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The O.C.

First Look at Dealership-Spec Solstice....

26 posts in this topic

I took at look at the first Solstice I've seen at a local dealership here in California and was extremely disturbed by the cheap interior materials and poor fit as well as a really questionable color-combination inside..... The white Solstice was quite a looker. It's not often I think a sports-car looks good in white, but the Solstice looks extremely classy.....still much better of a looker than the new Miata. However, when examining the interior, I was really disturbed by what at first glance in mags appears to be a world-class interior, turned out to be a major example of cost-cutting of Lutz' SHARP interior design by Wagoner's bean-counters..... First of all, let me address the nasty color-combination in this car. This white Solstice had basically a tan (beige) leather interior. However, when you choose beige for the seats, the door panels, dash pad, and other trim is dove-grey...? Who picked this combination? They contrast SO badly, it would be a total deal-breaker for me. I can understand beige with BLACK contrasting.....but DOVE-GREY? The all-black interior would certainly be MUCH better..... Next, the interior is covered in hard-plastic. Now, people know from my posts that I tend to be EXTREMELY critical of interior quality....maybe more so than most people....but for me when I spend most of my time BEHIND the wheel, I want a first-class interior. As I've criticized GM before, the hard plastic they use on the dash and door panels of the Solstice is not only hard, it's shiny, brittle, and hollow to the touch. Most other manufacturers do the hard-plastic thing MUCH better. Plus, to really cheapen the feel of the interior, with the windows down, the door panels look unfinished and rough at the top...and you can easily pull the door panels away from the doors with your fingers. NOT an example of solid construction. Finally, the seats were soft and unsupportive and not befitting a sports-car. The bright sides? I LOVED the gauge cluster and the HVAC and radio controls ARE an example of GM's recent first-class execution as found in the Impala, Lucerne, DTS, etc. (as opposed to those in the Cobalt, Malibu, G6.) All I can say is that I REALLY am fond of the design and style of the sweeping dash and console, and the sharp gauge cluster. BUT the interior fits and materials were so bad, it would really make me think twice about considering the Miata....which I examined next door at the Mazda dealership and found an interior, that while not NEAR as stylish as the Solstice, was FAR superior in materials (there's that GOOD hard plastic I was talking about) and fit-and-finish....! Oh, I'm still a HUGE Solstice fan overall.....but it just really frustrates me to see GM continue to saddle world-class designs with bean-counter cost-cutting decisions that are SO visable and vital to a vehicle's success in the marketplace....
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That's really a shame. Why can't GM seem to make a single decent interior? The Malibu and G6 suffer from big hard center consoles sticking out of the rest of the dash; the LaCrosse has awful plasti-wood trim and too much dead space on the center console; the STS should have the wood on the door trim standard and suffers from cheap-looking radio/HVAC controls; The Lucerne and DTS have floor consoles almost straight out of a '98 Seville; the Colorado/Canyon interior is a joke compared to the Tacoma and Frontier; the SRX...need I say more?; the Imala suffers from lower dash cheapness and plain door panels; the Saturn Ion is a disaster all around even with the improvements; and the Equinox dash plastic are cheap and/or brittle. I could go on, but I think I've made my point.
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That's really a shame.  Why can't GM seem to make a single decent interior?  The Malibu and G6 suffer from big hard center consoles sticking out of the rest of the dash; the LaCrosse has awful plasti-wood trim and too much dead space on the center console; the STS should have the wood on the door trim standard and suffers from cheap-looking radio/HVAC controls; The Lucerne and DTS have floor consoles almost straight out of a '98 Seville; the Colorado/Canyon interior is a joke compared to the Tacoma and Frontier; the SRX...need I say more?; the Imala suffers from lower dash cheapness and plain door panels; the Saturn Ion is a disaster all around even with the improvements; and the Equinox dash plastic are cheap and/or brittle.

I could go on, but I think I've made my point.

[post="32878"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


I agree.....and it's this glaring lack-of-quality that the Honda, Toyota, BMW, and Lexus devotees will continue to use as examples of why they don't think that GM stacks up...

I also agree that the Solstice will still be a big hit. BUT, does that excuse the crappy interior quality? That's a tough debate....
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You are of course entitled to your opinions, but lumping your subjective impression of a color combination in under 'cost-cuttings' sure comes off as 'stacking the deck'... As for me, if X dollars were involved in 2 different sports cars and one spent more on the chassis/ powertrain/ performance, that would win out over the hardness of the interior plastics for me, without question. The bland design reguritation mazda is forcing back into the showrooms is a much bigger deal breaker than any single other aspect of this scenario, IMO.
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It'll sell well regardless of interior quality. Maybe the next-gen Solstice will be better. Or the Sky...

[post="32876"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


OH YEAH, that's right....this is GM, so we must say "maybe the next-gen will".

I think the Solstice is a great car nonetheless, but for god's freaking sake, WHY the hell are issues like this still even remotely present in the "new GM" cars? Anyone? Anyone got an answer? Compared to past GM cars, they're in a different world, for sure, but compared to the constantly running and jumping competition (even other domestics now, like Ford), they're so constantly behind the curve, it's pathetic.

For a low $20k's car, I could excuse it SOMEWHAT, had this been 3 years ago coming from GM. But today it should be ancient history, us all enjoying the fruits of the new GM and it's reinvented passion.

I can't wait to see what is "under par" in the new big ute's after a real-world, in person look at them. ^_^ Edited by caddycruiser
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OC... I must question what you say about the interior colors. It's the same colors as seen in the pics. It was never black and I have never seen you complain. Even on the concept it was that way. Yet, you say it as if it did use to be black or such... but it hasn't. So, what are talking about? :blink: However, I will say that GM had better start putting better plastics in their vehicles. They said they would, but haven't. It's ridiculous considering that its one of the big reasons they lose out to others and get criticized. I mean, personally, I think freaking out over interior plastics is extremely retarded unless you plan on sleeping on your dash. After all that complaining, one better sleep on that dash for christ's sake.
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I did the Autoshow in Motion thing yesterday in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Solstice was the hot ride. The car's a blast. Rides on rails. The interior quality is decent, especially for the price point.
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The Solstice is a sub-$20k roadster. I dare you to find me one in a roadster as nice, or better for the price. The car is not a Cadillac. It's a roadster. It's mean to evoke emotion while on the road in open air driving. It's interior is centered around the driver. Sorry it's a driving enthusiasts vehicle.
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If you want to pay a little more for a quality interior, just get the Sky. Perfect compromise. :)
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For $20k I'm guessing the interior isn't bad. Especially considering everything else they give you for $20k (convertible, pretty good engine, 18s standard, etc). They have the cost cut somewhere unless you want them to raise the price another $5k.
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Better interior materials aren't going to raise the price $5k and they would help keep the resale up, which would help GM's image. Would you pay a premium for a used car that squeaked and had ugly, crappy plastic? Would you buy a new car from the same company that made that used car?
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Since power windows and air conditioning are optional anyway, why not charge $500 for a "nice interior" option?
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You are of course entitled to your opinions, but lumping your subjective impression of a color combination in under 'cost-cuttings' sure comes off as 'stacking the deck'...

As for me, if X dollars were involved in 2 different sports cars and one spent more on the chassis/ powertrain/ performance, that would win out over the hardness of the interior plastics for me, without question. The bland design reguritation mazda is forcing back into the showrooms is a much bigger deal breaker than any single other aspect of this scenario, IMO.

[post="33003"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


First of all, the nasty color combination wasn't what I was talking about in "cost-cutting"....it was the really bad fit-and-finish and poor interior materials....

The color comment was just an opinion
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The Solstice is a sub-$20k roadster. I dare you to find me one in a roadster as nice, or better for the price.

The car is not a Cadillac. It's a roadster. It's mean to evoke emotion while on the road in open air driving.

It's interior is centered around the driver. Sorry it's a driving enthusiasts vehicle.

[post="33119"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



Roadster or not, a new Kia Rio has better interior fit-and-finish and materials.....

God I LOVE the Solstice but I'm sick-and-tired of having to make excuses for what is a great overall car....just because we all love it doesn't mean it's perfect.....and my first two in-person views of the car has left me really disappointed in this aspect of the Solstice.

And as far as a comparable car, the new Miata WASTES the Solstice on interior fit-and-finish.....for about the same money or a bit more.
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Roadster or not, a new Kia Rio has better interior fit-and-finish and materials.....

[post="33512"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Wee bit of the exaggeration?
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The Solstice will sell on looks alone. I think the Solstice will be the true roadster while the Sky appeals to those who want all the goodies and are more concerned with a nice interior. I don't think it's so easy as having a "nice interior" option; if GM had to contract two "grades" of interior materials it'd probably cost a lot of money. I doubt GM could sell the Solstice and make a profit if it had an interior like everyone is asking for.
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OC, I can't wait for the auto show.... http://www.cheersandgears.com/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/AH-HA_wink.gif

[post="33147"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Turbo200.....you know me (sorta) and you know that I wouldn't put up such a contraversial post about our new beloved Solstice if I didn't feel passionate about it...

Most of us on here will still be big Solstice fans....partly because of our loyalty and enthusiasm for GM and our desire to see them produce a big hit like this.

But the rest of the buying public with no apparent loyalty or enthusiasm for GM won't be as forgiving of GM on certain issues like this and I hate to see us or GM have to make excuses for it when just a little bit more attention to detail would have made this a no-excuses car.

The Solstice has about a $1000-$1500 comparably-equipped price advantage over the Miata, correct?

Well, I tell you what.....I'd be MORE than happy to give up that pricing advantage for a classier-level of interior fit-and-finish.

Solstice shouldn't need a price discount to outsell Miata....
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And the moral of the story is:

(there's that GOOD hard plastic I was talking about) and fit-and-finish....!


QUICK, everyone alert the media, we have a NEW standard for comparison!!! (Oh wait, too late) And now go out QUICKLY to your local import dealer and buy an import!!! If you don't you might get the dreaded BAD hard plastic!!!!!

Sorry, O.C. I respect your contributions and opinions but I just can't resist.... I just don't see what the big deal is. So GM put a little hard plastic in a exemplary design that costs $19,995

When (If ever) will people just fess up and admit that GM is now producing cars that are AS GOOD if not BETTER than the competition instead of making feable attempts to justify dissing GM and not buying their products?

Seriously. The Solstice performs BETTER, looks a helluva lot BETTER, functions BETTER and satisfies BETTER than it's competition; the Miata. Yet, we should go out and buy a MORE EXPENSIVE Miata simply because it has softer, more cuddle-worthy plastic on the dash? The argument/justification is getting ridiculously laughable and tiring.

P.S. Look out S2000, because the Solstice has your name for next year.
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And the moral of the story is:
QUICK, everyone alert the media, we have a NEW standard for comparison!!! (Oh wait, too late) And now go out QUICKLY to your local import dealer and buy an import!!! If you don't you might get the dreaded BAD hard plastic!!!!!

Sorry, O.C. I respect your contributions and opinions but I just can't resist.... I just don't see what the big deal is. So GM put a little hard plastic in a exemplary design that costs $19,995

When (If ever) will people just fess up and admit that GM is now producing cars that are AS GOOD if not BETTER than the competition instead of making feable attempts to justify dissing GM and not buying their products?

Seriously. The Solstice performs BETTER, looks a helluva lot BETTER, functions BETTER and satisfies BETTER than it's competition; the Miata. Yet, we should go out and buy a MORE EXPENSIVE Miata simply because it has softer, more cuddle-worthy plastic on the dash? The argument/justification is getting ridiculously laughable and tiring.

P.S. Look out S2000, because the Solstice has your name for next year.

[post="33814"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Jeezus Future.....I'm not complaining about a "little hard plastc..."

I shouldn't be able to easily full the door panel off of the Solstice's door.....it's bad, it's tacky, and I for one have not before, and won't now, let GM off the hook because of their crappy interior execution (no matter how attractive the actual styling of it is.....and it IS attractive in the Solstice.)

As far as Solstice versus Miata, Pontiac better not get ego-maniacal about this car....Miata is STILL too good, too well respected and a bit better in some areas for us to all think the battle is over.

Performing better? That remains to be seen.....one article says Solstice is a bit quicker and a next article says the Ecotec lacks the flexibility of the Miata.

Looks a hell of a lot better? Hey in this instance, NO argument from me.....

Functions better and satisfies better? Well, I'd have to say that's quite subjective and a tough claim for you to make. Have you driven both? I haven't.....

Solstice is a winner, no doubt....and if I could get around the pathetic lack of storage capacity, I'm pretty sure I'd pick it over a Miata.....but I'm still going to call it like I see it.....
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Functions better and satisfies better? Well, I'd have to say that's quite subjective and a tough claim for you to make. Have you driven both? I haven't.....


Functions better is definately subjective... Especially considering the difference in tops. But satisfies better isn't IMO, almost every journalist has picked the Solstice as the overall better car.

but I'm still going to call it like I see it.....


I know and I respect a straight shooter :)
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Functions better is definately subjective... Especially considering the difference in tops. But satisfies better isn't IMO, almost every journalist has picked the Solstice as the overall better car.
I know and I respect a straight shooter :)

[post="34307"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


http://www.cheersandgears.com/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/AH-HA_wink.gif

"Straight shooter?" You don't EVEN want to know where my sick mind could take that comment......hehehehe
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