Last post on Sep 11, 2012 at 4:19 PM
You are in the Saturn S-Series
What is this discussion about?
Saturn S-Series, Sedan
#551 of 1418 My take on Saturn
Dec 08, 2000 (8:26 am)
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.
#552 of 1418 It just never "turned me on"--------
Dec 08, 2000 (4:15 pm)
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.
#553 of 1418 Non gearhead?
Dec 08, 2000 (8:58 pm)
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.
Dec 08, 2000 (9:08 pm)
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.
Dec 08, 2000 (9:27 pm)
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.
#556 of 1418 Treatment from dealers in USED cars
Dec 08, 2000 (10:10 pm)
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.
#557 of 1418 Compact Pricing
Dec 08, 2000 (10:11 pm)
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
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 www.saturn.com
#558 of 1418 Fredfred
Dec 08, 2000 (10:39 pm)
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.
Dec 09, 2000 (12:36 am)
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.
Dec 09, 2000 (12:43 am)
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.