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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Earlier today, I had the chance to drive one of the captured test fleet cars. I am located in the Detroit area. We have been seeing a lot of these cars running around town for the past two months or so. I have been lurking on this forum daily trying to get info and finally decided to post based on the test drive I had.

My first impressions of the car were mixed. I put my deposit down like the rest of you based on the great design. The design certainly holds up in person. This is simply a beautiful car from all angles. Another over riding impression of this car is that it is smaller than I expected. I am tall (6'-5") and the leg room in the passenger side is very tight. I am not too heavy (210..........well ok 215) and the fit feels like I have been shoved into a shoe. This is not necessarily a bad thing for this type of car. The leg room in the driver's side is less tight but still snug. I know that you will comment that I am just too darn big. Well, my previous summer car was a 1972 Triumph TR6. This car had at least as much leg room in the drivers side and more in the passenger side than the Solstice did. The Solstice seats do not have the ablity to rake backwards once the seat is fully slid back. There is simply no room at all behind the seats like a rear shelf for then to tip back into. therefore, if you are taller, you will learn to enjoy the seat angle that the GM engineers ecided on for you. The interior is ok. The test car had two tone leather. The two tone is not my style, but it looked ok. The quality of the leather looked mediocre. The leather looks kind of like plastic to me. The shifter is absolutly the best I have ever used. It is extremely short thow, very precise and positioned just right. I will not comment on the fit and finsh of the sheetmetal since this was not a fianl production car.
The motor bogs down under load as you accelerate. I read somewhere that you can chirp the tires in second gear. Well the only way you can do that is if you blow the shift, overrev the engine or have your foot pop off the clutch by accident. This is not a rocket ship. I think all of you know that about the car. It is plenty quick for a daily driver and loads of fun but be aware that my Honda Accord with a V6 feels much smoother and quicker. Now, I also know that the Honda has a bigger motor than this car does, but I am trying to give you impressions - don't shoot the messanger!!
The Solstice handles cornering really well (blows the doors off the Accord or the Triumph!!!) Very little body roll. I pushed it in corners beyond my comfort point and had absolutly no hint of loss of control. The sight lines are fine for me even though I am tall. The other lingering impression is about the storage. We all know that there really isn't any, but when you are confronted with this reality in the flesh, it is still a bit astonishing really how little storage there is. Forget overnights with a freind and a bag. As a matter of fact, forget about a bag of grocieries and a freind!! This car is really going to test your commitment as to whether a car driven purely for the fun of it will suffice with the compromizes that you are going to have to make.

In summary, the price reflects the finish level of some of the interior trim - low. The exterior is great. Handling is great. Motor is pretty good, but not world class. It is extremely small.
I left my deposit with the dealer right where it is !!!
Let me know if any of you have specific questions and I will try to post answers based on my 20 minute test drive. I will not pull any punches though!!
 

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petehu said:
Earlier today, I had the chance to drive one of the captured test fleet cars. I am located in the Detroit area. We have been seeing a lot of these cars running around town for the past two months or so. I have been lurking on this forum daily trying to get info and finally decided to post based on the test drive I had.

My first impressions of the car were mixed. I put my deposit down like the rest of you based on the great design. The design certainly holds up in person. This is simply a beautiful car from all angles. Another over riding impression of this car is that it is smaller than I expected. I am tall (6'-5") and the leg room in the passenger side is very tight. I am not too heavy (210..........well ok 215) and the fit feels like I have been shoved into a shoe. This is not necessarily a bad thing for this type of car. The leg room in the driver's side is less tight but still snug. I know that you will comment that I am just too darn big. Well, my previous summer car was a 1972 Triumph TR6. This car had at least as much leg room in the drivers side and more in the passenger side than the Solstice did. The Solstice seats do not have the ablity to rake backwards once the seat is fully slid back. There is simply no room at all behind the seats like a rear shelf for then to tip back into. therefore, if you are taller, you will learn to enjoy the seat angle that the GM engineers ecided on for you. The interior is ok. The test car had two tone leather. The two tone is not my style, but it looked ok. The quality of the leather looked mediocre. The leather looks kind of like plastic to me. The shifter is absolutly the best I have ever used. It is extremely short thow, very precise and positioned just right. I will not comment on the fit and finsh of the sheetmetal since this was not a fianl production car.
The motor bogs down under load as you accelerate. I read somewhere that you can chirp the tires in second gear. Well the only way you can do that is if you blow the shift, overrev the engine or have your foot pop off the clutch by accident. This is not a rocket ship. I think all of you know that about the car. It is plenty quick for a daily driver and loads of fun but be aware that my Honda Accord with a V6 feels much smoother and quicker. Now, I also know that the Honda has a bigger motor than this car does, but I am trying to give you impressions - don't shoot the messanger!!
The Solstice handles cornering really well (blows the doors off the Accord or the Triumph!!!) Very little body roll. I pushed it in corners beyond my comfort point and had absolutly no hint of loss of control. The sight lines are fine for me even though I am tall. The other lingering impression is about the storage. We all know that there really isn't any, but when you are confronted with this reality in the flesh, it is still a bit astonishing really how little storage there is. Forget overnights with a freind and a bag. As a matter of fact, forget about a bag of grocieries and a freind!! This car is really going to test your commitment as to whether a car driven purely for the fun of it will suffice with the compromizes that you are going to have to make.

In summary, the price reflects the finish level of some of the interior trim - low. The exterior is great. Handling is great. Motor is pretty good, but not world class. It is extremely small.
I left my deposit with the dealer right where it is !!!
Let me know if any of you have specific questions and I will try to post answers based on my 20 minute test drive. I will not pull any punches though!!

I'm 6'2" and 240. Will I fit? I have a 34" inseam. I don't plan on being in the passenger seat. And i commute 50 miles a day, will i want it to be my daily driver? How about the headroom with the top up (of course, with the top up, silly me). Thanking you in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You will fit, but it will be tight. These seats are not uncomfortable, but the way the interior wraps around you, it gives you the feeling of being in a cocoon. Again, I do not know if that is a bad thing or not. When I go to work, my reality is that I may have to look at something in my bag, or I want to have my morning coffee. The reality is that when you are in a cocoon, reaching that bag or coffee is tough!! By the way, I forgot the cup holders. These are in the center console and come out where it will be hard to use. It will hold a small cup of coffee for the cool morning drives, but it is a weird spot to put them.
Head clearance is fine, even for me. In my old Triumph, all my friends made fun of me since my head stuck up about three inches over the windshield - not so with this car. You will be fine in the height dept!
Whether or not this is a great daily driver for you lies in whther or not these little things will bother you. It is still a great car, but it will require sacrifice to live with.
 

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Most of the "first drive reviews" have been from people over 6'.

I want someone who is 5'8 (150lbs) to write a review.
 

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Im 6'2 210-220 with 34" inseam and i was doing great only thing that bothered me was the low windshield (not for my head to be under but for me to see through) Im sure ill get used to it though.
 

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Thank you for your honest driving impressions. I'm glad you didn't experience anything that made you want your deposit back. Sounds like a pretty fair assessment, and close to what I expected. I'm not looking for the fit and finish of a German sports car from the Solstice. If I demanded that level of polish, I'd have to pay the price of 2 Solstices to even get in the ball park.

Sounds like the Sol will be exactly what I'm looking for...exciting styling, fun to drive and I won't have to eat ramen noodles for a year to pay for it.
 

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I Got To Drive A Solstice Today

Today I Got To Drive A Solstice In Fairbanks Alaska Pontiac Drove The Car Up To The Arctic Circle For Testing When It Was Done The Dealer Here Aurora Gmc/pontiac Let A Few Of Us Test Drive First Of All The Car Drives Like A Dream It Hits 2800rpm And Starts To Fly The Third Cup Holder Is On The Right Side Of The Shifter You Push It In And It Pops Out I Cant Wait For My First 1000 In Pure
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just a note on the third cup holder. When we pushed it in, not only did it go all of the way in, but it dropped inside of the transmission tunnel never to be seen again!! Again, to be fair, this was not a final car!!! :)
 

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1965impala said:
Today I Got To Drive A Solstice In Fairbanks Alaska Pontiac Drove The Car Up To The Arctic Circle For Testing When It Was Done The Dealer Here Aurora Gmc/pontiac Let A Few Of Us Test Drive First Of All The Car Drives Like A Dream It Hits 2800rpm And Starts To Fly The Third Cup Holder Is On The Right Side Of The Shifter You Push It In And It Pops Out I Cant Wait For My First 1000 In Pure
I have never seen this before but it has made me realize it is impossible to read a sentence when every word is capitalized.
 

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hopefully i can post a driving review on sunday, but i have sat in a solstice. i am 6' and weigh 180-185. the solstice interior was wider an roomier than either honda s2000 or miata. the width and relatively high beltine seemed similar to the audi TT roadster from inside the car. the materials and finish were quite pleasing. the design in particular was very driver-centric with a cockpit feel when sitting behind the wheel. the gauges were clear and uncluttered, and the seat/wheel /pedal/ shifter ergonomics were very well sorted out. the materials while not of porsche/audi quality i thought were esthetically pleasing to the eye and to the touch.
my wife has 36" inseam and fits just fine.
i think just by the numbers we can expect a better driving experience than the 1972 tr6 . any car would be more reliable.
and if you want to dig through your briefcase and juggle a cup of coffee on your commute, then a honda accord is probably a better choice. i can't imagine looking for important papers with the top down.
 

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Fortimir said:
Most of the "first drive reviews" have been from people over 6'.

I want someone who is 5'8 (150lbs) to write a review.
Then you'll just have to write a review when you get yours, huh? ;)



Zilla: it's a forum filter, HE WAS TYPING IN ALL CAPS but unless there is at least 1 letter that's lowercase the forum automatically reformats it. Although I don't know why it doesn't just make it ALL lowercase...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I agree with what you have said. I would never try to offer a TR6 up as a benchmark for another car to hit!! I am again not trying to pick on this car, I have one on order too!! My post was a snapshot of first impressions based on my previous experiences. So many of us have bought into this car on faith, that I am trying to offer one glimpse of a first 20 minute drive. It is still a wonderful car, just be ready for its reality.
 

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The "Can we fit" issue won't die until we get our own and take it for a drive. I agree ( at 6'3", 265#), its tight for me too. I was able to sit in one...and my left leg has no room to work the clutch.

My girlfriend told me to wait for the automatic.

Yeah, right.

RadRiv
 

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Zilla said:
I have never seen this before but it has made me realize it is impossible to read a sentence when every word is capitalized.
The German language capitalizes the first letter of EVERY noun, proper or not.

...even after three years of study, it was a pain in the butt to get used to.
 

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Fortimir said:
Most of the "first drive reviews" have been from people over 6'.

I want someone who is 5'8 (150lbs) to write a review.
Well, I am about 5'9" and 155 lbs and will be going to Detroit in the morning for the first 1000 party. Hopefully I should be able to post a little review for you on Friday or Saturday...although I suppose there will be many postings from those of us that are attending!
 

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petehu said:
I agree with what you have said. I would never try to offer a TR6 up as a benchmark for another car to hit!! I am again not trying to pick on this car, I have one on order too!! My post was a snapshot of first impressions based on my previous experiences. So many of us have bought into this car on faith, that I am trying to offer one glimpse of a first 20 minute drive. It is still a wonderful car, just be ready for its reality.
point taken. it is not a boxster , corvette, or s2000. i passed on an s2000 and turbo AWD audi TT because i think- for me- this is the car. it was built within constraints to achieve a target MSRP- but everything taken together- performance , style, pricepoint- it's a fabulous car. granted, there is no subsitute for actually driving the car, but the HP/TQ curves , power/weight and chassis/suspension support high expectations for a genuine driving experience.
 

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petehu said:
.....I am tall (6'-5") and the leg room in the passenger side is very tight. I am not too heavy (210..........well ok 215) and the fit feels like I have been shoved into a shoe. This is not necessarily a bad thing for this type of car. The leg room in the driver's side is less tight but still snug....
Thank you! Thank you! You has put to rest my one lingering doubt, that was the possibility that I may not be able to drive my Solstice home 'cuz my skinny 6'-4" legs wouldn't let me work the clutch. Do did this by saying you drove it for 20 minutes. I get the impression that by your saying, "fit...like being shoved into a shoe" that the shoe seemed to fit and, if that's the case, I plan to wear it. But did your knee hit the center console? Although limited on your choice of possitions, were you generally comfortable?
 

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I have seen and used the trunk in a Solstice, Petehu, and I can tell you that there is a lot more useable space than what it looks like.

You CAN INDEED fit a soft sided overnight bag or two in the trunk, WITH THE TOP DOWN.

Access to the contents is the issue - depending on the size, you may have to partially lift the top to get contents out.

With the top down:
I've personally seen a "normal" golf bag with full club set and 42" driver fit. The small hand cart would not fit (the wheels were just slightly the wrong geometry).

I've personally seen TWO soft-side golf bags, with full club sets, PLUS a soft sided bag with shoes, shirt, pants... they all fit (albiet a bit tight) with the top down.

I've also seen the contents (not just the bag itself, but the contents) of a hockey bag carefully packed in the trunk. WITH THE TOP DOWN.


There is more storage than it seems, and like has been mentioned elsewhere, you figure out creative ways to store and stow stuff. People have been taking weekend trips on road motorcycles for decades...

With the top up, it gets pretty amazing exactly what you can fit if you have several softer items. I've gotten about a dozen supermarket plastic grocery bags in the trunk, or four people's duffel bags (separate times). If you are careful, the useable trunk space with the top up is really quite nice. I personally think that GM may be understating the trunk capacity both top up and top down.

If you are shocked by lack of trunk space, you should be equally shocked by same in a honda S2000, the Miata, the Elise, a Triumph, and you should be absolutely mortified by the now-past Toyota MR2.

Bottom line - you won't be hauling gravel, but smart packing will easily enable top-down weekend color tours.
 
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