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2009 Pontiac Solstice

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18
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Convertible
2 Seats
22-23 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 3 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • GXP power
  • Ride quality
  • Maneuverability
  • Affordability
  • Decent headroom
  • GXP mileage better than base

The Bad

  • Base model lacks low-end torque
  • Drivetrain noise
  • ABS is optional
  • No side airbags
  • Poor visibility
  • Meager trunk space

What to Know

about the 2009 Pontiac Solstice
  • New coupe in base and GXP trims
  • Standard antilock brakes
  • Standard electronic stability system
  • Turbocharged GXP
  • Manual or automatic
  • Choice of engine power

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Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

From the 2008 New York Auto Show, Cars.com's Joe Wiesenfelder takes a look at the 2009 Pontiac Solstice Coupe. It competes with the Mazda Miata MX-5 and the Mini Cooper.

Vehicle Overview
Pontiac’s answer to the Mazda MX-5 Miata is the Pontiac Solstice. The Solstice is available as a roadster and in a new coupe body style. The turbocharged GXP is a high-performance trim level. Similar cars include the Honda S2000 and Audi TT.

(Skip to details on the: Solstice GXP )

New for 2009
Changes for 2009 include the addition of a coupe body style in base and GXP trims. Antilock brakes, an electronic stability system and a limited-slip differential are standard for all Solstice models.

Exterior
Sporting a hunkered-down look with a long hood and short rear deck, the Solstice has Pontiac’s characteristic dual-port grille. The new coupe has a fastback appearance with a sleek roofline. The coupe has a removable center section for an open-air driving experience, but the removable center section must be left at home because there’s no storage space for it in the car.

  • 18-inch silver-painted wheels and all-season tires
  • Optional rear spoiler
  • New paint for 2009 includes Merlot Jewel
  • Convertible soft-top comes in black or tan

Interior
The Solstice seats two. The wraparound instrument panel has deeply recessed round gauges with red numerals. Function follows form in terms of cargo capacity: The 5.4 cubic feet of trunk volume, available when the top is up, is in a strange horseshoe shape that limits its usefulness. When the top is down, the trunk becomes almost useless. Coupes get a storage area that’s located behind passengers at shoulder ...

Vehicle Overview
Pontiac’s answer to the Mazda MX-5 Miata is the Pontiac Solstice. The Solstice is available as a roadster and in a new coupe body style. The turbocharged GXP is a high-performance trim level. Similar cars include the Honda S2000 and Audi TT.

(Skip to details on the: Solstice GXP )

New for 2009
Changes for 2009 include the addition of a coupe body style in base and GXP trims. Antilock brakes, an electronic stability system and a limited-slip differential are standard for all Solstice models.

Exterior
Sporting a hunkered-down look with a long hood and short rear deck, the Solstice has Pontiac’s characteristic dual-port grille. The new coupe has a fastback appearance with a sleek roofline. The coupe has a removable center section for an open-air driving experience, but the removable center section must be left at home because there’s no storage space for it in the car.

  • 18-inch silver-painted wheels and all-season tires
  • Optional rear spoiler
  • New paint for 2009 includes Merlot Jewel
  • Convertible soft-top comes in black or tan

Interior
The Solstice seats two. The wraparound instrument panel has deeply recessed round gauges with red numerals. Function follows form in terms of cargo capacity: The 5.4 cubic feet of trunk volume, available when the top is up, is in a strange horseshoe shape that limits its usefulness. When the top is down, the trunk becomes almost useless. Coupes get a storage area that’s located behind passengers at shoulder level.

  • Standard OnStar with Bluetooth
  • Driver’s seat with power height adjustment
  • Tilt steering wheel but no telescoping
  • Optional leather upholstery
  • CD stereo with XM Satellite Radio

Under the Hood
The base Solstice is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with variable valve timing.

  • 173-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 167 pounds-feet of torque
  • Standard five-speed manual transmission; optional five-speed automatic
  • Four-wheel-independent suspension with forged-aluminum control arms and monotube shock absorbers

Safety
For 2009, antilock brakes and an electronic stability system are standard on all Solstice trim levels. The Solstice doesn’t have side-impact airbags, and the car has not been crash tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

  • Standard four-wheel-disc antilock brakes
  • Standard electronic stability system

Solstice GXP
Like other Pontiac GXP trims, the Solstice GXP is performance-oriented, with more power and handling capabilities than the base model. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with direct injection makes 260 hp and 260 pounds-feet of torque, up 87 hp compared to base models. Oddly enough, the quicker car has better gas mileage than the regular Solstice when equipped with the manual transmission. The GXP is rated at 28 mpg on the highway; the regular model gets 26 mpg.

On the inside, GXP models get aluminum sill plates, embroidered floormats and a leather steering wheel. Standard on the GXP but optional on the base Solstice are steering-wheel stereo controls, cruise control, fog lamps, and power mirrors, windows and locks, with remote keyless entry. Exterior differences are minimal and include different front and rear styling, dual exhaust, and 18-inch polished alloy wheels with summer performance tires.

(Back to top)

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.6
22 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(5.0)
Performance
(4.7)
Interior Design
(3.8)
Comfort
(3.9)
Reliability
(4.5)
Value For The Money
(4.7)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Rarest & Exotic

by Prince of Coupes from Lake Park, Florida on August 19, 2018

The Solstice GXP is 1/32 in Deep Blue 48U made in the Alastair year old of Production. Very Exotic Looking has Removable Targa Top. 1/1152 Made in 2009! Read full review

(5.0)

2009 Red Pontiac Solstice GXP Convertible 4750 mi

by Waterloo from Arvada, CO on July 14, 2018

Beautiful fun eye-catcher convertible sports car with chrome wheels and no flaws! Garaged and covered. Never driven in rain or snow. 4750 miles. New battery. Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2009 Pontiac Solstice currently has 4 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2009 Pontiac Solstice has not been tested.

Latest 2009 Solstice Stories

Change Year or Vehicle

All Model Years for the Pontiac Solstice

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Solstice received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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