BORREGO SPRINGS, Calif. – Dripping with sex appeal, endowed with impressive handling, and just now trickling into showrooms, the beautiful, thrilling, and rare Solstice is no mere chick car, despite its diminutive dimensions, four-cylinder engine, and convertible top. Rather, it is one of the most hotly anticipated new American automobiles in history, desired by many and owned by few.
That will change, of course, as production ramps up and the model years roll by. But for now, this affordable sports car, designed to take on the undisputed champion of cheap thrills, the Mazda MX-5 Miata, remains an enigma to most consumers. Looking at the 2006 Pontiac Solstice, speed is assumed, but is it a reality? Sitting in the 2006 Pontiac Solstice, it appears to be comfortable, but is it? Viewing the window sticker, the 2006 Pontiac Solstice seems to be a good deal, but are you getting what you paid for – or more? The Solstice is still an unknown quantity, one requiring in-depth examination before plunking down hard-earned dollars, so off we went to San Diego for a day behind the wheel.
We departed a self-consciously trendy hotel in downtown San Diego and headed for the mountains east of the city, traveling densely populated urban thoroughfares, wide expressways, and twisty two-lane roads along the way. Then, we dipped down into the heat of the Anza Borrego desert, culminating the drive in windy Borrego Springs. Though just 100 miles long, our route was telling, and we learned plenty about Pontiac’s new expression of excitement. But perhaps most important, we discovered that the Solstice is a car worthy of consideration, even if it is a flawed beauty.