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

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    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!