2009 Saturn Sky Redline new car reviews

One thing we all agreed on: The Sky is a sexy-looking roadster.
The car's interior looks classy, but the ergonomics should be improved.

Better than: Saturn Sky Red Line Automatic
But not as good as: Chevrolet Corvette
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 85.75

Our Saturn Sky Red Line test car arrived amidst some of the coldest temperatures Florida has seen. Speaking of lows, the car has debuted during some our country's most trying economic times. Perhaps the Sky is simply a victim of bad timing.

For the most part, it’s everything car enthusiasts have begged GM to deliver for eons: a small, simple, two-seat convertible that packs a big punch. The specs paint a rosy picture, as the turbocharged 260-horsepower engine is backed by a short-throw, five-speed transmission. Its 3000-pound curb weight is about ballpark for a small car today, too.

Perhaps best of all, there's no excuse for basing the car on an already existing chassis. Where glimpses of econobox DNA can be easily found in the del Sol and original MR2, the Sky and near-twin Pontiac Solstice get a nice, balanced rear-drive chassis.

The Sky Red Line and its mechanical twin, the Solstice GXP, only hit the scene last year, but they've wasted no time becoming the life of the party. Solstice GXPs swept the top three Touring 2 spots at the SCCA Runoffs and took third place at The Tire Rack Solo Nationals. Credit goes to big wheels and big torque.

If we could change anything, we'd go after some of the details. A folding hardtop Miata can have a real trunk, so why should the Sky lose all of its carrying capacity when the roof is stowed? Better rearward visibility would make driving in traffic a little more relaxed, and the turn signal's note shouldn't recall a 1978 Malibu.

We'd call this one a great racer that demands some compromises during the daily grind.

Other staff views

Tom Heath Tom Heath
UberDork

There's a lot to like about the Sky, it's a good looking and capable roadster that offers a solid value. The few ergonomic issues that I do have with the car will hopefully be addressed over time.

The Sky and the Solstice are still very new when compared to peers like the Miata or the S2000. The second-generation car should be downright fantastic when it arrives in a few more years.

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

The Sky/Solstice isn't perfect. The Miata hardtop has more carrying room, and the S2000 gets a nicer interior. However, out of the box, the turbo Sky/Solstice might be the better performer. It did very well during its debut year. With another year of sorting and tuning under its belt, this could be the dominant chassis at the 2009 championships.

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Comments

View comments on the GRM forums
Nashco
Nashco UberDork
2/10/09 4:18 p.m.

Automatic? Who's the bone head fleet manager who gives an automatic to press folks for a Sky Redline test car?!? I agree the interior has some ergonomic issues, but the powertrain and chassis make my mouth water!

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter PowerDork
2/10/09 4:34 p.m.

This one was a stick. The other one we tested was a slushbox.

Tom Heath
Tom Heath UberDork
12/10/13 12:00 a.m.

Our Saturn Sky Red Line test car arrived amidst some of the coldest temperatures Florida has seen. Speaking of lows, the car has debuted during some our country's most trying economic times. Perhaps the Sky is simply a victim of bad timing.

For the most part, it’s everything car enthusiasts have begged GM to deliver for eons: a small, simple, two-seat convertible that packs a big punch. The specs paint a rosy picture, as the turbocharged 260-horsepower engine is backed by a short-throw, five-speed transmission. Its 3000-pound curb weight is about ballpark for a small car today, too.

Perhaps best of all, there's no excuse for basing the car on an already existing chassis. Where glimpses of econobox DNA can be easily found in the del Sol and original MR2, the Sky and near-twin Pontiac Solstice get a nice, balanced rear-drive chassis.

The Sky Red Line and its mechanical twin, the Solstice GXP, only hit the scene last year, but they've wasted no time becoming the life of the party. Solstice GXPs swept the top three Touring 2 spots at the SCCA Runoffs and took third place at The Tire Rack Solo Nationals. Credit goes to big wheels and big torque.

If we could change anything, we'd go after some of the details. A folding hardtop Miata can have a real trunk, so why should the Sky lose all of its carrying capacity when the roof is stowed? Better rearward visibility would make driving in traffic a little more relaxed, and the turn signal's note shouldn't recall a 1978 Malibu.

We'd call this one a great racer that demands some compromises during the daily grind.

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