Avg. Price Paid:$8,115 - $10,001
Original MSRP: $21,515 - $26,515
MPG: 20 City / 28 Hwy
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2007 Pontiac Solstice Performance

This performance review was written when the 2007 Pontiac Solstice was new.

Test drivers agree that, as Car and Driver summarizes, the 2007 Pontiac Solstice is a "surprisingly pure roadster from an unlikely source." The Solstice has two different but zippy engine trims, good handling and solid brakes.

Automobile Magazine says the Solstice is "a barn swallow, smooth and swift in low-level flight, highly agile, able to zig-zag at speed." The Auto Channel concludes that the Solstice "carries itself like a true sports car, its classic rear wheel drive and four-wheel independent suspension layout allows for that correct old-timey roadster ride." While most find the Solstice base trim to offer capable performance, some reviews prefer the GXP model, saying that it "has the performance to back up its pretty-boy looks," concludes CNET.

Acceleration and Power

The 2007 Solstice comes with a standard 2.4-liter Ecotec® DOHC four-cylinder engine with Electronic Throttle Control. This 2.4-liter delivers 177 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque. Most reviewers find this engine adequate, but cite it as being a bit lethargic. The Detroit News says, "Acceleration at lower speeds is perfectly adequate," and Edmunds adds that, "While not exactly a rocket ship, the Solstice performs well." Few reviewers found the engine weak, but Cars.com does say that performance on the Solstice "falls short of the car's visual promise, due largely to the engine's lack of low-end torque." The 2007 Pontiac Solstice has an Environmental Protection Agency estimated fuel economy of 17 miles per gallon in the city and 26 on the highway.

The Solstice GXP comes with a 2.0-liter Turbo Ecotec® DOHC four-cylinder engine that produces 260 horsepower and delivers 260 pound-feet of torque. Auto reviewers agree that this engine produces much more power and quicker acceleration than the base level. The GXP has GM's first gasoline direct-injection turbocharged engine. New Car Test Drive proclaims that "you'll be amazed at how evenly this one generates power. There is virtually no turbo lag," adding that the GXP "can rocket out of corners." Auto reviewers from CNET also add, "While driving on the freeway at cruising speeds, the Solstice GXP did have a tendency to hesitate for a second or two when we floored the gas pedal, but once the rpms climbed, the turbo took over and we were catapulted forward." The 2007 Pontiac Solstice GXP has an EPA estimated fuel economy of 19 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway.

Both trim levels of the 2007 Pontiac Solstice come standard with Aisin® five-speed manual transmission. Both models can be fitted with an optional five-speed automatic. Most reviewers find the manual shifter generally smooth, if a bit lagging. Motor Trend says the manual transmission has "snick-snicks worthy of an MX-5," and "slightly longer throws." New Car Test Drive says the shifter has "nice, short throws, with no doubt as to which gear is sought or selected. Yet it takes quite a bit of effort to move between gears. This makes the gearchange feel a bit notchy, until the driver realizes that it's better to just shove the lever into the next slot rather than trying to finesse." Edmunds reports, "Gear spacing in the transmission is also very wide, which exacerbates the engine's lazy acceleration," adding that it "seems to take forever to need the next gear."

Handling and Braking

Reviewers agree that the Solstice handles well and is entertaining to drive. Edmunds calls the Solstice a "cruiser with sporting tendencies, but we took the car through a few aggressive Southern California canyons and walked away impressed by its grip and fun factor." The Detroit News notes that the car has "a direct connection with the road that is sorely lacking in most other vehicles today," and that it responds "crisply, almost intuitively to the slightest nudge."

The 2007 Pontiac Solstice comes with standard four-wheel independent suspension and the option for a sport-tuned upgrade, while the GXP trim receives the sport-tuned four-wheel independent suspension standard. Most reviewers find the suspension taut and suited for a sport ride, while the GXP suspension is both firm and forgiving. Consumer Guide calls the suspension "remarkable compliant and composed over most bumps -- for sports cars." Kelley Blue Book adds that "cornering balance and performance are simply outstanding -- even better, in some ways, than the well-respected Mazda Miata -- yet the ride doesn't beat you up on lumpy surfaces."

The Solstice GXP, with the sport-tuned suspension, is noted by reviewers for its firmer ride. The Chicago Sun-Times says the "suspension is fairly supple, but some might feel the ride is too firm." The New York Times adds, "The car is set up to provide a firm ride commensurate with its sporting aspirations, and that's fine, but this suspension feels as if it's designed for the track at the expense of the real world."

Both trim levels of the 2007 Pontiac Solstice come with rack-and-pinion power steering, which most reviewers find responsive and communicative on the base trim. Automobile Magazine describes the Solstice's steering as "building a smooth, even crescendo," adding that the "sensitivity, response and feedback clearly have been calibrated by true friends of the road." Kelley Blue Book concludes that the power rack-and-pinion steering is "crisp and accurate." Yet, the Pontiac GXP, while suited with the same steering, "feels rather numb in the on-center wheel position, but is plenty quick for normal driving," says MSN.

Reviewers agree that the Solstice's brakes are solid. The car's base trim comes with four-wheel brakes with the option for an anti-locking system, while the GXP receives four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes standard. The New York Times calls the brakes "emphatic," and the Chicago Sun-Times calls the brake pedal feel "reassuringly firm, but stopping distances are average." New Car Test Drive adds that although the "brakes stop the car right now . . . the hader and longer you use them, the more the pedal softens and its travel increases."

Review Last Updated: 5/6/08

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