The unseasonably warm weather this month might have some car enthusiasts clamoring for weekend drives through the country in their favorite sports car. Consumers who are in the market for a weekend cruiser may want to take a look at the 2007 Pontiac Solstice, one of the most stylish and nimble two-seat convertibles on the road today.
Equipped with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine capable of creating 177 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque, the ’07 Solstice is certainly not a beast, but with its small stature and front-mounted engine, it has plenty of pep to make any drive enjoyable.
For those interested in a bit more power, the high-performance GXP model comes with a turbo-charged V4 that generates 260 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, which can move from 0-60 miles per hour in six seconds flat, according to Edmunds. All models can be purchased with five-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic.
While the 2007 Solstice is not as well equipped as its closest competitor, the Mazda Miata, it more moderately priced and is available with a host of optional features.
On Tuesday, General Motors announced that it is recalling approximately 1.3 million compact cars in North American due to a problem with the power steering system.
The recall was initiated after U.S. safety officials received more than 1,100 customer complaints. The safety initiative will cover 2005-10 Chevrolet Cobalt models and 2007-10 Pontiac G5s in the U.S as well as the 2005-06 Pontiac Pursuit in Canada and the 2005-06 Pontiac G4 sold in Mexico.
General Motors has reported that vehicles affected by the recall can still be safely controlled, but the issue may make the steering feel heavier, especially at speeds below 15 miles per hour.
“When the condition occurs, both a chime will sound and a ‘power steering’ message will be displayed,” said GM vice president of quality Jamie Hresko.
The American automaker has said that it is currently working on a remedy to fix the issue and will notify customers when a plan has been put in place, according to Auto News Magazine.
GM customers have reported 14 crashes and one injury related to the steering problem.
General Motors is shedding some formerly popular brands such as Pontiac and Saab, but issues over a deal to sell the Hummer line could affect the future supply of used cars in New Jersey.
There is only one bidder, Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery from China, and the Asian company has lost the support of the national government over concerns about the fuel efficiency of Hummers as well as Sichuan Tengzhong’s inexperience in the retail market, reports Time.
The automotive market for the larger vehicles is now in overseas markets, one analyst told the news provider, in spite of recent research demonstrating brand loyalty among current owners.
Were the plan to go through for the Chinese purchase, a new headquarters for Hummer would be established in Michigan by General Motors, reports Reuters. The state has offered more than $20 million in tax credits over the next 10 years if the sale is made.
The turmoil over future production of the niche vehicles may mean that buyers looking for their next vehicle will want to focus on used Hummers in New Jersey, as well as offerings from other makers.
In a corporate game of the hokey-pokey that is still ongoing, General Motors President Fritz Henderson is now in, suggesting that a deal could soon be in the works for police cars in the U.S. that look a lot like used Pontiac G8s in New York.
The G8 and the previously discontinued GTO were both platforms sourced from GM’s Australian affiliate Holden, and although Pontiac is no longer in business, some law enforcement agencies might be interested in the Holden Commodore, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
“We’ve been working on a package for police applications [like the Los Angeles Police Department and Royal Canadian Mounted Police. I just think that’s going to work,” Henderson told the newspaper. “We’re pretty optimistic about it and that product will be sourced in Australia.”
While GM’s head of marketing Bob Lutz had previously issued statements implying that there would be future models that would take the mantle held by used Pontiac G8s in New York as a platform for rear-wheel drive sedans, Henderson has been more cautious.
Toyota has finally announced that it will no longer be able to sustain production at the NUMMI production facility, meaning that thousands may be out of work and some vehicles may only be available as used cars in New Jersey.
The Japanese automaker had previously built the Corolla compact sedan, the Matrix hatchback and the Tacoma there, but the Matrix was discontinued after General Motors shuttered Pontiac. Corollas will now be produced in Ontario, Canada and Tacomas will be built in San Antonio, company officials announced.
There had been a struggle to keep the facility viable after General Motors backed out of the joint venture that had led to NUMMI’s creation, and now aficionados may want to consider used Pontiac Vibes or a used Toyota Matrix in New Jersey.
“We remain strongly committed to maintaining a substantial production presence in the U.S. and North America,” said Atsushi Niimi, Toyota’s North American head. “To that end, we will consider moving additional Corolla production back to North America over time.”
In Newport, Delaware, the final car rolled off the line at General Motors’ Boxwood Road factory, and buyers considering used Pontiac Solstices in New York may be able to purchase a car that celebrates the plant’s history.
The final coupes produced at the GM assembly line in Delaware were two models based on the automaker’s Kappa platform, the Pontiac Solstice and the Saturn Sky roadsters, and it was a Pontiac Solstice that capped production activities after more than 60 years, reported the News Journal.
Saturn and Pontiac have both been cast aside by the struggling automaker as it looks to re-focus on core brands and increase sales, and the plant has been closed following GM’s bankruptcy hearing, according to the newspaper.
Enthusiasts of the convertibles may still find used Pontiac Solstices in New York, including the 2006 model which brought the car from concept to the salesroom.
Affordable when new, buyers may enjoy a car whose “stubby roadster proportions are perfect, with the compact aggression of a Japanese short sword,” according to an L.A. Times review.
Used Pontiac G8s in New Jersey are unlikely to see newer counterparts in the form of rebadged 2010 models that would be marketed as Chevrolet Caprices, according to General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson.
While Bob Lutz, GM director of marketing[,] told Autoweek that the sedan would see service either in police cruiser trim or as a Caprice, Henderson put the kibosh on any such rumors.
He said that the Australian-sourced G8 could be offered for law enforcement applications, but did not anticipate rebranding or re-badging the car, which GM is expected to cease importing this year, according to an AutoBlog report.
While the G8 was only produced in 2008 and 2009, buyers could also consider older models, like a 2005 used Pontiac GTO in New Jersey.
Both models are “captive imports,” meaning they were both built by Australian automaker Holden and based off that company’s Commodore sedan.
With aggressive hood scoops and a base engine making 350 horsepower, the power belies the ability for the coupe to comfortably fit four adults, note Cars.com editors.
Now that Pontiac enthusiasts’ worst fears have been confirmed, the used car market may be the last place to find the make that some fans loved.
General Motors released a plan to avoid bankruptcy that included heavy government influence, but also included a plan to discontinue Pontiacs after 2010.
That means that the maker of such popular performance cars as the GTO, Firebird and the Grand Prix will now only live on in the remaining examples that haven’t been junked or scrapped like their namesake was this week.
Collector Ron Schultz told the Chicago Sun-Times, “It hurts American heritage to see Pontiac go away,” even though he owns three classic Pontiac models himself.
Reviews of used Pontiac models on Edmunds.com by internet users consistently beat the editor’s rating, with the minimum being an 8 on a 10 point scale, suggesting the appreciation that Pontiac owners have for their vehicles.
One example is the 2008 Solstice roadster, a sporty little car that Edmunds editors called too small, noisy and underpowered. Users, on the other hand, gave it a 9/10 rating.
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While recent reports have pointed to the durability of fairly new used cars, one man is proving that even a car from the 70s has the ability to take on the road.
Chris Hedgecock bought a 1974 Pontiac LeMans approximately two years ago and is currently driving it across country, WDSU.com reports.
“When we got it, the battery was bad,” Hedgecock told the news provider. “We went ahead and got a new battery from Wal-Mart. We did a little homemade ducting work on the air intake. We replaced all the fluids, replaced the belts.”
After about $200 in repairs, Hedgecock said he was ready to tackle his road trip from San Diego to Miami, according to the article. So far, he has reported no mishaps or problems with the more than 30-year-old car.
Though it may be an exception to find an older car that runs as well as Hedgecock’s, many people have found used cars of recent vehicles to experience the same, problem-free ride.
Some car experts say new used cars can last up to 200,000 miles before needing any major work done, states Consumer Reports.
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