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Saturn S-Series



  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    I have no problem buying a Saturn and I know the sales/service is good. My visit to a Saturn dealer was the most pleasant of any in my travels. I compared finance rates, insurance costs, fuel economy and actual car cost (what I will pay for the car). In the end, the Saturn still lost out on my sale and I'm sure I am not the only one.

    Why for example is ABS standard on every GM car, but not on even the top level LS2? To me the Intrigue is a much better value for money and it's 215hp engine will blow the doors off an LS2. I really wanted to buy a Saturn, but even the great service and people could not pull me away from a better car.
  • norbert444norbert444 Posts: 195
    In the first three years, I have been to the shop some 20 times: Burned out right-turn light. Noisy speedometer cable to be replaced. Fuel gage that still read 1/4 while the tank run out dry (the problem probably generated while they replaced the speedometer cable). Fuel gage replaced. Front wheel alignment problem (they had to drill larger holes in the suspension mounts because they could not align it using the regular threads). Back to shop to suck out the shavings left over from the hole drilling. Broken belt buckle. Replacement of the door moldings gauged while replacing the belt buckle. Transmission case fix to stop the leaks. Adjustment of the directional signal lever (would not indicate lane change). And on and on it went.

    After warranty expired, I was given an extra spare wheel cardboard cover. The original one kept caving in. (Now have two that I play together. When they both cave in, I turn them upside down, making them heave up for a while.)

    Then I noticed that the ignition key was getting worn out fast because something inside is rubbing hard against it. Started to use the second one and went to the shop. They said they could replace the ignition cylinder (about $120) or make me a couple of extra keys ($5). Got the keys.

    The car also shakes if I use the brakes at over 45 mph. The car has about 45K miles and the test showed warped brake disks. Yet, about half of the brake linings is still left.

    I wanted to replace the spark plugs at about 35K and discovered that the spark plug wells (2 out of 4) were filled with oil. The cause = leaky head gasket. Replaced the head gasket myself (some $50 for the Saturn OEM gasket and sealer).

    There are rattles and squeaks in several places - and the engine is whining like someone posted before.

    On the positive, the no-haggle policy was a plus, the people in the shop are very friendly and wash the car at every visit. The car drives very responsively - cuts through traffic like a hot knife through butter.

    I used to buy exclusively American. But now I went for a Maxima (bought a month ago) and couldn't be happier... The time and aggravation savings will more than pay for the extra cost.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Yes, I don't know of any source yet giving cost-of-ownership for an LS2. I was thinking of the S series with my unaware buyers lament. I will continue it in another area. You claim your intrigue will "blow the doors off" on an LS2. According to road and track, which tests cars independantly, the ls2 goes 0-60 in 7.6 seconds and runs a 15.8 1/4 mile, while the intrigue goes 0-60 in 8.0, and rusn the 1/4 mile in 16.1. These are both in road & track's "significant difference" range, both favorable to the saturn. I don't know if it's too easy to blow the doors off of a car way in front of you. :) This is from the feb 2000 issue. OTOH, the intrigue is a very nice car which I like and I thought of getting.

    nrobert444: don't know what to say. If they didn't have service records, how do they know the prev owner missed "just one service?" Sound like the dealer doed NOT know what they're doing. If you still have the car, bring it to another saturn dealer if possible, or a devent independant mechanic. BTW, the wheel cover is not cardboard, and it holds up my 200 pound body. Does yours get wet somehow? Maybe some plastic would help?

  • saturnboysaturnboy Posts: 89

    I was wondering if you ever read studies done by JD Power & Associates, because if you did you would clearly see that Nissan has taken turns for the worst in the last few years. They are nearly at the bottom of JD Powers inital quality study, amount of problems per 100 vehicles reported by owners during the first 3 months of ownership. IMO,if your going to buy Japanese, stick with Toyota, and Honda. They have traditionally held up better then off [non-permissible content removed] brands like mazda, nissan, subaru , all according to Consumer Reports, JD Power & Associates, and real world experience. BTW, in the same study where in which Nissan was at the bottom near kia, Saturn was just below the middle mark, still yards better.
  • travelertraveler Posts: 67
    I did buy Saturn over cavaliar,and considered all the aspects of ownership over 150K miles. That is how many miles I plan on driving the car. It came out alittle less than cavaliar for the same amount of miles. So far I am pleased with the car and like the road manners and for a economy car it is quiet inside (quieter than the 94 protege I had prior to the Saturn). I am not a buy one brand all the time person and will not tell anyone to buy or not as how I feel about the car is my opinion. I always tell people to drive the car and compare it to others. As I mentioned in much earlier posts I test drove escort, neon, cavaliar and sentra besides the saturn. Only the cavaliar had similar qualities in acceleration and quitness. A lot of people keep a car only 2-3 years then trade again so they are more interested in lowest initial cost to keep payment low.
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 318
    Aaaah, my first Edmunds post in Linux. So far so good.

    One reason I think Saturn's LS2 hasn't caught on is the name. I don't defend it, but in fact North Americans need a car to have a NAME not a series of letters and numbers. I honestly think the significance of an LS2 ad (as opposed to an SL2 ad) is lost on most people.

    Years from now, Rick happily buys a heavily depreciated, used Saturn LS2 because other people don't know what they're missing. ;-)

    Bye for now,
    Rick D.
  • norbert444norbert444 Posts: 195
    Thanks for the reply. Here are some more facts: I am the original owner. I am the only driver and keep meticulous records of all problems and maintenance/repairs. Except my wife drives it since last month's Maxima acquisition.

    The "cardboard" is some composite, of course. The first one did indeed get wet once when I put on it a damp car cover after washing. I thoroughly dried it out immediately. The heaviest loading it experienced was three high school backpacks three times a week for some 2 years, mostly after I added the second "cardboard" which did not get wet. (Now I use a plastic basket when I wash my car cover - which keeps the paint looking like new after 5 years!)

    I have a tendency to agree that Saturn mechanics do not know what they are doing at least some of the time. I have, for example, argued with them over the fuel gauge. I basically told them that they must have busted it while replacing the speedometer cable. And told them how I discovered it (it was the first time the car ran out of gas showing a quarter-full on the gauge and it happened after the cable replacement). They insisted that they have a proper procedure, factory-trained mechanics and were not interested in my facts. So they spent money on a rental car for me and a whole day to figure out what I told them in the first place.
  • norbert444norbert444 Posts: 195
    One fact you did not mention is that Saturn has had the "bovy" (Best buy) award from Intellichoice for all models last year and for many years before for basically all models. The car is definitely a great buy, if you can stand certain things reported here. I am not so aware of the other surveys you mentioned.

    This is a wrong forum to discuss any [non-permissible content removed] brands. However, I just want to mention that the most popular Honda is made right here! And so are other similar cars.

    BTW, the Nissan is shaping up to be my best buy so far. It is too early to tell, though. See you in Maxima forum on that.
  • jenc1jenc1 Posts: 5
    I am thinking of purchasing my first new car and a Saturn SL1 is one of my first choices. The problem is I'm a bit confused by Saturn's no haggle pricing. What does this mean?
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    It means the price they give you on their web site or in the dealership is what you pay. It's not negotiable, much like when you buy a new stereo at Target. It makes the whole buying experience a little more pleasant, and the prices are fair.
  • floridianfloridian Posts: 219
    Just read in the paper that Saturn has cut production at Spring Hill, Tenn plant by ONE THIRD !! Wow, this early on in the 2000 year and they are cutting production.They have cut production of the "L" cars at the Delaware plant as well. Here in Florida the dealers are awash in unsold cars. What's wrong with this picture? A lot of things, but mostly "daddy GM's" not letting Saturn alone to do their own thing as they did when they first started. Not keeping the "s" series cars up to date (woefully out of date at this point), not offering unique styling (witness the invisible style of the new "L" series),dragging their feet on the intro of a SUV (too late now for sure)and sticking to the "no haggle" pricing polocy. I predict that Saturn will be absorbed by other GM lines or cease to exhist altogether in about five years or less. The plummiting sales of Saturn just compounds GM's continuing loss of market share across the board. Glad i sold my GM stock while it was still worth something.

    Floridian, the way i see it.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    Wouldn't do that. The stock is trading near 52 week record highs and the company is making record profits. The stock is totally under valued and when they eventually spin off Hughes you will really see some good returns. Most of the big brokerages on the street rate GM a buy.
  • fredfred3fredfred3 Posts: 73
    Sorry, but I don't agree with whoever posted that Saturn's "No Haggle" prices are fair. They seem inflated to me which is one of the reasons I am a little skeptical about buying a Saturn. I'd like to know what others think on this subject. Thanks.
  • fredfred3fredfred3 Posts: 73
    Sorry, but I don't agree
    with whoever posted that
    Saturn's "No Haggle"
    prices are fair. They seem
    inflated to me which is
    one of the reasons I am a
    little skeptical about
    buying a Saturn. I'd like
    to know what others think
    on this subject. Thanks.
  • fredfred3fredfred3 Posts: 73
    Sorry about the double post
  • jenc1jenc1 Posts: 5
    I'm have never been through the process of buying a new car. Saturn's are in my price range and I am still considering buying one. I think it would be great to be able to go a buy a car just as you would anything else. But since it's not that way, I guess how I don't see how it's truly a fair price. When the Saturn's MSRP is more than a thousand above invoice which approximately what the Cavalier's is (another car I'm looking at). I mean that not exactly fair pricing if I can get the Cavalier for less than MSRP and I have no choice with the Saturn.
  • floridianfloridian Posts: 219
    dindak: you are right of course, I'll hold the GM stock (all 50 shares,yuk,yuk)but being a contrarian/rebel I may take a look at Daewoo LOL! Just kidding.

  • floridianfloridian Posts: 219
    jenc1: A 2000 SC2 5 speed base coupe has a 1514.00 mark-up plus they have a 3% hold back on that. load one up and they stand to make over $2000+ on the deal!

    I have a 1998 SC2. A crude, poorly made (interior)vehicle. Reliable, yes but a poor value compared to almost everything else out there, even the Korean offerings are better at this point in time in my opinion. I know saturnboy will come off the wall at this one but take a look at them and I think you'll agree. You'll get a lot more car for your money. Even a Cavalier/Sunfire is a better buy considering what you can actually get one out the door for. Cav currently has a nice cash back offer as well. Check it out.

    Floridian, theway I see it.
  • dindakdindak Posts: 6,632
    When I say fair, I mean fair. I don't mean a good price or a great price. I might have bought an LS2 if I could have got a better price. I could haggle at the Olds dealer and bought an Intrigue GL for about the same price (a little less actually) than an LS2. Like any dealership with one price policies, the car is fairly priced but you could do better elsewhere. If you aren't into the haggle (like my wife), Saturn is perfect,
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    If you look at the options on the car, and also factor in a few years ownership, the saturn s-cars are good buys. Not everyone thinks they are "outdated" and "crude", and even some who do are smart enough to figure out that that's just their opinion.

    I think the good values for saturn are for the base(er) cars. For the upper 13K you're going to pay for a base sl2 with a few options, what else are you going to get with similar performance, safety, and reliability? If you're going to say saturn is poor value, let's actually hear comparisons with other cars. Until then, it's hot air.

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