3000 km Review of the G8 GT

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Thread: 3000 km Review of the G8 GT

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    GMI Contributor Premium Member zete's Avatar
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    3000 km Review of the G8 GT

    On June 1st I bought my G8 GT. I had been toying with buying a G8 since February when GM started its various deals but I finally decided to buy one when I realized it was a "now or never" type of situation and the number of G8 GT's, especially in "Arrest Me Red"/"Liquid Red", was dwindling fast.

    So, on the day GM proclaimed bankruptcy I bought myself a new car. It's the first new car I've purchased in nearly a decade. I've leased, for the most part, the past 2 decades. But I wanted this for my own and so bought it outright.

    And how has it been? Fantastic. The best car I've ever driven. It's just a sheer joy. Even more so after the recalls were taken care of. Why? Well, I don't know what had to be reset but I know they reprogrammed the automatic and it just is so much crisper now. It just somehow feels more planted, though I think that's because the transmission doesn't seem to hunt as much as it did before. I'm duly impressed.

    Other than the recalls, I've not had to visit the dealer at all. Well, not at all. I had to pop by to pick up a cheque for $1000 from GM as a loyalty bonus. It seems I fell between the cracks of when it was offered and when the dealer was notified that it was available (they were notified post June 1st) so I got an extra $1000 off the car! Most excellent. That means I paid less than $38,000cdn for the car, on the road. Unbelievable. It was nice of GM to ensure I got that incentive. They didn't have to do that and I'd have been none the wiser. But it was especially nice that they took care of it and ensured I got that one last incentive. They even contacted me the other day to ensure that I'd gone in to pick up the cheque. I dealt with the same person at GM the entire way through as they ensured the paperwork was done. Seems "after the fact" reimbursement is a special process in GM, but it works. Even the dealer has rarely had to do it, and my salesman never has. New to both of us but it was very professionally handled.

    I now have 3000km on the clock, exactly. And for someone who telecommutes that's an impressive amount of mileage in less than three months. It just shows you how often I just like going out for a drive. I've not had that feeling nor desire in years. I seem to find excuses to go out. And my wife says she's not seen me happier in years. She says the car has done wonders for me. I guess I was getting a bit more curmudgeonly than normal so this has been good for the overall atmosphere around me .

    And the reception the car gets from people is phenomenal. I've had people give me thumbs up more than once. I've had people ask what it was and shake their head in disbelieve when told it's a Pontiac. I've had people chase after me to get a better look. And, twice now, I've watched as a Porsche driver nearly drove his car into a tree; rather humourous. The uniqueness of the car is wonderful and it brings smiles to many drivers' faces. One middle aged guy in a Toyota nearly broke his finger on his windshield attempting to get his wife's attention as I drove by. It was funny. I felt sorry for the guy, driving around in a Camry. He obviously would have preferred the G8.

    And then, down in Kingston a short while back, a tourist started taking pictures of it out of tour bus. She was grinning ear to ear. I didn't get a chance to stop her as she was on a tour bus but she gave my wife and I a big thumbs up and a wave. I wonder if she just knows what the car is or perhaps she's from GM or Holden or Australia and is, in some way, associated with its manufacture. No matter, it was an interesting experience. It seemed to have made her day as she was elbowing her partner as we drove by. Funny.

    On the road the car is a simple and utter dream. Solid. No rattles. Nothing. And for long trips it is extremely comfortable. I'd rather drive this than any car I've driven lately, and that includes a number of BMWs. It handles superbly without inducing kidney damage.

    One thing I have discovered is that the various shift modes truly change the character of the car. In "Normal Shift" it shifts aggressively if punched and is very fast off the line, yet it's very civilized. Flip it to "Sport Shift" and it's downright brutal. In "Manual Shift" mode you can do some interesting things and it seems to just want to be driven like a standard. GM's done a wonderful job with this transmission. I tend to drive in "Normal" but every now and again I drop it into "Sport" and it just lights me up -- and the tires. I figure the first "maintenance" on this car may well be tires.

    I really never thought I'd be so happy with a car again. But this car is just that sweet. It's a total pity that GM isn't making them anymore. I do so hope that GM will bring over the next iteration in some way.

    I've even been thinking about how they can do that. Perhaps GM could simply bring in speciality runs of certain famous names such as Cutlass, GTO, etc. via a "GM Custom Coaches" type of endeavor. These could be sold via the Cadillac or Buick dealerships so they're associated with prestige and luxury and so purchasers are coddled a bit, too. GM could bring out limited runs and demand premium prices for these custom coach designs. Imagine seeing an Olds Cutlass or an REO Speedwagon or a GTO based on the forthcoming Alpha or next-iteration Zeta (assuming it exists)! Fans of these cars who appreciate what the names mean would be interested in buying the cars, especially if they realized they were limited runs. Have them built in Australia since those Aussies definitely know how to build a kickass RWD vehicle! I could see GM selling 40k - 50k a year in North America, which would be gravy for Holden.

    Unlikely though that is to, I will continue to enjoy my 4-door Corvette. It's just a heap of fun. And after talking to folks I know who claim they'd never even consider a GM again, they've admitted that the G8 has changed their mind. Just too bad they can't buy one. Hell, even my dad went out to buy one only to find they're all gone. He waited too long and now he regrets waiting. I'm sure he's not alone.

    Anyone who's interested in buying a G8 GT I'd recommend heading out and getting one before they're gone (in Canada, they're sold out ). Those willing to wait a few years to buy a used one won't be disappointed, assuming current owners are willing to part with the cars. I doubt I'll be letting this one go.

    For those with a disdain for any thread without pictures, here's one of the car from when I got it. It's been raining here of late so it's hard to take an outdoor shot that's not washed out, literally. But it's not like it's changed in less than three months . Enjoy.


    "Christians should not hold dumb opinions about the natural world based solely on misreadings of the Bible, especially opinions that can be demonstrably falsified by Reason, lest the Faith be subject to ridicule and mockery." -- St. Augustine of Hippo.

    "Stop being dicks to the poor." Pope Francis, paraphrased.

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    4.6 Liter Northstar V8 Mustapha Mond's Avatar
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    Re: 3000 km Review of the G8 GT

    Great review - I'm jealous as hell of you now!

    I was out on a Sunday drive in the country recently and we ended up at the Rosetown Dairy Queen for a snack when a similar and gorgeous G8 pulled up and parked. I was immediately off the picnic table running over to gawk at it and schmooze the driver. He took it in stride and I got the impression he gets this all the time. It sure made a sweet sound as he pulled out of the lot onto the highway and gunned that V8. It has beautifully tuned exhaust.

    I love a little bit of "car porn" once in a while, thanks for the picture too.
    -Elliott

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    GMI Contributor Premium Member zete's Avatar
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    Re: 3000 km Review of the G8 GT

    One of my good friends has a last gen M5. We went for a drive a couple weeks back and he said the G8 GT has a much better exhaust note than the M5. His exact line was: "No one can do a V8 exhaust note like Detroit." So true. So true.

    And, yeah, I bet that guy gets a lot of attention. I get it all the time, too. And pictures don't do the car justice. In person it's super impressive. And I just love that colour, especially since it is Arrest Me Red (Liquid Red). My old 84 Trans Am was that colour and my wife said if I buy a G8 GT it had to be in Arrest Me Red. I told her I wouldn't have it any other way -- though it looks awesome in black, too.
    "Christians should not hold dumb opinions about the natural world based solely on misreadings of the Bible, especially opinions that can be demonstrably falsified by Reason, lest the Faith be subject to ridicule and mockery." -- St. Augustine of Hippo.

    "Stop being dicks to the poor." Pope Francis, paraphrased.

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    6.2 Liter LS3 V8 isszy's Avatar
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    Re: 3000 km Review of the G8 GT

    Glad to see you guys are getting to try what we have been treated to by Holden for years.

    What's even better is they are pretty hardy buggers, and go for ever, and things don't tend to fall off inside.

    Sad that only a few of you will get a look in though.
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    GMI Contributor Premium Member zete's Avatar
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    Re: 3000 km Review of the G8 GT

    Truly sad indeed. It's a great car and if it is as robust as you say, so much the better as it seems Canada is importing roads from Afghanistan of late. Plus, I plan on driving this vehicle for a long long time .
    "Christians should not hold dumb opinions about the natural world based solely on misreadings of the Bible, especially opinions that can be demonstrably falsified by Reason, lest the Faith be subject to ridicule and mockery." -- St. Augustine of Hippo.

    "Stop being dicks to the poor." Pope Francis, paraphrased.

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    Re: 3000 km Review of the G8 GT

    Very accurate review zete! You relay my sentiments exactly about the car.

    It is quite incredible how the car behaves. Driving it around town or just normally commuting to work it is very well behaved. However start pushing on it a bit and a whole new level of the car's personality comes out to play. Activate Sport Mode and you're understanding the nickname of "GM's 4-door Corvette."

    Agreed on the transmission. It is very well done, but most of the 6L80 applications appear to be.

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    GMI Contributor Premium Member zete's Avatar
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    Re: 3000 km Review of the G8 GT

    My buddy with the M5 simply cannot believe the transformation. He was grinning from ear to ear when we went out for a spin. He said it just doesn't look like it should do what it does. The car's a dream. I still wish they bring it back in some guise. It deserves to live on. Holden is rightly proud of this car. And to think it GM years to figure out it could just bring Holdens here. Imagine if they'd brought Holdens here back in the 90s, they'd have saved Pontiac.

    If GM opts to make Corvette a brand the G8 GT would be a great Corvette and it would easily justify the price as Corvettes bring in big bucks. Hell, if Porsche can have sedans then why not Corvette. Corvette G8 has a nice ring to it .
    "Christians should not hold dumb opinions about the natural world based solely on misreadings of the Bible, especially opinions that can be demonstrably falsified by Reason, lest the Faith be subject to ridicule and mockery." -- St. Augustine of Hippo.

    "Stop being dicks to the poor." Pope Francis, paraphrased.

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    Re: 3000 km Review of the G8 GT

    Does want.
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    Re: 3000 km Review of the G8 GT

    Great Review Zete. I have just over 5000 miles on the clock and feel the same way about mine.

    I think the brands that have gone away will stay gone away. At this point I truly hope that Buick GMC dealerships become Buick GMC Holden dealerships after GM has paid back the government loans. Other than the LHD to RHD conversion and the necessary testing for US standards there would be less cost involved. No sheet metal or badging changes needed. Holden also has no great old history in the US that is tainted with a not so great recent history to contend with either in terms of brand perception.
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    6.2 Liter LS3 V8 isszy's Avatar
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    Re: 3000 km Review of the G8 GT

    Don't forget the RHD/LHD bit is already done for the Middle East Lumina and the Brazilian Omega. Crash testing is all that is left.
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    Re: 3000 km Review of the G8 GT

    Its about time ANCAP was accepted in the US. It reflects the European crash testing regimen anyway. if the worlds manufacturers can have ISO/TS 16949:2002 to assess the quality standards used in building automobiles, then they could do the same for crash tests. Replace them all with an ISO.
    Last edited by chinamonty; 08-24-2009 at 05:46 AM.

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    Re: 3000 km Review of the G8 GT

    Quote Originally Posted by isszy View Post
    Don't forget the RHD/LHD bit is already done for the Middle East Lumina and the Brazilian Omega. Crash testing is all that is left.
    Ironically, the G8 has never been tested by the NHTSA here. Maybe they are accepting crash data from other countries now? I don't know.

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    Re: 3000 km Review of the G8 GT

    And how has it been? Fantastic. The best car I've ever driven. It's just a sheer joy.
    I couldnt have said it better. This car handles so beautifully. I've never had a vehicle that I actually LOVE driving. It's not just a Point A to B experience.

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    GMI Contributor Premium Member zete's Avatar
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    Re: 3000 km Review of the G8 GT

    Quote Originally Posted by nsap View Post
    Ironically, the G8 has never been tested by the NHTSA here. Maybe they are accepting crash data from other countries now? I don't know.
    I've never understood why we don't have an international standard by now. Nor have I understood why GM wouldn't build every car to a superset of all the applicable standards so it can easily pass in any country/region.
    "Christians should not hold dumb opinions about the natural world based solely on misreadings of the Bible, especially opinions that can be demonstrably falsified by Reason, lest the Faith be subject to ridicule and mockery." -- St. Augustine of Hippo.

    "Stop being dicks to the poor." Pope Francis, paraphrased.

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    Re: 3000 km Review of the G8 GT

    Quote Originally Posted by zete View Post
    I've never understood why we don't have an international standard by now. Nor have I understood why GM wouldn't build every car to a superset of all the applicable standards so it can easily pass in any country/region.
    #1: Safety needs vary from country to country. Now, the needs for countries such as Canada, USA, Australia, Britain, etc., would be very similar, if not the same. But the needs for non-first world countries can vastly differ, which is why in it's current guise, a Tata Nano can be 'safe' in India, but not over here.

    #2: Costs and weight. It's not like fuel economy, where you can simply load up a given fuel map to 'ace' a certain region's fuel economy tests. More metal = more weight = more cost. I do agree though, a equal safety standards do make sense.

    Great review, by the way! Hopefully they'll reincarnate the G8 as something under the bowtie banner when it comes time to replace my car.
    "Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."

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