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Charlie 10-11-2009 05:23 PM

Saturn Deserves Better than Revisionists Calling Its Cars Ordinary
 
A new feeditems entry has been added:

[drupal=3417]Saturn Deserves Better than Revisionists Calling Its Cars Ordinary[/drupal]

[quote]Bryan Laviolette from Michigan WLLZ: Much has been written about why Saturn was somewhat of a success through much of the 1990s. Even though General Motors starved the brand for new products, those who bought Saturns back then loved them. Sure, buyers enjoyed the no-haggle deals and the fresh approach to selling cars. They loved it when dealer employees clapped as they drove their cars away for the first time. But what they really loved was that the cars were good, possibly the best cars GM has made since the 1950s when it ruled the American market.[/quote]

guy_450 10-12-2009 03:22 PM

Re: Saturn Deserves Better than Revisionists Calling Its Cars Ordinary
 
I never kept a car (SW1 '95) 14 years before. Then, I bought a SL1 '02 to replace it. I did no set at all a record but yes, I loved that S-serie.

VTHokie00SL2 10-12-2009 04:55 PM

Re: Saturn Deserves Better than Revisionists Calling Its Cars Ordinary
 
In my opinion, three things separated Saturn's S Series cars from GM's other small car offerings of the day, like the Cavalier. I'm talking strictly about the cars, not the dealers or the customer service.

1) Saturn managed to earn Consumer Reports' "Much better than average" reliability rating when pretty much all of GM's other products were worse to much worse than average

2) Saturn earned high crash test ratings when cars like the Cavalier were mediocre

3) Saturns looked sleek and modern, and had sportier styling imo than the Cavaliers of the day. (And for an economy car, they had good performance to match the looks! I doubt a comparable priced Cavalier had a fully independent suspension or four wheel disc brakes, like my SL2 did. Of course, the ION was a step backwards in that regard.)

VTHokie00SL2 10-12-2009 05:02 PM

Re: Saturn Deserves Better than Revisionists Calling Its Cars Ordinary
 
I loved my SL2, and I doubt I'll ever own a car again that's as durable and reliable as that car was. I put 220,000 miles on it and would've kept it even longer, but I hit a deer on a rural Pennsylvania road and just couldn't justify putting the money in to repair it at that point.

Citation84 10-13-2009 08:37 AM

Re: Saturn Deserves Better than Revisionists Calling Its Cars Ordinary
 
By 96 CR was reporting engine and trans problems with the S Series and it certainly wasn't recommending Saturns by 97, but the Cavalier.

Had a 99 Cavalier. And have a 95 SL1. The Cavalier being esentially a 95 is on a par with the SL1, plus it was quieter, rode better, was more comfortable came standard with ABS, power steering and [with the automatic]traction control and nothing ever went wrong with it. And the price was lower.

The SL1 had two heads crack before 36,000 miles.

And the Cavalier was never known for it's blown differential pins or slamming transmissions.

There were plenty of black spots on S Series charts. Electrical, engine, mechanical,transmisson etc.They started off well, but dropped quickly once those engines started sucking oil. Noit minor s**t, either. And a crop of Saturn Lemon and Hate and Blows pages popped up on the Internet as well. They weren't even close to the myth that cropped up around them.That is revisionist history.

I would never consider taking the SL1 on a long trim as I would be crippled and deaf by the end of the trip.

And yet: I still love the car. And it's still ordinary. It might have been amazing in 1985. Not by 1995. And especially not by 2002.

Good cars. Fun to drive. Perfectly ordinary except for the space frame and polymer.

VTHokie00SL2 10-13-2009 02:45 PM

Re: Saturn Deserves Better than Revisionists Calling Its Cars Ordinary
 
I must have gotten a good one! I had one initial defect on delivery - a leaking o-ring in the a/c system that caused the car to lose refrigerant quickly. I had that fixed within the first couple of weeks of ownership, as I recall. In 220,000 miles, I really didn't have to replace much. Besides the standard wear items like brake rotors (which did warp too easily), I had the cam cover gasket replaced, the ABS electronic unit behind the back seat (if I'm remembering that correctly), the fuel pump, a seal on the steering pump, and that's about it. The starter was going when I sold the car for scrap. And I think I was adding at least a quart of oil between oil changes at that point. Never had any transmission issues. Sometimes it would sort of slam into reverse, but it never got to the point of having to fix anything in the time I had it.

And of course, thanks to the polymer body panels, the body still looked great after 8 years and 220,000 miles! (Aside from the damaged light fixture and steel hood after I hit a deer!)

VTHokie00SL2 10-13-2009 02:46 PM

Re: Saturn Deserves Better than Revisionists Calling Its Cars Ordinary
 
Oh yes, and the upper motor mounts. Forgot about that!

Starduster_Sat 10-13-2009 06:39 PM

Re: Saturn Deserves Better than Revisionists Calling Its Cars Ordinary
 
Did someone say "slamming transmissions"? That was (note the "was") one of the few irritations with the '97 SL2 my wife drives. We can't identify what Saturn of Alexandria did beyond changing the automatic's fluid and filter, but it no longer does that- shifts the way it should have shifted all along. This HAS to be a fluid flow problem. Maybe in the filter. The only other time I dealt with something similar was a Chrysler Torqueflite that was low on ATF.

Revisionists. Grr. I've spoken about them earlier. Bottom line- The Cavalier was never an option for us. And my wife's Spectrum was busy demonstrating that not ALL Japanese cars are superior (take that, Izuzu). If Saturn did not exist, we would be running Toyota or Honda.

MikeNW 10-13-2009 07:49 PM

Re: Saturn Deserves Better than Revisionists Calling Its Cars Ordinary
 
I think it's a pretty darn good car. (97 SL) :)
Bad points- the stupid diff pin which I can't trust and which will make driving in the Midwest this winter somewhat unpleasant. (Won't be able to drive it with abandon, like my old Rabbit). Driver's seat causes pain after 6 hours but a chair cushion will help.
Good points- Still solid and rattle-free after 12 years. I like the polymer panels. Runs perfectly still. I am convinced that the space frame structure is superior.

I will miss the dealer attention, it was the small things, such as seeing my picture on a bulletin board when I bought it in 1997, and getting birthday cards. Saturn RIP.

kknobl 10-13-2009 08:42 PM

Re: Saturn Deserves Better than Revisionists Calling Its Cars Ordinary
 
[QUOTE=Citation84;1528207]By 96 CR was reporting engine and trans problems with the S Series and it certainly wasn't recommending Saturns by 97, but the Cavalier.

Had a 99 Cavalier. And have a 95 SL1. The Cavalier being esentially a 95 is on a par with the SL1, plus it was quieter, rode better, was more comfortable came standard with ABS, power steering and [with the automatic]traction control and nothing ever went wrong with it. And the price was lower.

The SL1 had two heads crack before 36,000 miles.

And the Cavalier was never known for it's blown differential pins or slamming transmissions.

There were plenty of black spots on S Series charts. Electrical, engine, mechanical,transmisson etc.They started off well, but dropped quickly once those engines started sucking oil. Noit minor s**t, either. And a crop of Saturn Lemon and Hate and Blows pages popped up on the Internet as well. They weren't even close to the myth that cropped up around them.That is revisionist history.

I would never consider taking the SL1 on a long trim as I would be crippled and deaf by the end of the trip.

And yet: I still love the car. And it's still ordinary. It might have been amazing in 1985. Not by 1995. And especially not by 2002.

Good cars. Fun to drive. Perfectly ordinary except for the space frame and polymer.[/QUOTE]

Did the Cavalier suffer from the big malady of most GM cars of the 1990s - the warped/blown intake manifold gasket??

Just curious...

saturn 51 10-14-2009 10:59 PM

Re: Saturn Deserves Better than Revisionists Calling Its Cars Ordinary
 
The transmission problems are caused by aftermarket trans. fluid.
Takes about a year to do its damage and your trans. is shot.:snide:

crystal scan 10-15-2009 11:14 AM

Re: Saturn Deserves Better than Revisionists Calling Its Cars Ordinary
 
[QUOTE=VTHokie00SL2;1527902]In my opinion, three things separated Saturn's S Series cars from GM's other small car offerings of the day, like the Cavalier. I'm talking strictly about the cars, not the dealers or the customer service.

1) Saturn managed to earn Consumer Reports' "Much better than average" reliability rating when pretty much all of GM's other products were worse to much worse than average

2) Saturn earned high crash test ratings when cars like the Cavalier were mediocre

3) Saturns looked sleek and modern, and had sportier styling imo than the Cavaliers of the day. (And for an economy car, they had good performance to match the looks! I doubt a comparable priced Cavalier had a fully independent suspension or four wheel disc brakes, like my SL2 did. Of course, the ION was a step backwards in that regard.)[/QUOTE]

because saturn is very safe car :)


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