’re pretty sure it’s never even been wet. The color is called Panther Black, and there’s a touch of metallic in the finish so it has a depth and shine that seems uncharacteristic of the General’s late-model stuff. The well-tailored bodywork seems shrink-wrapped over the mechanicals, and while it’s not dramatic it is quite handsome. A familiar Pontiac twin-nostril grille has been fitted up front, along with a pair of hood scoops just for tradition’s sake, so it looks pretty nasty. This car has been beautifully maintained since it was new by one very dedicated owner and there’s hardly a mark on the car. We’ve scarcely ever seen a 10-year-old car that looked, felt, and smelled this new. Very impressive. The only notable deviation from showroom is a set of mud flaps that were designed by the factory and installed by the dealer, so they integrate nicely with the design. Ordinarily, we remove such things, but these work so well we left them as-is. This is a very appealing car.

The handsome two-tone interior captures Pontiac’s sporty attitude without looking over-wrought, as was their way about 20 years ago. Instead there are a set of comfortable and supportive buckets that are firm, but not brick-hard like the Europeans and a fat steering wheel that feels great in your hands. There’s no fake wood paneling, no chaotic screens or menus, just a serious driving environment that puts the important stuff where it needs to be. Check out the beautiful red-faced gauges that are easy to read at a glance and that big leather-wrapped shifter handle that you can slap through the gears yourself or let the computer do it. Everything is included, from the power windows, locks, seats, and mirrors, to automatic climate control, to a killer Blaupunkt stereo system with built-in 6-disc CD changer and 11 speakers. Both seats are heated, GM’s awesome stability control has a competition mode for tail-happy fun, and for a big sedan, this thing feels a lot smaller from behind the wheel. There’s plenty of room in the back seat for full-sized adults and a giant trunk out back, making this the right car for a high-speed road trip.

The high-speed part is neatly handled by a 6.0 liter LS V8 packing 361 horsepower and a rather stout 385 pounds of torque. The result is a 4-door sedan that feels grown-up until you stomp on it, then it behaves like a juvenile delinquent who just stole his father’s Camaro. There’s major pull available at any speed and it’s a sublime high-speed cruiser that just devours pavement as fast as you dare drive it. Our only complaint is that it’s just too quiet—virtually silent at speed and even at idle it’s just barely audible. Some aftermarket mufflers might make its voice match its personality. But we can’t argue with the way this thing pulls though all six gears and barks off the line at green lights. Everything you love about the LS engines is here, including the bulletproof reliability and long list of upgrades, if that’s the way you want to go.

The aforementioned 6-speed automatic shouldn’t be considered a demerit, because it snaps off shifts faster than you can and with a manual mode, it’s happy to let you run up to redline and hold it there without trying to outsmart you. The suspension is fully independent and because it was designed from the start to be rear-wheel-drive, balance is very close to ideal. It’s supple and comfortable, yet capable. It’s not turned up to 11 like, say, a BMW M3, so it’s a bit more relaxing when you just want to drive instead of race every kid at every light, but at the same time, it’s hard to resist dipping into those massive reserves of torque. The thing just catapults forward in any gear at any speed, and the computer will dial up a quick double downshift to get the V8 into its sweet spot when you need it. To be honest, we can’t think of a car that does everything this well and doesn’t cost $80,000. Why Americans don’t love cars like this, we just don’t understand. There are also massive disc brakes at all four corners, so it has the stop to match its go. And those handsome 5-spoke alloy wheels are unmarked and the machined finish is quite attractive. It is also fitted with recent 245/40/19 Bridgestone performance radials so it’s ready to enjoy right away.

Documentation includes all the original manuals and the factory window sticker.

It seems that GM can’t quite figure out a way to keep their best cars alive, because shortly after this G8 was built, Pontiac was unceremoniously bumped off. That’s a shame, because this is easily one of the best 4-door sedans built in recent memory. Don’t think of it as old-school GM or the Pontiac of the 80s, because it’s a beast of an entirely different nature. If you’re looking for a future collectable or just a fantastic daily driver, give this G8 GT another look. And best of all, it’s one of those rare cars that has never seemed to depreciate—they still change hands for about sticker price, which is the number on this one, as well. Call today!

Harwood Motors always recommends and welcomes personal or professional inspections on any vehicle in our inventory prior to purchase.

Vehicle: 2009 Pontiac G8 GT
Price: $34,900
Stock Number: 117089
Odometer Reading: 8833 (authentic)
VIN: 6G2EC57YX9L224563
Engine: 6.0 liter LS2 V8
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 2.92
Wheelbase: 114.8 inches
Wheels: 19-inch aluminum wheels
Tires: 245/40/19 Bridgestone performance radials
Exterior Color: Panther Black Metallic
Interior Color: Black and red leather
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