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1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
4/13/22 2:50 p.m.

If I was going to look at a 2007 Pontiac Solstice 5-speed as someone who is totally unfamiliar with the car, what should I know about them?

Yes, I already know it's not a Miata.  laugh

Normal troubles spots, parts availability, miscellaneous observations.  I welcome all of it!  Bring it on!

As always, TIA!

 

dps214
dps214 Dork
4/13/22 3:02 p.m.

It's a Miata without any of the miata's redeeming qualities. And it's an early 00s gm so the interior is the worst thing you've ever seen. IIRC the soft top takes up all of the already minimal trunk space when you put it down.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/13/22 3:13 p.m.

For a few decades GM has been almost deliberately making it hard to see out of their vehicles.  This platform is no exception. I seem to remember it was even hard to see behind me with the roof down.

Placemotorsports
Placemotorsports GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
4/13/22 3:20 p.m.

I'd go for the Saturn variant just for the Saturn cool factor if you must have one. 

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
4/13/22 3:29 p.m.

In this case, it's this particular car.  I need to assess, evaluate, and decide if I want it.  It's been sitting awhile.  I just found out that getting to the battery isn't as easy as one might expect.  LOL.

Aaron_King
Aaron_King PowerDork
4/13/22 3:40 p.m.

Mallet would put a 900hp turbo LS7 in one for you at one point:

 

https://mallettcars.com/conversions/v8-solstice/

barefootcyborg5000
barefootcyborg5000 PowerDork
4/13/22 3:44 p.m.

I don't know much about them other than I dig the looks. And I think the ecotec motors were ok? The first car I ever got sideways was a Sky turbo, and I remember being shocked at how controllable it felt. That was a long time ago though. 

mtn
mtn MegaDork
4/13/22 3:45 p.m.

I really wanted one. Still do, honestly. Best design that GM has produced since the '63 Riviera. 


Unfortunately, it is one of the worst packaged cars, ever. Somehow it is both larger than a Miata, and way less useable. It has less functional storage space than even an MR-S - I remember trying to figure out how to fit my girlfriend (now wife), and a small backpack in it at the same time. It wasn't possible, at least not with the top down (note that my wife is 5'9" with long legs). Seriously, we couldn't have shared a commute in the car with just our laptop bags. The visibility is terrible. If you have long legs, you won't be able to drive it without a partial amputation of your left leg. Top is hard to put up/down....

 

The coupe rectifies some of this, to an extent. 

 

 

 

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
4/13/22 3:49 p.m.

It has good suspension geometry and can fit a lot of tire.  If its a turbo it has a decent powerplant.  GRM did a comparo where they prepped one and a NC for stock class back when they were new and IIRC they were very close to one another.  If you want to do race things, I think you want the Z0K suspension package?

 

They look goofy

The trunk is small

If you put the top down, the trunk is non-existent.

Putting the top down is a get-out-of-the-car affair

Visibility isn't great

The interior sucks

 

preach (dudeist priest)
preach (dudeist priest) GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/13/22 4:06 p.m.

It was also badged as an Opel GT.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
4/13/22 4:44 p.m.

When we say "the interior sucks," does that mean it's made from crappy materials and falls apart, it doesn't make sense from an ergonomic standpoint, or both?

Rons
Rons GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
4/13/22 4:51 p.m.

Try messaging user wspohn he has or had a Soltice.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
4/13/22 4:54 p.m.

In reply to 1988RedT2 :

Not sure how they're holding up, but they're ergonomically terrible and the materials feel crappy.

dps214
dps214 Dork
4/13/22 4:55 p.m.
1988RedT2 said:

When we say "the interior sucks," does that mean it's made from crappy materials and falls apart, it doesn't make sense from an ergonomic standpoint, or both?

Yes. And it looks like a five year old designed it on top of all that.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/13/22 5:10 p.m.

It's an older guide but should still help: Buyers Guide: Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky

ian sane
ian sane Dork
4/13/22 5:18 p.m.
mtn said:

In reply to 1988RedT2 :

Not sure how they're holding up, but they're ergonomically terrible and the materials feel crappy.

Fischer-Price comes to mind. And not their color scheme.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/13/22 6:01 p.m.

Visibility sucks, interior is absurdly cramped and garbage materials, trunk space is a joke, the convertible top is really doofy to operate, the drivetrain feels more agricultural than sporty, they are kind of a pain to work on (need to change the battery? Remove the front fender), any pre-bankruptcy GM is getting difficult to program modules in the event that they die because GM retired the old TIS2Web software.

I really wanted to like these cars when I started at GM, but my first impression with them was strong disappointment and they haven't grown on me since.

obsolete
obsolete GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
4/13/22 6:47 p.m.

There's a bunch of good info in this thread from last spring: https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/what-happened-to-the-skysolstice/182076/page1/

Despite all the apparent hate, I've been looking for a cheap one to play with for a while.

cyow5
cyow5 Reader
4/13/22 8:07 p.m.

My wife still misses her Sky Redline that she replaced with a G8 GT when we started having kids. I never drove the base engine, but she did and swore it off forever, so her opinion would be LNF or nothing. That is a early DI motor though, so carbon buildup was/is a maintenance concern. Her injectors didn't last 100k miles, but that was just an opportunity for bigger ones and a tune. As far as visibility, I get the impression that it is being significantly overblown here. It isn't bad for a roadster if you have your mirrors set right. I'm a stickler about mirrors, and this car was fine. Saturn and Pontiac interiors are different, I believe. The Saturn interior was buzzy at certain rpm, but that *might* have something to do with her muffler-less exhaust (turbo notwithstanding). Ergonomics weren't great, but again, it is a two-seat roadster, so none of those are going to be a Maybach. 

So all of that is what you should expect, but the feel of the car was the big disappointment for me. I'm big on how a car fizzes rather than hard numbers (hard to believe an engineer is saying that, haha), and the Saturn just felt heavier and bigger than it really was. It just isn't a particularly eager car, but I don't think that was really the intent either. As a fun car to just cruise around with the top down, it works. 

jwagner (Forum Supporter)
jwagner (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Reader
4/13/22 8:27 p.m.

It was pretty much a dead-on competitor for the NC Miata when it was released, at least the normally aspirated version.  I actually like them, but the NC is nearly indestructible, fairly cheap, parts availability is great and there's a great aftermarket, so I'd probably look there first.

Grtechguy
Grtechguy MegaDork
4/14/22 9:09 a.m.
preach (dudeist priest) said:

It was also badged as an Opel GT.

Wasn't it Europe for several years before coming stateside as the Soltice/Sky?

mtn
mtn MegaDork
4/14/22 9:21 a.m.
Grtechguy said:
preach (dudeist priest) said:

It was also badged as an Opel GT.

Wasn't it Europe for several years before coming stateside as the Soltice/Sky?

No... The Skystice was a Pontiac first. Maybe you're thinking of the Saturn Astra?

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
4/14/22 9:31 a.m.
ProDarwin said:

GRM did a comparo where they prepped one and a NC for stock class back when they were new and IIRC they were very close to one another. 

 

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/articles/topless-two-step/

This is the article I was talking about.  I don't see a time-table in the article, but I googled and someone posted it elsewhere.  Maybe GRM can correct me if this info is wrong:

Average time (best time)

1999 Miata: 39.364 sec (38.801)
2006 Solstice: 39.578 sec (38.898)
2006 Mazda MX-5: 40.214 sec (39.177) 

 

Side note:  These are the articles I really enjoy from GRM

NickD
NickD MegaDork
4/14/22 9:34 a.m.
mtn said:
Grtechguy said:
preach (dudeist priest) said:

It was also badged as an Opel GT.

Wasn't it Europe for several years before coming stateside as the Soltice/Sky?

No... The Skystice was a Pontiac first. Maybe you're thinking of the Saturn Astra?

The Solstice came out in '06, the Opel GT was introduced in Europe in '07 and the Saturn Sky was introduced in 2007 as well. All were the same car.

fatallightning
fatallightning Reader
4/14/22 10:27 a.m.

I have a GXP. The interior layout is silly, weird button layous, like the window switches behind your elbow, crappy cupholder. Lots and lots of sratchy hard plastics, but in my car, they've worn well. The leather seats are a vinyl mix, and get sweaty as hell. But have held up well, my car only has 49k miles though. Stock pad compouds suck, but the actual hardware like rotor size and calipers are fine, and the same between base and GXP. The tranny is a 5 speed, but I find the ratios well thought out. Good suspension geometry, and decent alignment really wakes them up. For more aggressive driving, you should look into the beefier center tunnel brace and rear brace, it makes a noticeable difference and is not expensive. I've read that some motors need chains/tensionsers at the 100k mark, not sure if that's more of an NA thing. Some parts are getting NLA, like headlights and trim pieces, but otherwise, lots of parts bin sharing. The trunk space does suck, plainly, with the top down, small soft duffels are all you're going to fit, even top up it's still a joke, and things like grocery bags have to be Tetris'd in there. The top is a bit of pain to stow if you're used to one hand at a stoplight like a Miata. Most of the Z0K stuff is NLA, but if you're looking at an NA car, the GXP sways and such are the Z0K bits. Z0K stuff for the GXP is another step up, but very hard to find now. Definitely a car with quirks, but I think one of the better deals in the used market. They tended to be bought by boomer types that would usually buy a Vette, so they tend to be taken care of and lower mile. If you look at what they sell for, it's clapped out Miata money, 200k+ old Z3s, maybe a crap box 986 Boxster or SLK. I paid $12,500 for my GXP with 33k miles, I see base models at 6-7k all the time, even with pandemic pricing.

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