Domestic automobile manufacturers have long trailed their European counterparts when it came to producing roadsters. While a brief effort was made in the 1950s by Ford with the Thunderbird and Chevrolet with the Corvette, over time both of these designs evolved into much larger vehicles which had little in common with their compact roots. It seemed as though Detroit was content to churn comfortable and muscular mid to full-size convertibles and leave the roadster market almost entirely to the smaller offerings coming from across the pond.
The prototypical roadster for many years hailed from England, where companies like MG and Triumph hawked their pint-sized open top wares to drivers who were more interested in cornering speed than straight-line bravado. These automobiles were considered by many to be underpowered, but their light weights and excellent suspension setups more than made up for any perceived lack of grunt. The narrow roads in the hilly British countryside were best explored not with a healthy dollop of horsepower under the hood, but rather with a quick and nimble automobile that could respond to every elevation change and steering input with instant action.
Gradually, this design aesthetic filtered its way over to Japan, causing Mazda to revolutionize the modern roadster market by producing the Miata. Combining the lightness of its Anglo ancestors with the excellent reliability of Japanese design, the Miata would spark a wave of imitators from Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Honda. It took some time, but almost 15 years after the debut of the Miata General Motors also decided to offer their own version of the pocket convertible.
The two brands chosen to fly this new and novel roadster flag were Pontiac and Saturn. Saturn's version of the vehicle, cribbed from European sibling Opel was called the Sky, and its daring angular styling and fantastic optional turbocharged power plant quickly made it a darling of sports car enthusiasts from across the globe. It seemed that an American car company had finally got it right when it came to producing a small rag top, and the Sky was a huge success for Saturn.
This article talks about the features, characteristics and styling that have helped to make the Sky not only Saturn's best used convertible, but also one of the most enjoyable to drive vehicles to have emerged from Detroit in the past 10 years.
2007 Saturn Sky
From the side, it looks like nothing else in the Saturn lineup - high haunches and aggressively protruding flanks suggest a power and sense of purpose not typically found in the automaker's other vehicles. Switching to a head-on viewpoint, however, reveals the sinister smiling grille that instantly identifies the Sky as a member of the Saturn family. The convertible's sporty air dam and plunging grille help to convey an image of performance prowess that sets pulses racing and sees most drivers itching to get behind the wheel as soon as they lay eyes on one of these roadsters in the showroom.
Turning the key on one of the 2007 Saturn Sky's two available engines has a similar effect. The base model Sky makes use of a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 177 horsepower and 166 lb-ft of torque. The Red Line edition ups the ante with a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that churns out 260 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, allowing the roadster to hit 60 miles per hour from a standing start in just 5.5 seconds. All of that performance also translates into better fuel mileage, with the Sky Red Line seeing 22 miles per gallon in the city and 31 miles per gallon during highway cruising - numbers which top the entry-level edition.
The 2007 Saturn Sky is not quite as attractive on the inside as it is on the outside, with an abundance of hard plastic lending the cockpit a bit of a low rent feel. Passenger room is fairly good, however, unless the driver is much over 6 feet, and seating is comfortable and supportive during hard cornering. Trunk space is limited, but the Sky is clearly not intended to serve as long distance transportation, making packing luggage less of a concern. Leather seats and accents help dress up the cockpit if the Premium Trim package is selected.
The 2007 Saturn Sky is an uncommonly quick and agile used convertible that is perfect for drivers in no need of a rear seat or space to haul a set of golf clubs.