Life is Great with a 6.0-liter V8
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  • Valentine’s Day: Falling in Love

    Posted on February 14th, 2009 tcorzett No comments

    Valentine’s Day was very memorable this year. It was the first time I drove a G8 GT (after sitting in a few over the past two weekends). I knew that Hilltop Pontiac had the exact car that I wanted (2009 G8 GT, Magnetic Grey Metallic, Premium & Sport Packages with all-Onyx interior, and no sunroof). I’d actually been avoiding this dealer because of this… I didn’t want to find myself persuaded into a deal solely by the color/options I know I want. I sent an email to the internet sales people requesting a quote and was really impressed by the numbers… basically $2k more than the used 2009 G8 GT that I sat in two weeks ago.

    The previous times I had sat in the G8 I never noticed how large the A-pillars are, but when it came to driving it they really stood out. Also, the smaller side mirrors (that I had read about and looked at last week) took some getting use to. It didn’t help visibility that there were a few stickers on the windshield (right next to the already large A-pillars) as well as the window sticker on the back window creating a large blind-spot on the driver’s side.

    Once I got the G8 GT off the lot I was really being careful to not push too hard on the throttle. Coming from a 3.8L V6 that I need to give some throttle to, the gas peddle of the G8 was something I wanted to be gentile with. Even trying to be easy on the throttle, the first time accelerating through second caught me by surprise… I didn’t go peeling-out or anything, but it definitely put my butt in the seat and my head back.

    Total Distance: 13.7 miles
    Driving Time: 29 min

    View Larger Map

    The test drive started-out by making a loop around Hilltop mall. When I first pulled onto the ring and accelerated to a comfortable speed I was shocked to see that I was going 40mph in a 25mph zone. I was really impressed just how smooth the G8 was on the road. One thing that did stand out to me was the 6-speed automatic transmission. I’m familiar with Grand Prix’s 4-speed automatic, so the low gear in the 6-speed caught me off-guard. There is just an extra shift point much sooner than I am use to. In combination with trying to be gentile on the throttle this quick shift (typically before I even got through an intersection) I’m sure the sales person was having a jerky ride. I got a bit smoother over the course of the test drive and knew that it was me and not the car.

    After finishing the loop around the mall I headed out to the freeway. Due to some construction we had to take a short detour that resulted in us having to make a U-turn. I was impressed with the tight turning radius of the 4-Door sedan. Pulling onto the freeway there was a minivan in my way for merging (right in that blind spot caused by the window sticker), but just a little blip of the throttle and it was no longer a problem. I loved the feeling of having power on-tap for when it is needed.

    Unfortunately there were quite a few cars on the road, so I couldn’t get up to 80mph like I wanted to. The traffic also made lane changes or any other activities less than easy. I did like how smooth the car tracked and how quiet the road noise was. Pulling off the freeway and turning-back to the dealership I found myself behind an old pick-up truck spewing black smoke. The sales person turned on the recirculation feature of the heating/cooling system, which is very cool. So, I found myself behind a slow car (again) and gave the throttle a little blip (again)… bye bye slow truck… it didn’t even need to down-shift. I never even went past half-throttle and this car has serious get-up-and-go!

    I wanted to take the car over some rougher roads, so we headed back through the detour area by the freeway (this time with me paying attention). I could hear when we hit bumps, but I couldn’t feel anything harsh in the wheel or peddles… it was nice. I had wanted to get a feel for the car during quick starts/stops, but there were too many people around to do anything too aggressive. I did put a little more into the last acceleration from a stop sign, but again barely half-throttle and I was already impressed.

    After the test drive there was nothing standing-out in my mind that would be a deal breaker. The car felt good, was the right color and had all the desired options. One thing that was not in the car was a sunroof… before negotiations I wanted to sit in a car with a sunroof. As expected, it was not something that I was interested in.

    After talking with the sales people about the specifics of the deal, it just seemed right. After going through the paperwork I was the proud owner of a 2009 G8 GT! I had planned on waiting a day or two to buy the G8 GT so had not cleaned-out the Grand Prix totally. The dealer wanted me to drive the G8 GT home, as did I, but since I needed to return the next day with the title for the Grand Prix anyhow, I figured that I’d take one last ‘Goodbye’ drive.

    I return tomorrow to trade-in the Grand Prix and drive home in my new G8 GT!

  • Dealership Closed

    Posted on February 3rd, 2009 tcorzett No comments

    Turns out the Dublin Pontiac dealership that’s down the street from my house is closed.  There are cars still on the lot, but no one answers the phones and the doors are locked.   Now the frustrating part is that the closure is not mentioned anywhere commonly accessible… not on their website, not on the phone message, and not even on the front door.   To find out they were closed I had to call the internet sales person listed on their website, who doesn’t even work for them!

  • The Next Day

    Posted on February 2nd, 2009 tcorzett No comments

    WTF?  The dealership is still locked-up!  I tried calling the phone numbers, but  just kept getting the automated message system.  No announcements about changed hours or anything… I wonder what is going on?

  • Superbowl Sunday

    Posted on February 1st, 2009 tcorzett No comments

    I finally decided to just go down to the dealership (that I drive past every night on the way home) and ask some questions.  I’ll go mid-morning with plenty of time to ask all my questions and get home before kickoff.  So I drove to the dealership, parked, and headed towards the sales office.  Unfortunately, all the doors were locked!  Oh well, I guess they figured sales would be slow during the Superbowl and closed early.  I spent some time looking over the four G8 GTs they had in the lot (two with Sport package… colors on hand were Panther Black, Liquid Red, Sport Red, and Stryker Blue).  I really like the look of the 19” rims that are part of the Sport package, but the standard 18” rims are not that bad either.  I’ll plan on coming back tomorrow night after work.