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Saturn S-Series



  • With all due respect, if it is common for a Saturn owner to wish someone dead for not agreeing with them about a make of a car...then I am glad I am not a Saturn owner.
  • To clear up the whole Drop dead thing, I was not wishing anyone dead, I was simply asking if one had seen a movie "Drop Dead Fred" which came out in the early 90's. It's main character was quite annoying and wouldn't go away. No pun intended.
    Anyone could have seen that if our lovely host had not deleted that post. Apparently, they felt it was deemed innapropriate. Have a nice day
  • I was wondering if the bashing was from floridian, who used to get very personal in this forum. But he must be counting these days ;=)
  • Yeah, but it sure is annoying. I did some extensive poking around with the hood up and the car running after having sat all night. The rattling was there and nothing I touched in the engine compartment changed its pitch or intensity. Despite my lousy hearing (too many loud amps when I was younger and more foolish) I did localize the rattle to the right front headlight assembly. some gentle pressure on the assembly made the rattle almost disappear, so I folded up a couple of latex gloves and shoved them under the assembly to act as a damper. Voila! attenuated rattle. My concern now is that the sympton has been taken care of, but what about the cause???
  • I just spoke with a buddy at work who had a similar problem with his 95 Saturn wagon. He tried all the tune-up stuff and the good gas with no luck. Finally took it to the dealer, they knew right away what it was. "His compression rings were shot". The wagon was a sohc with 59,000 on it. He had the extended warranty and Saturn covered the rebuild in full. This might not be your problem "let's hope" but you might want the dealer to look at it. In any event Good Luck
  • Gee, i don't remember bashing Saturn all that much. I at least do have one (palmed it off on the wife, she hates it too)but it has been reliable, i'll give it that much. my main gripe about the 1998 SC2 (leased) is the poor build quality,no "fun factor" in driving the thing and in the case of a purchase way overpriced. I feel a Cavalier or a Sunfire are better deals but they are kinda crappy too.

    Plus they are going into the dumper on resale. Chase Auto Finance is gonna take a real "bath" on the residual on my lease as it is way too high.At this point it's higher than retail on a low mileage 1998. In nine more months it will be even worse. Too bad for them. I am very grateful I didn't buy the car.

    Saturns ar a good example of GM hype that the public bought into. The buying experience is nice tho at the dealers but give me less "birthday cards", calandars and donuts and coffee and a better car for less money. I was looking forward to the "new" L series till i saw one. Same old stuff. Haphazard build quality, dull styling and still overpriced. Big daddy GM should just "absorb" Saturn and forget the whole thing. If it had not been for Roger Smith's ego, Saturn would have been stillborn and the whole experiment would have been forgotten. That has cost GM billions of $.

  • Interesting comments......zZzZzZzZzZ
  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz to you too!!

  • Gee, Im sorry

    I thought this room was for SATURN OWNERS, to talk about their SATURN CARS. Apparently the hosts at are out snacking with the police at Dunkin Doughnuts, never around when you need em.
  • No, If you go back and look at post 581, it says something to the effect of
    "...helpful negative feedback is appropriate and will be allowed. Saturn ownership is not required..."
  • afk_xafk_x Posts: 393
    Floridan you are not too far from being accurate.

    In the beginning Saturn was truly a different kind of car company, and a different kind of car. The company got off to a better start than GM ever imagined it would. The cars did extremely well for a small car safety wise, and their unique labor agreement as well as other invovative features such as polymore panels and other things created a loyal following. In 1994 Saturn was setting the world on fire. Since then it has been a slow steady spiral down. People wanted SUV's and Saturn needed new product. GM didnt have the money to invest in Saturn so they were left with their small car and fantastic sales process.

    The good news for people who like Saturn is the new SUV has gotten extremely good reviews from the press and the redesigned S series looks to be a winner too. Sadly the SUV is a year away and the S two years.

    I drive a 2000 SC2. It certainly isn't a screamer car but it is fairly nimble and IMO very fun to drive.

    If you want to drive a real sleeper, go drive the V6 L-300. Its been clocked 0-60 at 7.2 seconds, and the midrange accelleration 40-70 really hauls.
  • afk x: The Saturns are not really bad cars I guess. I just expected more and was very disappointed with the overall quality, at least on MY '98 SC2. Mine really does have very poor build quality, unneven door gaps, sloppy assembly on the interior parts and not wearing well as regards the upolstery ( the "mouse fir" fabric is almost threadbare in spots) with only 33K on the car to boot.Mechanically it has been fine, no problems there, nice engine etc.

    For the "non gearhead" car buyer they are probably fine but I have grown to expect much more for my dollar and feel that for waht it cost, over $18K it does not deliver on total value.

    I know this kind of critical stuff drives Saturboy nuts butthat is HIS problem not mine.

    As to his zeees, mine are a lot longer than his and uniform in size. They were made by Ford, not GM. LOL. Merry Christmas Saturnboy we all still get a kick out of your rantings.

  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    Many people have looked at and bought the Saturn just for the reason that it has some of the features people that work on their own cars want. I like the idea of a real timing chain, not a belt. Saturn offers free classes given by "Real" mechanics on how to service your Saturn. They even put the fluid replacement receptacle where you can reach them. I don't know how they expected me to put additional water or antifreeze in the overflow bottle of my Prelude. I don't want to hear I shouldn't have to add any because after a spirited run up a mountain road in 98 degree heat you can push the limit of a low water bottle. Fit and finish on "my" Saturn is pretty nice, but then I look at that before I bought it. Figured why wait till I got home to see if the doors and jams lined up. The transition from hood to door line and windshield post is spot on. Plus we as consumers have wondered why someone couldn't do something more than put a small piece of plastic or rubber on our doors to keep them from getting the dreaded car door dings. Did anyone listen? Ahhh yes they did. Saturn put ding resistant doors on their cars. As a gear head I do have one task I never like to do on my cars. Trace a short or break to a tail light or headlight. So you might say, it should never happen. It does however, it did on my Toyota Truck I used to have. and the back up lights on my Prelude still don't work. Remove two bolts and lift the dash of the Saturn and what do you see? Several small harness that can be replaced instead of a whole harness. Why pay 25 to 30 dollars for a small wire harness? Because in my area they charge $45.00 an hour just to look for a short or break. So besides great service from our dealer, Lexus is first Saturn is second. A great parts system, and ease of repair is there any other reason we as customers have bought into GM's "Hype"?
    The dullest car I test drove first was a 2001 Toyota Corolla. It's base price was more and they offered me less for my trade. Besides who wants to hear how eager some guy is to make a sale or have to visit with his closer and finally his manager before you can make a deal. One that your neighbor bought cheaper in the next town or that you sister had to pay more for the next day? Even Car and driver in their review admitted it was a bit dull. Here is a quote from Edmunds review on the Toyota Corolla, "Cramped and uncomfortable interior, mushy suspension, non-descript styling, lousy stereo ergonomics." The Echo started out with a better price, but add any options and it was right there with the Saturn. Plus with four people in the car you might have to pull over for city busses. From Edmonds, "Cartoonish styling, dopey gauge placement, lousy handling, deceptively low base pricing." Honda Civic was nice and in the price range if I was willing to fight with the man in the plaid jacket over final cost. But the Honda was also a bit cramped in the back. Subaru thought their cars were worth a whole lot more than I did. By the way, I was very disappointed in the fit and finish of the Corolla and the Civic. The Subaru as pretty nice however. Just one persons opinion.
  • I must say for the most part, the recent comments from floridian seemed genuine and honest, while not being over dramatized. I respect your point of view,and was delightfully surprised to hear some good comments coming from people.
    Build Quality is a valid concern of many individuals interested in Saturn, and I can understand why some people are turned off due to semi uncomfortable seats,and such. I appreciate the polimier panels, ex, one time while driving I heard a loud thud, later only to find a new nick in the paint where apparently a rock had hit, if I had a honda Civic, that would have been a sizeable ding. Something everyone wants to avoid.
  • I dont think Saturn is really any more blander or duller than other subcompacts on the road today. I'm only 29 but most of today's car offerings just dont excite me. I think things were much better, say in the 60s, when you could walk into a dealership, order a car with the spefic options that you want and mate it to any engine/transmission that you wanted. I guess that is why I ended up buying a truck this time around. Ford was still offering such a system with the Ranger--at least last year anyway. For the most part buying a car today, is like getting a new appliance.

    While I too like the idea of ding-resistant doors and a timing chain, I took floridian's post to mean that Saturn might seem like an atractive option for those who are not car enthusiast and are intimidated by the thought of purchasing and maintaining a car. I thought he was correct about that. True "gearheads" certainly would not need to take a class to learn how to change a tire or replace their oil. But that may certainly be comforting for someone who has never done it before.

    The problem--and I am opening myself up to some more flames here--is that I think Saturn may take advantage of that situation. Perhaps that explains their arrogance with ridiculous answers like "a car is a machine" when somebody does have a problem.

    I also agree that haggling over price is ridiculous and a major pain. However, currently there is no better system. I'm all for no haggle pricing--just make it a fair price. Thousands of dollars profit is an unreasoble markup on a subcompact car.
  • Well, everyone has the right to thier own opinion, like fredfred,

    "The problem--and I am opening myself up to some
    more flames here--is that I think Saturn may take
    advantage of that situation. Perhaps that explains
    their arrogance with ridiculous answers like "a
    car is a machine" when somebody does have a

    Do you think that you may be biased for having a bad experience with Saturn in the past? And Correct me if Im wrong, but it wasn't a Saturn you had a problem with? Simply how you were treated. I feel that If I bought a Chysler from a Toyota Dealer and no doubt had problems with it down the line, Toyota would laugh, and say "should have bought a Toyota", doesn't make that treatment right, but I can understand the mentality.
  • By the way, AFK X may have more specific data then I but Saturn does not make thousands of dollars in profit on compact cars as thought by one

    ". I'm all for no haggle
    pricing--just make it a fair price. Thousands of
    dollars profit is an unreasoble markup on a
    subcompact car."

    The 2001 Saturn SL compact is around 400-600 profit, which is below the industry average. See for yourself at edmunds new car prices or
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    I suppose I was surprised not to have to haggle with my Saturn Salesman. In some religions I believe they practice re-incarnation and bad animals can come back as lower life forms. Like Sharks can come back as car salesmen. Trucks are one of the last bastions in America where the customer can get just what he wants. All the Big Three offer just about whatever option you want. Toyota even makes a full sized Truck at last. Not much in options yet, one V-8 and that's about it. Oh and it is a half ton. I don't mind working on my own car. I don't feel chancing out a CV joint is a big deal. Rebuilding a tranny might put me off but not to R&R one.
    The Classes to service your Saturn might not impress someone that already knows how. But the fact that they offer is a step in the right direction. A step many dealers could learn from. If more people were in tune with their cars maybe more people would take better care of them, don't you think? People have been complaining about how they are treated by dealers for years. Saturn and Lexus seem to listen.
    All I want to point out is that once a dealer or manufacturer is willing to turn their head and show signs of paying attention to what we as customers are talking to them about they are worth giving a second look. I went to get a Subaru and they wanted to see just how much more money they could get out of me than they did the last guy. Didn't happen. Like I said. We have a choice, It is just that at this time only two offer honest up front sales people. I don't know if my Saturn is going to be the best or most dependable car I ever had. All I know is that a hole lot more people are happy with Saturn sales. In fact they were rated number one by JD Powers. The are rated as being better than half of the industry in dependability. And second only to Lexus in service. To me these reasons are more than GM hype, they are solid reasons. Maybe all the people that are happy with Saturn have a reason to be. From looking at the reports and studies and driving several other cars, I can see why. Hope your Ford gives you all the pleasure you expect.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    I own a Chevy prizm (toyota) and its put together a heckof a lot better and runs much nicer than the saturns.

    GM fans should go to the Chevy dealer to get the better quality small car rather than the Saturn donut store.

    Had mine for 2 years now. Not one single problem and the thing is built so good I'd swear it'll go for 10 years without needing any attention.
  • Ken, thanks for the story with the shot compression rings. Other folks here pointed to a lot of other possible causes (and solutions) but your story is really scary because we do not abuse the car at all. But it is possible and I will keep it in mind.

    afk, when the edmunds had their car show here, I went and took some test rides in the (mid-size, was it?) class. I wanted to first test the LS Saturn and the attendant was clearly disparaging the car: "That is not a very good car. When you are done, I will recommend some good ones." He was right, the car was sluggish, had a large lean in the curves and was cheap looking throughout. He said the LS production has been cut back because Saturn can not sell them.
  • 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
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