Ö I'm pretty short at 5'6", and I think visibility out the back might be an issue for me. Even being small, the coupe felt a little claustrophobic. The interior was clean and no major wear or damage that I could see. The engine sounded good and the automatic trans seemed to shift as expected. I can see though what some critics have said about the shift points. I think a 6 speed would really do the car some good.
They also have a convertible GXP there and I drove that too. It was a rare sunny winter day here and we put the top down. That was glorious. I might be more sold on the convertible. Although the one they had was noticeably worn on the inside and there was a small tear\crack in the center console vinyl near the parking brake lever. It had the cloth seats, and they were in decent shape.
On my home I stopped at another dealership (michael's toyota in Bellevue) and drove a convertible base model with the manual transmission, grey, 2008. It was raining farther north, so we kept the top up. It's been awhile since I'ld driven a stick, but quickly got back into it. The interior on this one was leather, a little worn, but pretty clean all together. They have had this since October 2012, and the guy seemed a little desperate to offload it.
I had fun driving the manual, and I think I put a little fear in the heart of the dealer rep taking some of the corners (he had never even driven in the car before!). But, I think as a daily commuter, I would quickly tire of it in traffic. But I don't think I would want the base model with an automatic (though I want to see if I can find one to test).
So now I am torn. I love the look of the coupe, I would even drive a white one. :-). But the top down in the convertible with the sun out, was awesome. And the visibility issue might be a deal breaker. I didn't think to ask to pull the targa top off the coupe.
How does the top off with the coupe compare to the top down in the convertible?
As has been said by others, crank the seat up using the height adjustment and that should solve the visibility issues.
I have two convertibles and have spent time in a coupe. With the top up in the convertibles and any time in the coupe, they feel very small inside. Mostly itís the encroachment of the top that makes the car feel cramped to me. Even with the top off the coupe it takes a long time in the car to get away from the feeling that you are inside a small car.
With the top down on the convertible, the car opens up and feels wonderful. This is my first convertible and I love it. It changes my whole day when I can put the top down and enjoy the wide open view of the world around you. Itís as close as you are going to get to the feeling of total freedom when riding a motorcycle.
There are a number of things to look for that have been identified over the years. I am reposting them here for your ease of use. Feel free to ask any questions.
Get a GM record pulled to verify the in service date and warranty remaining. If the PT warranty is still good and the inspection gives it a clean bill of health, then the one at the dealer is a good option. Get them to kick in another few hundred in discounts and some free oil changes.
Another reason you want to start with the local car is because the Sky and Sol are highly susceptible to damage when lifted improperly. The front fenders crack frequently due to road vibration and are easily crushed if lifted with a floor jack. If there is damage you want to identify it before sale and with a dealer you can push to get them to repair the damage as part of the sale. There are basically no available right side factory fenders anymore and few left side fenders. They are repairable and there are aftermarket replacements available from DDM but you need to know if the fenders are cracked as this can be up to a $1k swinger on the retail price.
You also want to take a good look at the bottom front. Because of the configuration of the car nearly every new owner rams them into curbs one to several times and they get damaged. At the very least there will be scrapes on the bottom of the bumper cover that you can use to get a lower price or commitment to repair from a dealer that you probably will not get from a private party seller.
You also want to take a hard look at the top. More than a few cars have had problems with the folding mechanism that has damaged the canvas where it folds over the windows and / or damage to the canvas when it rubs against an improperly adjusted side window. The top is also susceptible to damage from the hold down feet mounted on the trunk lid. The rubber feet come off, fail or even twist allowing direct contact between the mounting structure and the top canvas while the top is in the trunk. I have seen more than one car that has holes in the top due to this. The canvas is $1600 plus installation which at a dealer can run into several hundred dollars. And to the best of my knowledge while there are plenty of replacement canvas parts available, there are no more top assemblies in stock.
You want to visually inspect the cup holders. The front one is notorious for failing and they cost upwards of $100 for replacement parts plus installation labor. The rear one between the seats is much more robust however they can and do get so full of dust and dirt that they will no longer deploy. If treated well they are fine but you do not know till you try to pull the things out.
Another area that I recommend you inspect is the center console. If the previous drivers did like me and leaned on them hard while driving and used them as a support while getting in and out of the car, they all will crack right down the center. I have had mine replaced under the warranty but you are probably out of warranty. The cover is easy to replace but again is in the range of $100 for a replacement part from GM. There are several threads that cover reinforcing below the cover so it will not crack again and DDM has a replacement that is much stonger and includes two cup holders but again that is in the same cost plus shipping and you get to install it.
If you are by chance looking at a 2008 RL, one factor is the production run for the first 6 or 8 months deleted the electronic vacuum pump that provided motive force for the brakes immediately after start up. The issue presents itself on some cars as high brake pedal force required and / or pulsing of the brake pedal for the first few seconds to the first couple of minutes upon cold start after sitting for an extended period or at high altitude. The issue is that the turbo car does not generate much vacuum (its boosted) and as a result once the vacume accumulator leaks down, there is no vacuum for the power brakes when you start. And when you start the factory tune, it is set to heat up the catalytic converter and not optimized for creating vacuum. There was a big safety investigation made and a lot of people had problems with this about mid-way through 2008 calendar year. My wife's car falls in this group and about once or twice a year we get the symptoms but it works fine through it and within about 30 seconds there is normal brake feel. The factory has a software update that if asked they will install on cars with this complaint and in extreme cases there is a retro fit kit that adds back on the electronic vacuum pump. But again, you cannot tell if the car you are looking at falls into this group or not unless you physically check for the pumps presence on the left side of the engine block, and unless you drive the car from a cold start. If you are buying from a dealer you could make the software update part of the deal and get a promise to do the pump retro fit under warranty because GM normally pays for it.
You want to cycle the driverís seat up and down because a lot of cars have never had their electric adjusters cycled and they need to be freed up and lubricated before they work correctly. In fact, I did a test last year and out of 40 cars and 80 drivers only 5 knew that the driverís seat went up and down with the switch! Servicing the seat is no big deal but it will be half an hour of labor and some parts allowance so its in the $100 range. If you buy from a dealer you are much more likely to have this addressed as part of the deal than if you buy from a private party. And if you do not have access to the car its difficult to verify operation.
Many, maybe most of the key fobs for 2006 through 2008 at least have a known manufacturing problem. The metal tab / connector that holds the battery in place has a cold solder joint. The fob starts to work intermittently and eventually stops working. If you are good with a solder iron you can easily fix it as many of us have done, but if not, then the dealer will charge you around $100 for a replacement fob and programming it with the car. Potentially times two. If you have access to the fobs, you can pop them open and inspect the condition of the at risk part and know if you are good to go or not. If not, again you are much more likely to get the fob replaced as part of the deal by a dealer.
The door sills have an aluminum insert that is glued to the plastic part. Unfortunately as a result of the attachment method and the difference in coefficient of thermal expansion between the aluminum trim insert and the plastic door sills, the aluminum part will almost always bow up around .25 inches in the middle during cold weather. In some instances drivers will drag their heels across the door sills and can catch the trim plate and bend the crap out of it. They are relatively cheap - around $25 plus labor to install, but if you find it after the fact then itís your $25 and not the sellers.