2007 Saturn Sky (618)


This week we’re looking at the 2007 Saturn Sky sports car. Remember the song with lyrics that go something like “Blue Sky’s smiling on me, nothing but blue skies do I see…” And that’s what I’m driving as I speak, and it’s blue. But there are a few clouds in this Sky even if the overall feeling is very positive and rain isn’t likely.

Of course, you know its sister – Pontiac Solstice but because this is the better looking sister it will surely be hot – hot – hot. This one will be asked to the prom first – count on it. It has nice edges that flow beautifully where Solstice is more rounded and not near as exciting to the passionate eye.

I can offer a suggestion for the 50% of car buyers who want or need an SUV. If you are young at heart and on a beer budget, buy the very fun Retro Chevrolet HHR for car #1 and you’ll have enough money for this heart warming Sky for pure driving fun and short week end romantic getaways.

Public Service:

Another look at the Diamond Lanes. Some smart diamond lanes allow all traffic to use them during lighter traffic hours. Thus it becomes the #1 fast lane. The Highway Patrol advises you can’t cross over the lines however, even though technically it isn’t a Diamond lane in off peak times. It’s a stupid rule and shouldn’t be enforced by our Robo-Cops.

Handling & Performance:

If you like the exhilaration of driving through the mountains with the wind blowing through your hair, this is wun-der-ful. Even critics will have to give this Sky high marks for a chassis and suspension that allows for great road-a-bility. It has a solid, comfortable, wide track, road hugging ride that makes it totally fun to drive.

The 5-speed trans shifts well but I like to skip shifts where ever possible and you can’t do that very well with 177 horsepower. The Red Line model produces 260 horsepower for an MSRP of $28,295. That model includes standard equipment upgrades like traction and stability control. Good stuff.


This has to be one of the highlights at the debutante ball. Everyone I’ve spoken with love the look, but if you are 6 feet tall and over forget this one. I suspect you can’t please everyone about everything, but I believe they could have made it for all – short and tall.

Tall folks will say: not enough leg room and the gauges are blocked from view by the steering wheel that will not adjust up far enough for them.

But even average build people will add:  poorly placed cup holders, not nearly enough space for things like sun glasses, paper, pens or road maps. There are pouches in front of each seat, but they blew it for not giving the interior more thought.

Fit and Finish:

You’ll find seams fit better than prior Saturn’s. Engineers tell me they have eliminated the polymer siding (dent resistant material with all new Saturn cars) which they credit for reduced gaps. It seems the dent proof siding flexed so as to require wider space. Consumers perceived that as an indication that the car was put together poorly.

On the oops side, little things like the metal name plate on the door opening is not glued down well enough which is all too common in much of the assembly details. These are not expensive things to have been done right and which points to a project “Unfinished”.


Properly priced in my estimate, but it appears they are in such demand they carry a premium over MSRP of as much as $5,000. Tell me it isn’t so.

Conveniences and comfort:

I continue to wonder why manufacturers don’t have journalists or other real people drive these cars before they hit the production line. Hello! Anybody home? Automotive engineer, Art Center College of Design professor and author and friend Merkel Weiss noted a few things but generally he liked the car. For those of you who know Merkel know how rare that fact is.

He feels the convertible top is bulky with larger components than necessary. A shiny black plastic piece on top of the dash glares and serves no evident purpose. The fuel tank could have been designed to allow more trunk space – Miata did it! Everything on the interior is plastic and junk. Merkel, don’t hold back, tell me how your really feel.

Agree Merkel, it is an unfinished symphony.

The seats are very comfortable for the average man or woman, with side cushions that hold you perfectly in those side “G” force corners through the mountains.

The sun visors are only partially useful as they don’t rotate to the side window.

Consumer Recommendation:

Test drive the Sky, Solstice, HHR and PT Cruiser if you want to cover all the family needs while conserving cash. For a more rugged off road capability test drive the Toyota FJ and you will have driven three of the hottest cars for 2007.

Recognized Competition:

Saturn Sky $25-28,000, Mercedes SLK $43-62,000, Mini Cooper $17-25,000, VW New Beetle $17-22,000, Nissan 350Z $28-40,000, Honda 2000 S $34,050, BMW Z4 $36-42,000, Pontiac Solstice $21-26,000, Mazda MX-5 Miata $20-26,000.

Good News:

Special styling, eye candy for the car lover.

Bad News:

Poor attention to detail in several areas.

Standard Equipment:

2.4 liter inline 4-cylender 177 horsepower engine, 5-speed manual transmission, front engine rear wheel drive, hydraulic rack and pinion steering, 4-wheel independent suspension, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes, stainless steel exhaust, dual air bags, tire sealant and inflator kit, theft deterrent system, daytime running lights, cloth convertible top, fog lights, 18 inch painted aluminum wheels, air conditioning, power windows and locks, remote keyless entry with alarm, cruise control, audio with CD, tilt steering wheel, rear window defogger, remote trunk release, map lights and driver information center.

Gas Stats: $2.75/ Gal avg.
20 City and 28 Highway MPG


MSRP $23,115.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com
Copyright © 2006 – An Automotive Love Affair

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