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My impression of the ergonomics in the Solstice is that it is flawless. Bad term, but that's how I feel.

My impressions are based on a very brief experience - about 20-laps at the Auto Show In Motion course. But during those short blasts around the course, I could not find one error with the car's ergonomic design.

The steering wheel was an easy reach and good fit. My arms never felt tired or awkward. I never bumped my elbows on anything inside the cabin, despite rapid hand-over-hand movements frequently trying to go from one lock to the other. I may have brushed the cup-holders as they opened once while driving, but I don't remember ever feeling my elbow bump the rear of the cabin.

One small criticism is, the steering wheel section is not as rounded as I would like.

The pedals were an easy reach and felt really good in relation to the height of the seat. The brake pedal is close to the accelerator, so you can get on the brakes quicky in an emergency. I didn't attempt a heel-and-toe maneuver, and I don't think I do it properly anyway. (Been a long time since I drove my long-since departed 5-speed Integra.)

The shifter seemed a bit too high at first. I usually like an overhand grip on the shift knob, but the shifter is too high for that grip (MHO). Instead, I held the shifter like I was holding a small glass in my hand. More like holding a wine glass and letting the stem rest against your palm. After just a few shifts, this position proved very comfortable with great control of the shifter - almost like I was playing a video game. Using this hold, the shifter didn't require much effort or motion to work.

Adapting my shifting to this style makes me wonder if this isn't a more natural shifting style than the overhand method. It is just that I have always had vehicles with the shift nob lower than my elbow and the only natural shifting style was over-hand. So call this good ergos as well. (I could still perform over-hand shifts, but it didn't feel as natural to hold or to shift as using the "wine glass" shifting style. Are you now thorougly confused? I don't blame you. :willy:

I had the steering wheel at the highest setting to be able to see as much of the guage faces as much as possible, and my knees never bumped the steering wheel or my hands while squirting through the turns.

I can't speak to the comfort of the seats as that would take a drive of over 2 hours duration to evaluate. But the bolsters held me in the seats very well during the ride. Also, the wide transmission tunnel leaves a snug bay in which to sit. While plenty wide to never be intrusive, it was just the right width to be able to lock my lower body in place. I loved this because even light pressure from splaying my knees outward locked my lower body tightly in place so my body didn't shift at all in the seat, and yet I could still work the clutch no problem.

This is the sports car equivalent of gripping a motorcycle gas tank between your knees for stability and after experiencing it I am having a hard time believing it was accidental, but rather the design team made it this wide on purpose for just this exact reason - to hold you firmly in place but not intrude on your space when you don't want it to. The side benefit is to give you a feeling as though you are sitting snug in a racing car, adding to the overall driving experience.

Not for people who crave endless room in a car, but ideal for those of us who like the fighter-aircraft feeling.

All in all, the ergonomics were not merely impressive, but absolutely fantastic! If you made me single out one thing I thought could be improved, it would be the high door which is a bit too high to comfortably rest your elbow on. But I was able to find a position to rest my arm on the door. Frankly, I would rather have a door a bit too high like on the Solstice, than so low it's worthless as your elbow angles downward. Obviously, straight out from my shoulder would be the ideal door height.

You can tell I give Pontiac an A or A+ for superior ergomomics with this car. So what do you all think of the Sosltice ergos? And has anyone noticed any pressure points, seat discomfort, or lack of foot room or anything else on the longer road trips you've taken?

My rides were so brief, I may be missing some problems with the Sol's ergos.
 

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jimbo said:
And has anyone noticed any pressure points, seat discomfort, or lack of foot room or anything else on the longer road trips you've taken?
I have a slight discomfort from my car not being built yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Fortimir said:
I have a slight discomfort from my car not being built yet.
:glol: THAT's gotta hurt!
 

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An ergonomic problem would be where they placed the window buttons. Difficult to reach with your outside hand. Must reach across your body to get to the buttons.

By definition of ergonomic... The applied science of equipment design, as for the workplace, intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort... The lack of a power lock button would also be a problem.

Also, for tall people the gauges can be blocked by the stearing wheel even when it is up all the way.

I absolutely love this car, but I wouldn't call ergonomically perfect. No car is though
 

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Discussion Starter #5
SolsticeDesire,

Both good points.
 

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SolsticeDesire said:
The lack of a power lock button would also be a problem.
On the keyfob, or automatic as you drive away. You must be asking for power UNlock instead. Or you didn't get the power and convenience package.
 

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I concur. After spending a whole day tour in the Solstice seats, getting in and out of the car several times, I can say that I never once had a backache or felt fatigued. In fact, another high ergo point is the ease of entry and exit, a real plus in such a low sitting car.

Rearward visibility isn't great and since I like the steering wheel on the lowest position seeing the gauges isn't all that critical to me. How often go you need to look at the gas gauge anyway? Afterall there is an idiot light that blinks when you get near the bottom.

Other things that we have raised are minor annoyances. Agree with your high grade, perhaps 9 out of 10.
 

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I agree with Jimbo on the shifter grip. I do the same thing and it seems that it's effortless shifting. I am a little worried that the "chrome" plastic shifter ring might not wear too well. Also, the window controls could have been better placed on the center console but that's a minor issue. I also like the wheel in the lowest setting, it does tend to block the guages but again, after driving for so long you can tell how fast you are going. Might be better to switch the position of the Tach and Speedo, seems that the right side is eaiser to see, at least for me. Or include the speed and tach as a DIC option. Overall comfort and ease of drive is A+ for me. DESIGN GREAT.
 

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Jimbo, you bring out a good point with the shifter grip.

I pointed out in my Eagle thread that when shifting aggressively from second to third and your thumb is pointing forward, you will turn off the radio.

No big deal but this is an ergonomic point.

Both cupholders pop out all the time when lightly brushed.

Alot of issues are height related. Perfect for some, tough for others.

That "human factor" will be a problem forever, unless they decide to limit ownership to certain sized people.

Hopefully we'll never see a sign in a Pontiac dealer that say's

"you must be this tall/short to buy this car" :lol:
 

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The only ergo problem I have run into is that I always hit the cup holders with my elbow. It's not a huge deal but it could be if they pop out and I hit them and they break.

This car fits me so well that I just love getting in it! Running to the store to pick up something has turned into a comfortable joy ride.
 

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I love the heater and air controls. Big, easy to reach, easy to see. The gear shifter is in just the right place for me. Even the headrest is the right height for resting your head and for reducing the wind draught with the top down.
I have a problem however with the seat adjustment. At 6 foot 2" I had to slide the seat to its rear-most position. After an hour behind the wheel my back started to ache a bit and I wanted to adjust the seat tilt - no more room to adjust. Next trip I tried moving the seat a couple of inches forward and tilting the seat back a bit. This made a huge difference in comfort. I would however, prefer a bit more leg room (length) ,however this compromise works for me and I can get used to it.
Also -with the seatback in the rear position, the seatback lock and tilt adjuster are very hard to reach and awkward to use.
By default some ergonomics are good simply because you don't have to reach for a cell phone, sunglasses, kleenex, CD, litter bag or map - there is no place within easy reach to put them! By the way- anyone ever use that grip handle on the passenger side near the hand brake?
 

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jooker said:
By the way- anyone ever use that grip handle on the passenger side near the hand brake?
My wife did the first time she rode in the car with me and I decided to show her the handling on a nice sweeper turn. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
PAS22 said:
I concur. After spending a whole day tour in the Solstice seats, getting in and out of the car several times, I can say that I never once had a backache or felt fatigued. In fact, another high ergo point is the ease of entry and exit, a real plus in such a low sitting car.
:agree:

The doors are perfectly placed for easy entry and exit. The car seat is low, so it not easy to get in and out. That's a given. But that's the nature of owning a car with low seat height. But I found this car to be far easier to get in and out of than my Mom's Honda Civic or my Brother's Ford Escort, or the other economy car rentals I've driven.

Pontiac gets an A+ for sports car entry and exit. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it was easier to get in and out of than a Corvette.
 

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Re: The passenger grip bar... my nephew asked me "What's this the 'oh s***t bar?'" :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

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jimbo said:
:agree:

The doors are perfectly placed for easy entry and exit. The car seat is low, so it not easy to get in and out. That's a given. But that's the nature of owning a car with low seat height. But I found this car to be far easier to get in and out of than my Mom's Honda Civic or my Brother's Ford Escort, or the other economy car rentals I've driven.

Pontiac gets an A+ for sports car entry and exit. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it was easier to get in and out of than a Corvette.

Part of what makes Vettes and similar low seat sport cars so hard to get in and out of, is a high door sill. The Solstice sill is quite low which is a big advantage. Your not lifting your feet up and over the sill everytime you get in or out, which is hard to do when your butt in practically on the floor! :lol:
 

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Loft_guy said:
Re: The passenger grip bar... my nephew asked me "What's this the 'oh s***t bar?'" :lol: :lol: :lol:
Also known as the "Holy Sh*t Handel"
 

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I find the ergos to be almost perfect as well. I have now driven the car on 360 mile legs, and no fatigue. Everything is where it should be, except the power window controls and the lack of a power door lock button. The seat back adjustments are a squeeze, but that's OK. The rear cup holder is tough to get to, but like the window buttons, you get used to it. I use the passenger cup holder everyday and find it to be a great position. Only problem is, you can't use it with a passenger, and I guess that's why they gave us the rear ones.

I can't express how much I absolutely love the positioning of the radio controls, particularly the volume knob. I like to drive with my right hand resting on the shift knob, and boom! The knobs right there! I never use the steering wheel volume control because that big ol' knob is so much easier! My favorite freeway resting position for long trips is to raise my left knee all the way up to the steering wheel, and rest my left hand on it to steer the car. Very comfy for me, like kicking back in a low lounge chair or something. At first I wished that I could recline the seat back more, but now I'm used to it and don't have any issues with it. Those who like to recline thier seats way back gettho gangsta style, will be very dissapointed. Over all I give the car a 9.75 on ergonomics. :thumbs:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I like to sit nice and erect in a car while I am driving. Not bolt upright mind you, but with a very modest angle to the seat back. I know that many people like to recline way back, but I think this is an un-natural seating position that makes a car more difficult to control.

So then why do race car drivers do it? Because the cars are so low, especially the open-top Formula and Indy cars. Shorter race cars have less swept frontal area, so drivers are stuck having to lay back to accomodate the low roofline. Some people see race car drivers positioned so, and blindly mimic the position as if it is superior to sitting erect.

It is my observations from watching racing on television, that race car drivers will generally sit about as erect as the height of their cars will allow. JMHO.
 
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