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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thinking seriously about a Sky

Looking at purchasing a Sky/Solstice? maybe even a Miata...wondering honest thoughts on all...pros/cons/...I am leaning towards a Sky but I need to know what to look out for...Looking and an 07 Base with auto...under 60k. all thoughts would be appreciated. Mike. Thanks
post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Looking at purchasing a Sky/Solstice? maybe even a Miata...wondering honest thoughts on all...pros/cons/...I am leaning towards a Sky but I need to know what to look out for...Looking and an 07 Base with auto...under 60k. all thoughts would be appreciated. Mike. Thanks
I have an 08 base Sky and I love it however it is inexpensively built in certain areas because from what I hear The company was trying to come in with a price that was less than the Miata. I personally have had some issues with my sky that have been dealt with and everything is doing quite well now. I like the car but it was in production for only 4 years. The Miata, from what I can gather, is a bit smaller but they have had many years to iron out a lot of the problems that apparently did not get ironed out on a sky. Someone on the forum may correct me on some of that. Just speaking for me, as far as my preference between a Sky and a Solstice and a Miata, I would choose a sky hands down. Simply because I think It is one of the best looking cars on the road. It hits my sweet spot dead on. I am not a racer but my car has plenty of get up and go, handles the corners excellent and gets me comments on how nice it looks from time to time.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by [email protected].com View Post
Looking at purchasing a Sky/Solstice? maybe even a Miata...wondering honest thoughts on all...pros/cons/...I am leaning towards a Sky but I need to know what to look out for...Looking and an 07 Base with auto...under 60k. all thoughts would be appreciated. Mike. Thanks
I bought an 07 base last summer. It is unique and always garners comments when I take it out. For me it is a weekend and fair weather summer car. I don't drive it on rainy days and wouldn't think about driving it in the winter. I have parked next to a couple of Miata's and the Sky is nicer looking and definitely bigger. For me the price point was good and provides the enjoyment factor. If you scan the forums you will see the issues that come up but as with any older car you have to treat them as 'features' and not worry about every little rattle or squeak. Saturn was likely the best of what GM offered at the time so I would definitely look at a Sky over a Solstice.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 11:56 PM
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Those two cars have different emphasis. The Miata/MX-5 is a refined, reliable, arguably staid cruiser. Fit and finish are great. Reliability is great. Power, style, performance? Not in the same class as a Sky, at least a 2.0.

The Sky, with a couple exceptions, has great parts-bin mechanicals and suffers from GM's piss-poor QC on one-off items like the interior. Expect ticky-tack issues, hard interior plastic, etc. It also no longer has a dedicated dealer service network and the quality of service at Chevy dealerships is inconsistent at best. Check the Sky box if you want remarkable styling and performance value.

Miata: Readily available parts.
Sky: It's probably totaled if you crunch the hood.

I bought mine in 2007 thinking it would be the car in the garage that I can count on being able to get parts and good service for. Hasn't worked out that way, but it still gives me "permagrin".

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 12:04 AM
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Those two cars have different emphasis. The Miata/MX-5 is a refined, reliable, arguably staid cruiser. Fit and finish are great. Reliability is great. Power, style, performance? Not in the same class as a Sky, at least a 2.0.
Drove a Miata before deciding on the Sky, objectively the fit and finish on the Miata isn't any better than the Sky. I also thought the ride and handling was dramatically better in the Sky overall, and I find the Sky to be more comfortable to sit in. When it comes down to it, both cars were built with a nod to affordable old British roadsters.

The newest Miata is a big step up from the old cars, no question it has much nicer interior quality and overall build quality. I haven't had a chance to drive one, but I have sat in one and although it has a very nice materials quality, it is quite tiny.

For the price you can now get a base Sky in the US, I think it's a no-brainer to pick one up.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 12:24 AM
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I test drove both before purchasing myself a 2008 Sky Redline last month.

My thoughts:

I actually really loved the miata. It put a smile on my face each time I test drove one. Interior was very nice on the 2008 model I drove - it had seat warmers, keyless start and a power hard top. Miata has a usable trunk no matter if the top is up or down. Handled great and felt great to drive. I owned a protege5 for 17 years and had no major issues. I feel Mazda makes great reliable cars.

The sky didn't feel as refined to drive, and the interior is basic with some odd ergonomics. Trunk space is a joke. Manual top, no seat warmers.

So in a way, the mazda is a better car, to be honest. So why did I buy the sky?

Well, miatas are so common, I know I can always get one. Once it's time to move on from the sky, I'll probably replace it with a miata (and I love the styling of the current gen!). But the Sky is an oddity. I like the idea that it's not so common. I love the looks of it too. And in 5-10 years, it won't make sense to buy a Sky, unless you are looking for a project or show car. I wanted something I could drive and enjoy and not always wrench on or baby too much. Reliability seems good, and should be until old age and wear takes it's toll. Eventually plastics get brittle or weak, parts wear out, etc. as a car ages.
But ultimately, the power of the redline is what pushed me to the sky.

While the miata put a smile on my face when I drove it, the sky, once I put my foot to the floor, got my heart pumping.
And that's what I was looking for.
The shortcomings I will either live with or remedy - I plan on putting on a tunnel brace to see if I can't get it to feel a little more planted like the miata and I want to install seat warmers as I have them in my other vehicle and love them.
After having it a month, the manual top has not really been a bother. You get used to the funky ergonomics of the interior. Trunk space has been the only thing I wish it was better at, but I just plan accordingly. I love the car and every time I take it out I feel like such a badass riding in it.


My suggestion to you though is to test drive both - multiple times. Back to back if possible.
I test drove both twice before deciding on the Sky.
However, I opted for the Redline as I wanted the power it provided.
Given you are looking at the base... well if it was me I'd probably go with the miata to be honest. If I remember right the power between the two is very similar.
Unless you really like the look of the sky that much more, the miata is a lot more refined.

As for issues, poke around the forum and use the search function. Overall what I'm seeing is not a lot of major stuff but as they age more things are popping up.
Good luck and either way I know you will enjoy your new car!
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 01:56 AM
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Personally not anything on the road uglier than the giant suppository that is Miata.

Solstice and Sky were made on the same assembly line, so not really much difference.

For me the Sky wins the looks battle hands down. The Solstice is too round and bug eyed Sprite for me.

I don't think you can find a car on the road that draws so much attention for the penny's paid for it. I have four of the damned things and owned 5 Kappas so what I have to say should be taken with a grain of salt I guess.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 04:36 AM
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Drive both cars, then decide for yourself? Two different classes of cars imo.
The Miata has had years of development & refinement over several generations.
Reliable affordable transportation. But... meh in the extreme.
Reminds me of a sardine can. Lacks style. Has handling when pushed but lacks power.

The Kappa on the other hand had one production run, with limited changes over it's lifetime. Bigger in size than the afore mentioned Miata. Better handling too imo. As for power in the base form, the 2.4 is quite capable for everyday commuting with the masses. The 2.0 Redline version ups the performance level.

Prices vary when shopping for these two models. You get what you pay for.. and in our car you could get a cream puff, or a nightmare from hell, as it is with most used car purchases.

At any stop light, look around abit. See a Miata or two maybe 6? Any Kappa's in view? That's what I thought.
Rare it is, and yes the masses do react to it when they see one, and you in it.
Most of our owners have them as a second car, a weekend cruiser. Yes it is a DD for some. Service at GM dealers can be tricky, parts are in some cases short in supply. The Miata not so much as it continues it's production run.

The mystery or mystic of the Kappa was on full display for me recently. I was stopped at a light, a couple pulls up behind me, in an SUV type something, as I watched in my rear view mirror their conversation.

The woman asks, What kinda car is that? The man looks over the steering wheel, shakes his head, I have no clue what it is, trying to see the brand mfg on the back of my car. The badge legends & chicklets have been removed so it is tougher here on my car.
He then asks her.. Do you like it, would you want one? One look back at me, shakes her head yes... the light changes as I Zoom Zoom baby away. Would the woman have had that same reaction with the Miata? Not likely. Yes I have gotten better at reading lip conversations while owning this car, comes with the territory. In the fish bowl with the masses when owning a Kappa, during any stop. The 20 minute gas fill up, yup been there done that. The masses sometimes... fall over themselves when a Kappa is around.

It's all about the chase for the right one for you. IF... you find a dealer with both models on the lot, take each one for a cruise, then form your opinion to which one you would rather drive. Try not.. to smile to much while driving the Kappa, happens to the best of us.

Luck with your search.
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Last edited by LAC Sky; 05-22-2019 at 04:41 AM.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 09:12 AM
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For me hands down the Sky was my choice. I ordered my base Sky in August 2007 and got it in October. I love this little car, but wish I ordered the Redline. My Sky is not a daily driver and only has about 21,500 miles on it. My wife and I enjoy cruising with the car and I take it to car shows. I have won a couple of trophies with it. Do yourself a favor and take one for a long test drive and decide if it is right for you. I have never had any issues with the car, but again it has low miles on it. Good luck on your decision and choice.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by krayhons View Post
I test drove both before purchasing myself a 2008 Sky Redline last month.

My thoughts:

I actually really loved the miata. It put a smile on my face each time I test drove one. Interior was very nice on the 2008 model I drove - it had seat warmers, keyless start and a power hard top. Miata has a usable trunk no matter if the top is up or down. Handled great and felt great to drive. I owned a protege5 for 17 years and had no major issues. I feel Mazda makes great reliable cars.

The sky didn't feel as refined to drive, and the interior is basic with some odd ergonomics. Trunk space is a joke. Manual top, no seat warmers.

So in a way, the mazda is a better car, to be honest. So why did I buy the sky?

Well, miatas are so common, I know I can always get one. Once it's time to move on from the sky, I'll probably replace it with a miata (and I love the styling of the current gen!). But the Sky is an oddity. I like the idea that it's not so common. I love the looks of it too. And in 5-10 years, it won't make sense to buy a Sky, unless you are looking for a project or show car. I wanted something I could drive and enjoy and not always wrench on or baby too much. Reliability seems good, and should be until old age and wear takes it's toll. Eventually plastics get brittle or weak, parts wear out, etc. as a car ages.
But ultimately, the power of the redline is what pushed me to the sky.

While the miata put a smile on my face when I drove it, the sky, once I put my foot to the floor, got my heart pumping.
And that's what I was looking for.
The shortcomings I will either live with or remedy - I plan on putting on a tunnel brace to see if I can't get it to feel a little more planted like the miata and I want to install seat warmers as I have them in my other vehicle and love them.
After having it a month, the manual top has not really been a bother. You get used to the funky ergonomics of the interior. Trunk space has been the only thing I wish it was better at, but I just plan accordingly. I love the car and every time I take it out I feel like such a badass riding in it.


My suggestion to you though is to test drive both - multiple times. Back to back if possible.
I test drove both twice before deciding on the Sky.
However, I opted for the Redline as I wanted the power it provided.
Given you are looking at the base... well if it was me I'd probably go with the miata to be honest. If I remember right the power between the two is very similar.
Unless you really like the look of the sky that much more, the miata is a lot more refined.

As for issues, poke around the forum and use the search function. Overall what I'm seeing is not a lot of major stuff but as they age more things are popping up.
Good luck and either way I know you will enjoy your new car!
This is probably one of the most honest comparisons between the two cars.

The 2.4 (base model) Sky and Solstice were meant to be a DIRECT competitor to the Miata in all categories. Handling, performance, pricing...the 2.4 powered Sky was shooting to take on the Miata. When it comes down to it, BOTH are great choices and you really can't go wrong with either. The only category where the two cars differ is passenger comfort/convenience.

On the driver's side, the Sky is roomier. Passenger side is about equal.
Ergonomics in the Sky for cup holders and power window switches is terrible. I believe the window switches are better placed in the Miata but don't know about cup holders. They were never high on my list of variables anyway.
You don't have to get out of the Miata to operate the roof whether it's power or manual.
Trunk space is the same and fairly spacious in the Miata top up or down. In the Sky, it's bad with the top up and gets worse with the top down.

That's really it. Miata has greater aftermarket support but I don't think there is a thing you can do to a Miata that you can't do to a Sky. Ironically, putting the LE5 2.4 engine from the base Sky INTO a Miata is a popular engine swap for them. Miata's are lighter than a Sky but the 2.4 engine is more powerful than their 1.6/1.8 engines so obviously the more powerful engine in the lighter car is a bonus. Stock for stock their acceleration performance is pretty close with the edge to the Miata. Handling though the Sky has a more capable factory suspension/chassis than the Miata (the Kappa really is a scaled down Vette).

So it comes down to looks and a couple convenience issues. Both cars are reliable. Both cars are good performers. Both have an aftermarket to make them "better".

Of course if you go to the Redline Sky then the Sky has a far better performance envelope than the Miata...but the turbo cars were meant to compete with the likes of a Porsche Boxter and Honda S2000, not the Miata.

There you have it. What do you like the looks of best? Can you deal with close to no trunk space? (Think some groceries or a couple duffle bags if the top is down. A cart full of groceries or a couple more duffle bags if it's up.) The choice between the base Sky and a Miata is purely subjective.


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 12:14 PM
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After watching the most recent video of the Kappas from Kaliforina by Julius on You-Tube, the next video up was this one.
Thought it might help you in your quest for the find... the one?

This was a ten year reunion look back by MW in 2015. 2006 models. 1st gen Kappa against a 3rd gen Miata.
Make a note of that and many other clues by MW that could check a few boxes for you?
On the road... as opposed to on the track side by side comparison?

Speaking of on the track... I know this place very well. Jefferson Circuit, Summit Point Motorsports Park, a second home for me... for 30 years. Watched a lot of Miata's run that place in my time. However I have not had the good fortune to see a Kappa race there. The SCCA Champion 2 years running for the B class I believe back in the day.

You see Miata's everywhere... but you rarely see a Kappa anywhere? This is true. Made a 3 day run from the Mountains to the Shore last year, selected samples on video on You-Tube site/text read on profile page... and I saw Miata's everywhere during my trip. Not one Kappa in sight... except mine for 3 days. Think about that... while you decide?

http://youtu.be/isF2gV9cA9o


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Last edited by LAC Sky; 05-24-2019 at 12:47 PM.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 01:05 PM
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Drive both cars, then decide for yourself?
The only way to go. We can fill you in on any known weak spots on these cars, but the decisions are yours and you need to make two decisions:

1 - do I like the styling and overall appearance of either Solstice or Sky over the other?

2 - after you test drove both NA and turbo version did you think "Well, the NA would be fine for me." or "Holy Crap! Having driven the turbo version, I could never go for the low output version!"

(3 - and possibly a third decision if you decided you like the Solstice - are you after a convertible or a coupe with removable hard top (the answer to this may be coupe if you are a person with superior aesthetic sense and don't mind the fiscal premium buying the coupe entails right now).

Just be sure to test drive everything you might be interested before making up your mind in so you don't later suffer buyer's remorse. We've seen a few people that found a good deal on the NA version and bought it without trying the high output version and later regretting it and even reselling to switch models. Others have been very happy with whichever the bought and would never change.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 04:34 PM
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...... if you are a person with superior aesthetic sense .........
In this case the coupe is not an option because there is not a Sky coupe.

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