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The Relay was one of Saturns projects that launched the company into a totally new segment. Although many would say that the Relay is an SUV upon taking a quick look at it, it is actually a mid-sized van. Because of this, the Relay ended up gaining most of its popularity with younger, bigger families. To satisfy its need for space, Saturn went out of its way and created this comfy and welcoming vehicle. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
When it comes to configuration choices, Saturn offers several options. The standard model comes with a 201-horsepower V6 engine that feels rather smooth and quiet while driven, albeit it does not feel particularly athletic. On the other hand, Saturn made sure to provide a stronger selection for people who prefer a little bit more beasty feel of the vehicle, which comes with a 235-horsepower V6 engine. All trim levels come with a four-speed automatic transmission. The drivetrain options allow drivers to have the choice of choosing between a front-wheel-drive and an all-wheel-drive, should you want more stability.
Mini-Van Disguised as an SUV
Many would easily mistake the Relay for an SUV because of its exterior design. Some of the features which add to this appearance are its long square nose, exposed C-pillars and high-weight roof rails. But, there are also some apparent giveaways which a trained eye could easily spot. Namely, the sliding side-door is one of the biggest tell-tale signs, combined with the position of the door handle. The mini-van is also positioned slightly lower to the ground compared to an SUV. And although the horizontal grill and the big red logo give it the iconic Saturn look, it does not come with plastic panels, but rather steel-panels which is uncharacteristic for the company.
Being a mid-sized van, the cabin of the Relay is obviously extremely spacious. It provides plenty of room for a whole family due to its 7 seats, and it gives plenty of outward vision in all directions for the driver. The styling is clean and contemporary with an option of a leather-covered steering wheel and centre console in the front part of the cabin. The cabin is extremely functional and user-friendly. The gauges behind the steering-wheel are large and extremely easy to read. The interior features HVAC automatic air-conditioning; in the rear, there is another centre stack which comes with a DVD entertainment unit that can also be connected to any gaming console for the maximum enjoyment of younger family members.
Smooth and Safe
The most enjoyable aspect of driving the Relay is its pace as it rolls over the pavement. Saturn’s mini-van is not considered to be a particularly powerful vehicle, but it is an extremely enjoyable one to drive. It is incredibly smooth and stable even on the patchy parts of the pavement. The four-speed automatic transmission is flawless and manages to be remarkably responsive and efficient at the same time. Much like the transmission, the steering is extremely easy on the touch and low effort, making it exceptionally easy to maneuver. The suspension is such that it allows some leaning in the corners, warning you to slow down and when you decide to do so, you will be decelerated by a set of highly responsive brakes and braking systems.
Since the Relay was expected to be so popular with families, Saturn decided to do everything in its power to ensure the passengers are safe. To prevent accidents from happening, Saturn equipped its mini-van with an electronic system that monitors everything from the steering-wheel angle to the wheel rotation speed in order to distribute the power of the braking to every wheel, preventing the negative side-effects of sudden braking. The brakes also have an ABS system that prevents the wheels from locking and sliding on the road. Should an accident occur, the interior has a safety cage and is filled with airbags which should be more than enough to keep everyone in the van safe. Bottom line, the Saturn Relay is an excellent choice and a testament to what can be done in order to provide both comfort and frugality to families in need of a reliable and usable mini-van.