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Old 01-23-2001, 12:48 PM   #1
CMSL194
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Default I like my Saturn, but.....

I have a '94 SL1. The car is very nice. I like it and it suits our needs but only just. When it came time to buy a different car, we needed a car that could be a back-up to our regular family car (94 Olds Silhoutte). The decission was between a '95 Bonneville and a '94 SL1. We traded in our '87 Honda Accord 2dr in for the Saturn SL1 4dr. My wife has never been too fond of the Saturn. More than once, we both have said "We should have gone with the Bonneville". 2 kids in car seats, their stuff plus ours just doesn't seem to fit too well. I primarily use the car to go back and forth to work. For that it is great. We have talked about "upgrading" to the L series but with all that is going on with Saturn it just doesn't seem like the "different kind of company" that they used to be. I question the quality, value and safety. I have not been too impressed with the stats lately. If anyone has some advice, comments or other words of wisdom, I would appreciate it. Thanks.

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Old 01-23-2001, 01:03 PM   #2
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ahhh, im not a big advacote of the l series but ill add this, you did way better with the s than the bonneville, several of my freinds own them, from a little old lady neighbor with a plain jane v-6 to two freind with supercharged versions, none seem to have a good track record, twice in the past two years i can recall two of them being completly stuck, one a failed water pump and another a bad ign module with no limp home feature.
the bonneville may be bigger but reliabilty i'd say the single cam s is/was one of the cheapest cars to keep on the road.
olds i hear is giving big incentives now that their demise is official, the allero is nice and you can probably steal one, i wouldnt worry about parts/warranty either, olds fate may be sealed buy you'll have no problem servicing them at any gm dealer after their gone.

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Old 01-23-2001, 01:04 PM   #3
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Well, as far as the safety thing goes, the L-series, while not being perfect, is at least as good as the competition in terms of real-world crashworthiness. The insurance company data is more reliable in this regard than the crash-test data. I don't know if the insurance companies have sufficient data to see how the L with the optional side curtain airbags does, but I'm hoping that it returns them to the superior safety ranks, rather than the as-good-as-the-rest. In other words, safety shouldn't be a concern from a comparison-shopping viewpoint, but many of us critic/fans would like to see them excel even more in this department.

As to reliability, the 2000 models seemed to have some first-model-year problems, but the "different kind of company," with few exceptions, handled them exceptionally well.

Speaking of my own personal experience with my 2001 LW300, the car has been flawless and an absolute blast to drive.

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Old 01-23-2001, 01:14 PM   #4
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My dad is going to be making the same decision in a few months. My parents currently have an old Plymouth Voyager that my brothers are using to get to and from school and a leased 1998 Saturn SL1. When the lease is up in July or August they want to get something a little bigger. My father is not so sure about the L Series at this point, but I think he'll probably give it a look. If he does end up leasing an L Series Saturn, I'll be interested to see how it holds up compared to their SL1 and my SL2...

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Old 01-23-2001, 11:38 PM   #5
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SL194,

The bottom line here is what exactly you want in a new car. Find a few possibilities, and do your homework. Check out how the dealers handle you as someone who is going to drop $15K plus of your hard-earned money on a vehicle. Then just drive the cars and find out which one is best for you.

Who knows? You may drive an L-series Saturn and absolutely hate it. None of us here are going to hold a gun to your head to buy a Saturn. All we would really want is for you to merely consider it when you start looking. If you don't like it, you won't buy it - you aren't hurting our feelings any. I almost bought a Honda Civic until I drove a 2000 SL2. The SL2 suited my needs and personality than the Civic did - plus the retailer has been absolutely fantastic about everything.

But as for your purchase of an SL1 over a Bonneville - good choice, sir. We had an '87 Grand Am in our family and there are many words I could use to describe the car and the crook dealer who sold it but that would get me banned by this forum. I would rather have seen GM pull the plug on Pontiac as opposed to Olds. I think Saturn could take on the image of "Driving Excitement". Supercharged SC or L-300 anyone? Ooh, imagine the possibilities (vbg) <img src="http://64.77.2.166/cgi-bin/UltraBoard/Images/Happy.gif" border="0" align="middle">

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Old 01-24-2001, 06:49 AM   #6
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We got the LW2 (2000) to replace a Plymouth Voyager that was in its death throes. Yes, it is a good car to drive and is a great value in terms of features and price. Did it have "teething problems"? It sure did. On the other hand, Saturn service was excellent in making everything right. Saturn should never have been so GM sloppy in getting it out the door, but the rest of the Saturn appoach is still thankfully in place. I do not know from experience if the 2001 has overcome the teething problems. If it has, then the car is worthwhile.

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Old 01-24-2001, 07:10 AM   #7
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My son and I own 2 Saturns from 2000 - SL1 and LS base model.

The SL1 has been relatively flawless with few (as Consumer Reports says) sample defects. It's a great value at the price and the dealer's top notch.

The LS has had its teething pains and TSB fixes but is now out of babyhood. At a base price of 15K you get a beautifully smooth 4 cylinder engine, great manual or auto trans, superb European cornering, and wonderful braking even w/o ABS and 4 wheel disks combined with the polymer panels. Try to find a base Accord or Camry.

If budget's important to you like it is to me, Saturn's got your number. If you've got more to spend, it may still be a good choice for you. Ask around about your local saturn dealer's service reputation. It may be an important factor in your decision.

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Old 01-24-2001, 03:58 PM   #8
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I appreciate the advice. My situation does not require that I get a different car now. I also had looked at a Nissan Max as well but the Nissan dealer was a schmuck and I didn't want to have to schlep around town to find a better Nissan dealer. I know that for our needs, we probably should have shopped around a little more and been a little more careful but hell I was pre-approved and could have any car that I wanted. Since, I had always wanted to have a Saturn and thought that what they stood for was something that I could believe in, so here I am, I like my saturn but...

Mr. Joe, If I sent my Saturn to you could you and your team possible transform it into something that would better suit our needs? larger, more refined?

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Old 01-25-2001, 10:14 PM   #9
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You're recommending the Alero over the L-Series, Joey? Puh-leeze! The Alero may be nice looking, but it's nothing but an Achieva on steroids - see the comments about the Grand Am above - same car, different skin...POS!

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Old 01-25-2001, 10:30 PM   #10
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ummm kinda like the l is a vectre on steroids?! rotflmao!
man, whats up? ok, you disagree with me on the l series, cool, its a thread, and we all have our opnion, then you skip over the persons thread topic to question why i like the allero, cause i think its a decent little sedan, and personally, i think the allero coupe looks 110% better than the new saturn coupe and the saturn coupe should look half as good as the allero coupe, yes, all this for within a 1000 bucks or so as a saturn!
man, we all have our opinions,what the hell is this? bash joe week?
and by the way, if they actually did something with the l, which they wont thanks to your beloved platform sharing, like put a kick ass motor, trans combo (actually, i take that back, they might cause the set up is allready in use...IN A SAAB) then it may mature into a sweet sedan, till then, its a opel/saab/saturn/lexus/volkswagon/hybred something.

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Old 01-25-2001, 11:30 PM   #11
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In defense of the Alero (1 l, not 2) it's not a bad car at all. I think it's the best looking car a mainstream GM division has come out with in I don't even know how long. But I've got 2 major beefs. First is the size of its posterior. Until the 2000 Chevy Impala/Monte Carlo came out, I don't think I've ever seen a modern car with as big a rear end. Secondly, and this was the thing that immediately dropped the Alero from my future consideration, and that is that its A-pillar creates a huge blind spot. During a test drive back in '99, I had a hard time with parking the darn thing because I couldn't see.

To be fair, the 2001 SC has a big butt, too. But for me, it's not as obtrusive as the Alero's. The S-series gets better gas mileage, and is more fun to drive. Furthermore, if I wanted, I could get an SC in yellow. If my mom weren't driving my SL2 right now, I'd have that yellow coupe &lt;drool <img src="http://64.77.2.166/cgi-bin/UltraBoard/Images/Happy.gif" border="0" align="middle">&gt;

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