NEW FOR 2008:

– GT model discontinued
– Exterior colours: Gold Mist Metallic, Dark Mocha Metallic and Dark Slate Metallic

For 2008, the Pontiac Grand Prix line-up trims down; the GT model disappears, leaving only the base sedan and GXP.

That also means the deletion of the GT’s supercharged 3.8-litre V6; engine choices are now the naturally-aspirated 3.8-litre V6 in the base sedan, and the 5.3-litre V8 in the GXP. The 5.3-litre also includes Active Fuel Management, which deactivates half the cylinders under light load for better fuel economy. Both engines use a four-speed automatic; the GXP’s version has manual shift mode.

Features on the base model include 16-inch painted aluminum wheels, air conditioning, six-way power driver’s seat, rear 60/40 folding seat, CD stereo, power locks with keyless entry, vehicle theft alarm, power mirrors, rear spoiler, variable intermittent wipers, cruise control, floor mats, tire pressure monitoring system, power windows and OnStar. Available options include curtain airbags, traction assist, and anti-lock brakes.

The GXP adds 18-inch polished aluminum wheels, stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes, cross-drilled rotors, speed-sensitive variable assist steering, sport suspension with Bilstein gas-charged struts, fog lamps, trip computer, head-up display, leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls, fold-flat front passenger seat, cargo net, illuminated vanity mirrors, overhead console, driver’s power lumbar support, and CD/MP3 stereo with XM Satellite Radio.

With the demise of the GT, the venerable Grand Prix comes only as mild or wild; the base model is priced considerably under the sport-tuned GXP, but at this price point, you’d expect anti-lock brakes to be standard, and stability control can’t be added at all. Still, the Grand Prix offers a roomy interior and decent acceleration even with the base engine; the GXP ups the fun, offering a serious road rocket that can still take the family grocery shopping.

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