2008 Pontiac Solstice Safety

7.0
Safety

Judging by its crash-test results and considering its stout (and heavy) Corvette-inspired frame, the 2008 Pontiac Solstice provides laudable protection for one or two occupants.

The critics had precious little to say about the 2008 Pontiac Solstice’s safety features, perhaps because they aren’t anything surprising, new, or exceptionally high-tech.

The 2008 Pontiac Solstice offers impressive passive, but simply adequate active, safety features.

In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash testing, the Solstice scored four of five stars for front impact, both driver and passenger. It scored a rare five stars for rollover resistance, due in part to its wide stance and low center of gravity. For the driver’s side, the Solstice scored four stars in the side impact test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has not yet tested a Pontiac Solstice.

Perhaps to bring the Solstice in at a low, competitive price point, a feature normally standard in this class (and, really, in nearly every class of vehicle) is optional. That feature is anti-lock brakes, an $895 option on the base roadster and a $797 option on the GXP, where it also includes traction control and GM’s StabiliTrak stability control system, and requires the limited slip differential. Front airbags are standard for driver and passenger, but side airbags are not available.

It’s worth mentioning that in the area of passive safety (that is, accident avoidance), a small, nimble vehicle with quick reflexes and not much physical presence to manage is ideal. With its balanced chassis and hyper-responsive driving dynamics, the Solstice is an ideal vehicle in which to dart away from dangerous situations and bad drivers.

Automobile notes, “Solstice engineers performed crash tests with advanced mathematical analysis instead of running prototypes.” This aids in lowering development costs, which again help bring the Solstice in at a base price of around $20,000.

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