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2008 Pontiac Grand Prix Trims

Base

Avg. Price: $9,424

As in previous years, the 2008 Grand Prix Base model receives a 200-horsepower, 3.8-liter V6 engine, resulting in a family sedan that many drivers and reviewers consider to be underpowered, especially when compared to some models from competitors. On the plus side, the Grand Prix delivers a smooth ride and acceptable handling, and has a roomy trunk, making it a good choice for a family vehicle.

The front-wheel-drive Grand Prix Base model comes standard with such features as remote keyless entry, air conditioning, a power-adjustable driver's seat, power windows, cruise control, and 16-inch alloy wheels, as well as OnStar and a six-speaker AM/FM stereo system with a CD player.

On the downside, it has a small backseat (adequate for children but cramped for adults), some plastic interior parts that detract from its overall build quality, a lack of adequate interior storage space, and a V6 engine that some consider noisy. Another factor that puts it at a disadvantage: anti-lock brakes and traction control are not part of the standard equipment package, although they are available as add-ons. A tire pressure monitoring system is standard, however.

GXP

Avg. Price: $12,260

Essentially unchanged for 2008, which will be its last year in production, the GXP is the higher-end version of Pontiac's mid-size Grand Prix sedan. It provides drivers with a sportier driving experience than the standard Grand Prix, thanks to a larger engine, in the form of a 303-horsepower V8, as well as a sport-tuned suspension, stronger shocks, and larger 18-inch performance tires.

The GXP is available only with a four-speed automatic transmission, although it comes with a manual shift feature that enables drivers to upshift and downshift depending on driving conditions. Anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control, a tire pressure monitor, and dual front-side airbags are also part of the package.

Early report indicate that, like the 2007 Grand Prix GXP, the 2008 model is a respectable effort, with plenty of trunk space, a smooth ride, and responsive handling. However, the heavy V8 engine, combined with the car's front-wheel drive, can result in sluggish steering when accelerating. The exterior design is also dated, although the car will certainly with find a market with some buyers.

On the plus side, the Grand Prix GXP is equipped with Safety Cage Construction with front and rear crush zones.