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Old 06-13-2012, 07:42 PM   #1
Razzle Dazzle
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1995 SC2
Default Why Do You Own a Saturn?

So, simple question! Most everyone on here owns a Saturn, what kind do you own? Why did you buy it? Do you love it?
You can tell a whole story just like I'm going to, or you can be brief:

I bought a White 95 SC2 with 111k miles and a dead motor. Why? Well, first off, my roommate King Rex has owned several times since I moved in with him, and when I went in to the market for just my second car I found a diamond in the rough.

I don't get gut feelings often, but when I find them I usually follow them, I followed them.

$600, dead motor posted by a guy we thought was car impaired. Looked at it, found out the Timing Chain was seized up tight, a Cam Sprocket broken. The condition of the body was enough to sell me on it, I paid for it and dropped 200 on a tow to King Rex's. When I wasn't working I assisted in pulling the motor, when we had it out and he unbolted the head, I looked underneath it. I didn't know cars, and while he looked at the rods, knowing what I was supposed to expect, I asked him why the valves all looked normal, we thought the timing had been lost, not just seized.

Suffice to say we were pretty shocked. Put the motor back together, changed the ECTS, Thermostat, ICM, and away we were. This car has been reliable, averages 35 MPG, and it even survived me being an idiot and introducing the DS front tire to the curb.

This car is practically invincible it seems, I'm keeping it in running order, the transmission shifts like a dream.

So yeah, that's my story, I got the car because it seemed to be in good shape, it would get good mileage, and I'd rode in many a Saturn, each of which I thought were amazing vehicles. So that's why I own a Saturn. Love.
...
'12 Chevrolet Cruze, 1.4T M/T 101k
Miss my White 95 SC2, said goodbye at 213k, 7 years of ownership.
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:45 PM   #2
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Default Re: Why Do You Own a Saturn?

i have no ******* idea
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Why Do You Own a Saturn?

I have been a pretty loyal Ford owner for years. Four Mustangs and an Aerostar.

Roughly 2 years ago, the Wife convinced me that we needed a 3rd family car that was more economical for our two older teenagers to share. She was spending so much time and mileage carting kids around, that it made sense if we could find a car that got decent mileage and didn't cost us a fortune.

We looked around for used Hondas, Toyotas that were selling for $7-9k for anything decent. A friend of my had a pretty nice '99 SL1 that had just lost its motor due to a cracked head. He did not want to fix it and sold it to me for $150. I convinced my wife that I could find a used motor and get it running for under $1,500, and that it should be very reliable, since I would be installing mostely new parts. I subsequently found a great deal on a barely used motor for only $150. All in, I got that car up and running for ~$750 and it gets around 36mpg.

That car quickly became the family's go-to car for most occasions. Within a short timeframe, I found another '02 SL1 that also had motor issues. I paid only $200 for that car and it only had 89k miles on it. A few more issues getting that one running. It needed a motor, a new subframe and a new fuel pump. I still got it running for under $1,000.

A huge part of resurrecting both these cars was the great crowd here on SFF!! This forum makes owning and maintaining an older car very possible, and almost fun.

We needed to get a car to replace my wife's van last month. I found her an '05 VUE that she really likes.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: Why Do You Own a Saturn?

Y'all know when I got mine. got it with 100,069 miles in perfect running order. it was my first car.
...
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DOB: 3/19/97
Date Obtained: 5/30/07
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Why Do You Own a Saturn?

Back in summer 2008, I had a Pontiac Grand Prix, I have spoke of it before, but I had been driving it for over a year. I had just returned from a convention in Pittsburgh, PA. I noticed one day on the way home from work, the day or so after the convention, the RPM's were very high. The transmission failed, sometime on the road home, the transmission had an internal failure and has no lock up, and no 4th gear anymore.

It had become very hard to drive around at high RPM's like I was. The timing was perfect, my direct neighbors were selling their 1998 SL1 for 200 dollars, and I needed a better car, so I purchased it. Drove it around for awhile until I stupidly traded it away for a POS van.

Oh well...

That was how I got in to Saturns. Been a long road since that little SL1.
...
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1999 SL2 HCE 175K
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:00 PM   #6
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Thumbs Up Why I own a Saturn.

My previous cars were My cars. I used to love working on cars either solo or with my friends. As well, I loved [well, still do] teaching people how to drive in my own way, making it fun and also productive for them. I used to work on older German and Japanese (being submerged in the Japanese culture *won't bother getting in-depth* since I was a very young child, Japanese cars naturally are part of my main interest) cars. Growing up, several things have made me a better person...I mostly attribute it to my relationship of almost 7 years and the family we now have [my Lady, myself and our little baby boy whom is now a month old]. So after being car-less for 3 years [using my ZipCar membership very frequently for the past 2 years], I figured I'd want to get a new-to-me car. The hunt began a few months ago. Because money was getting tight after buying all the newborn's stuff (ex. Britax stroller and car seat ~$400, Graco crib ~$150, Ameeda double electric b.pump ~$400) I searched for something under $2k and something I could work on myself.
First hit was a 5spd MKIII VW Golf. ABA engine, easy to work on, given the name 2.slow for a reason but gives great gas mileage compared to it's fellow engines...those of which I could easily swap if I wanted to and has good aftermarket support. The car itself was banged up on the outside but not that bad. I didn't plan on owning it for too long anyway. The deal breaker was the interior...boy was it dirty! Opening the hatch gave you a puff of sawdust. The carpet had rust shavings and dust all over. There were even spiderwebs under the dash. While I could have cleaned all that crud out and gotten a new carpet, I didn't bother. My Lovely Lady has asthma and my babyboy was in the NICU [only because he was born 5 weeks premature, but he was in perfect health, even the nurses were surprised] so I didn't want to bring him home in a disgustingly dirty car nor did I want my lady to have to deal with that dust. Even if I cleaned it out, i'd have to clean out the vents and ducts too...too much work. The car was $1100, the guy offered me $800. I thought about it for a day and passed.
Next cars were a Honda Accord and two Honda Civics. The Accord owner, I just wasn't feeling it. The 1st Civic owner was kind of sketchy, and the 2nd Civic...well, I don't buy someone else's project for a daily driver. Plus, I dont' want my car to be stolen so forget that. I really was looking for an Infiniti G20 primarily but then I came across a 1997 Saturn SL. Base model? Bone stock? Manual everything? Oh yeah..I like this! The lady showed me the car, she was cool, the car was cool, I was happy. I was given a good deal for the car, came back the next day and picked it up. She even let me drive the car to my job (garage) so I can store it and bring the plates back to her...I really appreciated that.
Normally for a car I get, in envision how I want it to look, and the project begins. But with this car, I don't want that. It's not My car anymore, it's Our car...my family's car. Anthony, Luenda and Krishna. So thus, I don't want it to be fast and low. I need it to be reliable and I want it to last forever. I have fallen deep for this car and thus already given it a name..."Sega Saturn". Vectorman and NiGHTS were in the mix but nah.

--I own a 1997 Saturn SL | I know about Saturn's reliability after talking with plenty owners over the past two years | I love it--
...
♪Nothing can survive the will to stay alive...'Cause if you try, you can do anything!♪
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: Why Do You Own a Saturn?

Quote:
Originally Posted by caveeagle View Post
I have been a pretty loyal Ford owner for years. Four Mustangs and an Aerostar.

Roughly 2 years ago, the Wife convinced me that we needed a 3rd family car that was more economical for our two older teenagers to share. She was spending so much time and mileage carting kids around, that it made sense if we could find a car that got decent mileage and didn't cost us a fortune.

We looked around for used Hondas, Toyotas that were selling for $7-9k for anything decent. A friend of my had a pretty nice '99 SL1 that had just lost its motor due to a cracked head. He did not want to fix it and sold it to me for $150. I convinced my wife that I could find a used motor and get it running for under $1,500, and that it should be very reliable, since I would be installing mostely new parts. I subsequently found a great deal on a barely used motor for only $150. All in, I got that car up and running for ~$750 and it gets around 36mpg.

That car quickly became the family's go-to car for most occasions. Within a short timeframe, I found another '02 SL1 that also had motor issues. I paid only $200 for that car and it only had 89k miles on it. A few more issues getting that one running. It needed a motor, a new subframe and a new fuel pump. I still got it running for under $1,000.

A huge part of resurrecting both these cars was the great crowd here on SFF!! This forum makes owning and maintaining an older car very possible, and almost fun.

We needed to get a car to replace my wife's van last month. I found her an '05 VUE that she really likes.
I like this one so far the most.. That's a good story. Saving a Saturn is well worth it in my opinion. If I were a multi-billionaire I would revive the company and upgrade and begin manufacturing of the S Series again.

Though I'd also include custom order builds.
...
'12 Chevrolet Cruze, 1.4T M/T 101k
Miss my White 95 SC2, said goodbye at 213k, 7 years of ownership.

Last edited by Razzle Dazzle; 06-13-2012 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:55 AM   #8
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Default Re: Why Do You Own a Saturn?

I've owned Saturns since 1992, all were new and all were highly regarded. I traded them just because I wanted a new car--all were still in great shape when I let them go. I've owned SL's, SC2's, L200 and L300, and a 1st gen and a 2nd gen Vue; I guess its been 9 in all. I really liked the whole dealer approach and the overall reliability of the cars. Maintence was pretty inexpensive and the cars were safe for the time--I wrecked 2 of them. I would probably still have one in the driveway if they were still in production, alas---that won't happen. At least the dealer sells another of my favorite brands, so I can least I still have the dealer satisfaction. GM's arrogance and shortsightedness as well as the government's meddling will keep me from buying another GM car. Saturn was the orphan stepchild as far as GM was concerned, and never got the support it needed to be a world class brand it was envisioned to be.
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:31 AM   #9
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Default Re: Why Do You Own a Saturn?

I was always fascinated by Saturn since the early days when I was in middle school in the early '90s. I told myself I'd own one someday, and I never gave up.

During my younger years, I frequently drew cars. When I was in 9th grade, I drew what I thought would make a great mid-sized Saturn sedan. My English teacher helped me draft a letter to send along with my design to Saturn.

After a few weeks from sending it in, I received a letter from Saturn Consumer Relations thanking me for my submission. I even called and talked to the person who's name was signed to the letter. It was exhilarating.

Back in '96, right after I graduated high school, I wanted to buy a NEW car. The nearest Saturn dealer was 2 hours away, but I wouldn't let that stop me. I knew what I wanted: a dark green SL2 with every option, period. I believe the price would've been just over $16,000. After talking about it with my mom, she convinced me I needed a truck... I ended up with a new dark green & gold S-10 that was fairly loaded...

Fast forward to '99. Saturn announces the LS. The profile was remarkably similar to what I drew, back in 9th grade, some 6 years earlier. It was love at first sight, and I made my way to the dealer to drive one. Times weren't right to buy one, but I wanted one... bad.

In the summer of '04, I found a nice '02 L200 at a very good price. This was, finally, my first Saturn. It was nice, but the love affair didn't last long. Minor annoyances kept me asking why they couldn't have done things just a little better or different. I was in the process of moving out of town, and considering I still owed a little money on it, I traded it in for a sweet LOADED '97 Taurus SHO with 96k on it. The dealer gave me the SHO and paid off the Saturn. I was happy with the deal.

I still wanted another Saturn.

Last fall, my fiance and I were looking for a better vehicle. We drove an '05 Vue 4 cylinder automatic. It was decent, but not in that great of shape. We kept looking. A couple weeks later, I stumbled upon my '04 V6 FWD at a dealer. I was leery of the 179k on the odometer, but the thought of the Honda drivetrain quickly took over. I took it home that day.

After being thoroughly impressed with my '04, I decided I wanted a Vue Red Line. After a lot of searching, I found the perfect one (for me) in Florida. The price was good enough to justify the plane ticket and gas to drive it back to PA.

So, here I am now. Proud owner of 2 Saturn Vues... proud enough to start a Facebook page, and start planning annual meet & greets at my home.

...
Avid Apple, car and vacuum enthusiast. Don't hate! ;)

Current:
'04 FWD 3.5L

Previous:
'05 AWD Red Line
'02 L200

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Old 06-15-2012, 01:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: Why Do You Own a Saturn?

I was always a GM guy. My 1st new car was a '73 Vega GT wagon - 4 spd MT with posi-rear. I loved that car until it got totaled rather young. I replaced it with another '73 (non-GT) before I discovered the oil burning problem (another failed GM experiment). But despite the oil consumption the car was reliable until I sold it in '83 when I purchased an Olds Firenza wagon (GM built in Brazil). Now this was the worse car I ever owned - even beating out my cheap oil-burning Vega!

By '93 I thinking I have to give up on American cars and defect to the imports despite my patriotism. About then I'm hearing the Saturn story. By '94 I hadn't heard anything bad and decided to give the Americans one last chance, partly because Saturn was a "Different kind of car" and this new division was somewhat separated from their quality unconscious parent. But mostly because I liked the polymer idea and no timing "belts".

So we decided to purchase a '94 SW2. Definitely a new dealer experience! A year later #1 daughter needs a car for college, so we give her the '94 and purchase a '95 SW2. The following year #2 daughter needs a car, so we get her a '96 SL2. (Only the '95 remains in the family.)

By '99 I'm really into the cult and we take the SW2 to Spring Hill for Homecoming. We had a great time - the Saturn future looks bright! (Who could imagine what the next decade would bring!?)

By '03 I'm getting a little old, the SW2 is seeming really low and my back ain't what it used to be. So we decide to upgrade to an '03 VUE - mostly my wife's (the SW2 remained my daily driver - my back is not happy!).

Shopping for the VUE, I thought I wanted a 4 cyl., but I'm hearing "Vti" (??). No more GM experiments for me! We go with the V6 (who knew Opel engines were like something out of a flying saucer!?) We also passed on the AWD - another good move.

By early '08 I'm hearing Saturn is dumping the polymer and moving VUE production to Mexico! (WTF!) I don't really need a new car at the time, but I scramble to find a leftover '07 a couple states away. That dealer tells me GM is bringing Saturn "back into the fold". I knew Saturn was doomed then and there! So our storm grey FWD V6 joined the family.

I still have an attachment to my SW2 (despite my achy-breaky back) and am working to get it back on the road. Truth be told - this forum is the biggest reason I'm staying loyal to Saturn (thank you Charlie and all you amazing Saturnfans!!!). But I'm done with GM for the way they killed the brand.

And that's my rather long story.
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Old 06-16-2012, 08:15 AM   #11
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Default Re: Why Do You Own a Saturn?

I own a Saturn because back in 2009, my 2007 Honda CRV was repossessed leaving my wife, my son, and I with no vehicle. The in laws just happened to have the SL2 for sale at the time. In an act of desperation, we agreed to buy it and make payments to them. Do I love my Saturn? Yes I do. I can appreciate the simplicity and ease of working on them. They're lightweight and those plastic body panels are fantastic. Would or do I plan on buying another Saturn? Absolutely, I am interested in buying a Saturn SUV in the future.

My background prior to the Saturn was primarily in Japanese vehicles, mainly Mitsubishi's. I currently have a Mitsubishi and a Honda which are both very difficult to work on.

It sucks that GM killed off Saturn but, things in this world seldom make much sense.
...
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2001 Saturn SL2 DOHC 5 Speed - Retired.
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:43 AM   #12
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Default Re: Why Do You Own a Saturn?

Cause the guys at Subaru are jerks.

OK, more. I like wagons and was in the market for a new wagon in '01. Had settled on the Suby Outback, but the L was my second choice. Told the guys at the Subaru dealer that I wasn't interested in doing the normal "buying a new car" dance and that this was the deal, I'd pay X for the car, didn't want any "add ons" and didn't need to talk to the finance guy. We do it this way or I walk. They agreed on my price, we started the paperwork and I was just about ready to write them a check and they said "OK, let's go over and see the accessories manager, then we can talk about financing". I was literally in the process of writing them a check for a two tone green, loaded Outback, but I put my checkbook back in my pocket and walked over to the Satty dealer.
...
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:16 PM   #13
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Default Re: Why Do You Own a Saturn?

I got a new job and we needed a 2nd car. Had been scouring Craigslist for a couple of weeks and wasn't having any luck with my budget ($<2000). Went home for lunch after test driving a couple of cars one morning in Feb '11 and happened to see an ad just posted for a 99 SL2 with 154k mi. Called immediately, agreed to meet the guy in 45mins for a test drive. 1:15 later I had the title in hand. While I was test driving the car there was literally another guy waiting to take it out. For the price ($1500) it was a steal in the Bay Area and i've been nothing but happy. Now at 181k mi and still on the original clutch! I have all of the service records and other than burning 1qt of oil every 1500mi like clockwork and a new pair of front tires last week haven't had to put anything in to it. It's an extremely stripped down SL2, just the base model with 0 options or add-ons.
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:27 AM   #14
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Default Re: Why Do You Own a Saturn?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ubie View Post
I got a new job and we needed a 2nd car. Had been scouring Craigslist for a couple of weeks and wasn't having any luck with my budget ($<2000). Went home for lunch after test driving a couple of cars one morning in Feb '11 and happened to see an ad just posted for a 99 SL2 with 154k mi. Called immediately, agreed to meet the guy in 45mins for a test drive. 1:15 later I had the title in hand. While I was test driving the car there was literally another guy waiting to take it out. For the price ($1500) it was a steal in the Bay Area and i've been nothing but happy. Now at 181k mi and still on the original clutch! I have all of the service records and other than burning 1qt of oil every 1500mi like clockwork and a new pair of front tires last week haven't had to put anything in to it. It's an extremely stripped down SL2, just the base model with 0 options or add-ons.
Good, less things to go wrong. Sunroofs tend to leak and power windows tend to go out.
...
'12 Chevrolet Cruze, 1.4T M/T 101k
Miss my White 95 SC2, said goodbye at 213k, 7 years of ownership.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:06 AM   #15
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Default Re: Why Do You Own a Saturn?

Purchased with 62k on the odometer from original owner. The clincher was it did NOT have a sunroof. $1600 was a huge score. 26k later @ 88k I am a happy camper.
...
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Currently sipping Mobil 1 + Delvac 1300 + LM2009 + Rislone

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.....
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:26 AM   #16
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Default Re: Why Do You Own a Saturn?

Quote:
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It's an extremely stripped down SL2, just the base model with 0 options or add-ons.
so what, it has no air conditioning, AM/FM radio (stock), manual steering, locking brakes, etc..?
...
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DOB: 3/19/97
Date Obtained: 5/30/07
Status: Alive, 1/2 exhaust

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Old 06-18-2012, 06:43 AM   #17
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1996 SL2
Default Re: Why Do You Own a Saturn?

My brother's fiance was getting a new car and she gave her old 02 sl1 with 131k to my younger brother. He put a few miles on it and it began to show some of the usual saturn quirks. High idle at times, tranny wouldnt always shift smooth. Well he thought the thing was ready to explode. I took it over and used it for work delivering medicine. High idle was fixed with a new intake manifold gasket. Did a transmission fluid change( probably the 1st one ever done on that car). Got the car in decent order and gave it back to my brother after picking up a 96 sl2.
With all of the helpful people on this site, cheap parts, and interchangeable parts i was hooked
...
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Old 06-18-2012, 01:50 PM   #18
Ubie
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Default Re: Why Do You Own a Saturn?

Quote:
Originally Posted by adventureoflink View Post
so what, it has no air conditioning, AM/FM radio (stock), manual steering, locking brakes, etc..?
Pretty close, AC was standard, as was power steering and power brakes, though no ABS
The window sticker actually reads something like AM/FM radio - DELETE i think (i'd have to look). There's an aftermarket Sony cassette deck in there now.

But yeah, no gadgets to break at least!
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:47 PM   #19
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Default Re: Why Do You Own a Saturn?

My reason for owning Saturn is this:

My first car was a 2002 Hyundai Elantra GLS. The thing was babied all its life and had only 33k mi when I recieved it as my first car from my parents in 2008. At first all was well but then the car decided to become possessed with one headache after another. First It needed tires, kinda made the mistake of going with budget tires *shudder* never again. Downright scary to drive on. Not to mention both the NTB I used and the Dealership had a fun time jerking me around with it costing $$$. Then I had the unfortunate problem of constantly running into things with the car. I know, half the equation was driver stupidity and did learn from all that, but again still costing $$$. The straw that broke the camels back was when it threw a check engine light. Trip to the dealer later its the fuel evap valve with a replacement cost of $3xx. That did it for me. After dumping so much and the car constantly needing things. Even silly things like bulbs every time I turned around the car had to go. Mind you only like 4xk mi on the clock at this point. It had to go.

Begin the car search that would lead to the Saturn being bought:

I did find I enjoyed driving my mom's 02 Santa Fe. I liked driving it alot. So I decided to get an SUV, and with the winters we were getting AWD/4WD would be a plus. First car I looked at was actually an 04 v6 awd with all the trimmings. Only 60kmi on the car, not bad at all with a low price at the dealer. Test drove it and it ran like a prince though the interior you could tell was a typical "Soccer mom" car based on its wear. This is where I fell in love with the Saturn. One stipulation was that one of its wheel bearings was on the fritz and by what I read, when one goes the others werent far behind when that starts up. Backed out of that deal. Seach continued.

We found a 04 kia Sorrento on a used lot that was clean as a whistle and the guy even installed aftermarket wheels (no not chromed out obnoxious ones, i would have tossed those) but nice alloys. Went to look, they wanted 6 grand I believe for it. 4x4 differential included and the car looked very well kept. I just didnt like when I stepped on the brakes on the test drive on a decline towards an intersection and it felt almost as if the car did not stop. It did stop safely I just didnt like that feeling. When I checked the carfax on the car later it stated how the car had 3 brake jobs done and still had incredibly low miles (40k mi). Didnt sound good and that was when I found what I drive now on the lot. Was sitting in the corner, dirty as can be (looked like a bunch of beach lovers owned it as it was full of sand ) But I figured id take a look. It wasnt as loaded as the other that I had seen with only its 4 cyl engine, though that beat the Kia which had a large 250 hp v6. Better gas mileage. The test drive felt perfect and although it had 78k mi on it we couldnt find a thing wrong with it other than a chipped windshield and the dirt. Both of which the lot made good on . So now its in the driveway. I love driving that car whenever I can and its even more satisfying knowing I bought and paid every penny of it through working. Only repairs it has needed was a front sway bar and some light bulbs. This not counting the oridinary maintenance (tire rotations and oil changes) not to mention the car had brand new tires on it when purchased. . Thats my Saturn story.

It makes me sad though that they are not around as owning that old beat up Vue had made me want to consider them when I was done school and looking for my first new car. If it drove like my old one, Id buy it in a heartbeat, this time a fully loaded one and the odometer would be at 0. .
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:16 PM   #20
brosteve55
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Default Re: Why Do You Own a Saturn?

cheap to keep so far.
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