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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I got to test drive a Saturn Sky today - Manual, Chili Pepper Red. Seemed to have plenty of power to me - maybe I don't need to wait for the Red Line - even had a nice sound to the exhaust and loved the handling. Did not so much like the placement of the rearview mirror - for me at 6 foot tall with 32" inseam - the mirror tends to be squarely in the center of my line of site when looking to the right say to check for cross traffic at an intersection. Also noticed at the first stop light that the top of the windscreen did an excellent job of hiding the traffic light (as has been posted here previously and which I thin I could adjust to). Very good wind deflection at 60 mph or so on the highway, windows up, no add-on windscreen. The ride did seem a bit stiff - but only 36 miles (or was it 63) on the one I drove - maybe it gets better - but then the Red Line is supposed to have a stiffer suspension, right? Maybe waiting for the Red Line is not such a good idea. Then again I like the dual exhaust and the Stabilitrack etc. The door and power mirror buttons are quite far back towards your elbow rather than at your finger tips - but I could get used to that.

The guy at the dealer who enters the orders said they already had customers waiting for all of their expected allotments (26 total, 6 already delivered) - he also noted that under the new GM rules they have to earn their images each week - and they have been getting 1 or 2 each week - based on things like total volume, completion of training courses and such. He has tried to order a Red Line - but no deal yet - expects them to be available in the fall in very small quantities - and expects the extra $ for the Red Line could be as low as $3k. But also added hard to say how the recent change in Saturn vs GM will affect how easily the dealers can know in advance what they are getting.

I also went down the road a bit and drove a Mazda Miata Grand Touring 6 Speed. In terms of fit and finish and room inside the car etc - nothing to complain about - and actually seemed like just a tad more elbow space on the driver's left. Pretty well loaded with traction control and such it was within about $2k of the standard Sky with options. There did seem to be quite a bit more wind/turbulence at highway speed even with the windows and the built-in tiny wind defletor up compared to the Sky. There is very little space around the gas pedal - my shoe was rubbing on the carpet while driving. The top goes up and down very easily with one hand while seated in the car. I have been driving 5 speed cars for so long I kept forgetting that I had 6th gear available. The gear pattern is a bit odd (to me) with reverse being the top left most position accessed by pressing down on the stick (like the older Volkswagen Beetles and probably other cars). And the ride in this Miata was also stiff - not quite as stiff as the Sky, but then I think it has a few more miles on it so perhaps past the break in period on the struts/springs/shocks.

All in all if someone walked up to me and said I could have either one and all I had to do was toss a coin and heads I get the Sky - tails I get the Miata I think I would be happy with either one. I still prefer the styling of the Sky and would like to test drive a Sky Red Line (or at least a Solstice GXP) before I have t make a decision - but it might some down to being able to take delivery of the Miata in November when my current lease is up vs waiting until I cannot say exactly when to get a Sky. (then again by Novmber the 2007 Miata will be out and I may have to start my comparison all over again - and might still try to get a test drive in a Honda S2000, just for fun).
 

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Thanks...nice review! But I have to wonder if the Sky you test drove didn't have the suspension upgrade...which is supposed to make for a stiffer ride? Reason I wonder this, is because almost every review I've seen about the Sky says that the ride is not stiff at all...infact, they say it's quite the opposite. Perhaps you could ask the dealer if that Sky had the upgraded suspension.
 

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I have a miata also and I cant really tell the difference in handling although I am a pretty tame driver. I enjoy the sky better though, cause its so much better looking.
 

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better looking is a understatement the sky rocks big time as far as looks go. mazda is old news bring on the new contenders.best car i have ever seen and i have seen a few the mazda is not even in the same class as far as new design of cars goes.
 

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One of the main reasons i'm hanging in this forum is that i want to buy the European version of the redline,the Opel GT.(i live in Athens/Greece).So every bit of info on redline i can gather from you will be appreciated since you will get the redline sooner than the opel will arrive in Europe.

Currently and for 4 years i own a 2001 miata 6 speed with roots supercharger from BRP at 240hp but i think it's time for me to change ever since i saw the upcomig opel gt.
Miata is a great car by all means but the redline/opel gt IMHO have the credentials to match miata's capabilities,let alone the powerful engine .
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Suspension

nscrbug said:
Thanks...nice review! But I have to wonder if the Sky you test drove didn't have the suspension upgrade...which is supposed to make for a stiffer ride? Reason I wonder this, is because almost every review I've seen about the Sky says that the ride is not stiff at all...infact, they say it's quite the opposite. Perhaps you could ask the dealer if that Sky had the upgraded suspension.
Good point - I didn't think to check that. My dad ordered a Sky - supposed to be going to production on the 5/29 - so I suspect he will have it about 4-6 weeks or so after that - as far as I know he did not order the suspension upgrade - so I should be able to get a better feel for the car (if he'll let me drive it).

I went out the following day for some more test drives - one of the sale reps mentioned that sometimes cars are transported with over inflated tires - as much as 50 psi - and in some cases the tire pressure is not adjusted until the car is prepped for customer picked - I would expect the Saturn dealer did a full prep on their Sky - but it did have only about 36 miles on it so I suppose it might be possible that the tires were over inflated.

I also drove a Hyundai Tiburon - small back seat - large trunk - 6 cylinder 6 speed - not bad but not a convertible, front wheel drive, and a large blind spot on each side - also not much head room.

The Honda dealer was not interested in letting me drive an S2000 unless I might actually be considering a purchase the same day. I saw a used 2001 S2000 with 11,000 miles on it for $21,000 - almost no tread left on the rear tires - and it did not appear to have a single cup holder, door pocket, or glove box, etc to stash anything. Might have a center console - but that was about it - and it was Yellow.

I also drove a Ponitac G6 - 6 cylinder - 4 door sedan - not a bad car at all - I am thinking maybe I get a 4 cylinder 4 door for the wife and the new convertible coupe with a 6 cyl for myself - have lower car payments for the next few years then look at the Sky again. I asked about a GTO test drive - and I suppose I could have got it if I had really wanted to but they were a bit reluctant since I had already mentioned that I am maybe two months away from doing anything and the $33,000 price tag *might* be a bit higher than I can go right now. The dealer had his 1964 GTO under a cover in the shop area - in much better condition than my 64 GTO. I mentioned that I heard that 2006 would be the last of the new GTO - the sales rep indicated that was what she had heard - but it did not sound official yet.

But then I am thinking I will wait until I can drive a Sky Red Line before I decide anything. My current lease ends in November - and I might be able to extend it by 6 months - which puts me into April of next year - at which point the Sky Red Line should be available - maybe not readily avaialble - but if I can drive one in maybe October - order one in February - and take delivery in April when I have to turn in my current vehicle - that could work. Or, 3 years from now there might be some used Skys available - then again most of the used cars I have owned did not have all the options that I would prefer to have, like manual tranny. So hard to decide when there are so many variables and unknowns for me at this point - hopefully will be in a better position to narrow things down and determine what I can afford in terms of a purchase or lease payment in a few months.
 
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