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Before Saturn bit the dust as a result of the 2009 GM bankruptcy fiasco, the Saturn Sky brought some welcome warmth and interest to the brand following years of lackluster products. A two-seat rear-drive roadster with a manually operated convertible top, the Sky rode on a platform shared with the Pontiac Solstice.
The Saturn Sky offered a respectable amount of bang for the buck, and its exterior styling turned heads almost as reliably as an exotic's. It also generated some serious speed in turbocharged form. Unfortunately, the Sky lacked refinement, and its reputation for reliability was also suspect. We would not recommend the Sky as a used-car purchase.
Most Recent Saturn Sky
The Saturn Sky was a compact two-seat convertible produced from 2007-'09. It was available in two trim levels: base and Red Line. Standard equipment included the expected powered accessories, air-conditioning, a manual cloth top, 18-inch wheels, stability control and a limited-slip differential (as of 2008), and a six-speaker CD audio system ('08 saw the addition of satellite radio). The hot-rod Red Line model was similarly equipped but boasted unique interior and exterior accents, Bluetooth and a sport-tuned suspension with performance tires to go along with a high-output turbocharged engine.
The standard Saturn Sky roadster came with a modest 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine developing 177 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque. The Sky Red Line featured a 2.0-liter four that cranked out 260 hp with the aid of a turbocharger, direct injection and variable valve timing. Both transmitted their power through a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional five-speed automatic.
Inside, the Sky's wraparound dash and high door sills surrounded the driver. The transmission tunnel was unusually wide, which could put the squeeze on oversized occupants. When it came time to drop the top, we found its operation remarkably fussy by modern standards. Lowering it required the driver to turn a windshield latch, pop the rear deck lid with a button inside the glovebox, then get out of the car and manually fold the top down into its well before securing the rear deck lid.
In reviews, we found the Sky's driving dynamics to be subpar. Ride quality was acceptable for normal daily use, but the base 2.4-liter engine was only adequate in terms of acceleration and refinement, and the manual transmission was sourced from the Chevy Colorado pickup truck (and felt the part). The Red Line could really scoot with its turbocharged four, but it sounded strained at full throttle. Moreover, the Sky was a rather blunt instrument when driven hard on twisty roads. The steering lacked feel, and the overall experience was less enjoyable than what's provided by the Mazda Miata.