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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To be honest, I didn't think i'd even fit in this car (I'm 6'7" tall), so imagine my surprise when I first sat in it and realized that my head did not stick above the windshield header! (Can't say that about a Mazda MX-5 (Miata)).

Again, the interior and exterior fit and finish is quite good. The lines of the body are simple and flowing which adds to it's appeal in my book. The interior materials are quite nice. While the dashboard is much better than the one in the G6 coupe, it's still not as good as it could be. That said, we have to remember that this is a convertible roadster and the dash is going to be subjected to the elements on occasion so it's more important that the materials be durable.

The gauges on the car are very large and readable, although you really need to be under 6' tall to see them completely. Even with the steering at the top of it's tilt position, I couldn't see the tops of the gauges so I never knew exactly how fast I was going unless I ducked my head down.

The 2.4L Ecotec 4-cylinder in this car has a surprising amount of torque. It's pulls strongly off the line all the way through redline. I even managed to break the rear-end loose and smoke the tires (and clutch while I was at it). The only real complaint I have about the vehicle is that the Aisen 5-speed manual and the clutch both have long throws to them. Tighten up the transmission some and this car will be a total blast to drive. Rumor even has it that there will be a GXP version next year with a turbo-charged engine which will put out 240 horsepower.

Now, to the question of if I would buy one. If I was only 6' tall or shorter you bet your ass I'd get one, although it would not be my primary transportation.

For a starting price of less than $20,000 you get good performance, good looks, and the wind in your hair.
 

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I'm hoping being 6'1.5" that I'll be ok. Thanks for the review.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You'll probably be OK. Even with the seat all the way back, I didn't have enough leg room, but it wasn't as tight as it is in some two-seat cars.

As I said, the car was surprisingly comfortable. One of the first things I noticed was that I liked the way the headrest is situated because you'll definately be banging your head against if it you drive the car aggressively. (I did!)

The seats also hold you pretty well in the curves. I did one nice sweeping curve today at 85 mph and the car felt well planted and I did not slip around in the seat at all.
 

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Tester said:
The seats also hold you pretty well in the curves. I did one nice sweeping curve today at 85 mph and the car felt well planted and I did not slip around in the seat at all.
Awesome! Steve McQueen drives a Solstice! Or are you the Bandit? ;)
 

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He must have been making a "Great Escape" :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
stang said:
I had read that it was a short throw. :( Do you have any other cars you could use as a reference? Honda Civic? Mazda Maita?
The throw is a little longer than a 2004 GTO and quite a bit longer than the Mazda RX-8.
 

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it is supposed to be a "short throw" but just about all of gm's cars have long throws and long cluth pedal travel compared to the imports... its a shame because thats such an important part of driver involvement.

just from my experience, the clutch pedal travel on my sunfire is easily twice as long as my friend's tiburon and rsx type-s... same with teh throw of the stickshift... i almost couldnt drive their cars it was such a huge difference. you can bet your ass that will be a huge gripe from teh magazines.
 

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Just remember, clutch throw distance is something you can get adjusted on most cars.
 

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brentil said:
Just remember, clutch throw distance is something you can get adjusted on most cars.
Interesting ... is it usually pretty easy? Something a weekend mechanic with a Haynes manual could pull off? Any idea how much it would cost to have it done?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
brentil said:
Just remember, clutch throw distance is something you can get adjusted on most cars.
What I found was that I adjusted to the long clutch throw very quickly. The engagement point was very high on the pedal travel so I simply adjusted the amount I depressed the pedal to allow for quicker and smoother shifts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Gauges

One thing I forgot to mention about the gauges. The warning lights are near the bottom of the gauge cluster in a funny shaped pod between the speedometer and the tachometer.

When they first light up when you start the car you realize they are at the back to the gauge cluster instead of being on the surface so there's this cool tunnel effect as they cycle through their test proceedure.
 

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Something I haven't seen addressed yet, maybe I missed it, But how is it to get in and out of the car with the top up? looks like it may be a head bumper... I am getting older and not quite as flexible as i once was, and my wife definately isn't, so did you find it difficult to get in and out of with the top up?
 

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i test drove an RX8 and also sat in a solstice and ran the gearshift through the gates afew times while sitting still. although i wasn't thinking of a future comparison of lever throws when shifting the RX8, i was paying close attention when shifting through the patterns in the solstice. the solstice throws seem short and direct and my recollection of the RX8 gearbox is pretty much the same-short and direct. the balance of the RX8 is what stands out in my mind, not the gear shift throws.
 

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cdb said:
i test drove an RX8 and also sat in a solstice and ran the gearshift through the gates afew times while sitting still. although i wasn't thinking of a future comparison of lever throws when shifting the RX8, i was paying close attention when shifting through the patterns in the solstice. the solstice throws seem short and direct and my recollection of the RX8 gearbox is pretty much the same-short and direct. the balance of the RX8 is what stands out in my mind, not the gear shift throws.
I'd agree with that.
 

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SlySol said:
Interesting ... is it usually pretty easy? Something a weekend mechanic with a Haynes manual could pull off? Any idea how much it would cost to have it done?
Most definitely.

I recently had my clutch replaced (not by me) and the guys didn't bleed my clutch right so my pedal feels all funky. I've been down under the dash about 5-6 times in the last 2 weeks tinkering with it trying to get it back to normal. Although I've had no success... I'm just gonna have to re-bleed it (whenever I can find the time, and it's not so damn blazing hot out). But adjusting the pedal length is a fairly easy process, what makes it difficult is the lack of mobility when you're under there... it's so cramped that it can get frustrating.
 

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if the gearbox on the solstice is direct and crisp ill be fine even if the throws are a little long. a rubbery feeling is a huge turnoff though, no matter how good the rest of the car is...

also, after a while, having to press that clutch so far in becomes a huge pain in the ass, if i can get it fixed on my next car, i will.
 

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Yeah, godspeed06 I feel you're pain, I wonder why Pontiac made the Sunfire have such cool looking outside, but gimp out on the simple things like the clutch?
 

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Classic66vair said:
Something I haven't seen addressed yet, maybe I missed it, But how is it to get in and out of the car with the top up? looks like it may be a head bumper... I am getting older and not quite as flexible as i once was, and my wife definately isn't, so did you find it difficult to get in and out of with the top up?
Probably a good reason for not having a hardtop.
 

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SlySol said:
Interesting ... is it usually pretty easy? Something a weekend mechanic with a Haynes manual could pull off? Any idea how much it would cost to have it done?
My Haynes manual for my Porsche 924 and ZX2 both have a section on how to adjust the clutch on your own. I've even had the Ford dealerhsip I bring the ZX2 to do it for me for free to during other normal mantenance.
 
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