Last post on Dec 02, 2008 at 11:55 AM
You are in the Pontiac Solstice
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Pontiac Solstice, Coupe, Convertible
Article comments for Full Test: 2007 Pontiac Solstice GXP - Those of us who drove the 2006 Solstice resigned ourselves to the fact that although the car could draw the lustful gaze of fellow motorists, we'd have to shy away from stoplight challenges. (more)
#3 of 42 Is it really that bad?
Mar 20, 2007 (11:32 am)
Man, you guys continually slam the Solstice. I find it hard to believe it is such a horrible car that you all make it out to be. I've seen other auto testers nit pick some of the same complaints about the car that Edmunds has, but almost all other magazines and auto testers found it to be an overall enjoyable car, and a car they would recommend. I haven't seen any other auto magazine or tested use adjectives such as "anger", "disdain," and "infuriate" when describing the Solstice.
It seems like you gloss over the car's highlights and strong points, and zero in on it's faults, while doing the opposite with the Miata. If I didn't know any better, I would say Edmunds suffers from Miata-bias.
#4 of 42 I am not sure the reviewer knows what his talking about
Mar 20, 2007 (5:48 pm)
I have a Solstice GXP and I enjoy every moment driving this car. This car is flawless from look standpoint. Performance & handeling are excellent. I agree there is problem with space and cup holders but otherwise the car is just perfect. I am sorry to all Miata owners but I will not even consider that car when it is compared to Solstice GXP from look and performance standpoint.
#5 of 42 Re: Is it really that bad? [stingray454]
Mar 21, 2007 (8:16 am)
I'm not sure if those other magazines ever LIVED with a Solstice like we did for a year. We also lived with the latest Miata for a year, and much of those two long-term tests overlapped, so they were both in the garage at the same time for regular, impromptu back-to-back comparisons.
It's a nitpick when you experience the following string of events a couple times during a two-week loan:
1. Get in the car and try to adjust the seat -- but can't because there's not enough space between the seat and the closed door
2. Reach over to open the door but can't, because the car already locked you in
3. Reach up to unlock the door so you can open it so you can adjust the seat -- but you can't because the doors don't have any external lock/unlock plungers
4. Paw around (if it's dark, because you're in a parking garage) for the power unlock button so you can get the door open, so you can adjust the seat, so you can finally DRIVE THE CAR AWAY FROM THE PARKING SPACE
The above is not a nitpick when you deal with it constantly over a one-year period.
This is just one example of the string of frustrations we encountered. Of course the cupholders and the "trunk space" are annoyances, but it's not like those are the car's only ergonomic flaws.
Anyone ever try to check the oil on their Solstice? Because it comes from the Cobalt, the engine is usually mounted in a transverse fashion. But they mounted it longitudinally for the Solstice because it's rear drive. However, the oil dipstick location is based on the transverse orientation, so in the Solstice it's halfway under the firewall and nearly impossible to reach.
I could go on, but suffice to say that the car's driving dynamics have potential (though even that still isn't as good as the Miata), but the rest of the package has too many flaws to overlook.
And as far as Most Significant goes, that award has nothing to do with the "Most Wanted" awards. It was SIGNIFICANT for Pontiac to bring out the Solstice because the "excitement" division of GM had been anything but for years. However, the SIGNIFICANCE of Pontiac making the Solstice does not make the Solstice a great car...just a SIGNIFICANT car.
#6 of 42 Re: Is it really that bad? [editor_karl]
Mar 21, 2007 (5:11 pm)
Actually, that is a nit. Real car owners don't keep re-adjusting their seats. I would wager that the vast majority of Solstices are one driver cars (mine certainly would be). Set it once and forget it.
And speaking of comfort, check out the current edition of Automobile, in which their reviewer (who appears to be of average size) complains of extreme discomfort within ten minutes of being squeezed into a new MX-5. If you're ugly, you need a good personality, and it appears the Miata fails the test.
And speaking of appearances, if you don't get how amazing looking the Solstice is, you'll miss the point every time and indulge in the kind of irrelevancies we see here. The greatest sports cars have almost always compromised practicality for looks. The Miata has never had the looks (now less so than ever), and therefore has never been an object d' lust. Ferrari's, Vipers, Cobras, E-Types, Lamborghini's etc. etc. are what set the heart a-flutter, yet all present their challenges.
Solstice is that rarest of birds, a car with hall of fame looks and blue collar affordability. Nothing I've read here would deter me in the least.
#7 of 42 Re: Is it really that bad? [editor_karl]
Mar 22, 2007 (4:53 am)
that car auto lock functions only after you put it in gear and move 5 MPH if you properly set the function in the DIC....of the nits you chose....four of them have to do with the lack power unlock button......and the car does have a lock plunger......this was a concern of the 06 model owners and has been corrected in a mid year engineering redesign so now GM adds power door unlock buttons standard, that which you fail to mention......so your information is now outdated......
depending on how you are adjusting your seat..the back recline is hard to reach..but the movement front and back is easy to reach as its in the front of the seat.....and again....seat height adjusters were added in early 07..so again..outdated information
so you completely trash a car for power door unlock buttons and the dipstick location........
#8 of 42 it's not just those "nits", though...
Mar 22, 2007 (9:51 am)
Many of the Solstice's ergonomic and functional shortcomings would be tolerable if the car was dynamically outstanding. But it isn't. Not only do none of the Solstice's control interfaces (i.e. steering, throttle, shifter, brakes) work cohesively, in isolation they're mediocre at best. The "nits" Karl describes above are just the final kick in the groin.
The most frustrating part is that GM managed to take the fun out of driving a small(ish) two-seat, rear-drive convertible; a formula whose very reason for existence is to provide a pleasurable driving experience.
#9 of 42 Re: it's not just those "nits", though... [jkavanagh]
Mar 23, 2007 (6:19 am)
I have to ask what do you consider working as cohesively....that is certainly all in the eyes of the driver.......and very subjective approach to evaluating a car.....dynamically outstanding...again....a personal evaluation.....
your test model was obviously an early version....do you get a mule or do you get an actual production model to test over your test period???
you state that GM took the fun out of the car and it not providing a pleasurable driving experience......I would invite you to attend the second North American National Solstice meet in Jun in Nashville....all grass roots organized.....and gaining momentum........I dont think that many in attendance would say GM took the fun out of this car......but again...a personal opinion on my part....to be fair to all..I dont recall if the MX-5 ever had a grass roots national meeting in its first two years of existence or not...
#10 of 42 Re: it's not just those "nits", though... [pao]
Mar 23, 2007 (7:41 am)
Our test car was purchased at a dealership without them even knowing who we were. It wasn't an early test mule, late test mule, or any other type of mule. It was a full production car.
Glad they addressed the door-lock issue. Now an analog temperature gauge, functional top and a precise shifter are next on my list (I've got more after that).
If I attend the Solstice event can I go in a Miata? Maybe have some heads-up racing through the cones?
Or let the Solstice drivers (who are open-minded enough) drive the two back-to-back...
#11 of 42 Re: it's not just those "nits", though... [editor_karl]
Mar 23, 2007 (2:46 pm)
sure come ahead....a miata owner from california did that last year at the first meet in Kansas City...he had already purchased a solstice.......but dont think you will get any converts from the solstice owners at the meet to be honest...but come on down..so why isnt the top functional....
#12 of 42 Re: it's not just those "nits", though... [editor_karl]
Mar 23, 2007 (5:33 pm)
I dunno, Karl. Maybe a little nit-picky?
It's ok if you don't like the car, you see a lot of good ones and that sets the bar pretty high.
I have an '07 GXP..............
Did Pontic totally drop the ball on the interior design? Oh hell yes!!!!! I hope the constant complaints about the unusable cupholders, wasted console space, etc. etc. turn into such a wail that future owners will be rewarded by a new interior that actually works.
I've got the auto, so no opinion on the std trans.
Unusable top? No, that is a silly, elitest comment IMHO. It takes less than a minute to put the top up or down. Just because some cars do it at the touch of a button doesn't make mine "unusable". The top works just fine and the unique styling on those "flying buttress" wings give the car a little something extra over most ragtops that is worth it to me.
To me, this is just a fun little car that would be awful at $40k but is more than a bargain at just under $30k. I looked at one last year and the 2.4 was just too weak. The new 2.0 turbo gives it the go to match the show and I had no problem picking one up. My best friend has a Crossfire, another buddy a Miata and I've driven both so it's not as if I don't know what's out there. The Crossfire is an awesome performer and the automatic top with all it's automatic trim pieces are a joy to watch in action. That said, I think it's a butt-ugly little car, looking as if it was styled by 3 or 4 people who didn't share notes or concepts. When my GXP is parked next to the Crossfire people surround the GXP to admire it
The Miata is a better all-around vehicle than my GXP but I wouldn't have bothered to buy it because it doesn't really seem to spark anything for me. Kinda like Velveeta. Velveeta is great for grilled cheese sammiches but the GXP is my sharp cheddar.