NEW FOR 2008:

– Standard driver information centre, premium acoustic headliner and tire pressure monitoring system on all models
– StabiliTrak stability control available on base model (with ABS) and standard on GXP
– New Ebony/Sand leather seating interior trim
– Exterior colour: Dark Steel Grey Metallic

For 2008, the Pontiac Solstice receives upgrades, including a new headliner and stability control available or standard on all models.

The Solstice is available as the base Solstice, with 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine, and as the GXP, with a direct-injection 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder. Both engines use a five-speed manual transmission or optional five-speed automatic.

Both models feature two-passenger seating and a manually-operated cloth top with glass rear window and electric defogger.

Features on the base Solstice include 18-inch painted aluminum wheels, cloth seats, manual remote mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, tilt wheel, CD stereo, automatic headlamps, and OnStar.

The GXP adds 18-inch polished aluminum wheels, unique GXP fascias with fog lamps, power mirrors, cruise control, floor mats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power windows, CD/MP3 stereo, XM Satellite Radio, anti-lock brakes, limited-slip differential, StabiliTrak electronic stability control, sport suspension, and power locks with keyless entry.

Available options to the base model include power mirrors, windows and locks, cruise control, ABS and StabiliTrak; both models can be optioned with air conditioning, sport metallic pedals, leather seats and six-CD stereo.

A sister car to the Saturn Sky, the Solstice is large for a two-seater, but offers quick and nimble steering and a very stiff chassis; it’s more boulevard cruiser than sports car, but it’s still fun to drive. The base price is reasonable, but it’s very base, and most buyers will want to throw some options on top.

On the down side, the top is awkward and time-consuming to put up and down, requiring trips in, out and around the vehicle to complete. Storage space is almost non-existent: the fuel tank occupies almost the entire trunk, leaving only a shallow, narrow storage trench, and interior storage is limited to a couple of small cubbies. It’s a fun way to travel, but be prepared to travel light.

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