Used 2009 Pontiac Solstice
Pros & Cons
- Sexy styling, plentiful grip, blazing acceleration from GXP model, good bang for the buck.
- Tiny trunk with reverse-opening lid, lack of interior storage, awkward soft-top operation, low-quality interior plastics, reputation for poor reliability.
Edmunds' Expert Review
The 2009 Pontiac Solstice combines head-turning styling and respectable performance at an attractive price. But when it comes to refinement, the Solstice is bested by aesthetically less glamorous rivals.
There are few cars in the $20,000-$30,000 range that can turn heads quite like the Pontiac Solstice. Even though it's entering its fourth year of production, this curvaceous roadster still commands looks from fellow drivers and passers-by. This sexy styling, along with the Solstice's able powertrain and sporty driving dynamics, have made it a sales success. For 2009, Pontiac has added even more varieties of Solstice to the menu.
Most notably, this model year sees the debut of a Solstice coupe that's available in the same base and GXP trim levels as its roadster sibling. Like the Chevy Corvette, the Solstice coupe actually has a targa-style removable roof panel. Pontiac says it's concave on the inside to allow for more headroom -- slightly more than 37 inches total. The coupe keeps the roadster's rear fenders and rear fascia, but features a slightly different taillight design, and the deck lid is topped with a sleek-looking (and functional) ducktail-style rear spoiler. And although the interior remains mostly the same as the original Solstice, the area behind the coupe's seats has been redesigned for better access to the cargo area. The result is a car that keeps the original Solstice's sexiness while offering added rigidity and versatility.
Another addition to the 2009 Pontiac Solstice lineup is the Street Edition, which combines the base Solstice's 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with the GXP's performance-oriented suspension. We're not quite sure of the logic behind putting the lower-powered engine and all-season tires on a stiffer suspension, but standard features such as air-conditioning and an upgraded seven-speaker audio system offer a level of comfort above that of other Solstice trims.
As before, the soft top 2009 Pontiac Solstice's chief competitor is the Mazda MX-5 Miata. The Solstice (as well as its twin, the Saturn Sky) may have the advantage when it comes to looks and straight-line performance, but the Mazda still beats the Pontiac in day-to-day enjoyment thanks to its more athletic personality, quicker-revving engine, a more polished demeanor and an effortless drop top (including an available retractable hardtop). The Mazda is also more practical and enjoys a vastly superior reputation for reliability. We'd take the Miata over the base Solstice roadster any day, but the powerful GXP is tougher to resist -- and even more so in coupe form.
Pontiac Solstice models
The 2009 Pontiac Solstice is available as either a soft-top roadster or a coupe (late availability) with a removable roof panel. Both body styles are available in base or GXP trim levels. Standard on both base models are 18-inch alloy wheels, a limited-slip rear differential, a tilting steering wheel, OnStar, a trip computer and an audio system with satellite radio, a CD/MP3 player and an auxiliary audio jack. Roadsters have a manual soft top with an acoustic headliner and a glass rear window with defogger. The GXP adds a turbocharged engine, performance tires, dual exhaust outlets, foglamps, a sport-tuned suspension, Bluetooth, cruise control, full power accessories, keyless entry and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Many of the GXP's convenience features are available on the base Solstice. Optional on both trims are air-conditioning, leather seating, an upgraded audio system with a six-CD changer, sport pedals and the Club Sport Package. The latter features firmer suspension calibrations for both trims as well as special wheels for the GXP. The Premium Package adds leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and steering-wheel-mounted controls.
Also available for the 2009 Solstice roadster is the Street Edition, which comes standard with the GXP's sport suspension, sport pedals, air-conditioning, an upgraded seven-speaker audio system and the Premium Package.
Performance & mpg
A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 177 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque powers the base Solstice, while the turbocharged 2.0-liter four in the GXP models kicks the power output up to 260 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard for either engine, while a five-speed automatic is optional. Straight-line performance is adequate with the base engine -- it goes from zero to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds for manual-equipped cars. The GXP is much more thrilling; in our testing, it went from zero to 60 mph in a scant 5.8 seconds.
According to the EPA, expected fuel economy for the base Solstice is 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined. The GXP, despite the added performance, still turns in a respectable rating of 19/25/21 mpg.
Four-wheel antilock disc brakes, as well as stability and traction control, are standard on all Pontiac Solstice trims. Side airbags aren't offered, but in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash testing, the 2009 Pontiac Solstice scored four stars out of five for both frontal- and side-impact tests.
When thrown into a corner, the 2009 Pontiac Solstice exhibits little body roll and substantial cornering grip. This makes the car enjoyable on a twisty road, but hard-core enthusiasts will notice that the heavy-handed steering lacks feedback and doesn't make the experience the joy it is in the perfectly sorted Miata.
The base 2.4-liter Solstice should be enough to appease the casual driver, but for those looking for a fair degree of excitement, the turbocharged Solstice GXP is the only choice. Braking performance is respectable, with a stop from 60 mph coming in the 120-foot range. The antilock system, however, can sometimes be abrupt and jerky in action.
Juxtaposed with the car's exterior, the Solstice's insides are not as inspiring. The interior design would be attractive, save for an abundance of hard plastic -- a telltale sign of the Solstice's low price point. The stereo display is nearly impossible to see in bright sunlight, power window controls are difficult to reach and the car's minimal storage space can prove frustrating. Taller drivers will find adequate legroom and headroom, but hiproom is a bit tight due to the car's wide transmission tunnel. On the roadster, raising and lowering the top is a laborious task that requires getting out of the car. And although sports cars aren't expected to be practical, the odd shape of the Solstice's small, reverse-opening trunk (a smidge more than 5 cubic feet in both body styles) challenges one's weekend-trip packing ability.
|Overall||undefined / 5|
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Trending topics in reviews
- handling & steering
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- driving experience
- sound system
- climate control
- ride quality
- reliability & manufacturing quality
- cup holders
- fuel efficiency
Most helpful consumer reviews
This car had only 2,600 miles on it when we picked it up in Florida two weeks ago. We drove it back 1,300 miles to upstate NY. Fun experience is at the top. Seats are comfortable but soft top noisey on the road. No storage to speak of but, we brought our supplies in duffle bags. Suitcases are out of the question. Some items can be place behind the seats but only with seats slid forward. 27.2 mpg driving highways and speed limits. Small gas tank (13gals.). The turbo engine is super responsive. It does get the looks and positive comments from friends. It fits the bill for what we were looking for. A 2,600 mile trip in two weeks. Top speed 145 & 0 -60 in 5.5 sec. (haven't confirmed either)
I am 5'9",165 lbs. male and find the car very comfortable. I have had no failures with the vehicle. I added an aftermarket wood, dash kit and shifter on my automatic trans. The power,window switches are just wrong and the top is a little difficult, but compared to my old MG's not that bad. I know some complain about the trunk, but it works for me. I love the car. I find some of the buff book reviews to be strangely biased towards the Miata, but my GXP is far ahead of that car. Too bad GM was mismanaged into eliminating the Kappa platform, but I got one and plan to keep it around for a while.
I have admired the Solstice since it first appeared. I realized recently that, to buy a new one, it was now or never. Couldn't be happier. Impossible to find comparable beauty in a new roadster for under 150K. Sure, there are a few shortcomings (cup holders, etc.), but every time I am about to get irritated I just get out of the car and look at it a while. It is supremely beautiful. Even if such transcendent looks could ever become a visual cliche, it will never happen because so few Solstices are going to be around. My wife and I have had seperate cars for some time, but she just announced that she considered the Solstice to be OUR car. It does that to people.
This is a very stylish little car. The fit and finnish is very good. Like it's look from every angle. Top up or down. Plenty of power, great handling, very good brakes and we have power windows, locks, air conditioning which is very adequate and I love the 18 inch tires on this little car. Holds the road amazingly well. Had a Corvette before this and I get just as much pleasure from this. I think Pontiac did a great job on the design, fit and finish of this car. Who knows what would have eveolved if Pontiac had stayed in business. It seems to be economical and service at other GM dealers shouldn't be a problem. Love the Bluetooth, on-star and CD player. Lots of technology considering this is a 2009 vehicle. Have since moved it to Arizona. Had it serviced at the local Buick dealer and was very pleased on that process. Looking forward to enjoying it in the cooler winter months.
Features & Specs
2.4L 4cyl 5M
|MPG||19 city / 25 hwy|
|173 hp @ 5800 rpm|
|GXP 2dr Coupe|
2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M
|MPG||19 city / 28 hwy|
|260 hp @ 5300 rpm|
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
|Frontal Barrier Crash Rating||Rating|
|Driver||4 / 5|
|Passenger||4 / 5|
|Side Crash Rating||Rating|
|Side Barrier Rating||Rating|
|Driver||4 / 5|
|Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings||Rating|
|Front Seat||Not Rated|
|Back Seat||Not Rated|
|Rollover||5 / 5|
|Dynamic Test Result||No Tip|
|Risk Of Rollover||Not Rated|
Is the Pontiac Solstice a good car?
Is the Pontiac Solstice reliable?
Is the 2009 Pontiac Solstice a good car?
How much should I pay for a 2009 Pontiac Solstice?
The least-expensive 2009 Pontiac Solstice is the 2009 Pontiac Solstice 2dr Coupe (2.4L 4cyl 5M). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $26,225.
Other versions include:
- 2dr Coupe (2.4L 4cyl 5M) which starts at $26,225
- GXP 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M) which starts at $30,375
What are the different models of Pontiac Solstice?
More about the 2009 Pontiac Solstice
Used 2009 Pontiac Solstice Overview
The Used 2009 Pontiac Solstice is offered in the following submodels: Solstice GXP, Solstice Coupe, Solstice Convertible. Available styles include 2dr Convertible (2.4L 4cyl 5M), 2dr Coupe (2.4L 4cyl 5M), GXP 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M), GXP 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M), and Street Edition 2dr Convertible (2.4L 4cyl 5M).
What do people think of the 2009 Pontiac Solstice?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2009 Pontiac Solstice and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2009 Solstice 4.7 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2009 Solstice.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2009 Pontiac Solstice and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2009 Solstice featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
What's a good price for a New 2009 Pontiac Solstice?
Which 2009 Pontiac Solstices are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2009 Pontiac Solstice for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2009 Pontiac Solstice.
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Should I lease or buy a 2009 Pontiac Solstice?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.
Check out Pontiac lease specials