Pontiac G8 GXP Review

Finish big.

Always leave them wanting more.

83 years making cars, and it turns out Pontiac learned the rules of show business instead.

All those years of building cheap knock-offs of Chevrolets clothed in ludicrous plastic body cladding, they should have been building this.

Of course, Pontiac doesn't really build the G8 GXP...it comes to them from GM's Australian division, Holden. But it looks, feels and goes like what Pontiacs from the glory days (1961-1970) spoiled us into expecting.

It's too late now...GM having announced that Pontiac's a dead division. The only 2010 Pontiac will be the Vibe...not because they'll just make that, but because it was an early 2010 model and has been on sale for months.

And GM's new boss (for now, anyway) Fritz Henderson, has repeatedly swatted down proposals from inside and outside GM that the G8 live on as a Chevrolet.

Let's just cut to the chase: This is the best car General Motors sells. It may be the best car GM has ever sold. It certainly is in the top 3.

Quality materials and assembly, an all-business 6.2 liter V8 with a six-speed automatic...it's a four-door GTO. It's the car domestic car buyers would buy instead of a BMW 5-series if there were such a thing as domestic car buyers who wouldn't dream of buying an import.

It's $37,610...and if you stopped right there and didn't order a single option, you'd still probably have the best car in town.

In fact, the tester I had for a week had only one option...a $900 moonroof that had I been playing with my own money would never have made it onto the car. It would have kept the sticker price under 40 grand ($1700 for the gas guzzler tax and $685 in destination charges add to that otherwise reasonable base price).

And yes, it guzzles gas...at least by modern standards. 13 city/20 highway is what the EPA says and they're probably right and it took a six-speed transmission to make it that good.

But folks, what we're talking about here is probably the last true American big muscle sedan. And after decades of disappointments, it needs to be noted that on the way out the door, Pontiac got it absolutely right.