Sky vs. Solstice
If you want a softer ride, better equipment and a contemporary style, reach for the Sky. If you’re a sucker for the classic roadster and need a low price more than air conditioning or power windows, opt for the Solstice.
We know what you’re thinking: the 2007 Saturn Sky is yet another example of GM’s infamous badge engineering strategy. That’s true – except that the Sky is a good example of badge engineering, done correctly. While the two vehicles are very similar, there are enough differences in the price, style, interior design, and performance to attract different types of buyers. The styling, of course, is evident: where the Solstice curves the Sky has a hard edge. The Solstice is straight out of the classic roadster design book, while the Sky offers a more contemporary, aggressive look. On the inside, the Sky offers an upscale design, while the Solstice is more driver-centric. Differences include the center stack of controls, air vents, instrument panel, and the design and placement of environmental controls. One of our bugaboos about the Solstice, in fact, is that the controls are isolated in a sea of plastic, and the result is a bit cheap looking. The Sky avoids this downmarket look by segmenting the dash into sections, and doing it nicely. Instead of two round vents awash in a plastic wave, as in the Solstice, the Sky’s two center vents are squared off and placed above the three main environmental controls, which are finished with a hard black compound. Vehicle space and volume between the two cars, including that good-for-nothin’ trunk, are virtually identical.
Similarities are also evident on the road, with both boasting excellent ride and handling character. The only change comes in the Sky’s suspension tuning, which makes for a more compliant ride. Also, thanks to a horsepower and torque deficit in the Saturn, the Sky does feel a little sluggish compared to what we remember from our drive in the Solstice. If so, it’s probably due to the power loss and a weight gain of 73 lbs. That’s not much, sure, but perhaps enough to make a difference on a roadster.
There are some differences in equipment and price, however. The Sky is better equipped and more expensive, but before you assume that the Solstice is the bargain, however, consider that at a new base price of $20,490, the Solstice is bare bones, while the Sky, at $23,690, is relatively loaded. The $3,200 premium gets you an acoustic headliner, OnStar telematics, four-wheel antilock brakes, air conditioning, cruise control, power door locks, power windows, and remote keyless entry – all of which are options on the Solstice. Equipping your Solstice like a standard Sky jacks the sticker price up to just over $24,000.
So – which one? We’d pick the Solstice for the work week and the Sky for the weekend. It’s nice to show off Monday through Friday, and the Solstice simply has more buzz about it than the Sky, thanks to Bob Lutz and every single car magazine on earth. On the weekend, however, we’d opt for the Sky, the more comfortable ride with the nicer interior, and in fact, the style we really love the most.