Pontiac Solstice Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
First I’d like to give Mad Props to Jeremy and Becky. Very nice people helped out a lot on their end to make things go smoothly. Also, many thanks to Daren and the rest of the staff at Edmark Superstore in Nampa, ID. They were very helpful and courteous. Sold the car at MSRP with no markups or weird charges. The transaction was very smooth and quick and all the paperwork was straight forward and clear. If you live in the Boise, ID area, I would advise giving them a call, and letting them help you.

History,

I remember learning about the Solstice on the Apprentice show. When I saw the base price, I was floored and wanted to get one. Unfortunately, things came up and I wasn’t able to get it. It was pretty busy at the office and I forgot about it. (Fast forward to summer) For some reason, it popped back into my head and I did some googling. I learned that getting one was hard. So I went on ebay. Eventually, I hooked up with Jeremy and after some false starts, we had a deal.

Then MY wait started, although it was not as bad as many of you alls. Solstice #35 was originally supposed to be delivered on 24 August. It got as far as Wyoming before it got recalled. The car went back to the factory to get things fixed. It was finally released in late September. The car was on a railcar, when the railcar broke an axle in Great Plains, Nebraska. It took a couple days to get the part to the railcar to fix, and it continued onto Utah. The axle broke again, but luckily it made it to Salt Lake City. The car was trucked to Nampa, Idaho which is just west of Boise, Idaho. It finally arrived on 12 October at the dealership. The dealer prepped the car, and we made final arrangements over the phone. I flew out on Monday and arrived in Boise in the late morning. The salesman who was actually handling the transaction was going to come in at 1:00 PM to finish the deal. Jeremy and I had lunch, then we headed to the dealership. Jeremy and I got to the dealership first. Within ten minutes, the salesman arrived, then Becky came with the baby.

We quickly signed the paperwork and I got the keys. Becky and Jeremy got to take it out for a test drive. On the route we took, there was a four way stop sign. We rolled up on the stop sign. We waited a couple seconds for the other cars, which had all reached their respective stops first and had the right away. We then realized ALL the cars had stopped and were waiting for us to go through first (while they continued to oggle the car.

Anyway, after filing some more paperwork at the local court, I bid adieu to Jeremy, Becky and the baby and was off. I originally planned to be on the road by 1:00, but wound up leaving at 3:00 PM. These two hours would prove to be very important later.



The Trip:

My route was on I-84 East from Boise to Utah merging on I-15 South. I stayed on I-15 South thru Salt Lake City, Arizona, and through Las Vegas, Nevada. I continued on I-15 East to Riverside, CA and 91 West to El Segundo.

The weather in Idaho and Utah was great. Low 70’s and clear skies. It was a blast driving. The traffic on the highway was pretty clear and the speed limit was about 75mph, so I got to let the Solstice out. I hit Salt Lake City and had to slow down due to traffic. Once out of Salt Lake City, I was able to speed it up again. When I hit the Utah/




Performance

Handling. Overall the car handle great, I was taking the switchbacks at a fairly high rate of speed (somewhat above “normal” highway speeds, well above the “yellow recommended speed signs for turns). Not once did I feel the car close to losing control on the turns.

Also large portions of the switchbacks were wet and it still handle great. The drainage systems on the highway in Arizona and California SUCK. Since driving at night it was extremely difficult to tell if there was any standing water. The only time you could tell, was if the car in front of you hit it first. There were occasions where I hit those patches in excess of 70mph, yet the Solstice handled it well. Even though I was hydroplaning quite frequently, the car stayed on course. Unfortunately, I did have high winds that buffeted me around which kind of made hydroplaning in a car a bit hairy. Anyone here windsurf in a Solstice yet? Imagine a Solstice traveling at a high rate of speed simultaneously in three lanes at the same time.

(For those of you who have never experienced hydroplaning, it’s when you hit a thin layer of water. At high speeds, your car will actually ride ON TOP of the water like jet skis and lose contact with the actual asphalt itself. If you find yourself losing contact (you will no longer feel the vibrations of the highway and it will feel like you are floating, which you actually are), DO NOT attempt to brake nor turn the steering wheel. Since you don’t have traction, this will cause you to spin out of control, when you finally do gain traction. Just let your foot off the accelerator and keep the wheel steady. Let gravity pull you back down through the water and back into contact with the road.

Power. For the most part, engine power was adequate. One of the things that I kept forgetting was that the car doesn’t redline until almost 7000rpm. To get good acceleration, don’t be afraid to drop it down a gear and jam it. Although I subscribe to the Tim Allen way of thought (OOH, OOH more power) and 400hp sounds awesome, in actuality 240-250hp is actually real good. Remember, this is a 50% increase over stock and should give a lot more oomph at higher gears. Also I do kinda wish it had a 6th gear (which would make 6th the gas-saving cruise gear). At above 80mph, accelerating in 4th gear brings it close to redlining. And when you get above ~90mph, you’re pretty much stuck in 5th gear, in which acceleration is anemic.

Water/wind proofing. NO LEAKS. The recall to fix the seals works. I was real worried about this. I had only checked how the weather was in Idaho and Utah before my trip. I completely forgot about Arizona and SoCal (I’m a dumass). It turns out that this area was having BAD weather. I got to drive through lightning storms, low clouds, flooded highways and pelting rain. It rained on me for the entire ten hours of the final leg of the trip (normally would have taken seven hours). Parts of the time it was torrential rains. Rain drops where so big and falling so hard, it looked like hail hitting the ground, because drops of water were actually coming back up. Remember Forest Gump, when he was in the rice patty talking about the various types of rain… same thing. I also had to drive through some flooded streets, which definitely was not fun. I was also hitting standing water at high speeds which caused it to rooster tail.

The rooster tails went up about 5 feet which definitely placed it well above the top of the Solstice. Types like those make we wish I had an external camera taking pictures. (BTW Pontiac remember that for your Solstice commercials) That would look totally awesome.

Pretty much the Solstice was in a ten hour long car wash and I didn’t have a single leak.

Concerning the wind, at high speeds above 60mph, I get wind noise from behind the passenger side. It turns out that the top in back is two overlapping pieces. I’m still trying to isolate whether it’s coming from the window/top seal or is it coming from the gap.

Looks

Exterior.
The car looks even more impressive in person. The back and sides are real nice, but it’s the view of the front that is the best. It’s VERY aggressive.

Interior.
The interior, initially looks somewhat cheap (yes, I know, its to keep the car price below $20k). The middle door panel and arm rest are the cushy plastic which is kinda nice. Pontiac should add a “bling” option which makes all the silvery portions (including wheels) metal chrome and upgrades the plastic interior. I applied a little armor all which improves the look a little. After about a week, I no longer notice that the interior is cheap looking. Whether it’s the armor-all, familiarity, or combination of both, I don’t know.

Also recommend that you get use to sweeping the seatbelt to make sure it goes all the way back. Sometimes the seatbelt latch will get stuck on the side of the seat, and will leave a dent in the side door paneling when you slam the door closed. Also recommend seatbelting yourself first before closing the door. It’s a pain trying to reach behind you for the belt.

Get the DIC, it’s fun to play with and flip through the various pages. Gives you nice info on your driving habits and how much fuel you’re burning. BTW did I mention how much fun it is to play with. (Yes, I’m easily entertained.)

The sound system is adequate (I ended up with the $195 upgrade to MP3 capabilities). I would definitely recommend the Monsoons with the added woofer. Low range is non-existent with the factory speakers. Because it has MP3 capabilities and most buyers of this car also have MP3 players (use the auxiliary input), it’s not really necessary to have the 6 disc changer. The display will get washed out with the sun shining down. If you like XM, I would definitely recommend you get it integrated into the system, even though it’s an extra $300+. The car is small and there is no real place to put an external XM unit. I wound up putting it in front and beneath the stereo head unit. But its placement there, will require adjustments of your hand on the shifter. I’ve got small hands and I found myself bumping into the xm radio unit. Also with XM integrated, you get a larger display compared to your regular unit.

If you have anymore questions feel free to PM me. Now I’m off to clean the car and get ready to Zaino it tomorrow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,961 Posts
Sol2 said:
...If you live in the Boise, ID area...
How many of those 7 people will read this thread?

:lol: a little locational humor for you all.


Anyway, that's a fantastic review. Just like I like to read.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
5,600 Posts
Great write-up. Thanks :thumbs: !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
729 Posts
Great reading!!

One thing I noticed though, you never really gave a summary or final thoughts about the car.

Do you love it or what?????? :)

- bspate -
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
California Registration

Were you able to license the car in California since this is an "out-of-state" car?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
145 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
BOBL said:
Were you able to license the car in California since this is an "out-of-state" car?
I'm military and Washington State is my permanent residence. Like to register there, since I grew up there, plan to retire there, tags are VERY reasonable there, and don't have to deal with the weird registration laws of some states (ie California). BTW FYI, California has some rule which means you can't register a car, which is purchased out of state, unless it has 7,500 miles on it. Plus some other weird regulations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Thanks for the props

Sorry it took so long to read and reply. It was sad seeing her go but I know she is in good hands. Keep in touch.
 

·
LOST SOL
Joined
·
4,675 Posts
Great review and congrats on getting a great deal and dealer! :thumbs: Sounds almost like it may be best to wait for the GXP ... for us without a Sol in sight. ;) (if you want a little more pep)
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top