Something you have to know right from the outset.
Since 1991, my daily driver has been a roadster… a Mazda Miata. Bought it brand new.
So you can guess that I like two seat roadsters. Cars that run like roller skates and fit like a glove. And I’m 6’1″, 230 pounds.
I’ve lived with the Miata, made trips to Costco, even drove back from the old IKEA in Tustin, CA – almost 90 miles from home in San Diego – with the top down so a couple of cabinets could stick out the top. I’ve taken vacations where she gets the trunk for her stuff and my little bag goes on the package shelf behind the seats. Even too some closet doors to the lumber yard… again, sticking out of the top.
But I found the Saturn Sky too small. Even though it’s a few inches longer than a Miata.
They say you don’t buy a roadster for practicality. Well, I have lived with the Miata. I couldn’t live with a Sky.
There’s just no room.
Let’s start with the trunk. With the top down, there’s only a little space around the edge, which during my week with a 2007 Sky Redline Roadster. My Weekend Driver column trips are part driving, part photo shoot. My camera gear just squeezed in the gap between the outer rim of the trunk and the folded top.
And inside the cabin, there’s only a small compartment between the seats and a glove compartment that manages to be smaller than in my first-generation Miata. The little compartment requires drivers to twist around and reach back, so it wasn’t even a practical spot for the garage-door clicker. And the glove compartment was mostly filled with the owners’ manuals. The clicker ended up on the seat.
So, your weekend drive day-trip options in the Sky:
- Take your honey along, keep the top up and take a picnic basket.
- Drive with the top down, take your honey along and stop for lunch.
- Leave your honey at home, put the top down, take lunch. The lunch goes on the front seat.
Don’t ask me what you’d do on a weekend trip. Because even with the top up, there’s a big lump in the middle of the trunk – I believe it’s the gas tank. And thanks to the recessed back window, there’s not much space behind the front seat. I guess you Express Mail the luggage ahead.
Performance? Great. The turbocharged engine has more than enough power… almost V-8 like. Push on the accelerator, the turbo kicks in and off you go. No problem on mountain roads, passing on freeways. Handling? Enjoyable. The roller skate. Put my loose, slightly rattly, sweet 16 Miata to shame (but we’ll see how the Sky is in 2023).
On one of my favorite byways, Mesa Grande Road near Santa Ysabel, it ate up the curves like nothin’. The seats provided plenty of support, and, with lower seating than the Miata, the transmission hump is more prominent. In short, driver and passengers are both wedged between door and gearbox.
My verdict on the Sky? If you can have an extra car, just for day trips and commuting, go for it. Otherwise, keep looking. After all, even a Porsche has a trunk.
- Vehicle: 2007 Saturn Sky Redline Roadster
- Reviewed: February 2007.
- Time with car: One week.
- Vehicle supplied for review by General Motors.