Pontiac Solstice (Saturn Sky) Confusion

Allen:  I had the opportunity to sit in a Solstice and move it around the block.  I was a little irritated because, it was hard to see out of.  I didn’t tell the owner that, though.  I simply asked her about performance, fuel economy and if she like driving the car in hopes of persuading me to purchase one.  Her response shocked me.

“The car is okay but it doesn’t handle as good as the Saab I used to drive, and it gets worse fuel economy only 25 mpg.  I do like the convertible but I feel the hand brake is in the wrong position.  It is in the way when I put my purse on the passenger seat.”

“Wow!” was the only thing I was thinking.  I took a breath and relaxed.  Then, I asked her why she thought the Saab was a better handling car and got better fuel economy then her Solistice.

“That is because the Saab was front wheel drive.”  I immediately fell into shock.  My body was quivering, hands sweating, it finally took my wife’s soothing voice to coerce me out of hiding.  I almost said “Why did you buy the car then?” but the better part of politeness overcame me.  I wasn’t going to argue the handling because most of that is personal preference and how the car has been designed.  Maybe, fuel economy could be affected because of it being rear wheel drive but I always average better then 25 mpg in my 240sx.

I decided that I would do a little research on the Solistice and I ended up finding some discrepancies, the biggest one being fuel economy.  The lady had said that she only got 25 mpg which I find hard to believe because my 240sx was built in 1991 and I get 26 mpg in the city and 28 to 29 on the highway.  How you drive the car affects fuel economy and was my first impulse to accuse her of not knowing how to drive a stick shift car.  I decided I should get my facts straight before I opened a can o’ (Fill in the blank) on her.

I looked on the web for the Pontiac Solstice.  The fuel economy was 19/25 mpg and it only weighs 100 pounds more then my 240sx.  This doesn’t add up to me.  My car is 16 years old, has almost the same weight, the same displacement engine, and has 18 hp less then the Solistice.  Yet my 240sx gets better gas mileage?  You might think that the added horsepower or weight could account for the lower fuel economy but you’d be wrong.  The 2.4L Solstice has variable valve timing and 16 years of technological advances over my 240sx.  But let me further prove my point …

Lets look at the GXP model of the Solistice.  It has a whopping 260 horsepower and a good rule of thumb is more horsepower the lower the fuel economy, but wait there is more!  The GXP model gets 19/28 mpg with its 2.0L turbocharged engine.  It has a smaller engine, and gets better gas mileage?  Yes, but it has 100 pounds extra on its curb weight then the standard Solstice and usually turbochargers affect fuel economy in the wrong way.

I guess when it boils down to it you get what you pay for.  The basic Solstice is $22,355 while the GXP is $27,955 that is MSRP.  That is a difference of $5,600.  That is quite a bit of cash, but for better fuel economy, more horsepower, and the addition of a turbocharger the GXP would definitely be my choice.

When it was all said and done, I just kept my mouth shut about the lady’s Solstice and wrote this article.  By the way this Sky looks awesome!

1 comment so far ↓

#1 Allain Morgan on 11.04.14 at 6:29 pm

Cars are love and really having one is such a dream come true. – Ellerslie Mission Society

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