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I found a 2006 Solstice convertible in manual transmission for $7000, with 70k miles on it. First thing, is this a good deal? I'll definetly try to haggle it lower, but I'd like to know what you guys think of that price.

My main concern is that I've read mixed reviews about reliability and build quality. I'm wondering at 70k miles[the Carfax reads quite well, no accidents, and regular maintenance] how reliable it will be- what kind of simple maintenance I can do to increase the longevity of the engine/transmission, etc. What's prone to being ****ty quality other than the cupholder, when I test drive it, what am I looking for? Stuff like that. My main interest is having a return of investment. $7000 is quite a bit of money to me, so I want to make sure I'm getting what I pay for before doing the deal. I'd really rather not have a car that looks nice, but will end up having lots of problems that are pricey to fix, if that's the case I might as well drop $2500 on a 2001 mustang that's got twice the miles, and looks much more well used.


Some background: I'm a college student, good with money, and I have a stable job. I'm not concerned about making the payments, as I'm confident I can afford it. I love cars in manual transmission, and I've always loved the look of the Solstice, and roadsters- given as 4cylinder engines are normally pretty good on gas. I currently have a 2003 Honda Civic[the manual transmission is going out on me, and the engine won't be far behind.], and am in the market for a new car, however I'm still a little uneasy about buying a not 'practical car'. I don't haul people or cargo often at all, so I don't REALLY need more than two seats. For the years I've driven the Honda, I've used the backseat maybe ten times, if that.

Sorry to give you all my life story, but I really want to make sure I'm able to make an informed, responsible decision, and if anyone knows[or at the very least, thinks they know] about these cars, it's you guys.
 

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First, there is no return on investment. If you buy the $2500 car you will have money to keep it running. If you put an engine and transmission in your civic you will know what you have.

Why not wait until you graduate to get an impractical car? If you want a good car for the money buy a 2005 Buick Lesabre. Less chance it was abused than the mustang, and better build quality than the Solstice.
 

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First, there is no return on investment. If you buy the $2500 car you will have money to keep it running. If you put an engine and transmission in your civic you will know what you have.

Why not wait until you graduate to get an impractical car? If you want a good car for the money buy a 2005 Buick Lesabre. Less chance it was abused than the mustang, and better build quality than the Solstice.
Agree. With the spotty quality of Solstice, why take a chance?
 

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Courier1101 - Let's get everything out of the way first. Most of the guys here don't use their Solstice as a daily driver. Most have it as a fun, weekend car. Most are going to tell you to sink the money into the money pit you already own. Why? Because they think just that....that it's not a daily driver (true, I HAD to use mine this morning in 2" of snow...it sucked!). I will give them that it is pretty impractical. There is very little trunk space, only 2 seats and nowhere to put anything bigger then a pair of sunglasses inside the cockpit.

Now that that is out of the way, let's discuss some "known" issues with the Solstice. 1st one and biggest one is the waterpump. It's gonna cost you upwards of $800 when it goes. It's not a question of if it goes, it's when. There is no rhyme or reason either. It can be an NA (normally aspirated) or a turbo car and it can go at 37,000. Or it can go at 110,000. Then on the '06 there is the rear end issue. The rear seals leak. Look for leaking about the driveshaft and the halfshafts. If there is any leaking, walk away from the car. There are more issues, but not as frequent as these 2 items. If you're going to buy it, have the anti-freeze changed immediately...it's general consensus that the anti-freeze gums up with time and causes the waterpump issue.

Now with that out of the way, let me tell you a little about the 2 different engines that came in these cars. This is my excerpt from another inquizative newcommer: "The Solstice is a sweet car. You won’t be disappointed. I’m not certain how much you know about these cars. The ’06 was the first model year and is normally aspirated (NA). From ’07-’09 (just a few ’10 were made) there were both NA and turbo versions (GXP). The NA had 173hp and the GXP is rated at 260hp and 260ft/lbs of torque. GM made a stage kit (GMPP kit) that will boost the power to 290hp and 325+ft/lbs of torque on the GXP. Many aftermarket tuners and parts are available that can easily put the GXP over 310hp and 350ft/lbs of torque, where the NA car you will get nominal hp and torque gains for more money. Just by adding a ‘tune’ to the GXP (ECM reprogram) for $400 will put you over 300hp. Where a tune on the NA might get you 5-10hp. I didn’t know how much you knew about the car and wanted you to know that the GXP has more hp potential (about $500-1500 more upfront, but less money to get more power) then the NA. I’m not talking down on either car, I almost bought an NA….and then I drove mine. And I’m glad I drove mine before I made my choice. I bought it within 30 seconds of the test drive. It’s all about choice and what you’re looking for out of the car."

With all of that said, let me speak freely. The Solstice is a wonderful car. You wouldn't be dissappointed. My first car was a Fiero (also a 2 seater, mid-engined sports car), if you know anything about older cars. You will also know that this car was Pontiac's nightmare and it seemed like I was fixing something on it every 2 weeks. BUT....I learned a lot and learned how to work on cars from it! I wouldn't have done anything different with buying that car as my first car....I loved it....almost as much as I love my Solstice. Now my next step is this....how about a Miata (personally I think they're ugly, but that's just me!)? You might even find one cheaper then the Sol. Not that I'm pushing you that way!!! LOL... And finally with all that, if you can afford it, go for it. If it's not going to put you in debt, and cause you to have to work to pay for your car rather then go to college, get it! Welcome to the club and happy motoring!
 

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My daily driver for 22 years was an 88 Fiero GT, and it rarely let me down. My daily driver now is a Solstice. If you are, or want to be a sports car guy, the Solstice should do just fine by you. I agree with what the Ghost said.
 

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One more thing... I think the price is almost too good to be true! If this is the car you want, make sure you get/run a carfax. Many guys here don't agree with carfax, but for someone who is younger and doesn't have the experience that most do here, it's a great place to start. It will tell you if the car has been in an accident and what, if any, warranty work has been done. Not only that, if carfax says it hasn't been in an accident and later you find out it has, they have a 100% gaurantee....they will buy the car from you.
 

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My concern is also the price. For 70k miles that is very low. Check for the issues the members cautioned you on above when you take it for a drive.

As for whether a student should buy the car as a daily driver I could go either way with my recommendation, but I'd lean toward you staying with something less finicky than the Solstice.
 

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My concern is also the price. For 70k miles that is very low. Check for the issues the members cautioned you on above when you take it for a drive.

As for whether a student should buy the car as a daily driver I could go either way with my recommendation, but I'd lean toward you staying with something less finicky than the Solstice.
I don't think the Solstice is finicky at all! It's not a Fiero!! Or an old Fiat! Or a first year RX7 with a rotary motor! I would say that those are finicky!!! It just has some items that require a mechanic that knows what he's doing. You don't want Bubba from Tom's Corner Garage working on it....that's for sure. Sure there's special procedures for a few things, but I wouldn't call the Solstice finicky. They start all the time, they get you where you want to go.... You can drive it in the rain (which by the way, I couldn't do with my Fiero!)....you can drive it in the snow if you have too (which I couldn't do with my '97 Camaro RS because it had 3" of ground clearance!)....that's finicky!
 

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didn' say where yuh live............DD in snow/ice might not be smart - low ground clearance.................

otherwise why not .....fun lil car.........yuh don't need a soccer mom suv yet LIVE A LIL........
 
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