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Saturn S-Series



  • qd4everqd4ever Posts: 2
    I have 31,500 miles on my '98 SL and like it very much. I have only had one repair under warranty which was minor. Most of the people I know who have saturns have had no complaints. I love having an reliable vehicle that gets excellent fuel mileage for so little money. Best of all, it American!!
  • saturnboysaturnboy Posts: 89
    Very glad to hear it " qd4ever" But how come your profile says you now own a 2000 jeep? Wanted to see how the other half lives ? :) Good luck with your Saturn.
  • qd4everqd4ever Posts: 2
    My wife drives the Grand Cherokee, I drive the saturn. I do spend most of my time in the SUV playground here at Edmund's but thats only because I didn't know about this area.
  • jrangerjranger Posts: 3
    I'm considering buying a 95 Saturn SL,68k,5 spd.
    What should I look out for as far as maintenance?
    Is this a reliable car?
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Bunsen: If you reported the oil burning under warranty, you can probably still get it taken care of. It's when you first reported the problem, not when they corently diagnosed it that matters. Get a printout of your service history as evidence.

    A big problem with saturn is, frankly, their advertising. The public is not aware of what they've got, and what the value of it is. I disagree with floridian about the "badness" of the S and L series, but he is right that they are not exciting the consumer in general, and they need to do more to separate themselves. Another problem seems to be that they are letting the saturn dealers become more like other dealers. I have had good experiences with saturn dealers, but I have heard enough reports on the web to know that other dealers ( and it seems like the ones if florida are particularly guilty of this ) are charging way too much for service, and delaying repairs until after warranty, when they can charge more for them. Frankly, I expect this from other dealers, but it's distressing to see it from saturn. One of the big selling points of the car is human sales and service departments. Another thing I notice is the cars have been decontented a bit over the years. There's no longer a "perf" switch on the automatic, the back brakes are now drum instead of disk, they apparently took a baffle out of the gas tank, etc. I hope they can correct these issues, and do correct them, instead of focusing on concept vehicles & the like. I really like my '96 sl2, I think it was the best car available for the money when I got it, and it's been virtually flawless. Saturn: get thee to thine roots!

  • floridianfloridian Posts: 219
    dhanley: You summed it up very well. I think the whole problem IS that the top brass @ GM just can't resist "twiddling" with Saturn. If they would just keep their grubby 'lil hands off and as you say "get back to their roots" everyone would be better off.

    Last summer my son and I toured the Saturn plant in Springhill. Very impressive what they do there. While killing time in the nearby town of Columbia, Tenn. we struck up a conversation with a couple of guys at the motel that have worked at the plant from the day it opened. They said that GM really has pretty much taken all decision making away from management there and have , one way or another ,gotten rid of (read kicked upstairs)all the really innovative people that they could not bully into their way of management. These guys said that within another 6 or 7 years they expect that Saturn will be NO different from any other division, except
    Corvette of course.

    I had great expectations for the LS cars and was looking to buy a wagon but after a test drive and price comparison to other offerings I think I'll pass. How can they hope to compete with the likes of Volvo and VW Passat in this class ?

    You are right about the dealers in Florida. These guys here INVENT the newest ways to screw the buyer and then export this to the other parts of the country. Sad but true. Witness the royal screwing the SE Toyota dealer/distributors deliver in the form of their "Toyoguard" nonsense.

    Floridian, The way I see it.
  • 94saturn94saturn Posts: 7
    Shoot... Just found out that it was a computer problem. Computer gets confused or something. Not good...
  • travelertraveler Posts: 67
    If the computer is malfunctioning, might be corrosion on the connectors. Go to an electronics store and get some contact cleaner and clean all the electrical connectors. Had a 81 Citation and about every 12k to 15k miles it would start running poorly and I would clean all the electrical connectors and it would run great till it was time to clean them again. If cleaning didn't work then I changed the plug wires . With the high voltage systems in use now 50k volts and higher, even premium wires only last about 60 to 70k miles. This is compared to cars of the 60's and 70's when the systems only gave 25k to 30k volts to the plugs.
  • jranger,

    I have a 94 sl. No frills except for anti lock brakes and AC. I am now past 230,000 miles with only one clutch and one alternator. Oh yeah, lots and lots of tires.

    I believe these are wonderful little cars. I just got mine back from the shop after being hit by a 1 ton Ford E-350 van. Much to my surprise, the insurance company did NOT total my car. Total repair was over $1580. Blue book on the car is $1600. Go figure.

    Anyway, it still gets 36+/- MPG in Atlanta traffic. Burns 1 quart of oil every 3,000 miles, and has a very low insurance cost. I say go for it. 68K miles is just a baby.
  • jayhsjayhs Posts: 1
    Hello all,

    I am currently shopping around for a new (well... new to me, anyway) car, and I've stumbled across the 1993 Saturn SL1. I like the look of the car, and it drives quite well. It's a manual transmission, which I really like (and it's amazing how few manual transmission cars I've been able to find on the used car lots these days!), and just seems like a good car.

    This vehicle has about 76,000 miles on it, and seems to be in very good condition. I haven't had my mechanic check it over yet, but plan to before I buy it.

    Anyway, anyone here own this car? Is it good and reliable? Anything I should be keeping an eye out for next time I go down to look at it (which will be when I drive it up to my mechanic for a pre-purchase checkover)?

    And is this year/model a good all-around car? I don't do a lot of driving (I walk to work), but when I do drive it tends to be for long distances (2 to 6 hours) over a variety of roadways (small highways, very few interstates). Is this car good to fit my driving habits?


  • matty26matty26 Posts: 1
    I bought a 1995 SL back in 1994 when they first came out. It has been the best car I've ever owned! I'm not really good about maintenance and oil changes slip my mind often, but it still keeps on ticking. I usually average arouns 35-45 mpg on it. You should buy mine (time for an Audi)

    - Matty26
  • saturnboysaturnboy Posts: 89

    93 Was a decent year for Saturn, the SL series was in its 3rd year in 93 so the majority of bugs were worked out at that point. The only thing common of failing on Saturns were premature break wear, normally just the pads. Also using a quart of oil between oil changes is common but nothing to worry over. I was at Saturn the other day and was talking to a lady in the service dept. she has a 93 Saturn SW1 wagon, with 134,000 miles, and hasn't had any problems. Over all Saturn cars are made to be a great value to own, consistantly winning awards from for low maintenance costs, good reliability, low insurance and gas costs. Also , Saturn's consistantly receive high marks for Safety, and the body panels never rust. Definitly have it checked over, good luck.


    Before you leave the Saturn Family so quickly to hop over into German car territory, keep in mind that VW/Audi have constant electrical problems, often aggravating, and annoying to say the least. Drive a Saturn LS2 with the leather seat pkg, and then come back and tell me if you really want to spend 10k more on less of a car. The LS models have a european ride/handling, not to mention good prices, and the traditional great Saturn service. You should drive both back to back and then sleep on it. I have a feeling afterwards you'll be heading back to Saturn land. Good luck :)
  • NurseMBHNurseMBH Posts: 7
    I am considering leasing a Saturn SL. They have some good lease deals going on right now. The only problem is that they seem to be set on a 39 mos lease vs the 36 mos(which is what I want)
    They also want approx 1500 down. Any room to negotiate these issues? They state "the bank says we have to do the lease program this way."
  • saturnboysaturnboy Posts: 89

    Saturn did not start it's 39 month lease program untill the 1999 model year. Due to the fact that they switched from Chase Finance Corp. to GMAC, which I think was to help GM make some bucks after their dreaded strike by UAW workers in late 1998.

    In all fairness, Toyota is doing 39 month leases nationwide also. It's just a marketing gimick designed to make the car companys money. However have you looked at maintenance costs for the Saturn SL, compare it to the Corrolla VE. They have all of these facts available to you at Saturn. The Corrolla VE is over double what it costs to maintain the Saturn SL. They are about the Same price to lease, althou I think the Corrolla actually requires more money down then the Saturn.

    Don't over look the free carwashs, the polimer doors that don't rust or ding, that means less $$$ from your pocket when you turn it back in, no dings, no cost to you. The service from my own experience has been wonderful. My aunt bought a LS1 thanks to me and couldn't be happier.

    I have a 1998 SL and haven't had any problems so far knock on wood. My monthly payment is $129.00 a month, and I added the car care package for an extra $14 a month. I could not have found a better value for the money. Would I buy another one>? Yes. Good luck.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Probably lets them fan out the lease a bit more and make the individual payments a little bit cheaper. Maybe the residual doesn't change much between 36 and 39 months, I dunno. Not sure why you'd perfer a 36 month lease ( i guess you probably have reasons ) but if I were leasing, I don't think I'd care too much. Usually when there's a special lease you can't negotiate too much on the downpayment or the term, though I'd just call and ask if I were you. Maybe it could be set up so that at 36 months there would be a very small buyout which the dealer could cover. Be creative. They may be more flexible on these issues than i think. The ls2 lease for 299 per month and zero down is particularly sweet.

  • macarthur2macarthur2 Posts: 135
    Friend of mine just bought the new Saturn with a v6 engine and all the stuff. cost her $22K dealer profit was $2,800 that buys a lot of free donuts and coffee. I am watching to see how this very bland looking vehicle survives. Hey Saturnboy I finally know someone who owns one - never thought that would happen. I'll let you know how it goes
  • saturnboysaturnboy Posts: 89
    Im sure it will go fine despite what you may claim happens to this smart womans vehicle. I have 2 Saturns in the family, one of which IS an LS1. Saturn Sales are up lately, and sales consultants are predicting another Saturn Sales boom during the 2001 fiscal year. Wish her good luck with her LS even thou she won't need it.
  • fredfred3fredfred3 Posts: 73
    I am thinking about getting a new car and considering a standard Saturn SL but am very concerned about quality. I am very good about maintaining my cars and always change the oil at 3000 intervals with Mobil 1. How do Saturns hold up if properly maintianed? Also, does the service department stand behind their new cars. I bought a used (non GM) car from a Saturn Dealer and after a few weeks the car started burning oil. The service department told me to talk to the used car manager as he had to make all final decisions. The used car manager said he did not know anything about cars and told me to talk to the service department. They kept this charade up with me calling 5 times a day and making repeated trips to the dealership until the warranty ran out. Then they claimed that I had not reported the problem. So I am very leary about doing business with Saturn again. Any advice on how they are with new cars?
  • macarthur2macarthur2 Posts: 135
    The color of her LS2 is plum silver, in spite of the bland styling the color is gorgeous! The leather interior looks pretty nice (gray). Ergonomically the window lift buttons are on the console instead of the door. She was also surprised after delivery that the V6 engine requires premium fuel. And that the fuel tank holds only 13.1 gallons instead of the 17 gallons more typical in this class. City/highway rating is 20/26, that means a lot of pit stops on a long trip. Huge trunk, within .5 cubic ft of a Buick LeSabre. I'm tracking it but just to make you grin like a possum Saturnboy, she loves it.
  • macarthur2macarthur2 Posts: 135
    Why is it you are so defensive? God Almighty man you won't even allow someone to disagree with you about a car!!!! You take it as a personal insult because I (a very studious car nut) choose to recommend another car to someone who is simply asking for advice. You are allowed to have your opinion and I give you that - but you have no right to attack my opinions or my advice just because they disagree with yours. The crusaders had the same mind set. It's a personality thing gang, we all must agree with Saturnboy or risk him attacking and encouraging others to do so. This is a column for opinions man, and mine happens to disagree with yours. If you don't like it sic Dave on me. Get a real life and go find a real cause to champion, like the homeless or the poor. They need someone with your excessive zeal. In the mean time I'm here and I'll give my opinion when asked - or if I just feel like it. Get a life man.
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