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Old 01-03-2011, 08:13 AM   #59
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hemi4cam is on a distinguished road
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Default Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)

Where do I start ? Let me just say without the Saturn automobile my life would have not been what it was the past 15 years. Why ? There simply was and is no other car, that offered such great reliability, economy, and durability, for such an affordable price- ever.

I'm in my late 40's and grew up in the musclecar era- driving Chevelles, GTO's, Firebirds, Olds Cutlasses. My friends and I cruised around in Challengers, Cudas, Buick GS, Camaros, Galaxy, Fairlane, Cougar, Nova, etc. cars- with V-8 power.

As great as those cars were, they became unaffordable to drive on a daily basis once gasoline went over $1.50/gallon and stayed there, then shot up to $4/gallon, and now is at $3.20/gallon. Also those cars had one other foible- they rotted out badly in the rear quarters floors, trunk area, front lower fenders, lower doors, rockers. Every pre-1990 American car I ever owned, rotted out from under me here in the northeast USA.

After getting married in the 1990's, my wife and I needed an affordable car with good gas mileage that would last. I went to a used car auction, and bought a one-owner, A-title, 1991 Saturn SL2 4 door, with 5-speed manual, loaded- it had 98,000 miles on it, but was driven highway miles only by a college student for 4 years- easy miles.

WOW- what a great car- my first impressions were, where has this been all my life ? The car got 30 mpg CITY mileage, and 36 mph highway. (my old musclecars got 12 mpg-15 mpg at best) city). One time we took it on an extended trip and one section of the trip on the interstate and turnpike, it got 42 mpg. Awesome.

We proceeded to run the odometer up to 222,000 miles before we sold it, and got $500 for it. The new owner drove it away and used it for quite some time afterwards. The car looked the same the day I got rid of it, as the day I bought it- it did not deteriorate cosmetically on the exterior, one bit.

When we still owned the stick 1991, my wife kind of took that car over, so I needed one for myself- I bought another 1991 SL2 automatic trans car. That one had 137,000 on it, bought from a schoolteacher, for $2500.

The automatic car got 28 mpg city and the same mileage highway as the stick car, 36 mpg. As the mileage climbed and the engine got loose, it also got 30 mpg. AMAZING. Again, ran that car up to the same 222,000 miles before getting $500 for it on a trade, towards a 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP. The auto trans Saturn had one foible, with a sunroof there was not much headroom in the car- but other than that it was a great car.

Well we needed another car at this point, because we are a 2 car family, and one day while perusing the for sale ads, there was a 2002 Saturn SW2 with stick shift transmission, for $4000. It had 75,000 miles on it, was 3 years old, and was another A-title car, and had just come out of the factory warranty. I looked at it, and ended up buying it for only $3500. It was only 3 years old at the time. What a deal ! That is our current Saturn which now has 148,000 miles on it and still running strong. But FWIW, the newer Saturn lacked some of the traits and qualities of the old Saturns we had. The newer Saturn was simply a cloned Saab, being that GM owned Saab, they used the Saab platform and put a GM drivetrain in it. The Saab suspension and ride is far inferior to the original Saturn.

What most people don't realize is, Americans made and make the best cars in the world- don't believe what you see and hear on TV- it's all hype. The foreign cars are overpriced window dressing- they don't last.

What will we get when it's time to replace this Saturn ? I don't know. I sold the Pontiac Grand Prix for $1800 when it reached 180,000 miles- and replaced it with a 2001 Chevy Monte Carlo. That is also a very good car- but the Pontiacs and Chevys don't get the mileage the Saturn got, and don't have the rust free plastic fiber bodies.

GM really outdid itself with the Saturn. It's sad to see it go. We brought our son home after he was born from the hospital, in a Saturn, and those are the cars we had car seats in to haul him around when he was an infant and toddler. They are great cars !

I believe the early first model 1991-1993 models 2 door SC2 will someday be a collectible car. One thing about a Saturn, it was not slow ! They had a lot of pep and a high tech engine, with hemi head, 4 cams, tubing header, fuel injection. And they handled excellent and were great in the snow w/snow tired all around.

RIP Saturn- and Pontiac and Olds too. It seems like this government and corporate philosophy is, to squeeze out the middle class, including our cars. It's a sad situation. Hopefully in the future, GM can shake off the government (Obama admin), and union (UAW), and foreign (China) owership intervention, and make great cars like the Saturn, Pontiac, and Olds again.


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