The Pontiac Grand Prix has been around for a while, and it’s beginning to show its age. The 2008 Grand Prix suffers from poor interior design, lackluster engine performance and handling, and a lack of modern safety equipment. This year, Pontiac released the G8, which very well could be the replacement for the outdated Grand Prix.
Body Styles: four-door sedan
Engines: 3.8-liter V-6, 5.3-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, four-speed automatic with a manual shift mode
Models: Pontiac Grand Prix Base, Pontiac Grand Prix GXP
The 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix does not have as many trim lines as the previous year. The GT model, along with its V-6 engine, is dropped in the 2008 model year.
The 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix is a four-door sedan that is available in two trim lines. The styling is fairly standard for a sedan. The Grand Prix has the split grille like many of the models in the Pontiac line. The Base 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix comes equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels. The GXP model has an upgraded, sport-tuned suspension system, and 18-inch alloy wheels with performance tires. A sunroof is optional on both models.
The 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix still features the interior design of previous Pontiac generations. This is illustrated by a dated, lackluster feel that puts the Grand Prix behind current Pontiac vehicles, not to mention behind the competition. The stereo panel looks old and out of date. There are a lot of cheap, subpar plastics on the center console and the doors.
There isn’t even a lot of room available in the interior. The bench in the back of the vehicle is stiff and low to the floor. This causes passengers to sit with their knees up in an uncomfortable position. The sloping roof line is likely to blame for this low to the ground design, although the low bench doesn’t help the fact that there is minimal headroom in the back of the vehicle. The trunk has 16 cubic feet, which is pretty decent for a sedan.
Standard features on the Base vehicle include full power accessories, keyless entry, cruise control, OnStar services, and a CD player. The GXP has all the accessories of the Base model but adds an upgraded stereo system, dual-zone climate control, and a heads up display. Optional items include a Sun and Sound package, which includes a sunroof and a nine-speaker Monsoon stereo system with an in-dash six-CD changer. Other optional items include a navigation system and a satellite radio.
Performance & Handling
The 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix now comes with two engine types. The 3.8-liter, V-6 engine produces 200 horsepower with 230 pound-feet of torque. The GXP get s huge upgrade with a 5.3-liter, V-8 engine that produces 303 horsepower with 323 pound-feet of torque. Both models are available in front-wheel drive. A four-speed automatic controls all the engines, although the GXP receives a manual shift mode as well.
The 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix feels large, probably because it is bigger than most of the competition, but it still feels tight and in control for the most part. The V-6 base engine does not have the same fuel economy as the competitors, and is a lot noisier than more refined V-6 engines. The V-8 engine has great power, but it is a heavy engine placed near the nose of the car. This affects the drive quality by causing the nose to lead the vehicle. It is also fuel hungry. Neither engine option is very good.
The 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix is also lagging behind in safety features. Anti-lock brakes and traction control are optional on the Base model, although the GXP gets them as standard. The GXP also receives stability control. Both models have optional side-curtain airbags. The 2008 Grand Prix did receive a five out of five star rating for head on collisions for the driver, and four out of five for passenger in NHTSA ratings. The 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix only received three stars for side collisions.
EPA Fuel Economy
Pontiac Grand Prix Base: 18/28 mpg city/highway
Pontiac Grand Prix GXP: 16/25 mpg city/highway
- Strong V-8 engine
- Lots of trunk space
- Comfortable ride quality
You Won't Like
- Cramped back seat
- Excessive torque on the V-8
- No supercharge V-6
- Cheap interior quality
- Noisy V-6 engine
An aging dinosaur best left alone.
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