Last post on Mar 18, 2013 at 7:55 AM
You are in the Pontiac Solstice
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Pontiac Solstice, Coupe, Convertible
#1317 of 1346 Just got a new GXP
Dec 17, 2008 (3:49 pm)
The Pontiac Solstice gained popularity after the 2007 blockbuster hit Transformers, where the Pontiac Solstice was the autobot form of Jazz. The sleek little sports car is as quick as it looks. So if your debating buying a car from this class I would recommend taking a look at the latest American design in the group.
This report is intended to compare the Pontiac Solstice with its nearest competitors in its class and make the argument that pound for pound and dollar for dollar that this is one of the best roadsters that a sports car enthusiast can purchase. The nearest competitors that the Solstice has are the BMW Z4, the Porsche Boxter, and the Mazda RX-7.
When benchmarked against these close competitors in its class the Solstice has a better price tag and out performs these cars. It also gains style points amongst Americans because it is the first American roadsters of its kind entering the market in this price range. Typically American sports cars are pictured as the high end V-8 mustangs and corvettes. The Solstice being one of the first performance four cylinders made in America by an American car company.
The Pontiac Solstice hit the market in 2006 with that year being the first year of production. For the price which ranges from $24,000 to $31,500 it performs remarkably well when compared to the rest of its class. The five main categories to look at when evaluating a car are; power train, suspension, exterior, interior, and performance.
The first thing to look at when grading any sports car is the power train which is of course the engine. The Solstice has two engine options available through the production year of 2008. Both of them are inline four engines built by eco-tech. The base Solstice has a 2.4 liter regularly aspirated motor while the GXP version houses a 2.0 liter SIDI (spark ignition direct injection) turbo charged generation II motor. The base car can hit 177 horsepower at 5100 revolutions per minute while the GXP’s 2.0 liter can muster up 260 horsepower at 5100 rpms. While the GXP has substantially more horsepower both of these solstices have an admirable pound to horsepower ratio. It is rumored in late 2009 the Solstice GXP will have an optional 300 horsepower small block V8 available.
The Solstice GXP’s generation II ecotec engine block which produces 2.1 horsepower per cubic inch is what is impressive. GM thought of everything when designing this engine. The fuel is directly injected into the combustion chamber, which is a characteristic of diesel engines and uncommon in gasoline motors. However, by doing this it increases fuel efficiency and increases the power output of the car. The newest technology was applied to the turbo aspiration system. It has a dual scroll turbo turbine that is fed by the dual exhaust coming off the engine. This allows for quicker turbo boost and less lag in the turbo system. When needed an impressive 20 pounds of forced air can be pushed into the cylinders on only 2900 rpms being made by the engine. All of this engineering allows this new 2.0 liter Ecotec engine to be one of the leaders of all of the four cylinder engines in production in the world today in both power and fuel efficiency. (New Ecotec 2.0L Direct Injection Turbo Engine, 2006) The picture to the right is of the 2.0 turbo engine by General Motors from worldcarfans.com.
General Motors did not skimp on the suspension of the vehicle either. The car has four wheel independent suspensions with the power being distributed to the rear wheels. The car gets off the line efficiently because the rear wheel drive also is linked to a limited slip differential which is standard on the GXP model. Four disk brakes are connected air cooled high density steel rotors for maximum braking. Also, each wheel is suspended by an adjustable Bilstein mono tube shock absorber.
The exterior catches the eye of many sports car enthusiasts by being smooth and soft. At night the car is noticed from a distance with high output xenon head lamps and fog lights. Another noticeable characteristic is the standard 18 inch, five spoke chrome wheels with silver polished wheels available. The car comes in 9 colors ranging from pearlescent white to mysterious black. All of the paint colors are shiny and bright, which is appreciated on all sports cars.
There are only a few interior options that are available on the Solstice, everything else is standard. Of these available options is an upgradable sound system, leather seats, and chrome pedals. All of the power options are standard.
The interior is easy on the eyes as well. Motorcycle style chrome driver assist gauges are one of the characteristics that remind you that you are in a sports car. At night the entire dash and control panel are lit up in a sporty red, even the turbo boost gauge that gives a constant readout on the air pressure in the engine.
The one drawback of the car is it is small. When the top is up the solstice can bring about a cluster phobic feel on the driver and one passenger. If you are a tall person you may have an issue with the 5 cubic meters of cargo space which includes the driver and passenger cabin. If you are planning on going on a trip there is no storage room in the trunk which is only big enough to house the fold down cloth top. With all of that being said, in the summer with the top down there is no feeling better than being free, low, and quick in the Solstice.
Conclusion and Recommendation
The Pontiac Solstice is light and quick with its turbo charged inline four engine. It can get up from stopped to 60 miles per hour in 5.4 seconds. This beats out its near competitors of the RX-7, Z4, and the Boxter. The braking and cornering comes in just average. The turning and feel on the suspension is more what the driver likes, but if you like a hard sense on the steering the Pontiac is right for you.
When compared to its class the average price for the Solstice GXP is around $28,000. You are getting a lot of zip for your buck in the Pontiac Solstice. Compared to the Z4 BMW which has 225 pounds of torque and 255 horsepower comes in at $39,000. The Mazda RX-7 has 212 horsepower in its rotary motor and comes in at the same price as the Solstice GXP. Among the biggest bragging rights of the Solstice is that it is faster than the Porsche Boxter which has a 245 horsepower inline 6 engine and a hefty price tag in its class with the average starting price of $42,000. The Pontiac Solstice with a competitive price and performance engine has the bragging rights on the streets against these high dollar German and Japanese imports.
When compared to its class the Pontiac Solstice excels in almost every category and for this reason I feel that it is worth the money if you like the styling for this little sports car. The best part about this car is that it is built here in America and is 100% American. I recommend the S
#1318 of 1346 Re: How many Solstice owners drive in the winter? [arieslag]
Dec 18, 2008 (8:58 pm)
Nope, tried it once with my GXP and it's not worth it. Keep in mind I'm 53 years old, from the Midwest, and I'm "not skeered o snow" one bit. The light weight of the car, power to weight, & wide tires are a real problem. The traction control is working overtime and will just wear out your rear brakes. Only way it'd be half decent would be to put skinny, agressive tread tires on for the winter. For me it isn't worth it so I park it in the garage with Stabil and a battery tender, & breathable cover. Got the 4x4 PU for winter and we're expecting 9"-12" in the next 16 hours anyway
#1319 of 1346 Pick up the New GXP tomorrow
Dec 28, 2008 (7:40 pm)
2009 Solstice GXP, Wicked (copper), premium package, other niceties like upgraded audio and sport pedals, etc. With GM dealers needing to sell cars, got this $32,900 MSRP car for $26,900 out-the-door.
Have wanted one since the 2004-5 concept cars. Sold my beloved 2002 Firehawk, which I tired of owning---taking care of that rare 'Bird and using it for carshows and only fair weather driving was getting to be too much. The GXP should fill my adrenilin needs just fine.....
Will be installing the new GM Stage II Turbo upgrade to lift the car to 290hp and 340 torque.
I already own a 2007 MX-5, so I know what a road-hugging 2-seat roadster is all about, but my test drives in the GXP tell me that this car will provide a different experience altogether.....
Mar 04, 2009 (12:35 pm)
I have had my Solstice for 3 yrs. I am in Love every time I see it. The proformance is great. I can say that I have ever been dissappointed. Love it his Name is Bruno.
#1321 of 1346 General question
Apr 27, 2009 (12:18 pm)
I fell in love with the Pontiac Solstice the first time I saw it in person. My father owns one, and so far, great little car. Unfortunately, I have been reading that Pontiac is being phased out, and was wondering if the Solstice was going to be re-badged as a Chevy, or is this the end of the Solstice too? Anybody know?
#1322 of 1346 Re: General question [will17]
Apr 28, 2009 (3:59 am)
the entire Pontiac line will be phased out in 2010 to include the Solstice.....09MY production is finishing current orders on file......will see if they begin 10MY production or not......
dealers in my area have plenty of 08s on the floor...and even a few 07s not to mention their influx of 09s.......should be able to get some great deals out there in 2010 as the line phases out....
we own an 06 since Dec of 05 and love it....looking to pick up a GXP now.....and keeping our 06 one as well.....
#1323 of 1346 A great car, possible collector item.
Jul 25, 2009 (4:44 am)
Writing from Canada. Picked up my Solstice near the middle of January. I trailered it to my home, about 225 kliks. It was covered in the driveway, for 2 months longer. We had a terrible winter in Muskoka. I started driving it in mid March. Even had the top down, early. And, let me tell you, it is not rocket science, to drop or raise the top. I can do it, in less than a minute. I will agree, about luggage space, with the top down. Belay the cup holders, who cares. They are in the same category as ash trays. It is a black GXP, 5 speed, goes like a bat outta of hell, and gets great mileage! Handles well, and shifts well, just watch the red line in first gear, under full acceleration. As to these so called experts, who tested the Solstice, they must be very girlish. Some wag, said bring tools, re: the top raising and lowering. What, sweetie, afraid you might break a nail? I love it, and the end of Pontiac, is a pity, indeed. Buy North American! It could be your neighbour's job.
#1324 of 1346 Re: A great car, possible collector item. [eddierapido]
Jul 25, 2009 (1:13 pm)
dont think you will ever see the convertible as a collector item unless you have the very last one or the very first one manufactured....the coupe with around a 1000 or so total production will be much more rare than the convertible.....but again....if its the first one or last one...with limited miles in 20 years....you never know
#1325 of 1346 Collector car may be the wrong word.
Jul 26, 2009 (4:49 am)
But who would have thought, 40 years ago, that Austin Healey 100-6 and 3000's would fetch the price that they now get, at the auctions. I don't drive my roadster every day, I have another vehicle. I do plan to keep it for awhile. I still say, that it draws more than its share of admiring glances. And, IMO, outclasses the much beloved car of the test ladies, (Miata) in looks alone. Then there is the power advantage, of the GXP. This car is alot of fun, and a great ice breaker with the ladies and car enthusiasts. There are not that many up here, north of Toronto and London, Ontario.I got a great deal on the car, when I bought it in the winter, from a dealer in Burlington. Looking through the on line Auto Trader, the prices are $5000 higher for a used one now, with lots of kliks on them. So, who knows?
Mar 25, 2011 (1:04 pm)
Purchase my Soltice new in 07, at 4,063miles had to replace the rear and replaced rear tires because of uneven wear,at 5,010 had to replace door lock on driver side door, at 5.097 trunk lid to be realign, at 6,988 wind noise from both windows had to readjusted, at 8,481 had to replace the transmission and ignition assy. Mileage on car now is 8,541. I don't abuse this car its garage kept and cover. Paid $26,500 and tried to sell it, the best offer was $15,000. I have to admit its a sharp looking car, but would not recommend it to anyone, will never buy a GM product again.