If you really like the Relay, you might want to race to find one. Rumor has it Saturn's minivan might take a break for a year or two before being reinvented. That seems to be the fate of many vehicles cast in the minivan mold with their signature sliding side doors, low stance and slightly bloated appearances. Relay has avoided the last of that trio of telltale characteristics, with a trim exterior, sport rails on top for hauling a kayak perhaps, and a near SUV profile. Saturn even suggests it has "SUV style." But those close-proximity side door handles are the giveaway. For all its practicality and promise, this front-drive passenger hauler is still a minivan. And many who spent their childhood years in the backs of those mom-mobiles now want something different.
With a foggy future in mind, we'll concentrate on the best of 2007 for the Relay. Saturn has added some nice touches, with appearance and functional upgrades among them, and a common engine for all three models. The 3.9L V6 with variable valve timing churns out a pleasing 240-horsepower and is guided into gear with a four-speed automatic.
Four new exterior colors splash across the color spectrum, with Silver Plum Quartz, Polar Blue Metallic, Gold Mist and Cocoa replacing last year's Golden Cashmere, Forest Green, Bronze Pewter and Coastal Gray.
GM's trademarked StabiliTrak electronic stability system for secure road-grip control becomes standard on all versions. Hunky painted 17-inch wheels become standard on the top-line Relay 3 that also gets standard dual zone manual comfort controls for those in front.
Relay 1 was the '07 newcomer as a price-conscious entry model. Relay 2, as expected, fits in between the two.
Saturn touts the Relay's flexibility with three snap-in accessory modules adding to storage versatility. A standard overhead rail system keeps the rear comfort, audio, lighting and entertainment/DVD functions out of the way up top. (One of them, "PhatNoise," optional digital audio with a 40-gigabyte hard drive, can crank out some 10,000 songs in MP3, WMA and WAV for ear blasting amusement.)
The Relay gets 18/25 estimated fuel economy and rings in at a base price of about $22,235 including destination fee.