No matter where a Saturn Sky pulls up, a reliable phenomenon occurs within seconds: An admirer appears and, beaming over the Sky's arresting shape and its owner's clear taste, ventures to guess the roadster's cost. That guess will likely be $40,000 or $50,000—off target in the best possible way—and the owner waits a few pleasurable seconds before springing the surprise: The Saturn starts at around $25,000.
Like its more subtly styled sister car, the Pontiac Solstice, the Sky features a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine with 177 horsepower, along with Bilstein monotube shocks. The higher-performance Red Line version, still only around $29,000, boosts horsepower to a meaty 260 via a 2.0-liter, direct-injection, turbocharged four-cylinder. It's the most power GM has ever coaxed from an engine this small, and it spurs the Sky Red Line from zero to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds. That's in line with a Porsche Boxster S, which costs almost double what the Saturn does. And although the Sky can't match the Porsche's uncanny refinement and stable balance, it's still a fine all-day playmate, with confident steering and a cheeky spirit. The Red Line version also adds electronic stability control—a critical safety net for any test-the-limits pilot—and a limited-slip differential to help the rear wheels pour down power through the curves and down the hills.
As with many tiny convertibles, the Sky is not without its shortcomings: The manual-folding roof is a needlessly complicated affair, and as for top-down luggage space, well, let's just say your weekend destination had best be a nudist camp. But those nags feel like nitpicks when you sneak another look at the car's gorgeous curves, head off on a crisp sunny morning and recall just how little you shelled out for the Sky's two-seat pleasure.
2007 Saturn Sky
Base Price: $25,325
Engine: 2.4-liter four-cylinder
Torque: 166 pound-feet
Weight: 2,933 pounds
Zero to 60 mph: 7.2 seconds
Base Price: $29,025
Engine: 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Torque: 260 pound-feet
Weight: 2,990 pounds
Zero to 60 mph: 5.5 seconds