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Saturn S-Series



  • I decline to comment further except that you dodged the "real" point I made earlier, a double standard clearly exists here. You love Hyundai(your choice, your right) and seem to hate Saturn, even thou Saturn may have the same warranty plan soon. You praise hyundai, and on the same card, attempt to discredit Saturn for doing the same thing. Should be obvious to anyone.
  • Who in their right mind would buy a Hyundai? Just watch the cars on the road... how many of the 1st and 2nd generation Hyundais do you see on the road, like Excels and Elantras... next to none (I haven't seen an Excel in years). On the other hand, there are tons of the 1st generation Saturns running around, like mine that's pushing 176,000 miles with zero major repairs.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Lots of people would buy Hyundais. I did and I love it. I would buy another with no concerns over quality and reliability. Check out the Elantra forum and you will see just how happy people are with their new Hyundais. Check out Edmunds own long-term Elantra and see how much they are praising the car. The Hyundai XG350 just beat the Buick Regal, Ford Taurus, Chevy Impala, and Dodge Intrepid in a Car and Driver comparison test, where it was praised for its build quality. How can you argue with those facts? Comparing their current cars with the 1st gen $5k Excel that came out in 1986 is stupid. I wouldn't expect many of those cars to still be around as they were dirt cheap and would be 15 years old. I don't see many Honda's of that vintage around anymore either, and the ones I do see are spewing black or white smoke. Does that make Honda a crappy car? Hardly! Saturns weren't even around 15 years ago, so what's your point? I think someone is stuck in the past, and it's not me. Continue to enjoy your loud and unrefined Saturn. Bashing better built and more refined cars may make you feel better but certainly doesn't make you look too smart.
  • afk_xafk_x Posts: 393
    You make an excellent point. Comparing a first gen Satty to a first gen Excel is a poor comparison.

    When the Saturn first came out it was top of the class in various areas. When the Excell first came out it was an acknowledge pile of crap. A disposable car to be sure.

    The rest of your post was not as compelling...

    Lets cover the basics - you said..."Check out the Elantra forum and you will see just how happy people are with their new Hyundais"

    How happy are the people with their new Saturns? How happy are any people with any new car they just bought? Totally irrelevant to the statement "who in their right mind would buy a Hynudi". How happy they are is not an indication of making a wise buying decision.

    Your point that Edmunds "praises" their Elantra and that the GX350 was ranked fourth by car and driver does not make the Korean car a wise buy either.

    Long term reliablity is certainly up for debate - and it will be many years before we can determine how reliable the current crop of Korean cars will ultimately be. Personally there are two major reasons why I personally agree that no one in their right mind would purchase an Elantra at this time.

    First - resale value. Unless you plan on keeping this car for a long long time you must consider how horrible the resale value is.

    Second -

  • I couldn't have said it better myself afkx, and just one question, this is the Saturn room right? For a second I thought we were in hyundai land (god forbid)

    In other news, Saturn is hiring 200 more workers in an effort to build more Saturn SUV's, due out in a month or so... Starting under 17k. It has received very positive reveiws, but I didn't expect anything less.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Good try, but you obviously didn't get my point and your philosophy is flawed. I had a problem with 93Saturnsl1 making a blanket statement about all Hyundais based on the Excel, so I pointed to the Elantra forum to show the lack of complaints, even for those who have lived with the car up to 20k. No matter how new a car is or how happy an owner is to have a new car, if its poorly assembled and plagued with problems, owners will complain about them. The fact that Hyundai's have been holding up quite well for the past few years is a good sign that they are built well. Other good signs of the improved build quality are favorable reviews by multiple magazines, including even Consumer Reports. How on earth do you surmise that the Elantra is not a wise buy based on Edmund's long term test? Have you actually read the monthly reports? They are so impressed with the car that they see little need to turn people to Civics anymore. If that high praise does not justify it to be a wise buy, than I don't know what does. Granted, these opinions should not be used solely to make a decision, but they do mean something. The XG350 beating every midsize domestic car at their own game surely speaks highly of its quality and shows that it is a good buy in that class.

    As for your try at safety, why don't we bring the whole picture into view? NHTSA frontal test: Elantra 4 stars driver/ 5 stars passenger; Saturn SL 5 stars/ 5 stars, Saturn L 4 stars/ 5 stars. NHTSA side impact: Elantra 5 stars front/ 4 stars rear; Saturn SL 3 stars/ 2 stars, Saturn L 2 stars/ 4 stars. Clearly, the Elantra holds its own in the NHTSA tests, showing superior side-impact protection. IIHS offset: Elantra's structure rated good, both Saturns are rated acceptable here. The Elantra did well in the offset impact (especially the structural performance and survival space) and would be rated acceptable or good overall if it wasn't for the late deploying airbag. Hyundai isn't the first with airbag sensor problems. Volvo has had this problem as has Infiniti; does that mean these cars should be labeled "no one in their right mind would purchase them"? And what about the fact that the 2nd gen Elantra had the exact same performance in the offset test as the Saturn? I'm sorry but I see some clearly biased opinions here that don't know how to look at all the facts.

    I also take issue with your statement that Saturn was tops in multiple areas when they first came out. Wrong! Saturn was average in all aspects, except service and dent resistance. They were known to be loud, unrefined, sloppily put together cars that had decent acceleration in twin cam trim only, good fuel economy, uncomfortable seats, and a cheap looking interior. Since than, they have become more refined and their engines are finally acceptable noise-wise, but they still have issues with build quality and cheap interior plastics and their refinement levels simply can't keep up with the rest of the class. With these facts in mind, I see no legitimate reason for people thinking Saturn is so much better then Hyundai unless they are just blinded by brand loyalty.

    Oh, and as for resale value, it's not as much of a problem as you think. Sure, Hyundai has lower resale value, but you pay a heck of a lot less upfront so it all evens out. Funny thing is someone tried to prove how much better Toyota was in resale and it ended up backfiring. In a comparison between the Accent, Rio, and Echo, the Accent ended up showing the least amount of money lost after 5 years of ownership, even though it had the lowest resale factor. The Echo's higher price offset its advantage in resale. The same would be true in a comparison between Saturn and the Elantra.
  • afk_xafk_x Posts: 393
    Showing a little bit of bias am I? I do try to be impartial as emotion can get people carried away.

    Since I don't have the time to post a long reply I have only one question to ask you Igntounge.

    If one of the Edmunds editors was killed in a severe frontal impact due to a late deploying airbag how do you think they would feel about the car?

    Or to put it a different way ...

    Do you think it is a wise decision to purchase a car with a known and potential life threatening problem?
  • afk x: Come on, ONE late deploying air bag does NOT damn the whole lot to unacceptable status. As ingtonge18 said, Volvo had a little problem too (glossed over pretty quickly too as I remember)

    If this is the criteria for labeling a particular series vehicle unacceptable then I guess ALL of the mfgs. are in trouble. Just ask my niece who was badly injured in a head-on collision (she was stopped @ a traffic light and not moving)in her brand new Dodge Ram. Air bag did not deploy & she was bounced around pretty badly. The guy that hit her was driving a new Camry and it too failed to deploy the airbag. He lived two days and died from serious head injuries. Just the luck of the draw I guess.

  • afk_xafk_x Posts: 393
    The institute tested the Elantra 3 times. 2 time the air bag deployed late.

    Look don't get me wrong. I am glad to see Hundy doing much better than before. Why? It increases competition which in the long run will mean I will be able to purchase a better safer small car for less!

    Would I personally buy an Elantra at this time? No. I would tell any friends and family to avoid them as well. In a year that opinion may change.

    BTW at this point I'm not a big fan of purchasing a new S series car either, but they make a GREAT used car buy.
  • joe3891joe3891 Posts: 759
    I'm surprised they let you back on.
  • joe3891: You must have me confused with some other "frothing at the mouth Saturn hater" LOL. :)

    Have a nice Thanksgiving, Y'all !!

  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Just a simple question for you as well. How do you think anyone felt about their pre-airbag era car when their heads hit the steering wheel? This is not a new problem and it didn't stop people from buying and enjoying those cars. They certainly didn't call them unsafe. Airbags certainly aren't guaranteed to go off in every type of accident or to keep you injury free, as so many people like to think. Lastly, it is not a known problem with all Elantras. NHTSA reported no problems with late airbag deployment, and their tests are designed specifically to rate the restraint system performance of a car. The near perfect scores for the Elantra proves it was designed well there. The IIHS is meant to test the structural performance of a car, again the Elantra did very well in that respect. The airbag issue shows that Hyundai needs to either redesign the sensor parameters for offset impacts or choose a better quality sensor producer. At least give them the chance to fix the problem before claiming they are unsafe based on one test.
  • For anyone that has viewed, or chat in, any hyundai chat room here, how many of you have seen those unfortunate once Hyundai Excel owners keep coming back again and again to complain and dis credit Hyundai for knowingly producing garbadge? I haven't seen any, those people must have faded away.

    So why the heck do we now keep seeing NON Saturn owners coming back to complain in some cases over a car they haven't owned in years? Why is it that in the eyes of Hyundai lovers here that just because Hyundai produced garbadge years ago, doesn't mean they do now, and hyundai produces great cars. But by those same people, Saturn will never improve...

    Again, double standards exist here. Also, our lovely host pat, would very quickly kick someone out in the hyundai room, who was bashing hyundai repeatedly, but allows this type of slander to continue day, after day.
  • afk_xafk_x Posts: 393
    If you think I have something against Hundi then you are mistaken.

    I simply would not buy one myself nor would I advise people to purchase one at this time.

    They are not proven to be reliable over time. They obviouly have made tremendous strides since day one. In a couple years we will know how well the current generation does. Too early to tell and based upon the past track reccord I wouldn't take the risk nor would I advise others too.

    They are not a safe vehicle at this time. Late airbag deployment is not such a simple matter as hitting your head on the steering wheel! Thats why the insurance institutes off set test is a much better measure of real world crashes. I agree that the structure of the Korean car is good. The tests prove that. That doesn't make them safe - because if the passengers movements are not controlled you can and often will have a serious injury due to the backlash. Your head hitting the steering wheel isn't going to be a big problem. Its designed to absorb energy. Its when your head snaps back and smacks the B pillar that you have a problem. The seat also came loose in one of the offset tests. This is NOT accpetable and one reason why the Hundi gets the worst (poor) rating.

    Look if you want to tell your friends to go buy a Hundi than great! I'm just not going to tell MY friends and family that.

    By the way - before you go and reccomend people to buy a Hundi go and check this out.

    Notice how poorly the Hundi does across the board. In a couple of years - this could all change. I hope it does.

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Host Pat is indeed wondering why this discussion has gotten so focused on Hyundais - and it does seem like it's time to remember what the subject of this topic is.

    A couple other options exist for those wanting to continue in this vein - we have a discussion focused on the Hyundai Elantra (as well as other Hyundai models), and anyone who would like to do so is welcome to start up a comparison topic between any vehicles over on our Comparisons - Sedans vs. Sedans Board.

    So let's get back to the S-Series Saturns, okay?


    Sedans Message Board
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I will say this: My point in being here is not to debate the safety of one particular car. I'm here because certain people continue to post false facts and I feel I should correct them so the uninformed can be rightfully informed. Once these certain people realize they did not read the info correctly, I will be satisfied. I would be just as quick to protect Saturn or any other make from false accusations. And I'm not some Hyundai lover either. I currently own a Hyundai, Nissan, VW, and Mitsubishi. I have also owned a Honda and a Mazda. As you can see, I'm not one that is blinded by brand loyalty. I choose what car I like, no matter who makes it. I don't despise Saturn either as I was considering the L200 sedan not too long ago.

    Folks, unlike what afk_x would have you believe, hitting your head on the steering wheel can cause some serious injuries. Forces on the head from hitting the steering wheel hard through the late deploying airbag is the main reason why the IIHS gave the Elantra a poor rating. Not because of whiplash. This same injury would have occured on any car without an airbag, as shown by european crash tests of cars in which airbags are still optional. And yet, none of these cars are considered a deathtrap on wheels and people certainly weren't told not to buy them. I have to ask you, afk_x, what was the last car you owned without airbags? Did you feel you were driving a deathtrap? Probably not, since you bought the car. So, I find it odd you would claim people who buy cars with these safety issues are basically stupid, because wouldn't that have made you stupid for buying a car back than with the same issues? But wait, maybe safety wasn't your only consideration for buying the car! Safety should be an important consideration but it should not be used as the only reason to buy a car. Lastly, the fact that 3 different tests produced 3 different results should prove how relatively unreliable these tests are as far as measurements are concerned. Every accident is different, and as such, the IIHS's tests should not be used as a one-all decision to deem any car unsafe. Again, this has nothing to do with Hyundai. I'm only using it as an example since it was brought into this. I could use many other examples if need be.
  • Im not sure, but you may have thought that my post was directed at you, it wasn't because I know you have owned a Saturn, and offer valuable input consistently. I myself am on my second Saturn, and will probably buy a third.

    I was just pointing out the obvious again, and would like to get back to talking about Saturn's, preferably Saturn strenths, not hyundai. After all, this isn't a hyundai chat room. As pat pointed out, there is a room for those to discuss hyundai, it should be used.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    My wife just bought a 93 SL 1 with 98k miles from a friend at work for our son who is learning to drive. She had saved all the reciepts and the car seems to have held up pretty well over its life. It had the battery and alternator replaced twice (at the same time) Which leads me to think the previous owner was taken advantage of. Recently, according to the records, the check engine light came on and on the first visit to Saturn, two solenoids were replaced (whatever they are) and when it came on again a week later the EGR valve was replaced. This was a month problem since then. I looked the car over pretty carefully before buying it. I like the axle boots...they are a hard plastic unlike the soft rubber found on previous FWD cars Ive owned...which had to be replaced at like 70k miles for $400. The ones on the Saturn were in great shape! I cant find any mention of a coolant change anywhere in the receipts, but it looks good and was tested a year ago. Did the Saturn come with extended life coolant? Any comments, TIA!
  • afk_xafk_x Posts: 393
    For a while I thought you were a intelligent helpful poster here.

    Which makes me wonder why you would say this..

    "Lastly, the fact that 3 different tests produced 3 different results should prove how relatively unreliable these tests are as far as measurements are concerned"

    Just go away if you are going to say such things...
  • Don't qoute me, but I believe the first generation Saturn's (91-95) used conventional antifreeze/coolant. Im not sure when Saturn started using dexcool, but contacting a Saturn retailer, or calling 1 800 554 6000 (Saturn Customer Assistance Center) would be a good start.
    How much did you get the SL1 for> ? I am thinking of buying a first generation Saturn as an "around town" car in addition to my 2001 SL1. I have my eye on a 1994 SW2 Wagon for 1000.00 with 150k, may go for it...
  • Have a little over 60k on my sl2 bought new in april 99. Have replaced plugs and other routine maintenance items ie filters, oil, wiperblades, etc. Did put new pads on front at 59k miles.Will be changing transmission fluid and filter soon and replacing the serpentine belt. Have not had to do any major repairs. It does not burn any oil and the body is still tight. The interior is holding up well no plastic parts have broken but It is the light tan color and drivers seat needs to be cleaned. When I bought the car I joined this chat room to let others know how the car is doing. I plan on driving the car for at least 160k miles or more.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Could you maybe try explaining? I'm sort of confused as to what your problem is with that statement. I stated that because the injury measures were different in all 3 tests and the airbag performed differently in all 3 tests. Examples: the second test produced lower leg injury measures, but produced a high foot acceleration that didn't occur in the other 2 tests. The airbag worked fine on one test, was 46 milliseconds late on the second and 34 milliseconds late on the third. These variations show the tests aren't perfect and as such shouldn't be used as the sole decision to rate a car safe or unsafe. The only place where they are constant is in how the structure absorbs the impact.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,694
    Thnaks for the reply, the coolant color is orangey. My wife paid $2500 for this car.
  • mted23mted23 Posts: 16
    I am new to the S-Series forum. I usually post on the L-Series. My wife and I own two Saturns. We have a 2001 LW300 and a 94 SL1 that we have owned since new. The SL1 has 106,000 miles on it and has been and continues to be a good car. The only thing we have put into it is regular maintance including a new clutch. We still get 34 miles to the gallon in combined driving. I am very happy with the Saturn experience and I hope the new S Series and Vue will be successful.

    I do have a question though. Two weeks ago I was in the car wash and the brushes ripped off the passenger side mirror. I have gotten four quotes to fix this. All four quotes include the mirror with power assist and paint. Doesn't the 94 SL 1 mirror only come in molded black plastic therefore doesn't need paint? I thought it was SL 2's that had the mirrors painted the body color. Thanks for your responses.

    By the way, anybody looking to upgrade to a midsize car owes it to themselves to seriously consider the L Series.
  • Glad to hear that your Saturn's have proven reliable as my two Saturn's have. (1998 SL)_ (2001 SL1).

    My aunt bought a 2000 LS1 (thanks to me) and it has been ok except for some minor issues. I can't wait for the VUE and the new Saturn ION.
  • None of the previous suggestions have stopped the vibration in my 2001 sl2 5-speed. Does anyone have a solution to this problem?

    As for the person who suggested I buy a BMW if I wanted a perfect car; I maybe naive but I think any car should be able to go 55 without shaking my arm off.
  • Im sorry, but besides new tires, and re balancing I cannot think of any miracle solutions for an SL2 Vibration. You should try finding answers at - however you probably already have...

    And as far as the BMW comment goes, it is not too much for you to expect a car to go 55 mph with out serious vibration. Both my Saturns have rode as smooth as silk, hope you find the solution.
  • I am not sure I am still adding anything to the discussion (lazy to go back and read where it started) but here I go for what it's worth:
    I have a '95 SL2 and have followed the manual by replacing the coolant with 50/50 mix of commercial (ethylene glycol) antifreeze and water. An important thing to remember is to add the anti-corrosion tablets to the coolant reserve tank when you are done. The parts department people at Saturn call those tablets "horse pills."
    Just my 2c.
  • Maybe someone has some advice on this. I have a 95 SL with pretty low mileage (60K) and it's been pretty reliable until now. I was planning on keeping it about 3 more years but since May it's needed 3 repairs all to the tune of $300-$400 [egr valve, new alternator and serpentine belt(which were all replaced in 98) and some leaks]in addition to regular maintenance and new battery/brake pads etc. Anyway, I know no one can see the future but I'm beginning to think maybe a new car would be better than putting all this money into an unreliable car. I was wondering if anyone else had these problems and if they think I'm in for more major repairs in the near future. Any advice is appreciated.
  • afk_xafk_x Posts: 393
    Couple of things.

    Pre 98 Saturns will need a new altenator. Its just a question of when. They redesigned the altenator in 1998 and since then they have been much better in regards to reliability.

    As for the rest - a new serpentine belt is something you will need with any car. Just be glad you don't have a 95 civic - there are 3 belts instead of one.

    As for cost - you can always try an independant mechanic (get a referral from a friend if you don't know one) as they will be cost quite a bit less than having a Saturn retailer repair your car.

    Don't know if this helps but certainly it will be much less costly to continue to drive the Saturn you have than to get something else.
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