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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Based on some member discussions in another thread we are starting an index to organize owner reviews. Thanks to jimbo and others for the suggestion.

Wait until you have had your car for a few weeks before you review so you have a chance to get used to all the ins and outs. Write whatever you feel, long or short.

Here's what you do to write a review....

1) Start a new thread anywhere and make the title...Owner Review - your userid - VIN #

That's it, the mods will take it from there :yesnod: Others can reply to your review in your thread, that's fine. In this thread we'll link directly to your thread so it will be organized here as an index to all reviews.

That's it, good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Owner Review - MCEB - VIN #0030

Here's my review of VIN 000030, black exterior, sand/steel interior, most every option (no XM and only single CD). There are 700 miles on the car.

I'm 5'7" tall, 160lbs for reference. Mine is a 2nd car and not primary driver.

Exterior:
Paint quality was excellent. I see no orange peel at all and only a couple of very small water spots which probably will come out in next spring's polish. Body panels fit well.

What can I say that hasn't been said about the style of the exterior. Seems like there are curves everywhere on this car that really don't come out in pictures! The road stance is set very wide, that surprised me the first time I saw one on the road. Looks wider than S2000, Miata etc.

I think we've all heard the stories of how people are reacting to this car on the street. Every trip I get a yell from another car, a wave from someone on the street or see someone in my rearview mirror trying to read the label on the back of the car. Kudos to the designers :thumbs:

Interior:
Clean and simple is the theme of the interior and I like it but it has some downsides. For the price point of this car the interior is wonderful. No clutter, dials are very simple to operate, the radio also easy to work with. Gauges are deep motorcycle style and I have no problem reading them from by seating position. Some part of the interior are plastic but they did a pretty good job of adding a textured look to the plastic surfaces to make them look better from a few feet away. The lines of everything inside mimic the curves of the exterior, a very nice look!

The interior feels very roomy for small car. Arms fall right to the center console and side panel of the door. Seat is very comfortable, I've been on couple 2.5 hour trips with no problem.

There are few negatives inside the cabin that seem to bother some people but really aren't too bad in the grand scheme of things considering the price point again. The seat belt is hard to get to when door is shut, it kind of gets trapped behind the seat a bit. It can be pulled out, just needs a little bit of feeling around to get to. Seat back adjustment knob is impossible to get to with door closed so adjust your seat back before you shut the door.

The power window buttons are set little too far back for left hand use but actually work well if you use your right hand instead (across your body, under your other arm). Does make some sense that left hand should stay on wheel and use right hand while not shifting...ok maybe I'm reaching here ;)

In cabin storage is almost non-existent. That's the flip side of a clean minimalist interior I guess. Tough to find any cubby-like storage for sunglasses, cell phone, wallet, garage door opener etc. Be creative, I use the slot between the seat and center console for wallet, sun glasses, cell phone. There is a small pocket along front of seat. I bought a key chain garage door opener which took care of that problem :cool:

Driving:
Steering is the BEST! Not so sensitive that a sneeze will make you cross a lane but just enough to react to driver inputs and goes where you point it. Acceleration is fine for normal driving. I'm not a racer but certainly its enough to have fun with. As others have said, gears are nice short throws. Clutch engages at the high end of the range which is fine for me, I learned to put the seat way back and have my leg almost straight out which works great. I agree with those who have said ride feels very solid, doesn't get knocked around with every bump. On the highway again feels real nice and solid.

Exhuast note is great. It's just right for this car. Sometimes I just like to listen to the sound of the engine instead of the radio!

I think Pontiac out did themselves on the performance side of the equation. Kudos to the engineers :thumbs:

Top:
The first week you are a little puzzled but after a week you are pro. Order of operations and few tricks is all you need (see owners tips & tricks thread). 20-30 seconds, kind of fun to do. Love popping the buttresses with the keyfob..very James Bond! Inside it's an unlined top so you do hear some wind noise but heck it's a convertible not a Cadillac.

Trunk:
What can I say that hasn't been said. It's the flip side of the clean look you get with the top down. Trade-offs I guess. I'm really glad they carved out that space in the back under the folded top. It's an extra bonus space that's not accounted for in the specs. Golf bag does fit which is good.

Summary:
Style + Performance + Price = Home Run

Drawbacks = storage

Discussion this review at:
http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6974
 

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Owner Review - PAS22 - Vin23

Well, those of you that have read some of my earlier threads know that I have owned a number of racers, sports cars, and sports coupes over my driving life. At this point I havn't decided if the Solstice ranks at the top of these, but thus far, I can say that it is very, very, close.

One of the things learned from racing is that if you are uncomfortable (in various respects) the car forces you to think about things other than driving. In this respect, the Solstice hits very high marks. Everything works together like you would expect from a fine bread machine costing thousands more. Very much unlike a 1990 Z51 Vette I once owned that was unforgiving and made you consentrate on every move.

The Solstice is without question the best handling street car I have ever driven. Recently on a weekend country cruise I entered a sharp corner at a scarry speed that made me think: "Oh s-it the rear end is going to come around". The Solstice was perfectly neutral and stuck to the corner like glue. It seriously makes me wonder what its race track cornering limits might be!

Steering, brakes, driver position, seat confort, pedal -shifter - control placement, are excellent and contribute to the confident feel you have behind the wheel. The Solstice "feels" bigger than it is. With over a thousand miles on the No. 23, engine performance is smoother and the shifter isn't as notchy as when new. Although the 4-5 upshift is still a little ackward.

Yes there are some minor complaints which I have raised before. Lack of manual control of dash board lights, placement of power window switch, lack of power door lock button, lack of cubby holes in the console and dash. But these quibbles are quickly forgotton once you turn the key, shift into gear, and head down a twisty road.

All this car needs to it make truly phoenominal is little more power. But for me, I am satisfied with the performance, and these days, the MPG. For those who are waiting for a higher horse power version all I can only say is: Man, you will have one great car!

Discussion of this review at:
http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6992
 

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Owner Review - Nix Sol - VIN #907 (Vicki)

Here's my review of VIN 907, also known as Vicki, Sly exterior, sand/steel interior, most every option (no XM, Onstar, or Smokers). There are 1080 miles on her.

(yes, I'm using mceb's review as a template so I don't forget anything, his was an excellent review)

I'm 5'10" tall, 180lbs for reference. She is my primary mode of transportation.

Exterior:
The exterior on this car is amazing! We all know that. Mine has settled a little bit since driving her around. The front fascia is off by a couple of mm on the passenger's side and has no gap at all on the driver's side. I got the sly because I thought it would be easier to keep clean, it is. The only thing that kindof is a pain is the fact that water spots show up extremely easy on it. I know, it's a new shiny car and all but I work so I can't spend all day making sure that there are absolutely no spots on it.

This car sits extremely low. You will have the air dam scraped up probably the first time you drive it. (Unless you live in some weird part of like kansas where there are no speed bumps at all) Driving it up my driveway is sortof a challenge for me too, but as long as you approach it on an angle you'll be fine.

Interior:

The interior is a lot better than I thought it was going to be (not that I thought it was going to be bad or anything) It is extremely comfortable. I actually go sit in it when I'm taking a couple of seconds off at work because it's a lot more comfy than my $600 office chair. The power window buttons fall right where they need to. I don't know why everyone else was complaining about them. There is not a whole lot of room to put stuff in. I wish they had divided the side pocket things up so that your change would fly forward/backward depending on if you're stopping or going. (maybe I take it a little hard off of the line though)i also wish there was some sort of storge in the center hump. It seems like there could be. It could have a little flip-up cover. That would have been nice. The glove compartment is just that. basically designed for a pair of gloves, an owner's manual, and your registration. You could fit more in there but then it's stuffed. The waterfall compartment is nice, but not a very good place to retrieve things from whilst you're driving. Ditto to the cupholders directly underneath it. (which have a tendency to pop out during spirited driving (or spirited conversation) the cupholder by the passenger's leg is ok. A nice addition would be some sort of waterproof drip catcher to both sets. (Unecessary sexual innuendo taken out by request of the moderators)

Driving:
WOW! (read mceb's for my exact thoughts)
"I think Pontiac out did themselves on the performance side of the equation. Kudos to the engineers" -mceb

Top:
With a little practice you can put the top down without getting out of the car.. Very fun to do at red lights.

Trunk:
The trunk is big enough to fit a golf bag blah blah blah. Who cares. The trunk will hold my Xbox and flat screen. It will hold my mandolin. (the amp has to ride shotgun though) It will hold me. (if I break my hips, they're slightly too wide. The tip is to get in facing the back. One of Dori's Ethiopians will definitely fit back there though) Basically, you have to plan your outings carefully, big deal. I'm probably not ever going to use luggage with this car anyway. The way I see it my car is really expensive, highly mobile luggage.

Summary:
Vicki makes me cream my pants! Thank you GM for making me such an awesome car.

Drawbacks = storage

Discussion of this review at:
http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7445
 

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OWNER REVIEW Tigerman VIN #1491

Here is my review of VIN #1491 Cool with Ebony leather and all options except XM, Smokers package, LSD, and Onstar.

1400 miles - 24.8 mpg 89 octane

I am 5'6" and 160 lbs and this is my mainframe transportation.

Exterior:

I declare the fit and finish to be very sanitary. The car has more curves than Angelina Jolie. The paint is perfect, I've washed it 4 times and put one good coat of wax on it. The only problem is I have to close the hood on the passenger side of the car or it won't close flush on both sides, something to mention when I take it in for service. I did change the antenna for looks.

Interior:

Seating and leg room are very comfortable. The gearshift is positioned so well it just calls for you to grab hold and let it rip, and the throws are tight and easy to shift. Mirrors are effective and I haven't had any problems seeing other drivers. I'm still getting used to the speedometer and small gas gauge. I often catch myself going 10 miles over the speed limit and not realizing it. The Monsoon sound is great and I listen to CD's almost all the time. I'm learning to put the windows down by using my right hand and I close the center compartment with my elbow. A little more storage would be nice but I'm adjusting.

Driving:

With the wide low stance and 18" tires this car handles like a big go cart and I find myself looking for curvy roads just for the fun of it. I'm used to shifting between 2,000 and 3,000 RPM's but this car does better at around 4,000 which has me watching the mirrors for the cops, but I'm having a blast driving it and can't slow down until I get stuck behind somebody.

Top:

I haven't had a convertible for a long time but it's alot easier than the T-tops I had on my Camaro. I did have trouble the first few days I had it but have it all figured out now and it's a breeze to put up and down. My latch was loose and rattled but after I tightened it, no problems. I do get a little wind noise but not enough that it bothers me. I drove though heavy wind and rain the second day I had the car (hurricane Wilma) and no leaks.

Trunk:

I think GM could make some improvement here but there is more room than what my saddlebags hold and I'm able to get the groceries home now alot easier. I'm playing golf tomorrow so I'll see how the bag fits in the back, if nothing else I'll put it in the passenger seat.
I've never driven a car without a spare tire, jack, nor even a lug wrench but only time will tell if this is a problem or not.

Summary:

Overall I am very pleased with this car and feel it fits my Florida lifestyle to a tee. Pontiac has put the fun and excitement back into my driving and I'm enjoying the ride immensely. The waiting was the hardest part but worth it.

Discussion of this review at:
http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8102
 

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Owner Review - Cool 781

Cool / sand & steel / no XM or Onstar or smokers package

Got painted wheels - ok with that.

Got single cd radio - wish I had Monsoon after hearing gizmo2004's!

Del. 10/14

Currently 900 miles

Av. mph = 23.8 with 91 octane

Highest revs = 5k

Highest speed = 90

Continue to miss third gear & wish I could hit it as well as jrdallas does!

No problems! The doors sound like there are loose window tracks when I close them?

Scuffed the underside of the nose on a curb. One rock chip so far.

I inatalled a car bra this week - looks good.

I bought the Costco $37 dust cover - works fine in the garage.

I have the 6" stubby antenna on order.

We get a lot of attention to the point that we carry a stack of brochures with us to hand out.

Discussion of this review here:
http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8162
 

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Editguys initial review of #1642

Okay, I’ve been thinking about this for the past several days, and it’s hard to think of superlatives that have not already been used. Actually, I was going to wait until the honeymoon period was over before I posted a review, but I realized on my way back form lunch today that this is going to be a very long honeymoon! So, here goes.

Fit and finish on Pure 1642 is excellent. As a former autobody tech and painter, I know all of the things to look for. Gaps are all good and the finish is top notch (not perfect, I found a couple of very small dust specks, but I can find those on cars three times the price of the Solstice). There was a small ding in the trunk that I am certain was caused by someone trying to close the trunk lid improperly. If you have ordered a white Sol. Believe me, you will not be disappointed. I know a lot of people think that white is bland, but on this car I think it is actually flashy. It just looks really classy, and the black top looks really good with it.
Speaking of the top, I have decided that this car would be something less than what it is without the current design. I know that much has been made of the “waves”, but they are not the first thing that people see. In fact, I have yet to have anyone say anything negative about the top. In fact, I have gotten many compliments on it. As to the negative reviews about the hassle of putting it up and down, it’s really a non-factor. There is so little extra time involved. It took me longer on my ‘65 Malibu with a power top and manual window, than it does on the Sol. My top and deck lid seal perfectly. On my first full day drive to the north country (that’s northern Arizona, not Canada!), I ran into very heavy rain. Not a single drip any place. It was as dry as a June day in Arizona and, believe me, that’s dry!

After all of the comments about the “cheap plastic” interior, I am very pleased with the looks. I wouldn’t have ordered the steel and sand (which, by the way, my “steel” looks very gray, not blue tinged, so maybe that’s influenced by the exterior color?), but I think it looks super with the white exterior. It’s another item that I’m getting lots of compliments about. I have the base stereo, and I know there have been comments here about it not producing good sound or volume, but mine produce both. Maybe I got an accidental upgrade? ;-) The seats are comfortable and hold you in place around those inevitable sharp turns (and I’m talking city driving!). An all day trip left me none-the-worse for the wear.

Okay, I can’t make comparisons with the Mazda or any other roadster, because I have never owned or driven one. But for me the cars handling and ride is superb. The roads I was driving in the north country were roads that I have driven countless times with many different automobiles, and yet I felt that they were a first time adventure. There are so many that I can’t wait to try out! I know that there have been people here that have argued that you shouldn’t buy a roadster without trying the different competitors. The thing for me was that, based on looks alone, it was the Solstice or nothing. Each individual will have to determine if they need the comparison. I didn’t, and I don’t. The car has more than adequate power (and it seems to be gaining more of that as I put more miles on it).

Now, what Rodeo and his army of trolls have been waiting for: to see if I’m going to say anything negative. I count myself as an honest person, so I will talk about the negatives. First, the lack of interior and trunk storage space. The pockets on the seats are the only real practical space, aside from the glove compartment. As has been stated before, the cup-holders are pretty useless. Before I got the Sol I thought that maybe they could have incorporated cup-holders into the door panels. But after owning it, I’m not sure how they could do that. In fact, I’m not convinced that there is any way, at least with the current interior design, to add storage space. And I like the looks of the interior so much that I would hate to see them redesign it to accommodate more storage. I can live without the storage. The same applies to the trunk. If adding more storage means redesigning the exterior ascetics of the car, then I can live without more space (and clearly I will, regardless of what they do in the future!). Obviously I won’t be making trips to Home Depot to pick up sheets of plywood in my Sol. As this is a secondary vehicle for the vast majority of us, I don’t see it as a major issue. If they can find a way to add space without drastic redesigns, it will surely eliminate one of the big knocks on the Sol.
Something I’m really hoping they will do is to make sun visors that are more effective. Perhaps adding pull panels that extend the bottoms and the sides. As they are now, they’re mostly decoration.
It also seems that the power window buttons, and the non-existent power door lock button, could be incorporated into the center console.
One last thing, and maybe it’s something I need service to look at, but at low speeds my AC compressor is very noisy. The AC and the heat both work extremely well, but the compressor noise is very annoying if I don’t have the radio on.
Finally, the clunking sound. If I have it I either don’t know what to listen for, or I just don’t hear it. In either case, I guess it’s not an issue for me!

So, if you’ve gotten the impression that I love this car, you’re absolutely right. I think this is one of those cars that GM got right from the start (e.g., the 1st generation Camaro). Be prepared to do a lot of show and tell. It’s as close to perfect as a car could be. And at the price of admission, I think it is simply amazing!!!

Discussion of this review here:
http://www.solsticeforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8186
 

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I have had my NA Solstice (no turbo) for ten months and I still love driving it. None of the thrill has worn off. It hugs the road like it is on rails. The car can corner and take more than I have the courage to let it run.

Storage space for my wife and I is actually adequate. We have gone on a 10 day trip with my golf clubs and enough clothes where we did not have to do laundry and stowage with the top down was not a problem
(We used space bags behind the seats and a small golf bag with my driver on top of the small golf bag) I know have purchased a large stick on hook to go behind one seat for hanging clothes and the space bags will fit easily behind the other. My wife brought her curlers blow drier and makeup case, these fit on top of the golf club.

The car has a wow factor that you never stop experiencing. It always attracts a crowd. Before the solstice, a car to me was just a means of getting from one place to another but now I find myself compulsively keeping it clean and shiny.

I have the automatic transmission and it is very very responsive although when not in traffic I really wish I had the manual shift. When in traffic (and with an arthritic left knee) there is no way it could be a daily driver with a manual shift. (Actually still trying to convince my wife that it would make sense to buy a second solstice with a manual shift and turbo for the weekends). That should be a great indication of how much I love this car. Several times during the fall, while driving home from work, I got close to home and just looped around for another 20 minutes to enjoy driving the country roads.

The only complaint and it is really quite minor, is the paint job could be a little stronger as it tends to chip very easily. It is not the quality of my other car although the color deep is really a good look.

Gauges are also a minor problem to see in bright light with the top down.

The bottom line is this is a car that is meant to drive and drive hard

Chuck
 

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3K miles in 6 weeks of winter driving and all I can say is WOW. It seems that the car seems to be getting better with age. The engine sounds smoother and the shifting of the auto seems in tune with the way I'm feeling at the time.
I love the high red line but if I'm in traffic it just purrs along. I've moved past the babying stage and drive it hard when appropriate. For a little car it's amazingly stable at 90 MPH and just chews up the miles.It gets dirty (not as dirty as AspenRose's) and then I wash and wax it.

I spent a couple of days at the airport Hyatt last week and requested a room where I could keep an eye on the car. ;) I still get a little sad when I get close to my destination if ya know what I mean. ;)

Just can't wait for Spring as I've only had the top down twice so far. Oh, and I really like the way the gages look at night.

So far my biggest surprise is how it handles bumps and pot holes, it seems very solid for a little car. I had a Midget in the 70s and you thought the wheels were going to come off when you hit something with it.

In summary; it's fun enough to be a sports car and tough enough to be a daily driver.
 

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OK, OK.... one year last week.. :party: 13+K There hasn't been more than 2 weeks out of the year I haven't been in the car..
Perfect back country roads where I live the weather has been great (except last couple weeks) Top down in January on a 60 degree day !! Hands down.. I love this car.. Its changed the way I live my road experience.. Even bought an Ipod!.. Have more detailing stuff than I can use in a year..(thanks Gary):lol: .. Luv pushing the performance, but it takes courage to max out as there are so many bad drivers and deer around..(well its Jersey).. If I had to put a front plate on it, I'd pay the ticket(s).. Haven't yet.. Still get turned heads and questions about it.. Its a blast to own..and at 55 I make it work as a daily driver.. (Does anybody else wear a back brace on long trips?? :lol: ) I do!

Styling 10
Fun 10
Handling 10
Power 8 could use another 20hp.. (GXP.. well I'd pay attention all the time)
Interior 9 good looking, but fragile

Here's where I breakdown and move away from it being a perfect car. Early release on the market has left lots and lots of cheapness issues..
We've all heard them and I am sure there are lots of owners that have experienced none of them.. I am not one.. Pinion seal, seat sinking, dash moulding buckling, 2nd gear more than stiff, top seam split, major cheap rattles, gas gauge inaccuracies, extended crank @ start-up, what have I forgotten..? Oh yea, the Clunk!

So, with the music up my driving experience is fantastic. No music...I'm very dissapointed in Pontiac and my dealership. Dealership has been nice, but not great and I think I am due a survey in the mail again.. Its my only leverage for them taking me seriously after paying what now it a ridiculous above MSRP premium..

I made my own bed by purchasing this car just as they put it on the showroom floor after someone had refused delivery back when there was a substantial wait. I could afford it and all the extras and I was in no position to bargin. But, I feel I got a fantastic $20 K roadster for $27K. I didn't get a $35 K sports car free of all the rattles and bugs.. But, at 40 mph with Jethro Tull loud, I feel like I did..:cool:

Mods and lots of love over the next few years....I'm happy and get to drive it tomorrow :yesnod:

PS.. this forum has been invaluable to so many.. including me..:yesnod:
 

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I've had my solstice for a little over a year -- I use it as a 2nd car, so I only driven 6000 miles on it. And despite the fact that I'd love to drive the car more often, especially in nyc, I'm still in the stage where I'm too paranoid of dents to take the car into the city and park on the street or decks :)

I have a dark blue solstice with two tone interior and I don't regret the colors I got. IMHO it looks very classy in dark blue - it does collect dust, but I have a california duster which does a pretty good job of keeping it looking clean w/o damaging your paint. And I have to say, I really enjoy cleaning my solstice. It's so small, it doesn't take that long and I like keeping sharp. I also run w/o a front plate and I'm glad to report I haven't been pulled over once, knock on wood, although again, I don't drive the car every day.

I think the handling and the inside & outside looks are definitely the best part of the car for me. I like the reverse hood and trunks which open in the opposite direction. I usually get a compliment every couple of times I take the car out, but unforunately for me, mostly from guys :) I also love having a convertible, although in NJ, you have to be opportunistic and somewhat creative (using your heater / ac) to use it. And the turning circle on the solstice is amazing compared to what I'm used too!

This is my first RWD car, so it takes some getting used to how to drive it hard on turns, but I like the feel of a RWD how it pushes you forward, more than a FWD which pulls you forward. But since it's my 2nd car, I really don't take it out in bad conditions (snow/rain) so I can't comment on how it handles.

Most of my complaints are trivial & by far overshadowed by everything I liek on the car, but here goes:
- I know GM was trying to make an affordable roadster, but there are some parts of the interior (eg, side panels, plastic grey 'solstice' sills) that I wished they could have splurged for the better materials and just charged consumers more $$$.
- A couple of missing options that I would have liked to seen on the solstice is a HUD like my grand prix has, and HID xeon lights.
- I also don't like the location of the power window buttons (too far back), cup holders & the lack of a power door unlock button.
- A brighter radio display. The only way I can read it when the top is down is by manually overriding my autolights and turn them off.
- And everyone, knows about the trunk space. I'm thinking about getting the removable storage rack, but it may be too complicated to install/remove based on some reviews.
- Some passengers also said the ride in the solstice is a bit choppy but I think is a tradeoff of the tight handling.
- Base radio is barely strong enough when top is down. I'd recommend anyone to get the monsoon.

I've been impressed with the quality on the car and I only had 1 issue that I had to take the car back to the dealer for (leaking a/c hose). I haven't done any mods on my solstice yet, but I'm thinking about getting a couple of small ones done, but all in all, and I want to keep the car as much as stock as possible.


anthony
 

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I recently bought a 2006 left over model, base model, black, at what I thought was a really good price. My intention is to modify or make it a project car. Not really sure what.

I will be the first to admit that I have pretty high standards. My daily driver is a Porsche. My fun car is a 'vette with a pro-built motor rebuilt from an engine that actual ran and finished for Gm at LeMans, a car that will accelerate from 100 to 150 faster than the Porsche can go from 0 to 50. But the Solstice is a nice car.

My impressions after three weeks:

I have not owned a convertible in three decades. Its fun.

It's put together and slightly higher quality overall than my 'vette was when new (that was a C5, however, the C6s are supposed to be improved probably equal).

It handles very well, corners pretty well. in tight and around hairpins, nearly as well as a Porsche. Could use wider/stickier tires, though.

Has there every been a more impractical car from a storage standpoint? There is no trunk space, no room behind the seats.

The car was obviously designed topless, and the top was added as an afterthought. It is claustrophobic in there for me with it up.

I think the car probably has decent power although I'm so spoiled in this regard I can't judge. It keeps up will twith traffic and seems to have sufficient reserve.

The interior is slightly better laid out than my vette's, or the Camaros was (they are far better than given credit for), but still far below the standard set by Porsche (but in fairness, every other car in the world is far behind Prosche in that category, and the Carrera cost nearly five times as much).

The exhaust note strikes me as halfway between . . . everything. Not quite classic English roadster, not quite snarling modern cammer four. Not quiet. Not loud. If I was not thinking major surgery (see my other posts on the possiblity of putting a late 60s Pontiac SOHC six in it - probably will prove impractical) the cat back is the first thing that would go.
 

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Owner Review

I've had my solstice for just over 13 months now, just over 9000 miles. It's been stuck in the garage for 5 weeks now due to the weather. Here's my review:

EXTERIOR
Fit and finish are very good, all the body panels fit as they should, paint is great, no orange peel, etc. Still get compliments wherever I go and still get them from people who've seen it dozens of times.

INTERIOR
Overall good quality. Have the leather seats, no problem with seats sinking as some have had, no broken cup holders (yet). Shifter is in perfect position. Couple of issues I don't like are the positioning of the power window switchs, the angle of the gauges (just tilted up a bit much, can't see in sun, I've used small pieces of cardboard to shield in the sun) and I think they could have better quality cupholders, because it's not if but when they will break, but these are minor issues.

DRIVETRAIN
This is my biggest complaint. I have the clunk, but that's minor, just learned how to shift to get rid of it for the most part. However, the whine is NOT normal as the dealer/GM keep claiming and it gets louder with each passing mile. I can even hear it with radio cranked up loud now. Thinking of changing the fluid to Amsoil synthetic but afraid dealer may claim that caused the problem so not sure yet.

DRIVING
The absolute best part! Most fun car I've ever owned and like a lot of others I take the long way home from work most of the time. Exhaust sound is great. If the driving part wasn't as awesome as it is a couple of the other issues (like the whine) would not be so easy to live with.

TOP
No issues there, I can't understand the problem others claim it to be. Takes 30 seconds to put up/down, even if raining not a big deal. No quality issues whatsoever.

TRUNK
I've had plenty of room, even with the top down, for weekend/extended weekend trips for my wife and I. I didn't buy it to haul stuff in, I have two other vehicles for that. Might be an issue for longer than weekend trips but one that would be easily worked around.

SUMMARY
Overall, LOVE this car. Would not trade it for anything unless circumstances forced it. Good overall quality for 1st year car, hope it gets the improvements it deserves as time passes.
 

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It has not been a year yet, but the weather is becoming predominately TOP-DOWN, and made for Solstice owning.

I prefer bad news before good, so: Things I do not like...

1) Having to replace the catalytic converter at 6600 miles. Especially because it was while I was on vacation. The problem sounds like it may be a designed-in overrich mixture.

2) Having to worry about the differential losing fluid and stranding me somewhere. So far, so good, thanks to this forum.

3) Pollen covering the car completely every day...GM warranty does not seem to cover this!

Now for the good aspects of owning this car...

1) The small size and good gas mileage. The average to date is about 24 mpg.

2) The peppy performance. That's right, peppy. Not mind-bending, not testicle-twisting, not shutting-down-kids-in-the-Camaros AWESOME, just peppy.

3) The AWESOME handling! It is mind-bending, testicle-twisting, shut-down-the-kids-in-the-Camaros AWESOME! That is what this car is about. An everyday drive on the country lanes is as enjoyable an event as one can have with all your clothes on.

4) Raising and lowering the top by hand. It helps define my relationship with this car and keeps me honest about what the car requires, both standing still and while driving...attention. Like the manual transmission and the manual window crank, I am kept aware that user input is required, not just appreciated.

5) The GreaT seats! They are comfortable at first sit, and they are still comfortable 700 miles later. The "waves" now forming up on the bottom cushion (at 8000 miles) do not bother me AT ALL! No more so than the tea stains on my comfortable chair at home...it just makes it more MINE.

6) The wonderful Monsoon sound system. Delivering enough power in the bass to make the passengers' chests hurt, it is plenty loud enough to get the job done. If I want to go deaf, I can go stand beside a jack hammer. Besides, you don't want the sound to drown out..

7) The sound of the engine and exhaust system at work. The stock system, in spite of all the aftermarketed parts available out there, can only be incrementally "tuned", as it is a poem of mechanical parts and atmospheric processing already. More that once, I have just turned off the radio to hear the car joyfully eating up the road, curve by curve.

8) I never pictured myself as a convertible man. I was wrong. The open-air experience of motoring is one I never want to surrender. The smells and sounds and especially Sights that are available in the Solstice reunite this driver with the WORLD out there...and lend the scenery an immediate and real quality, not just the let's-get-through-this-reel aspect enclosed motoring generates.

9) The strength of the chassis/body unit. Having the car "hang-in" on irregular pavement in the middle of a curve is a reassuring feeling, rather than the rattle-shake-What-the-hell-was-THAT! worry of a seven/tenths strength auto.

10) Those big 'ol wheels! Pontiac got that right, now, I mean! Maybe Prowler deserves some respect here, but Solstice is in that little spot all by itself among modern American motor cars. It is obvious that mere traction can be gained with smaller wheels...but suspending such a beautiful body among those huge 18" diameter......Space Stations! was a brilliant move. Maybe it was my reading of those Batman comics in 1959...

11) The styling. Try again...THE STYLING! No. Try again...THE BEAUTIFUL STYLING!! Oh, jeesh, nothing is working here...

The Marilyn Monroe, Arnold Swartznegger, Sean Connery, Katheryn Zeta-Jones artwork that combines curves, waistlines, low c.g. fight stance with class, gravitas and good looks is lonely in its unrivaled-ness...

No.

I like the styling.

12) Just to close the circle, the excellent warranty and service from the GM folks and the dealers thereof. It is not great that it was required, but it was great when it was required. Of course, BellaVerde is not the only car I own, so delivering it to the dealer and picking up the loaner is something of an adventure, not the major upset of my day.
 

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I've been the happy owner of my Sol for 11+ months.
Here's my review of VIN 17874. (Deep, Ebony leather. Currently 5000 miles on the car).

I'm 5'11" tall, 155lbs. This is car #2 and I'm the primary driver.

I first saw the car in person several years ago at the New York Auto Show. At that moment I knew I would have this car in my garage. It was just a concept car at that time, but the rep. stated without hesitation that GM was going forward with production. I asked how long and he said "just a few years". Those were long years for me. I haven't been this excited about a car since my first car. (1974 Pontiac Firebird). The Sol still excites every day.

Exterior:
Excellent paint quality. Body panel fit is great. Probably the best American car I've owned. The exterior styling is the best I've seen coming out of GM in years. All of the curves are in the right places. I'm constantly being waved at, looked at, given the thumbs up when I drive my Sol. I'm always asked the same question...."Who makes it". I always get the same response....."It's a GM? A Pontiac? They finally did something right." I love the fact that there are not many on the roads. Makes it more unique.

Interior:
Roomy, comfortable, good driving position. Already taken it on several 5+ hour trips and it is surprisingly comfortable. It feels like a much bigger car from the inside. Gauges in the right places. Nice dashboard layout, (better that in the Sky...sorry Sky owners).

Downside...... not enough storage places in the cabin. (You need to be a minimalist when driving this car). Power window controls should have been places more forward, or better yet, on the center console. I always dislocate my arm when trying to put on the seat belt. I have accepted these drawbacks as a tradeoff for driving a great sports car.

Driving:
The car corners like a go-cart. Steering is fantastic! The engine is more than quick enough, which makes this car feel like a true sports car. The ride is very comfortable. It's a bit choppy on rough roads but that's to be expected with these tires and suspension.

Top:
Well, I have to say that I'm starting to wish for a power top. I guess I'm getting a little lazy, but the thought of getting in and out almost makes me feel like leaving it up....I said almost. The top design is too cool. The car looks fantastic with the top down...very clean and finished. (A friend who owns a Z4 was so jealous when he saw how the top disappeared. That made me smile). The only thing that's missing right now is a hardtop that has the same design as the soft top.

Trunk:
This is the biggest negative. I'm still wondering if GM could have done it better or if they rushed with this issue and didn't think of alternatives. On the positive side, it makes you think twice when packing for a long trip. So far, we haven't suffered.


Summary:
I purchased this car before I ever took a test drive. None were available to test drive at that time. I felt so strongly about the Sol that I knew I'd love it.
I recently test drove a Porsche Cayman and Boxster and liked them very much. When I got back in my Sol, I was even more impressed with the way the car handled. For half the price, it's a bargain.
 

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I purchased my 07 Solstice on 5/16/07 and have had the chance to drive it around for a little over a week, and have so far clocked over 600 miles on it. I love this car, it is the first new car I've ever owned and I could not be happier with my choice. The fact that this car was affordable and a Pontiac makes it all the better in my opinion. I happen to be a die hard Pontiac fan and also own several classic Pontiac's, so I have been waiting for a car like this for quite some time.

After what Pontiac did to the new GTO I had almost given up hope that they could produce something that would draw me to it the way my old Pontiac's do.

How wrong I was.

This car screams style and begs you to drive it, so what else could I do? I had to buy it. And, I happened to get it on the same day I turned 28. Which probably made it the best birthday ever.

Even better than when I finally turned 21 and could legally drink.

But that's a whole other story.

The Good:

The looks: This car is a work of art, the sheet metal on it is perfectly executed and incredibly smooth. I can find no fault at all with the lines on this car.

The seats: They are surprisingly comfortable and just seem to wrap around your body. They feel almost like the car is trying to hug you.
I really like that I can just cruise in around in comfort and enjoy the ride.

The steering wheel: It feels really good in your hands once you get used to it's size.
After driving my classics around for all of these years I've gotten used to their massive steering wheels so going to a smaller one was a slight adjustment for me.
But it feels good and there isn't much to get in the way.

Rear wheel drive: I love rear wheel drive.
I don't have a ton of experience with front wheel drive, but every time I've driven a FWD car it just didn't feel right to me.
So, having the opportunity to own a new RWD car is a huge plus in my eyes.

The top: I never thought I'd hear myself say it.
But I love going topless.... I mean, I love putting the top down, sorry.
The sunburns I've gotten so far have been totally worth it.
But it might be a good idea for Pontiac to include a tube of sunscreen with every Solstice purchase.
Trust me, you'll use every excuse in the book to drive around with the top down.

The handling: anyone that drives a classic car can tell you that unless you make major changes to the suspension you'll always feel a good amount of body roll on fast turns.
The Solstice, on the other hand can carve through corners like they are nothing.
Not even my wife's Buick Regal GS feels as good around the corners, and it's a luxury car. The suspension on the Solstice is perfect for the road and feels like you are literally glued to the pavement.
I had no fear taking an almost 90 degree turn at 60mph the other day.
Although, I wouldn't advise anyone do that on a regular basis.
It's still nice to know that I can if I want to.

Dash lights: The red dash lights are great and fit with the overall style of the car.
I find them really easy to read and are easy on my eyes.
It's nice to see something other than the standard green lights shining back at you from the dash.

Personal Audio Link: All I can say is that it's about damn time that manufactures started including this in cars.
This has been needed feature for cars since the Walkman.
My Zune MP3 player sounds nice and crisp through the audio link.
Who needs XM when you have 5000 songs at your finger tips?

The Dash and Stereo: The controls are really easy to navigate and understand and for the most part can be reached without leaning forward in your seat.

Space: The interior is roomier than you would expect from a roadster, but I also happen to be only 5'8 so I am probably the wrong person to ask.
Please, no short jokes.

Storage: I like the cubby hole between the seats, I usually keep my mints and other miscellaneous but frequently used items there.
And it's nice not to have to reach for the glove box for everything.

The Drive Train: I didn't expect much from 177HP, but the car has some get up and go for what it has.
And the automatic transmission shifts smoothly enough to the point that it isn't a distraction. It climbs the hill on the road from my house pretty quickly and is up to 65 before I hit the top.

The Bad

The Tires: I had the misfortune of driving through rain the other day, and I was not impressed.
The tires do not handle the rain very well at all even at 55mph and I would really hate to think what would happen if I decided to drive it on ice during the winter with this kind of rubber. But the Eagle RS-A's that I had on my wife's Buick weren't that great either so I guess I can't expect much from them.

The Transmission (automatic): The amber light that shows what gear you are in is really hard to see on a sunny day with the top down.
It could be potentially dangerous if your eyes aren't that great and aren't paying attention. I have to get close and squint to see it.


The Trunk release: I wish they would have put the trunk release button somewhere on the drivers side.
Pressing the button in the glove box is a pain if you have a passenger and don't want to smack the glove box door on their knees.

The Trunk: I'm not going to complain about the small amount of space in the trunk.
It's a roadster, not a station wagon.
But, I will make an observation.
Why the hell did they put a emergency trunk release in a trunk almost no normal sized human being could even consider fitting into?

The Antenna: It seems to detract from the overall style of the car, I plan on getting a stubby antenna one of these days.
But it seems like an odd setup for such a smooth looking car.

The Addiction: This car should be classified as a narcotic by the government.
If I'm not driving it. I'm staring at it, and if I'm not staring at it, I'm thinking about it.
And if this continues I might have to get some help for my addiction.

I know allot of people complain about the top, but if you pay attention to what you are doing it is a breeze to put down. The reviews I've read on the web have all complained about this, and it seems like they are making it out to be harder than it actually is.

This is a great car at a good price, and I am happy that Pontiac has finally produced what John Delorean originally tried to achieve with the Banshee in the 60's.

A great roadster worthy of the Pontiac heritage.
 
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