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View Poll Results: Would You Buy a Saturn Built Without Polymer Body Panels?
Yes 16 10.96%
No 93 63.70%
Maybe 37 25.34%
Voters: 146. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-01-2003, 07:23 PM   #41
piney
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Someone posted elsewhere that the Transports and Silhouette (dustbuster) vans were polymer. If that is the case, is the Aztek polymer as well? Even if it is, it is still ugly & I would not buy it, but all this talk about polymer vs. metal brings up the issue of "is polymer a selling feature?"

I'd think that Pontiac and vicariously, the Rondevous, would be made from the same materials as they are cousins with the dustbuster vans.

If any car were polymer, would you be more inclined, as I am, to want it?

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Old 02-01-2003, 08:27 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally posted by eRic 96sc2
a saturn without plastic body panels is not a saturn. no thanks. it's bad enough the ion is 300 lbs heavier than the s-series that it replaced, has no rear discs available and it doesn't have a fully independant rear suspension. gm would be stupid to drop the polymer panels. what's next?
An Air Cooled Engine.

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Old 02-01-2003, 08:33 PM   #43
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I'm suprised that no one has mentioned that Saturn is still the only car company with recycleable body panels...

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Old 02-01-2003, 11:25 PM   #44
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As for the recycling, steel bodies have been crushed and reprocessed for many years.

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Old 02-01-2003, 11:27 PM   #45
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Many cars have plastic body parts - my father-in-law's 94 Buick Le Sabre's front fenders were plastic.

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Old 02-02-2003, 10:17 AM   #46
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Dr. Bob - Saturn uses thermoplastics, which are recycleable, in order to meet Tenesee production laws. The rest of GM uses thermosets (normally glass reinforced) insted of thermoplastics, which are not recycleable.

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Old 02-02-2003, 11:34 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally posted by ProDarwin
Dr. Bob - Saturn uses thermoplastics, which are recycleable, in order to meet Tenesee production laws. The rest of GM uses thermosets (normally glass reinforced) insted of thermoplastics, which are not recycleable.
That makes more sense to me. I had thought that the dustbuster vans were made of some composite, similar to what the Vettes are made from and less similar to the Saturn polymer.

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Old 02-06-2003, 11:46 AM   #48
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One of the major reasons I bought a Saturn was because of the polymer panels. I looked at the Kia,. Sephia, Chev, Cavalier. Honda, Civic and others. Even though the power was greater in most of these other cars the styling and polymer where the major factors in my decision. (I have an SL 1 2001). If Saturn decides to go with a steel body I would have to really think about getting another one, I would be more likely to buy a Honda. I live in Canada and the salt on our roads is crazy, my friend has a Kia, Sephia 3 yrs old and the fenders around his wheel wells have rust that’s starting to break though the paint and its dented to s#!t . I hope Saturn stays with the polymer.

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Old 02-10-2003, 09:34 AM   #49
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If Saturn moves away from polymer panels, perhaps they can offer some sort of dent resistant feature to at least partially compensate. Is that possible? Maybe just use thicker sheet metal - I don't know. In any case, it still won't match the polymer, but something is better than nothing.

Maybe they could at least give away one of those ding repair kits you see advertised on tv with the sale of each car!

I have had concerns about the polymer panels, as much as I like them. I always wondered about long term durability. I wondered if they would become brittle with age. Also, I always wondered how much temperature is a factor in their shatter resistance.

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Old 02-10-2003, 05:34 PM   #50
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Plastic please. I like being able to say my car is made from recycled milk jugs.

--m.

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Old 02-11-2003, 05:08 AM   #51
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Thumbs Down No, No, No!!!!

I have a 94 SL2 that looks like the day it was bought!

On the other hand, there are cars in the parking lot of my apartment complex that are 6 months old and have one, two, three of more dings on the side!

I have no rust, no dings!

And as far as the "shatter proof" in the cold part, we have up to -40C weather here in Winnipeg, and I can hit the fenders with my knee as hard as I can and there is no problem whatsoever. No paint crackling, no denting.... nothing.

If they take away polymer from Saturn, I'm gone. The new ION looks good from the outside, but for the price, the interior and features aren't good enough for me to buy the car unless it had polymer panels.

I just heard about the new mini-van. If it has polymer panels, put me first on the list. If it doesn't, then I've got a multitude of vans to choose from. I'd forego a far bit in terms of looks and features to get polymer all the way around the vehicle.

'Nuff said!

... Greg

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Old 02-16-2003, 09:45 PM   #52
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I think I would definetly buy another Saturn if it didn't have polymer. When my family and I got our SL1, we didn't know what it was made of (mainly because we bought it from a Chrysler dealer), so that had nothing to do with why we bought the car. We liked the looks of it, we knew people who swore by them, it was comfortable, drove nicely, and the price was right. I do think that the polymer has a lot to do with why people buy Saturns, I don't think it's the only reason. Now that I know what the car is made of (the polymer was brought to my attention by a friend of my mom's the day before we took delivery back in October of '98), I don't know what I would do without it. I've recieved tons of compliments on how great the car looks for it's age ('96, it's not THAT old), one of my neighbors thought it was brand new about a year ago, and it has come out unscathed from many brushes with grocery store shopping carts and bohemath SUV doors. In fact, just the other day, it was parked in the Stop & Shop parking lot with my sister and nephew in the back seat while I was in the store. An older woman driving an Oldsmobile or something hit a shopping cart going about 15mph, and it slammed right into the left rear quarter panel of my Saturn. I came out and my sister was almost in tears, and she said "Oh my God, someone just hit the car!" She couldn't get out and say something, because the woman ran off, and because her 7 month old son was there and she couldn't leave him. I got out of the car, inspected the area, and to no suprise, NO DAMAGE, not even a scratch. I got back in the car, and my sister was really upset, so I said "Don't worry, Stacey, it's polymer. It doesn't dent. There isn't even a scratch!" (she somehow thought it was her fault, because she didn't say something to the woman).

So while I love the polymer panels on my car, as they really keep it looking good, I would definetly buy another Saturn even if it was made of steel.

...
Mike

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Old 02-19-2003, 10:16 PM   #53
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No plastic no buy, i love my DENT RESISTANT side palels, i just hit my car the other day with my shop truck door and i loved the fact i didnt do any damage to my car door, except the yellow paint from my shop truck that is.

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Old 02-21-2003, 04:29 PM   #54
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Unless Saturn comes out the a car that will run 12's in a quarter mile (stock), AND you can add performance parts to make it go faster, AND has an awesome sound system, AND comes with kick-ass rims and tires, AND doesn't cost an arm and a leg.... I might buy it.

...
Step
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Old 02-24-2003, 07:27 PM   #55
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My old '92 SL2 got smacked in the nose by a Dodge Dynasty that ran a red light...took out the fender, grille, headlight, fender, and trim on the passenger side of the Dynasty, just left a scuff mark on the nose of the Saturn. The cop couldn't believe it, the insurance company wouldn't believe it, and the State asked me to elaborate more on my vehicle damage. Any other car would've had a smashed-in fender. I didn't even file a claim, just had my neighbor buff it out.

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Old 02-26-2003, 01:42 AM   #56
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The main thing that steer me away from the L was the non-polymer rear quarter pannel. I beleive the area surrounding the trunk is the hardest to repair in the event of an accident. My first car an 1988 Nissan Sentra was hit in the rear quarter pannel to me purshasing it and the trunk leaked all the time. If it had polymer pannels it would have been replaced by a new pannel and probably would have never leaked.

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Old 02-26-2003, 11:51 AM   #57
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Default When you’ve offered steak, why would you choose hamburger?

Every time a door slams into my L-300’s side panels, I wipe away the damage with a little rubbing compound, and consider a thin steel car. I critically look at the way the body panels match — you know that extra couple of thousands-of-an-inch difference CR and other auto “experts” disapprove of. I laugh and laugh.

My Saturn's medium red paint is two years old and looks great. The car has not had a problem the dealer couldn’t fix during a regular oil change. Saturn and its dealer network have delivered on their part of the contract since I bought the car — plastic body and all.

In November we plan on buying our eighth Saturn. Haven’t been disappointed yet. Paul Newman, the actor and race car driver, might have said it best, “When you’ve offered steak, why would you choose hamburger?”

Last edited by cary; 02-26-2003 at 12:02 PM..

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Old 03-04-2003, 12:39 AM   #58
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No way would I buy one without the polymer panels.. It's sort of their trademark. If I wanted a car without them, I would buy one without them. I don't really care for all this metal to metal stuff. Metal dings really easily. I should know. I own a mini-van that is bigger than my Saturn, and has ended up with a few scratches and dings of it's own due to me not knowing where the ends of it are when I first bought it.
It's a shame that the General has to dig deeper into Saturns roots and have such desire to make it like a normal every day GM car.
It was founded and designed on being "different". Saturn can't be different with metal panels, shared chassis', and shared engines.
While I look at the sharing of chassis and engines as a small gain for Saturn, the polymer panels are there to remind us of Saturn's unique and different origin.
The reason I look at one change as a positive and the other as a negative is because I am performance oriented. For Saturn to share the same engine with other GM compacts means more performance parts and better prices from my favorite Saturn aftermarket parts place because THEY will get their parts cheaper from the manufacturer (mass production).
Sharing a chassis, from a GM employee's POV, means GM will save money using the same platform for several different cars. Which means that some of that money will be rolled back into the factories that build GM products.
And while certainly the same is true should GM take Saturn's unique polymer panels out and replace them with metal ones, I think that would be going too far and would remove what is left of Saturn's origin..
GM should bite the big one and just keep the polymer panels. The resist dings and are easy enough to replace or repair. They hold on to a vital part of Saturn's history and keep it a step or two away from doom (remember Oldsmobile and the F-bodies? Guess where Buick is going too!).
As long as Saturn remains innovation AND different, they have a chance in this sea of metal sharks with their wonderful style.
GM has made some, IMHO, just horrid mistakes with Saturn, but they can redeem themselves by leaving the polymer alone. A TRUCK with a V8 wouldn't hurt either.
In front of every good race car on a trailer is an AWESOME truck of the same make towing it.
Although my Ford does a damn fine job thank you. I would prefer a Saturn truck.. HINT HINT to Saturn Corp.

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Old 03-05-2003, 07:43 PM   #59
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Heck. I'd buy a Saturn truck if I was looking for a truck, as long as it didn't look like a Chevy Avalanche.

I'd never get rid of plastic on a Saturn! One of the benefits to buying it is the plastic. I look on the road and see 10 year old SL1s that look brand new. Can't say that about metal cars. Every steel body car that I've had has been banged all up over time as a result of *other people's* negligence. I can't say how peeved I was when my Dodge Neon was banged up by a truck that tried to park in a SUBCOMPACT spot at school. There was a scrape down my driver's side door. It buffed out, for the most part, but left a dent that was noticable by me. There were all sorts of other dents and dings on the car. Worst damage that I've ever seen on a Saturn was only one instance where a front fender was cracked and not replaced.

If Saturn goes to steel, I'll go to Honda, Nissan, or Mitsubishi. I don't mind the Delta platform and Ecotec plan- and I actually encourage it to save costs (assuming that it is as reliable as the S series). But the spaceframe and polymer makes a Saturn a Saturn. Otherwise, a metal Ion would just be a future Cavelier with a center IP.

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Old 03-11-2003, 04:23 PM   #60
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I like my '93s killer power/weight ratio (I'll show ya how I smoked a Civic EX with a (eek!) Saturn) If it were steel, I'd rather have a Metro or a Fiesta with a "I race Golf Carts" bumper sticker.

I plan to keep my SC, and save up for either the maybe-to-be Sky or a new GTO... I love pushrod v8 power with the scent of burnt rubber.

...
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