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Saturn S-Series



  • afk_xafk_x Posts: 393
    How can you get more car with a Civic for the money? I think you are comparing apples to oranges. The civic IS the better overall CAR in terms of reliablity. No car out there has a better track reccord - I would say that. However it cost more to own and is not as fun to drive. In terms of cost where I live Honda Civic is second only to the Accord in terms of cars most stolen (Los Angeles) and you pay about 30-35% more to insure a Honda. Also the civic doesn't have a 5 ***** government safety rating for the front driver and passenger.

    I would go the Saturn route again. I have a SC2 and it is a lot of fun to drive - has given me no trouble, and LOOKS a lot cooler than a Civic. You can get a 2001 SC2 manual for 16000 - this includes all the power features with remote keyless entry ect ect. Thats a LOT of car for the money.

    Finally for me I like to be a little different and EVERYONE has a Honda (so it seems) Boring.

    Good luck whatever you decide.
  • Has anybody seen this website? As a person considering a SL2, I was shocked at the amount of entries from ANGRY owners. Not just one angry owner, but over a hundred entries about saturns stalling at random, oil burning engines, and unhelpful saturn reps that pass the buck and blame the customer. Is this true? What do the people that like to post on this site think? Read the column from where people relate their stories.
  • afk_xafk_x Posts: 393
    Is run by a Lawyer who did aftermarket stuff to his radio/alarm ect making electical modifications and then wanted Saturn to take responsibility when he had electical problems.

    Saturns are not perfect cars by any means. If you want to see how reliable they are, go to consumer reports and check out their reliablity rankings. Also Saturn has a better track reccord than any other Auto manufacturer for resolving customer issues - hence Consumer Reports ranks them number 1 in this regard. Finally - Saturn currently enjoys the highest loyalty rate of any auto manufacturer. If Saturn owners were really so unhappy, wouldn't they be buying something else?

    I question the credibility of a site where the person who runs it has very questionable credibility.

    Even so, it is a CAR and as such there will be people who have problems with them and will be unhappy. Read back in this thread... I have posted some interesting observations about disgruntled Saturn owners.
  • I realize that the person that created the website is one person; I am referring to the dozens of other posts by many other people through that website sharing horror stories about their saturns. That is what is influencing me and I am having second thoughts about buying, that is all.
  • Stevieweevy

    Note that the Saturnexposed site has not been updated since dec, 1999. Saturn did offer to buy back his car even thou they had no responsibility for it's problems that were caused by him. He decided he wanted to try to suck money out of Saturn cause he felt it was "owed to his lazy A##".

    As far as the numerous complaints, many of those cannot be proved as to their authenticity, I myself posted a messege on their where in which I had a few choice words to say about the lawyer who created that site regarding sheep and it was posted right along with the others. For all you know, he could have sat there for days and posted a hundred or so messeges, you wouldn't be the wiser.

    It is best to listen to large independent, un biased sorces like,, who all have relativly good things to say about Saturns. Are they perfect, no. Are they as bad as some people say, No. The choice is up to you, and as a smart consumer just like the other 2 million plus Saturn owners, I am happy with my first Saturn SL, and plan on getting another Saturn next year, not sure which model, except it will be a Saturn.
  • bahr1bahr1 Posts: 1
    I have owned my 94 SL1 for 5-1/2 years and have had few problems until lately. I have 104,500 miles on my car and have not had much maintenance done except for regular oil changes. Now my car is in for repair - the EGR Valve, EI Module and Coolant Temp Sensor. My 'check engine' light and temperature gauge have been going on and off for the past several hundred miles, but I have ignored it until I had the cash to get my car fixed. I also have to get my serpentine belt replaced soon and my coolant hoses.

    I have been reading other's responses and have to add that I also have problems with my key getting stuck in my ignition switch. I'll be able to pull the key out, however it will not be in the 'off' position so the bells will go off, etc. I just 'wrote it off' as having an older car, but it seems very common from the different responses I've seen on this site as well as others.

    So far, I don't think that is that much for a 94 with almost 105k miles on it. But, as Murphy's law goes, the big money items always happen after the car is paid off!!
  • I have a 99sl2 bought new april 99 and now have over 38000 miles. I had a problem with the exhaust repaired under warranty and a outer door panel replaced under warranty. Had no other problems. I do as much of the maintenance myself. Have changed oil and filter around 3000 miles and at 33000 replaced the transmission fluid and filter and replaced air filter twice.
    As with any car, you can have problems that take awhile to resolve. Oil burning is at times caused by the driver/owner, ie not changing oil and filter on a regular basis, and driving habits I see people that have to be going the speed limit or faster as soon as possible. that type of drving takes its toll on the engine and transmission. Other times it is a defect in the engine casting and without removing and taking the engine apart, you don't know which is the cause of oil burning. This is my own opinion and real life observations. Also I would not be afraid to buy another Saturn!
  • I have a new Saturn SL2 sedan, a week old. In the space of a week, we've had two instances where the key wouldn't turn in the ignition switch. Both times my wife -- it's her car -- fiddled with it for about 15 minutes before it would turn. The car is at the dealer's now, being fixed.

    Has anyone else had this trouble? If so, is it indeed fixable? Or should I just give it back to them?
  • The Saturn is by far the best small car you can get. It is made in America. My wife have one and it is 5 speed and has 64,000 miles on it and we've only had it on the shop three times. We replaced the clutch at about 45,000 miles, the alternator at 52,000 miles, and the front axle right under 60,000 miles. By 64,000 miles in most foreign cars the timing chain would have broke and the engine would be dead. I will definately look at another one when this one goes under.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Pure ignorance. That's all I have to say. Your experience is pretty sad, especially if it is the norm for Saturn. None of those repairs are normal for that low mileage of a car. My mom's 92 Accord has 183,000 miles. It still has the original clutch, the alternator wasn't replaced until 150,000 miles, and the CV axle didn't need replacing until 178,000 miles. Oh yeah, the timing belt never broke and it wasn't replaced until 92K and 180K. Her engine is running strong and doesn't drink a drop of oil. Gee, her car was made in America too, imagine that. Either you don't expect much out of your cars or you have never had the luxury of experiencing a real quality car.
  • afk_xafk_x Posts: 393
    Republican is obviously NOT a Saturn owner - he is just making an unfunny joke.

    It amazes me how many Saturn Bashers there are out there.
  • If the key doesn't turn then the steering column may be locked. Try turning the wheel a little and the key should turn.
  • I am a Saturn owner! A loyal Saturn owner! I am looking at the bigger Saturn now for my own car. It has been the best car we have ever bought in terms of reliability. No car is going to make it past 60,000 without some kind of problem. My Saturn has had the least problems of all my cars. I bet if you got one of these little Hondas it would have more problems than the Saturn.
  • Those comments coming from someone who claimed before to own a Hyundai Accent ! Nuff said.
  • I own a 95 saturn SL2, a 96 Geo Prizm Lsi(toyota corolla) and a 92 Honda Civic. All 3 cars are excellent for reliability, resale and gas mileage, but I would definately prefer driving the Prizm or Civic because they are quieter and a smoother ride. However to anyone who is interested in a saturn I would recommend them. Mine has been excellent. I couldn't buy a new one though because Saturn makes about $2,000 off the car plus a hefty 3% holdback.
  • According to Toyota4x4, it was stated that "Saturn makes nearly 2 grand off the car plus a hefty 3 percent holdback".
    When comparing REAL invoice numbers to MSRP, the Saturn SL compact is close to $ 600.00 over invoice at MSRP plus the dealer holdback. The Saturn L 100 Midsize sedan is around $ 1000.00 over invoice plus the dealer holdback.
    At this time, Saturn is essentially discounting there cars, Saturn Corp. currently offers 1.9 % Financing across the board for all Saturn models- which means Saturn had to buy down the interest rate= discounting cars. Also, untill the end of november in some parts of the US, if you take delivery of a 2001 Saturn SL compact (base model) only, they will give you 90 days to make your first payment.
    With GM's 1.5 Billion investment dollars coming, Saturn is offering low interest rates and competitivly priced cars compared to the competition to aid sales untill newer and more exciting cars roll out in years ahead. In which case, Saturn's glory days may return by retaining more, and regaining loyal Saturn owners.
  • afk_xafk_x Posts: 393
    Saturnboy you are close.

    A Saturn SL has about 400 in GROSS profit - SL2 has about 1000.

    L100 has 800 - L300 has 1200.

    Holdback is not dealer profit. They help offset the cost of doing business. NET profit is a different story altogether. I don't know why anyone would worry about how much money a dealership is making anyways. Compare the price of the car and the value you get for it to other similar cars and the price you can buy them for. Make your decision from that.

    Deciding what car to buy based upon how much "profit" a dealer is making doesn't make any sense.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Repub, your logic is far from true. It is very possible to have no serious problems before 60K. Your repairs are ridiculous for that low mileage of a car. And where are you coming up with your notion that the Honda Civic won't do as good as your car? Have you ever owned one? I seriously doubt it with your "buy only American namebrand" mindset. Like I said before, which I noticed you totally ignored, my mom's 92 Accord EX was way more reliable than your Saturn and proved your logic concerning Hondas is seriously flawed. Her first repair was not needed until 83K. Before that, the only thing done to her car was oil changes, air filter changes, and spark plugs. Not one mechanical repair was needed compared to your 3 repairs before the 60K mark. And what do you have to say to that? Nothing you can say can change that truth, but you go right ahead and keep believing your confused mind.
    Saturnboy, what does what I own have to do with anything? I am proud to own a Hyundai Accent. I have had no problems with my car in its first very crucial 7400 miles (the first 10k tends to mark the car a lemon or not). I am not bashing Saturns; only the blatantly ridiculous statements said by Republican. You have to admit that him claiming his Saturn is reliable after 3 major repairs in only 60K is ridiculous. I wouldn't call it a piece of junk, but it is far from extremely reliable. I do not think, however, that his car is the norm representative of Saturn's quality. At least, I seriously hope not, for Saturn's sake and everyone who buy's them.
  • lngtonge18,
    If you car has not had a couple of problems before 60,000 miles such then you aren't paying attention. My Saturn have the three problems I listed before 60,000 miles. None of them were that serious so I think the Saturn is a good car.
    You're moms Honda might be the one in millon that have no problems! The Saturn have the least problems of any car I have bought in my lifetime! I like the little Saturns I think for the money you are getting a darn good product. Probably the best of all little cars!
  • I find it intriging that you replaced the clutch at 45k miles in your saturn. I did own a mazda protege before my saturn. I sold the mazda to my son and at 130k+ miles it still has the original clutch. Since I did not want another standard shift car my saturn has the automatic. I hope I get more than 52k and 64k miles for alternator and right axle on my saturn. Now it has clos to 39k miles and runs fine. Most of my driving is highway driving.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Alternator, clutch, and CV axle replacements ARE serious repairs. The first 2 are expensive repairs and can leave you stranded and being left stranded at 45 and 52K is something I would not be happy with. Even traveler, a fellow Saturn owner, seems to agree. But, hey, if your happy with your low standards, than thats your right. You must have owned some real crappy cars in your lifetime though, LOL.
  • I think we are all begining to sound like Gore VS Bush in here , lol. We oviously each have veiws and sides that are split right downt the middle and will defend them till there is no tommarow.
    People, especially those who visit are very passionate about their automobiles as well they should be. Granted, no cars are perfect. My previous Toyota Celica leaked oil at 60 thousand miles, and had a faulty turn signal switch which Toyota wanted a few hundred dollars to replace. That led me to Saturn, which I has been near flawless in reliability (knock on wood), I simply wish that everyone would be as lucky as I am in regards to owning a Saturn.

    Ingtonge, I do realize that what you own (hyundai Accent) has nothing to do with your comments, I suppose that in defending the Saturn brand, I let my own opinions come through regarding this korean automaker. I personally do Really Like the new 2001 Elantra, and would consider buying one. However, I still feel that thier previous repuation would make people look at me as if I were cheap , kind of like how people veiw hatchbacks , aka horizon, colt, etc.
    I wish you luck with your accent,make sure you do every maintenance item at a hyundai dealer, if you miss maintenance they can and will void your warranty. Also, Hyundai has warranty exclusions , such as paint is only covered for 3 years, radio for a year, etc.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Don't let what other people think turn you away from buying something you like. What matters is what you like, not what others like. I have always been one that goes against current car trends. Example: I hate SUVs and would never buy one, but I absolutely love hatchbacks and currently own 2 of them. I honestly see no reason why hachbacks should be viewed as cheap. They have the versatility of an SUV (minus offroading) but wrapped in a car body. Hopefully Mercedes new C class hatchback will change that view some. It's one awesome looking car and far from cheap.
    By the way, the new 2001 Elantra is a nice car. I went and looked at one and was very impressed with its looks and roomy interior. Anyway, Hyundai does allow do-it-yourself maintenance on their cars as long as you keep a record and receipts of what you have done. I am one that will not bring my car in unless it is for a major service like the timing belt. Thanks for retracting your negative comment towards what I drive. That was very nice of you and I appreciate that.
    Here's something that ought to get a few laughs. I am hailing from Florida, the state of recounts and people who can't read a ballot, LOLOLOLOL. I'm so embarrassed to even say I'm from Palm Beach county, but thankfully, I'm not registered there so was not part of that stupid ballot. I'm just glad that my ballot may have been one of the few that kept Bush in the lead :)
    A side note to fellow Palm Beach citizens: Get a life, move on, and just accept the fact that Bush won Florida no matter how narrow the lead was. Enough of this dragging the whole country along with stupid and groundless lawsuits.
  • Every so often I drive by the Saturn dealer near me on a Sunday and look at the new SL2's. I think that I would like to buy one but am not in real need of a new car. My six year old car is doing fine. Then I think that maybe if I wait until next year the 2002 will have a new look and new features but I hear that Saturn doesn't plan to make any real changes until 2003. That seems like a long time when you consider the changes other car companies are making. Aren't the SL models getting long in the tooth for Saturn to wait until 2003 to make a major change? Does Saturn plan to make any changes on the 2002 model that will get people interested in looking more closely at the SL's? Then again Honda made some changes on their 2001 Civic that some car magazines don't seem to like. Any thoughts.
  • Chas

    If your car is only 6 years young, I would definitly hold on to it for a couple more years. Saturn has made improvements to thier original car line, quieter engines in 1999, better pricing on MSRP, and options for 2001. The SL2's Horsepower rating remains competitive with other current cars.

    The Saturn S series has not had a major makeover due to lack of investment dollars from GM. Dollars which are coming, and waiting for a 2003 Saturn S Series should prove to be worth the wait. I have a 98 Saturn SL, which has been great. I plan on leasing a 2001 SL to contiue to support the brand while waiting for completely redesigned 2003-2004 S Series which I hope to purchase.
  • Thanks,
    That sounds like good advice. I so like the car that it will be good for me to follow the changes and all the information I glean from this BB.
    I am becoming a Saturn Freak and enjoy collecting information on the car. I hope that GM really supports it because I definitely want to own one someday. I do believe they are a "Different Kind of Car Company."
    My mother owns a '99 SL2 so I do feel a little like I'm part of the Saturn family.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    Let's face it. With a few exceptions there is very little difference between most small sedans. Honda, Toyota, Ford, Chevy, and Chrysler all have pretty good offerings. Bluster all we want it still comes down to personnel preference. In the case of Saturn there are some very good reasons some people will buy one. Many owners that have other cars might say, "big deal" when scratch and dent resistant doors are mentioned, but most other small cars don't have them. It is one of the reasons a three year old Saturn, on average, looks newer than a three year old other car. The styling may look rather simple compared to many cars but remember how dated some more radical looking cars look after only a few years. Remember tail fins? The shape that cuts the air best will always come back so the wedge and rounded corners will always be in style.

    For me it comes down to the company itself. Think about how you are treated. Saturn practices what it preaches and that is what brings customers back time and time again. In the review pages I saw the comment that the Saturn may be priced better than some of the competitors but you might want to shop around because if you work at it you might be able to get some of the dealers to come down as much as $3000.00 due to rebates and incentives. I say why bother? I like being treated like a customer not a rube waiting to be took. Being treated with respect has to be worth something. When you look at all the customer responses Saturn is right up there with Lexus in customer satisfaction. Sales, service, parts all treat you like you are important. Not like many the other dealers I went to when looking to buy a new car. The Subaru dealer pretended that my trade in was only worth a " few bucks", and started out high planning on working down in price so I would feel I had been given a deal. Some sales people and dealers must not realize that we have access to sites like this, and Kelly Blue book also.

    Saturn is designed from the bottom up to believe the customer comes first and that being a horse trader is a thing of the past. There was no second sales person, meetings with the manager and last but not least the "closer". One man, pick the car, pick the options, and here was the price. Simple and quick. The company also offers classes on how to service your car, for free. " So what?" some might say? "`I already know how to service a car." Isn't it better that a person the does servicing for a living is willing to show you how it is done? More companies should offer this. Maybe if they did someone wouldn't feel that replacing a defective alternator was a "major" repair. My wife could do it. It is easy to be satisfied with a car, just pick what you like and take care of it. If you want to be satisfied with a experience as well as a car I believe you can't go wrong with a Saturn.
  • boaz47,
    I agree with you on that. The people at Saturn have been great to me and my wife. We have only had it in the shop three times for repairs since we bought it in 1994. They give us a loaner each time and treated us like kings. The last repair when i replaced a front axle they even replaced the windshield wipers for free and aired up my tires, washed the car and other stuff like that. I just bought a Chevy Impala and while I love this car the dealership I bought It from ain't Saturn.
  • The old VW beetle had the same body style for years and that didn't keep people from buying them. In my opinion, the less a body style is changed the better because I drive my cars for 10 years or 150,000 miles then get another. If body parts are needed, can always get another at a auto recycler at fraction of cost of dealer or body shop prices.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    To Republican,
    When people complain about dependability they often aren't aware of what others that own the same model of car have to say. Often it isn't that the part broke but rather how easy is it to fix. I like you have had nothing but good experiences from my dealer. And I have had more than one dealer in my driving life. My worse experience was with Jeep. I doubt if I would ever get another one, and if I did it would never see a dealer. I like the idea that many repairs can be made on this new car by me. I also like the idea that they had a cross section of a Saturn engine for me to look at. I was shocked to see they had a real timing chain...not a rubber belt. It would seem that they expected to see these cars last.

    I agree that some styles are classic. And the simple ones seem to be around for a while. Besides take one look at the PT Cruiser and you will see that smooth curves must have some appeal.
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