An interesting offering
This time, GM has it right. The Pontiac G8 comes from Australia with beautiful balance and inspired styling. Derived from the Holden Commodore, the G8 combines a generous interior with the performance of a full-size sedan. Plus, it attacks Japanese rivals head-on with ultra-competitive prices.
A "big" sedan
I mean "big" by today's standards. This is no Pontiac Grand Prix, let alone a Parisienne. With a 291.5-cm wheelbase as well as a 159.2-cm front track and 160.8-cm rear track, the G8 is similar in size to the 2008 Nissan Maxima. The focus is on the interior, where two adults can finally sit comfortably in the back. Head, leg and foot room is worthy of a large sedan -- and greater than what so-called "premium" competitors offer. Rear-seat comfort is also superior: both the seatbacks and cushions are mellow.
The front fascia clearly identifies the G8 as a member of the Pontiac family, with the dual grille, air intake and hood scoop. Designers strived to create a sporty look in typical Pontiac fashion -- some might even call it aggressive. Pay attention to the side and rear-end treatment, particularly the flared fenders, and you will find a bit of European flavor, Ó la Audi A4 or BMW 5-Series, for example. Holden's design team achieved what they had set out to do: reproducing the athletic stance of these cars and giving the G8 a feline presence.
The return of RWD
Of course, the biggest news is probably GM's return to rear-wheel drive. Despite being a master of this layout, the American automaker decided several years ago to stop offering it in North America and Europe. The Australian division, meanwhile, kept perfecting GM's RWD technology. Using all its expertise, Holden developed a powertrain and driving aids that will prove a great fit in winter conditions like Canada's. Just make sure to equip your G8 with quality winter tires to prevent unnecessary intervention of the traction control system (this advice is also good for FWD cars with all-season tires).
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