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Saturn S-Series



  • Say goodbye to the prism, in the latest edition of autoweek, it has been confirmed that the Chevy prism which has scored lower in quality then it's sibling the Toyota Corrolla will be discontinued no later then the 2002 model year.

    GM plans to replace it with another car from Pontiac which is unspecified at this date.


    I admit your enthusiasm is refreshing, but I can tell you from years of chatting here, very few people in here actually own Saturn's. Better off to talk with your local retailer and Saturn owners in the service department, I often come away feeling like I accomplished more by hearing Real Saturn owners , face to face, tell me they love their car and plan to buy another one. However, keep up the good work .
  • afk_xafk_x Posts: 393
    Couple of things.

    1. Profit. I suppose we are talking about gross profit. This depends on the car. The base SL has just over 400 in profit. The SL-1 has about 800. The SL-2 has 1100. SC-2 has about 1300. L-100 about 800 in profit. L-200 about 1200. L-300 also about 1200.

    I wish there were 2,000 in profit. There isn't.

    2. L series. You must have driven the 4 cyl L series. Consider that the V6 Saturn has the same engine as the Cadilac Catera, but weighs a whole lot less, does 0-60 in just over 7 seconds, (Faster than the MAXIMA automatic) and has a mid range acceleration that flat out hauls, I doubt you drove the L-300.

    That being said, compared to a Porsche 911 it is very boring and has a lot of lean in the corners.
  • I mentioned in a earlier post that the Saturn SC2 was not a "turn on" for this self confessed "gear head". I "inherited" the thing as a company leased car, sort of, due to the termination of the gentleman who had been driving it. Try as I may I could not get any of the rest of the guys to take over the car. Even tho some were,at the time, driving some pretty clapped-out wheels such as some Sunfire/Cavaliers with close to 100K on them. They all said it "drove funny" was "uncomfortable". This from Sunfire/Cav. drivers ,go figure LOL !! So I palmed it off on my wife for the duration of the lease (9 months to go)she hates the car too and has ordered a new Honda Coupe.Gotta keep her happy,right ?

    I think most, that are not "car guys" could care less about how a car is engineered, the design of the engine fit and finish etc. The for the most part look at the pretty paint, believe all the high buck TV promo ads etc and probably buy on price (read cheap)alone. if this is not the case how do we explain all the Escorts,Cavaliers, Sunfires, kias, Hyundais and yes, even Daewoos that cross the curb ?
  • It's no secret that it's a gotta have what ever is the newest world today. People seem to care less and less about saftey- the PT cruiser proves that hands down which received a 2 star crash test rating and people luv it anyway.

    People do not seem to care much for quality, since people are snaping up Hyundai's which score like 40 car makes below Saturn in JD Power and Associates in initial quality, Hyundai is not far behind from Daewoo's bankruptcy, according to news sources Hyundai has too much debt and is having serious trouble ridding it, if they go, everyone can kiss thier great warranty good bye as well as resale value.

    Saturn still has the highest owner loyalty rate in the industry, which GM realized or they wouldn't have invested 1.5 BILLION in future product development, top executives at GM admit that Saturn is the best chance GM has at the future, and at drawing in younger buyers. To each his own.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    so what, lower than the toyota...not by much i'm sure. Recount? What you failed to mention is whether the Prizm scored higher than the Saturn.

    Or can you not say that.

    I haven't seen the numbers for this year, but usually the Prizm and Corolla are right up in the top 10.

    If GM fans are really wanting to buy a GM small car.....they at least owe it to themselves to get past some of the Saturn hype and at least test drive the Prizm and Saturn side by side and then make a decision on what's the better car.

    GM spends only 5% as much money I'd bet promoting the Prizm as they do Saturns.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    Compact Car segment

    1. Toyota Corolla
    2. Chevy Prizm
    3. Mitsubishi Mirage
  • Press RELEASE, Regarding new technology coming from Saturn/GM

    Dec. 11, 2000

    Saturn's variable transmission will start trend for GM

    Lindsay Chappell
    Automotive News

    General Motors has bigger hopes for the European-built continuously variable transmission that will debut next year on the new Saturn Vue sport-utility.

    GM plans to launch CVT production for other vehicles beginning in 2002. While the automaker is not saying how many models will get its new CVT technology, a GM source said it will at least go into the small Corsa line, which GM now builds around the world.

    GM and Ford Motor Co. view the CVT as a way to increase fuel economy on vehicles with automatic transmissions and as a way to improve the ride of small-engine cars.

    Both U.S. automakers are setting up factories that will deliver CVT systems to models around the world. A Ford joint venture with ZF Industries Inc. in Batavia, Ohio, will begin CVT production in 2002 to supply the Ford Mondeo and other vehicles.

    Saturn Corp. will give the world its first peek at the GM technology. The move reflects Saturn's new mission inside GM.

    The unit is increasingly becoming GM's global technology pioneer, putting to use components and concepts that are coming out of GM's far-flung world operations. Saturn said it will use technology from Honda, Fiat, Saab, Adam Opel and Aisin Seiki.

    Starting this summer, Saturn will import CVTs from Adam Opel AG's plant in Sventgotthard, Hungary. The transmission will go into the automatic version of the new Vue with a 138-hp, 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine.

    CVT works on the same principle as an automatic transmission. But rather than automatically changing from first to second, or second to third gear based on pre-determined gear ratios, the CVT uses a belt-and-pulley system that seamlessly changes gear ratios.

    Saturn has not revealed how many Vues it expects to sell annually, except to say it wants to sell 50,000 its first year. The Corsa is a much higher-volume product.

    A CVT-equipped vehicle generally offers a 5 percent to 10 percent improvement in fuel economy over the same vehicle equipped with an ordinary automatic transmission.
  • As you so gracefully quoted,

    "If GM fans are really wanting to buy a GM small
    car.....they at least owe it to themselves to get
    past some of the Saturn hype and at least test
    drive the Prizm and Saturn side by side and then
    make a decision on what's the better car."

    Why should Saturn owners or GM owners allow someone else who has different beliefs to discourage us from buying the car that we chose for a wealth of personal reasons?

    For your information, I have driven a 2000 Corolla CE with auto, and I have compared the Corolla to the Prism. I found the Prism to have cheap looking/feeling interior materials compared to the Corolla, and the chinsy Chevy bowtie emblem didn't go with the exterior of the car. The seats in the Prism seem to use a lesser quality fabric compared to Corolla. So, If I had to choose, I would buy the Corolla, which has better resale value then Prism.

    The Prism isn't bad, However the Corolla offers more value to me. IF there wasn't Saturn that is. Im certainly not saying Saturn is perfect, because they aren't and no car/car company is. I am saying,that true Saturn owners will not be discouraged by others, and we realize the value of safety, low ownership costs, high service quality, etc.

    In addition to the Saturn VUE SUV coming, new S Series in late 2002, and a pickup/sports car based on the soon to be defunct Camaro, We have more and more reasons to stay with the Saturn line, and I intend to.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    the only thing i'm suggesting is that GM loyalists who may be drawn to Saturn only because its GM also ought to check out the Prizm.

    No need to read into it more than you need to Saturnboy.

    Saturnboy, howcome you don't drive an L-series?
  • Saturnboy, my "car is a machine" quote was not something that Saturn said to is a response that they have given to many Saturn owners judging from the posts that can be found on the internet.

    True, I did have problems with a used car purchsed through Saturn, followed by problems with the dealerhship. However this was not just any used car that had problems later "down the road." It was a car covered under an extended warranty which Saturn sold me. IF they don't want to stand behind non-Saturn make used cars, that is all well and good. But, in that case, they had ought to stop selling warranties for them.

    As I recall, over in the LS forum, you yourself even claimed to be somewhat dissastified about your Saturn service as of late and you were even contemplating writing the company a letter about it. You also said in the same post that you were thinking about buying a Ford Ranger
  • I bought a Saturn four years ago because I was impressed with the "Different Type of Car / Company" creed. The dealership was great and super-sweet to me until I started having problems with the car. My alternator went bad at about 23,000 miles and was replaced under warranty. After about 30,000 I seemed to be constantly adding oil and my saturn dealership said that was normal. I felt as if they were just dismissing what I had to say without really listening. Still, I figured that they knew what they were talking about and went on my way. Now that the car is no longer under warranty, my dealership informs me that the motor needs to be rebuilt. They say it is probably my fault for not maintaining the car properly. I changed the oil every 3,000 miles and had all the required maintainence done on schedule. I contacted Saturn and explained the situation. They also told me that "a car is a machine" and there was nothing they could or would do to help me. I feel angered and betrayed. I am in the market for a new car now. It wont be a Saturn.
  • Reg

    I do have an LS1 - now L200 in the family and I love it. The handling is superb, engine is quiet, and seems like a very solid car. I do not own one because at this point I have better things to put my $$ towards like mutual funds, stocks, etc, and prefer not to buy a midsize car since I have no need for one at this time.


    I do not recall ever being "Seriously" disatisfied with my car or the service my retailer provides me. Granted, no retailer or car is perfect and things fluctuate from time to time, but over all I am pleased with it and do intend to aquire another S series in 4-6 months.


    I am very sorry for your loss, it really shouldn't happen however Saturn makes no more lemons then any other american car company. Situations like yours as you claim, are exactly the reason why I lease cars, and because I can barely stand having a car for more then 3 years. You have a right to be angry, and betrayed for having Saturn supposedly treat you in such a manor as you stated.

    AFK X said something along the lines that "Saturn owners have tremendous owner loyalty , and the one's who happened to get a bad Saturn often cry louder and longer because of the image Saturn has of high customer service. Definitly true.
  • Just to clarify the point, I never said that you were seriously dissastified with the service from your Saturn retailer. What I said was that, in the LS forum you appeared to be somewhat dissastified with your service and were contemplating writing a letter to Saturn about it. I am sure you must recall posting that. If not, it is in the LS forum archives.

    Either way, I am glad that overall you are content with your service since that is what is important in the long run. It is also refreshing that you are responding in a much more sympathetic and civil manner to those such as ohiolady who do not share your enthusiasm.
  • Fred

    Well, that is why I put the seriously in quotes to signify the difference. Just wanted to clarify, and I also mentioned that things do fluctuate from time to time and things are not always perfect at my local retailer. However, they have come through for me in ways Im sure other dealers wouldn't and overall I am more then satisfied. I wish all Saturn owners could have the same results, but Saturn retailers vary depending on the owner.

    In 1999 when Saturn's customer satisfaction scores slipped five spots to number 6, Saturn Corporate enacted a corporate buy back of un friendly Saturn retailers to continue with industry leading customer service, and on a personal note, in my area they are soon to start building a new kind of Saturn retail facility which includes an even more user friendly atmosphere, fire place near customer seating, internet hookups and a coffee bar, not to mention an automatic car wash. Im seriously Looking foward to it.
  • afk_xafk_x Posts: 393
    If you indeed have all the service reccords, you may be able to get Saturn Corp to help you. I am sorry to hear about your situation, but most of the time when Saturn engines go bad it is because they have not been maintained properly. I am not suggesting your was not taken care of well, only helping you understand why your Saturn dealership told you that.

    I would suggest you go over to and post your message there and ask them for suggestions. There are many helpful people there, and are experts in the subject matter.

    Good luck!
  • Well I just have to disagree with the statement that most Saturn engines go bad because of poor maintenance. I personally know of 2 that needed rebuilding, my wife's for one, and both were well maintained. Saturn's "excuse" for me was high mileage and Saturn records showing excessive mileage between oil changes. As for the mileage, I have discussed it before, 83 K is NOT a lot of miles. As for the oil, I change it myself every 3,000 miles, Saturn only sees the car for major service and repairs, more often the later. The other rebuild was for compression rings. This according to the Saturn service tech. is a problem with 95 and 96 Saturn's. All engines blow given enough abuse, but a well maintained engine by today's standards should be good for 150 K unless there are quality issues.
  • afk_xafk_x Posts: 393
    But the majority of problems still occur when a car doesn't have proper maintincence.
    (oil changes)

    The two cars you brought up are exceptions rather than the rule.

    I owned a 86 Civic, the engine "drank" about 2 quarts of oil between changes. This was when the car was 8 years old, with 86K milage. It had its oil changed every 3000 miles.
  • Howdy---

    I'm about to purchase a '98 SL2 from the dealer, 63,000 miles. It seems lower on power than the 2000 I rented to check the model out, and has one minor rattle in the dash, but that's about all I can see in terms of flaws. Is there an easy way to see if the car has mechanical problems? Saturn owners seem to either think their car is God's gift to humanity or the blackest pit of hell, very little in between. I love the way the car handles, shifts, doesn't dent, etc. but the naysayers worry me: I accelerate and brake hard, hence the sport model, and I don't want to wind up with an oil-burning, rotor-warping nightmare.
  • afk_xafk_x Posts: 393
    Get the VIN number from the car and have a Saturn dealer run a universal history for the car. You will be able to see what kind of service was performed at any Saturn dealership. This will tell you if the car has been a problematic one.

    If you are getting that SL2 for a good price (under 10K depending on equiptment) then you really can't go wrong. Its a lot of car for the money.
  • You may want to update your profile since you claim to be shopping for a VW (costly car to own btw) One of the great things about Saturn is Low cost of ownership. Hence, ratings. Also the 1998 Saturn S Series was one of the least problematic years, which has had lower problems then the VW Golf GTI, and NISSAN SENTRA SE in 1998. It scored in the top three in best initial quality by for 1998. As long as the price is good, and you have it checked by an authorized Saturn retailer, I say go for it.
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