Christmas Eve will mark the tenth month since I bought my first car and it has been an interesting ten months to say the least. On February 24th I drove off the lot in Akron, Ohio in my very own Pontiac G8 GT. Three days later later it was parked in my garage here in Phoenix, AZ. The next day, and for the coming months, it served as a shuttle bringing me and 4-5 of my fellow runners to track practice. During spring break I drove it to Los Angeles to look at colleges and on the first day of summer break it was totaled. Then a month later, on June 24th, I drove off the lot in Charleston, SC with my second Pontiac G8 GT, identical to the first. A few days and one speeding ticket (my first and only) later it was back home in Phoenix. Then two weeks later I drove it to LA for a week while I took a transportation design class. And in October it found itself back again in LA looking at colleges.
It's been quite the adventure during which I've learned a lot about the G8 and I can say that it is the best and worst car I have ever had, then again it is the only car I've ever had.....Seriously though, while it is far from perfect the G8 is an incredible car.
I guess I'll start with my first G8. It's no secret I've always loved the G8. I remember back in 8th grade getting a Motor Trend in the mail and reading the comparison between it and the Charger (G8 FTW!) and I fell in love with everything about it, especially the color, Ignition Orange Metallic. Later that week my dad and I went down to a Pontiac dealer nearby to look at the G8. It was identical to the one in the magazine, and orange GT with all the options, and I knew then I had to have my own. Well fast forward to my junior year in high school, I had enough money for half of a G8 (my parents matched the rest) and I found one an orange GT with all the options in Akron. My dad and I flew out and bought it.
The next morning there was a snow storm and I had to drive in it. Yes, I learned to drive in the snow with a RWD V8 muscle car and yes, it was incredibly unremarkable, one of the easiest things I've ever had to do. Anyone who says RWD cars are terrible in rain and hopeless in the snow are just flat out wrong. The G8 didn't have snow tires, only 19 inch all season rubber and I was still passing Subarus that had spun out. The rest of the cross country trip home was a breeze too. With a very comfortable, liveable interior and a ride better than that of my mother's Camry, the G8 is ideal for long trips.
Once we got home the G8 didn't get much rest either. The very next day it was crammed full of track runners and their bags and was so for the next two months. This was when I learned just how practical the G8 really is. It can fit 5 people comfortably, and I've actually had 6 people, not that I recommend it. So if you need a family hauler, the G8 is perfect. And it just doesn't have a lot of space for passengers. The trunk is massive. Whether it's a set of luggage for three people or gym bags for an entire track team, it will fit in G8's trunk. So when it comes down to it, the G8 is a very comfortable, practical family sedan.
It's also very safe too. Most people when writing a review rarely know first hand how safe a car is. But I can say from experience that the G8 is very very safe. On May 28th a girl in a 1985 BMW 5 series made a left hand turn right in front of me. At the time I was going 40mph. I don't remember ever seeing her or stepping on the brakes, all I can recall is that one minute I was driving north the next I was facing east with an airbag in my face. And while the G8 did eventually get totaled out (a $26k repair bill will do that) it performed beautifully. The front was flattened but only up to the front wheels. The rest was fine pristine, the CD player didn't even skip a beat. Also with in second of the crash I was connected to 911 via OnStar and they knew exactly where I was and the severity of the crash. Some may think OnStar is unnecessary but I love having it and this is a reason why. Anyway my passenger I were fine. She suffered very minor burns from the airbag and I had a bruise from the seat belt and a stiff next for the next couple of days. The driver of the BMW was fine too but thankfully she didn't have a passenger. Lets just say the 5 series looked a lot worse than the G8.
Up until the accident I wasn't sure if I liked my car or not, I did even have buyer's remorse, but once I knew it was gone I realized how great of a car it really was. But during it's three months with me while I learned a lot about the practical side of the G8 I never really got experience the fun side of it. I did no canyon carving or back country driving, only a few full throttle blasts. I regret that but I aimed to change that with the next G8.
A month after the accident I bought an identical G8 this time in Charleston, SC. The practical side was still very much there but I wanted to have fun. So when I took it to LA two weeks later I drove it to have fun. I didn't have much time to drive it with class taking the entire day but when I did I loved every minute of it. It wasn't until I was back in LA in October that I actually set aside time to just drive though. I got up at 5 in the morning on a Sunday, went to Malibu and just drove. That was when I really understood why the G8 is special. It isn't just a practical family sedan with an oversize engine. It's much much more than that. The G8 felt right at home on those canyon roads and I finally got to experience it's magic. Quite plainly, it was the most fun I've ever had driving.
So in the end the G8 is one of those rare cars that is able to combine the practical with all the qualities that an enthusiast wants. In that regard it's nearly perfect, except for the fact that it's not perfect. As much as I love the G8, there is an element of hate too.
The car has its issues. My first had a faulty trunk latch, a leaky sunroof, and a window that popped off its track. It also had an electronic glitch that set off the battery saver mode which shuts off every thing on the car but the engine itself, a little unnerving when your driving. All of the issues were resolved though. And my second has largely been trouble free but it's imperfect too. As much as I wish I could say that it is sitting in my garage as I write this, it is not. It is at the dealer right now. It needs an oil change, there is a recall that needs addressing, the door locks work only when they want to, the oil pan is leaking, and the passenger airbag remains off when there is a passenger in the front seat.
The G8 does have its problems then, all cars do, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I love it, even when I hate it. Sorry for the very long post BTW.