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Discussion Starter #1
I've had my heart set on a solstice since I discovered their affordability earlier this year.

Had my first test drive today. is this the experience I should have expected? -

I chose a 2008 automatic with 44k miles as a good place to start. carfax says no accidents and good maintenance record.

Based on the scores of review's I've read, the inside was as expected... comfortable for me, appointments where I expected.

The driving experience was NOT as expected. The exhaust was very loud... twice as loud as my fiero. every little bump in the road transferred to the driver, accelerator response from the engine felt heavy and rough. Felt like a rat rod and reminded me of the stripped down 65 Camaro my buddy had in the 80's.

Some reviews described a nice exhaust sound, but no one's description behind the wheel would lead me to believe this is a normal ride.

in 2002 I bought a Fiero with 120k miles. I owned it 5 years and was VERY satisfied; I would still be driving one if it weren't for the maintenance expectations of a 35yr old car. It was much quieter and smoother driving. I have a hard time thinking with 20 years of technological advancements that this is the result.

Before I waste time driving out of state to look at another one, is this the driving experience I should expect? Or is this just a mis-advertised car?

Thank you for your feedback.
 

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BTW, asking price $9400. I thought that appropriate for the milage.
Hi. I bought my 2006 lst September. Exhaust sound is subdued but throaty. I like it. That is a good price as I see they have started to go up, esp. with the hot weather, and not much else allowed to do these days. I drove a few other roadsters in the past and considering the type of car it is I really like the ride; it is a bit bouncy on certain 'terrain', but way better than my previous vehicles. Yes, totally gutless, but I don't care. It is a looker and handles nice. I just drove home today from an 800 kilometre road trip, got 38 mpg and no issues otherwise. I do see some owners on here report curious electrical issues here and there. I have no regrets at all, and still get excited every time I get in the diver's seat.
 

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I've had mine for years and love it. Never noticed any loudness or harsh ride other than what you would expect from a roadster. In reality, I think it is a somewhat softer and quieter ride than most roadsters. It could be that the one you drove had changes in shocks and exhaust system components to make it more of a competition car.
 

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Exhaust noise almost does not exist on a stock car(at least on a turbo). Catless downpipe will add some noise. Ride is relatively harsh, throttle response is relatively weak at low rpm. But also from what i have seen, stock auto cars have a high stall torque converter that might make it feel like poor responce. Seem to flash around 2500 rpm.
For good low rpm throttle response only a large motor can provide. Sometimes i get spoiled cruising 40mph at idle(650rpm) with decent throttle response, but quickly adjust to the 2.0
 

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i am betting the car you drove still had the original tires. mine were, and they were hard as a rock. once i put new tires on it lost that harshness.
test drive a GXP, especially if you didn't like the throttle response. they have a better suspension than the base and the engine is amazing. add a tune and some goodies and see what happens when the boost hits 25PSI.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've had mine for years and love it. Never noticed any loudness or harsh ride other than what you would expect from a roadster. In reality, I think it is a somewhat softer and quieter ride than most roadsters.
Thank you kindly, everyone for your advice.

I am not naive to sportscars, I have owned a 74 TR6, 84 firebird, 84 fiero, and driven a miata. I don't expect a solstice to ride like an Merc SLK. But i liked them all and they drove as would be expected.

I was simply disappointed in my test drive based on my expectations and previous experiences. Maybe I simply sat in a bad car.

I am going to go ahead and try a 2007 saturn sky 57k miles, on my way out of state to visit a 2008 solstice 61k miles $6400. (i don't like the styling of the Sky, prefer the solstice, but will compare the ride. I come from a pontiac family)

I really didn't think I needed the performance of a gxp, so have been looking at base models. Plus I was hoping to stay within the $7-8000 price range... but if the gxp is better built I may need to consider. And If I really like it and am going to drive it for 10 years I am willing to consider going up to $12.

I know solstice is getting rare, and sometimes its a matter of finding a gem in the rough. sometimes there are great cars and sometimes there are buggers. Low miles don't always mean a car is in great shape.

I am currently driving a 2005 civic with 160k miles; its good for another 40k easy and i've never had any repairs done. i don't love it. and feel it's shameful to get rid of a perfectly good car.

but i am 50+ years old and commute 40 miles one way each day. it's been years since i've loved my ride, and I decided i deserve to have something to drive that i enjoy.

I live in Atlanta Georgia. am driving to South Carolina to look at the 2008 tomorrow. if you know of a good car for sale within 250 miles, please advise?

Thank you again for your feedback! Most appreciated.
 

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I own and routinely drive a Fiero GT with a Camaro 3.4, Fiero Store basic muffler, and 1" lowering springs.

I also own and routinely drive a Sky Redline with stock suspension, K04 Big Wheel turbo, high flow cat, straight back exhaust, upgraded charge pipes and intercooler, and a tune.

The Sky was quieter until a changed the exhaust. Too quiet, actually, as I couldn't hear the shift points. With the altered exhaust it's louder. The Sky rides smoother than the lowered Fiero. The Sky handles considerably better. The Fiero, lowered an inch, is jarring, but very fun. I probably sit 4" closer to the ground in the Fiero now. The Fiero has all-season tires. The Sky has Potenza RE-71R summer tires.

Before I ordered the Sky I drove two 2.4 liter Kappas. One Sky at a dealer and a Sol that I rented on a trip. The 2.4 stock in those cars was louder than the 2.0 stock in mine.

A V-6 is going to generally feel/sound smoother than an I4.

All that to say...has the exhaust and/or suspension been altered on the car you drove? From your description is sounds like it.

And yes, if you were driving a 2.4, do yourself a favor and test drive a 2.0 turbo.
 

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The Sky and Solstice are effectively identical in all ways except styling.

The GXP is not "better built" than the NA and has, in fact proved to be less reliable, with somewhat more frequent engine problems. The stock GXP is stiffer than the stock NA and obviously has more power. Beyond that there is very little difference.

I have one of each, (in the superior Sky trim, of course) enjoy both, and actually find the NA suspension to be easier to drive fast on real-world back roads. Others disagree, of course, and find even the stock GXP to be too soft.

I agree with others that the car you drove was either damaged or had been "improved" by a previous owner. The NA exhaust really is pretty quiet and, in stock form there is little difference between the two in sound.
 

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in my opinion, my gxp stock exhaust is quiet compared to non-stock. Yes, it has a mild growl, but certainly not loud.
My other two Solstice are louder with non-stock exhausts...

Yes, you will feel the bumps in then road.

Try another car.
 
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In 2013 I test drove an automatic GXP and fell in love. I still smile when I drive it. Not going to lie, it's not that smooth of a ride on rough Buffalo NY roads. Damn our roads suck.
 

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I have to ask was this a 2.4 or 2.0 turbo model? The turbo models do ride a little harsher and are a little louder. Also, the convertible accoustic liner was an option and did help quiet the interior down (though I think it became standard equipment at some point). As far as the exhaust go, may folks installed aftermarket exhaust (more on the turbo model than the base model) because they felt the OEM setup was too quiet. Some have also installed free flow catalytic converters, and some have even installed straight pipes. Factory and aftermarket tunes are also quite popular which will effect the sound. Suspension wise, like the Fiero, people have installed shorter springs or coilovers. Along w/aftermarket tunnel braces, rear differential brace, and engine brace, all meant to tighten up the OEM suspension with the trade-off being a firmer, rougher ride. Some of these modification don't look out of place, and it may be hard to know if they are on a Kappa if you don't know what you're looking for. My advice, drive another Solstice that's advertised as having no modifications.

BTW, having own three Fiero's I never thought of them as soft or hard riding cars (as long as they were left OEM), but I credit most of the Fiiero's build quality to its space frame construction. Also many former (and current) Fiero owners are here.
 

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Did you look at an NA or a GXP? If it was an NA, the price is a bit high. Should be closer to $7500. Now there as stated above there are some oddities. I have a GXP, and it's dyno tuned. It has Solo Performance Street Race exhaust...which basicallly mean no mufflers on it. My car is not loud until I go past 50% throttle. Then it'll wake the dead. It is loud when it's first started until it warms up...but after it's warm, its very tame. I do have the factory cat on mine so that could be an issue in the car you drove. As far as the ride...you can't compare it to a Fiero. Times have changed in 20+ years. In the Solstice, you sit just in front of the rear wheels. The Fiero, you have a heavy engine behind you which smooths the bumps a bit. I owned a Fiero in my younger years and absolutely hated the ride. The Solstice isn't bad. As far as wind noise goes....3 words...it's a convertible. Top up or down, there will be wind noise. The only way you get away wind noise in a convertible is going to a retractable hard top. The rough ride is getting pretty normal at this point. You have to remember, the shocks are 12+ years old on these cars and if they haven't been replaced are going to give a more jarring, lazy ride. Rubber in the shocks deteriorates. All in all, the only thing I would recommend is to drive a different one and make sure the waterpump has been replaced on anything over 50k miles. It's expensive ($900-$1200). If you buy one that's been cared for (and about 95% have been as most were weekend cars) you'll have a lot of fun. Good luck!!
 

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might want to go ride another car. I dont recall driving a firearrow but probably close to the same ride,probably a little better. yes it's somewhat of a slug without the turbo. mine was really bad when i get it and mpg really sucked.I now got the mop up 10 over what it was.and a lot peppier. as for loud....not really. more than my wifes honda element.but not loud. perhaps yours has a CAI installed and your hearing the sucking more then the blowing....so find another one and see if it's for you.I wish i could drive mine more but the clutch and my ankle are not friends at this time... I dont know if they ever will be again. I bought what I wanted, pissed off the wife and now....cant drive it. and to top it off...fuel is oh so cheep now.
 

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No one seems to be talking about the difference between an auto and a manual. My '06 NA may not be the fastest on the road, but the manual makes it quick. I'm not interested in drag racing, but dropping a gear (or two) and taking curves at a sporty pace. A 60 mph curve is a 60 mph curve whether you have 177 hp or 300.

Frankly, if I had more HP I'd probably wind up hurting myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Bless you folks for being here and sharing your knowledge, experience and encouragement.

I drove 3 cars today, and must say they were a WHOLE different story. Much more the experience I was expecting. the white 08 with 44k miles (asking $9500) was apparently a piece of crap (sorry, needs a lot of help) the interior was flawless, but everything else from the engine, drivetrain, chips in paint, tearing seams in the roof, says this car is way overpriced.

(btw, all the cars I have looked at are 2.4L automatics.) and took my step-dad with me today as he has owned and restored many cars.

first this morning was an 07 saturn 60k miles (asking $8500) and was relieved that the ride was WAY better that the first car. I prefer the body of the solstice, and carfax says the whole front was replaced after a tow away accident. (although the repair looks good).

an 08 solstice with 85k miles (asking $8000) didn't drive nearly as nicely, but well within expectations due to the miles. carfax says the driver side and rear were damaged, however it had the best looking body and roof condition of all the cars I saw. the interior was very worn, passenger cup holder fell out of the console when I opened it, engine cover was missing (i really prefer not a red car though, and want to look some more)

drove 2.5 hours north to look at an 08 solstice 61k miles, asking $6400. It drove as nice as the saturn, however the roof seams are tearing, and every panel of the front half of the car were WAY out of alignment, including the front edge of the passenger door popping against the front fender when it is opened. results of a very poor repair job.

In summary, I am encouraged that I definitely want one, and very optomistic. dad told me to be patient. I am going to expand my search to florida and alabama.

I am brand new to this forum. Is there a place I can provide my feedback to potential buyers as I intend to check out several more cars in my area?

And thank you again everyone for your help and encouragement!! I'm looking forward to being an owner, and participating member here.
 

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btw, referring to the 2.4L vs. the 2.0 gxp... what does NA stand for?
NA = Normally aspirated, or in other words no turbo or supercharger. (Edited for saying non-aspirated).(y)

If I was looking I'd focus on looking for one for a one-owner, private seller. They are out there, though you may have to be patient to find the one you want at a price you consider has a fair price.
 

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Some things you might find wrong are easily fixed. Passenger cupholder being loose or not working is a common problem with these but replacements and aftermarket holders are available. Because all of the body panels are bolted on, they can usually be realigned fairly easily. You might want to check to see if recalls were done. If not, they can still be done at no charge by a GM dealer. Two that come to mind are the passenger presence sensor recall and the ignition key recall. The plastic engine cover in many cases was removed intentionally and replaced with a nice looking stainless coil pack cover. Do some searching on the forum and you will find lots of info on what to look for when car hunting.

Half the fun of owning these cars is tweaking the things you find wrong.

Good luck!
 
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