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Old 01-07-2011, 11:01 AM   #217
Sky King
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Memphis Tennessee
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1999 SC2
1995 SL2
Default Re: Goodbye Saturn: Thanks for the Ride (1985-2010)

Originally Posted by david314 View Post
Well, I can't say the service was particularly good. I had good and bad, the bad being all the years I had to fight Saturn to get the oil use problem dealt with on my '93 SL2 5 speed. There were certainly no recall parties that I ever knew of.

And I disagree with Charlie about the need for more models. The original sold nearly 300,000 copies in '94 or '95 and the combined sales for all the four or five models that Saturn had subsequently never came close. Had they simply taken the gen 1 and improved the quality, including especially the engine, and had they offered more power, but kept the styling as it was, I'd still be driving a Saturn. In my opinion, the death knell was sealed when gen 2 came out. Anyway, to see my article on Saturn go to

Well David, I am sorry you feel your experience was not stellar but I think your observations are wrong. I don't know when you bought your first Saturn and therefor how far back your experience with the company goes. Did you buy your '93 new?

The oil consumption problem with the "S" series engine is well known by those here on this forum. For what I would consider a majority of the members here, it is just considered more of a nuisance than a real problem as the general cause is pretty well known. It has often been stated on these boards that if you are just willing to keep adding the oil, nothing is going to fail. Along with that, many remedies have been posted here.

I disagree with your assesment on the need for new models. GM choaked Saturn. Many of the other divisions were jealous of the large sums of money GM was putting into Saturn and complained greatly. The most evident sign of the lack of funding was in the '95 and '96 model years. A redesign was in the works but due to a lack of funding, (IMHO) the best of the SL's was a result. A generation 1 body with a generation 2 interior. The generation 2 body didn't come untill '96. For the SCs, the change didn't happen for a year or so later.

No car company is going to survive with only ONE product line. Take ANY brand, Honda, Nissan, Chevrolet, pick one. Then tell THAT brand that they can only market ONE of their models. How long would Honda last if they could ONLY sell the Accord, that's it, just the Accord? Or Chevrolet if they could only sell the Malibu? It wasn't untill later in the 90's that Saturn was allowed another model and it wasn't a REAL Saturn. It was a rebadged Opel.
They FINALLY woke up a bit and realized that Saturn needed a broader product line and the fastest way to get another car on the showroom floor was to rebadge. To design, engineer, test and get a new car in the line would take time and money and GM wasn't going to give Saturn either one.

After that even the Spring Hill plant which had been "SATURN", was redesignated as a GM assembly plant as Saturn was slowly being assimilated into the rest of GM. Eventually all cars with a Saturn badge were pretty much rebadged Opels.

Everything that Saturn WAS that was just the thing that attracted the early fans was GONE. When I bought my first Saturn I swore I would never buy another GM product. Everything from product quality, service, reliability, customer satisfaction all the way to just cookie-cutter clones with different badges just turned me away from GM and Saturn was NONE of that, they were a DIFFERENT car from a DIFFERENT company.

Could the "S" have been improved? Sure, and there were improvements to the basic engine design over the years. But MAJOR changes would also have involved expense, expense that GM was just not going to put into Saturn.

Many of the older fans, myself included, feel that with the introduction of the other models, the "S" should have remained in the line, (with some of the improvements you mentioned) as an entry level Saturn. Let's face it, look at Honda as an example. I remember the Accord as far back as 1976 or 77. And todays Accord is nothing like those cars back then, but the model is still in the lineup, just with the normal updates and improvements that time requires.

1999 SC-2 280,000 miles -mine now also dead, RIP
1995 SL-2 296,000 miles - my wifes totaled, RIP
1993 Chevrolet S-10 Pick-up - mine
2003 Harley Davidson Low Rider - mine


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