The 2008 Pontiac G5 is a cheaper version of its platform cousin, the Chevrolet Cobalt coupe. Despite Pontiac’s good intentions, the G5 just doesn’t hit the mark in most areas. It poor handling and interior build, and an engine that lacks any kind of real refinement. In comparison to its rivals, the Pontiac G5 doesn’t even measure up.
Body Styles: four-door compact coupe
Engines: 2.2-liter four-cylinder, 2.4-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual transmission, four-speed automatic transmission
Models: Pontiac G5, Pontiac GT
The 2008 Pontiac G5 is in its second year of production. Overall, the G5 has remained unchanged. However, all models now receive standard side curtain airbags and satellite radio. The GT model also receives standard stability control and OnStar services.
The 2008 Pontiac G5 is not the most exciting coupe to look at from the exterior, but it is sporty enough. It has four doors and a curving body. The back has a spoiler that gives the body a bit of an edge. The Base 2008 Pontiac G5 includes 15-inch steel wheels, while the GT model receives a 17-inch aluminum wheel upgrade, sport tuned suspension, and fog lamps. The Base model can be fitted with 16-inch alloy wheels and optional features to make it more like the GT. Dealer-installed upgrades include 18-inch wheels, cat-back exhaust system, high-mount rear spoiler, and a body ground-effects package.
The 2008 Pontiac G5’s interior is a little bit bland compared to the competition. The instrument panels are well designed, and its placement is very logical. There are metal accents well placed throughout the cabin that brighten up an otherwise dull interior. However, many of the materials are made of cheap plastic that even the leather upgrades can’t hide or improve. The seat designs are very plain and are not comfortable to sit in for extended periods of time. Both models do have a fancy trip computer; however, that displays the outside temperature, fuel usage, and coolant temperature.
Other features on the base model include air-conditioning, full power accessories, remote keyless entry, a 60/40-split back seat, satellite radio, CD/MP3 player, and an auxiliary audio jack. The GT model has a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, Pioneer seven-speaker audio system, and steering wheel mounted audio and climate controls. Optional items include a six-CD changer, leather upholstery, heated front seats, sunroof, and remote vehicle starting capabilities.
Performance & Handling
The 2008 Pontiac G5 comes with one of two engine types. The base model comes with a 2.2-liter, inline-four cylinder engine that produces 148 horsepower with 152 lb-ft of torque. The GT model has a 2.4-liter engine that produces 171 horsepower with 167 lb-ft of torque. Both models have the option of a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic transmission.
Both engines give enough power for most driving situations, but drivers may be a bit underwhelmed if they’ve driven any of the competition. Power might be enough, but the steering is where the 2008 Pontiac G5 really lacks any real finesse. The suspension has excessive body roll in corners, the steering is muddy and unresponsive, and gives minimal feedback. The cabin is quiet during the ride due to good insulation.
The 2008 Pontiac G5 also suffers in the standard safety feature department. The GT is the only model that comes with standard four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. Those with the base model have to settle with rear drum brakes and ABS as an optional safety feature. All models equipped with anti-lock brakes and an automatic transmission get traction control. All 2008 Pontiac G5s receive full side-curtain airbags as standard equipment.
EPA Fuel Economy
Pontiac G5: 24/33 mpg city/highway
Pontiac GT: 22/32 mpg city/highway
- Decent gas mileage
- Acceleration is nice
- Quiet ride
- Side-curtain airbags
You Won't Like
- Subpar plastic materials
- Lack of features
- Weak engine
- No standard four-wheel ABS on base model
- No storage space
- Uncomfortable seats
- Bad handling
Lacks the features, build quality, and exciting ride offered by the competition.
If You Like This Vehicle
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