2009 Pontiac Solstice Review

With an underperforming base engine and low safety score, the 2009 Pontiac Solstice doesn't rank well in its class.

Pros & Cons

  • Fuel economy is better than most
  • Low safety score
  • Hard plastic interior
  • Weak base engine

New for 2009

  • New coupe model
  • Standard ABS and traction control
  • New performance trim
  • Last model year of production




Critics' Rating: 8.1
Performance: 7.7
Interior: 6.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
This rating isn’t available yet for the current model year. In the meantime, last year’s rating of 8.1 for safety is being used to calculate this vehicle’s overall score.
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2009 Pontiac Solstice Overview

The 2009 Pontiac Solstice, which was available in either a coupe or convertible body style, has a standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 177 horsepower on base and Street edition trims. The GXP has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Both engines come standard with a manual transmission, but an automatic is available. Maximum fuel economy for the Solstice is 19/28 mpg city/highway, which is slightly better than average for the class. Reviewers didn’t like the Solstice’s base engine, which they said is underpowered. However, reviewers recommended the turbocharged engine with the manual for the most fun driving experience. Test drivers said the rear-wheel drive Solstice is able around twists and turns, but they said the steering is not very responsive. The base model is very smooth over bumps, but, test drivers in the GXP and Street editions with the sport suspension noticed some unpleasant roughness.

Reviewers disliked all the plastic in the interior of the two-seater Pontiac Solstice. Test drivers said the low ground clearance makes it difficult for some to get into the car. Once in the Solstice, reviewers said there is plenty of head- and legroom, but hip room is tight. Trunk space is on the low end of the class, with a maximum 5.6 cubic feet. Standard features on the Solstice include an audio system with satellite radio, a CD player, a tilting steering wheel and a trip computer. Available equipment on the Solstice include Bluetooth, full power accessories, keyless entry, leather seats, a seven-speaker audio system, air conditioning and a six-disc CD changer.

The Solstice has a low safety score for the class.

See the full 2009 Pontiac Solstice specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata has a standard soft top and offers a hardtop. Unlike the Solstice where you have to take off the hardtop, the Miata’s hardtop is retractable.

The 2009 Saturn Sky shares the platform with the Solstice, and many reviewers noticed the similarities in their performance. Test drivers preferred the Sky’s suspension and high-quality interior.

Compare the Solstice to the Miata and Sky »

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