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2008 Pontiac Solstice

  • 2008 Pontiac Solstice Base Roadster
    • MAX MPG
      25
    • SEATS
      2
    • HP/TORQUE
      173/167
    • ENGINE
      2.4L I4
    • MSRP
      $22,455
  • 2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP Roadster
    • MAX MPG
      28
    • SEATS
      2
    • HP/TORQUE
      260/260
    • ENGINE
      2.0L I4
    • MSRP
      $28,135
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2008 Pontiac Solstice Review

Inexpensive roadster with style and excitement.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2008 Pontiac Solstice is a sexy two-door coupe. It has the pinched waist, wild styling, and top down excitement that will make anyone's head turn. It's full of class, but unfortunately, there are a few bugs, like a noisy cabin, that makes some of the competition a little more appealing than the Solstice.

The Range

Body Styles: two-door coupe
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 2.0-liter supercharged four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: Pontiac Solstice Base, Pontiac Solstice SCCA SSB Champion Edition, Pontiac Solstice GXP, Pontiac Solstice SCCA T2 Champion Edition

What's New

The 2008 Pontiac Solstice receives a few extra standard features this year. The Base and turbocharge GXP receive OnStar, an acoustic headliner for the soft top, an upgraded audio system with satellite radio and CD/MP3 player, and a trip computer. The GXP also has an optional Club Sport Package that has a firmer suspension tuning and silver-painted wheels. The SCCA trim lines, which celebrate the Solstice’s success on the racing circuit, are also released this year.

Exterior

The 2008 Pontiac Solstice’s exterior is one of its main impressive features. The body has all the highlights of a British roadster without the humbleness. The vehicle has a manual soft top with a glass rear window. All models come with 18-inch wheels with performance tires.

Interior

The cockpit is one area where the 2008 Pontiac Solstice could use a bit of help. There is plenty of leg and headroom for a tall driver, although hip room can be a bit slim for larger drivers. Some of the instrument designs are a bit haphazard as well. The stereo system has a digital display that is easily washed out when it is hit with sunlight. The power window controls are hard to reach. There are a few cheap plastic materials that do not fit in this class of vehicle.

Lowering of the soft top is also a bit of a pain, requiring that drivers get out of the car to put the top away and shut the storage compartment. Putting the top back up is the same. The trunk where the top is stored is uniquely small at five cubic feet. The S-shape of the trunk further complicates storage by not accommodating most luggage.

Standard features include performance tires, a manual soft top, a tilt steering wheel, and an advanced audio system. The GXP adds cruise control, full power accessories, keyless entry, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The SCCA models include all optional features as standard as well as a special exterior paint job.

Performance & Handling

The 2008 Pontiac Solstice comes with one of two engines. The Base model vehicles receive a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 177 horsepower with 166 lb-ft of torque. The GXP receives a turbocharged, two-liter engine that produces 260 horsepower with 260 lb-ft of torque. The Base engine goes from zero to 60 miles per hour in 7.7 seconds. The manual turbocharged GXP will go zero to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds.

The 2008 Pontiac Solstice will take corners like a pro, exhibiting very little body roll, and only a bit of under-steer. The roadster will hang in most twisting curves, although its main competition, the Miata, out performs it in this respect. The firm suspension makes for a pleasant ride. Braking is usually pretty good, but the anti-lock system sometimes causes a jerky stop that can ruin the driving experience.

Safety

The 2008 Pontiac Solstice has the minimal safety equipment required of a roadster. Four-wheel disc brakes are available on all models. ABS is only standard on the GXP and offered optional on the Base models. Stability control is also standard on the GXP and optional on the Base model. Side airbags are not offered on the 2008 Pontiac Solstice because of the soft top. The NHTSA gave the 2008 Pontiac Solstice four out of five stars for front and side impacts.

EPA Fuel Economy

Pontiac Solstice Base: 19/25 mpg city/highway
Pontiac Solstice SCCA SSB Champion Edition: 19/25 mpg city/highway
Pontiac Solstice GXP: 19/28 mpg city/highway
Pontiac Solstice SCCA T2 Champion Edition: 19/28 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Sexy body style
  • Top down option
  • Great acceleration from turbocharged engine
  • Great price

You Won't Like

  • Lacks trunk room
  • Strange trunk shape
  • Base Solstice has weak engine rev
  • Funny transmission gearing
  • Lots of cabin noise

Sum Up

Inexpensive roadster with style and excitement.

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