The 2008 Pontiac G5 coupe continues to expand on the car’s impressive performance and styling while offering additional standard features for enhanced safety and driving comfort. Available in base and GT models, the G5’s athletic design showcases a black split grille, clean lines, a spacious, five-passenger interior and standard rear spoiler. Constructed on GM’s global small car platform, it emphasizes ride comfort and crisp handling, with quality materials and stylish appointments throughout .
The G5 is powered by a choice of two high-quality GM Ecotec four-cylinder engines: The base model features an efficient 2.2L I-4 engine. The GT version has a more powerful Ecotec 2.4L I-4 engine with variable valve timing.
New standard features
For 2008, the G5 has made safety features such head curtain side-impact air bags and GM’s tire pressure monitoring system standard. This system uses sensors in each wheel to alert drivers to pressure changes in any one or more tires, helping motorists avoid premature tire failure and potentially dangerous, costly breakdowns.
GM’s StabiliTrak electronic stability control system and OnStar also are standard on the GT model for 2008. StabiliTrak helps drivers maintain control during sudden maneuvers or in low-traction conditions by using a comprehensive series of sensors to measure acceleration, deceleration, steering angle and yaw rate. The system automatically controls the vehicle to help maintain the driver’s intended path when a measurable deviation from the intended course is detected.
XM Satellite Radio also is standard on both base and GT models, providing more entertainment options for drivers and their passengers.
The base G5 is well-equipped with standard features, including air conditioning; power windows and door locks; remote keyless entry, carpeted floor mats; and four cupholders (two in front, two in rear). Available options on the base model include anti-lock brakes; leather-appointed seats; OnStar; seven-speaker Pioneer sound system with 10-inch subwoofer; six-disc in-dash CD changer; cruise control; traction control; remote start; sunroof; cargo net; body-side moldings; fog lamps; leather-wrapped steering and shift knob; and 16-inch custom spoke or aluminum wheels.
The GT model ups the ante on standard features, including anti-lock brakes, 17-inch aluminum wheels, sport rocker moldings; heated seats; fog lamps, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, leather-wrapped shift knob and cargo net.
Both models are available in nine exterior colors, including three new additions to the 2008 color palette: Midnight Blue Metallic, Nitrous Blue Metallic and Dark Slate Metallic.
Both the G5 base and GT models utilize an advanced Ecotec four-cylinder engine, with each having distinct hardware differences and performance specifics. The base G5 is powered by an Ecotec 2.2L I-4, while Ecotec 2.4L I-4 is standard on the GT. To comply with more stringent emission and diagnostic regulations the 2.2L and 2.4L equipped G5 will be receiving a new catalytic converter system with slightly elevated exhaust system backpressure. The 2.4L engine is rated at 171 horsepower (128 kW) and 167 lb.-ft. of torque (226 Nm); at the time of publication, the 2.2L was still undergoing certification to SAE standards. The information will be updated as soon as it is available. Each share the Ecotec lineup’s solid architecture and all-aluminum construction with:
- Catalyst located close to the exhaust manifold to speed catalyst “light-off” and reduce hydrocarbon emissions
- Direct mounting of all accessories to the engine structure to eliminate common sources of noise, vibration and harshness
- Dual overhead camshafts (DOHC) and four valves per cylinder
- Extremely compact dimensions and low mass
- Full circle transmission attachment is more rigid than most four-cylinder powertrains for reduced noise and vibration
- GM Oil Life System for optimum oil change frequency
- Innovative cast-in oil filter housing eliminates crawling under the car to perform oil changes. The design also eliminates throwaway oil-filter “cans” that retain used oil that typically ends up in landfills
- Low-friction, roller-finger follower valvetrain with hydraulic lash adjusters
- No routine maintenance apart from oil/oil filter changes
- Twin counter-rotating balance shafts
- Zero-maintenance chain camshaft drive
The G5 comes standard with a Getrag F23 five-speed manual transmission, known for its smooth shifting, or customers can choose GM’s Hydra-Matic 4T45 electronically controlled four-speed automatic. The 4T45 uses Dexron VI fluid and is “filled for life,” meaning no scheduled maintenance is required for the transmission under normal operating conditions.
Energetic driving experience
Pontiacs are known for delivering a crisp driving experience, and the G5 is no different. It uses a MacPherson strut-type front suspension, semi-independent torsion beam rear suspension, and front and rear stabilizer bars for more exact body roll control. Suspension tuning for each model, including steering feel, spring rate and stabilizer bar diameter, is precisely tuned to provide distinct driving and handling characteristics. Two suspension settings are offered:
- FE1 touring suspension – standard on the base model, provides a smooth ride and includes a 19-mm front stabilizer bar and a 16-mm rear stabilizer bar
- FE3 sport-tuned suspension – standard on GT, delivers a firmer, more responsive ride and includes 22-mm front and rear stabilizer bars, four-wheel disc brakes, monotube shocks and 17-inch wheels and performance tires
The G5’s strut-type front suspension has 90 mm of compression travel and 87 mm of rebound, which beats most competitors and provides long wheel travel in a compact wheel base. A distinct road feel is provided by monotube rear shocks. L-shaped front control arms contain a forward pivot bushing, which transmits most of the cornering force, and a larger, high-damped composite rear elastomeric bushing that allows rearward movement to minimize harshness from road surface impacts.
Defined steering response and improved cornering agility with decreased body roll are created by the direct-acting front stabilizer bar that connects to each strut. All front suspension components are mounted to a firm cradle assembly comprised of four large hydroformed steel tubes and two side members that are integrally welded to front and rear cross members. The cradle is mounted to the G5’s space frame at four widely spaced points.
The G5’s torsion beam rear suspension provides excellent ride and handling, while maximizing interior space. A hydraulic rear suspension bushing is employed on the FE1 suspension to improve the ride and suppress road noise. Rear wheel travel, at 126.5 mm in jounce and 68.5 mm in rebound, is longer than most vehicles in the segment.
The rigid body structure that lays the foundation of G5’s dynamic driving experience also reinforces its safety. In addition to the solid unibody structure, dual-stage frontal and head curtain side-impact air bags are standard across the lineup. Front seat belt pretensioners, rear center shoulder belts and the LATCH child seat retention system are also standard.
GM’s tire pressure monitoring system is now standard for 2008, and uses sensors to track pressure changes, helping motorists avoid premature tire failure and potentially dangerous, costly breakdowns.
OnStar-equipped G5 models (standard on the GT) feature enhanced hands-free voice recognition capabilities including more intuitive continuous digit dialing and improved voice recognition accuracy. Using the GPS satellite network and wireless technology, OnStar features core safety services and OnStar Hands-Free Calling that allow drivers to make and receive voice-activated phone calls using an externally mounted antenna for greater reception.
The OnStar service available on the 2008 G5 includes the General Motors Advanced Automatic Crash Notification (AACN) system, making crash data available to the participating 911 centers to help them dispatch the appropriate life-saving personnel and equipment to crash scenes faster. Also available is OnStar’s Vehicle Diagnostics notification system that allows subscribers to receive free monthly diagnostic reports via E-mail. Each diagnostic report provides crucial tire pressure information, remaining engine oil life data, emissions, engine and transmission, and braking systems, as well as air bag system checks.