Buying Used Saturn

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Ken Teich, Sep 3, 2004.

  1. Ken Teich

    Ken Teich Guest

    We are considering a second car for congested suburb / city driving. Hoping
    to keep it around $10k. I haven't looked at the used car market for about
    15yrs. Looking online I saw a couple of 01 and 02 SC2's.

    They seem to be fairly sporty for us kidless 30-somethings, more
    fuel-efficient than our small suv.

    I have looked at consumer reports and other reviews online. Haven't seen
    much passion for or against these machines. Any thoughts or advice from
    y'all would be grately appreciated.


    Ken Teich, Sep 3, 2004
  2. Ken Teich

    Oppie Guest

    Hi Ken,

    We bought our L-series wagon this past winter through Saturn. It had just
    came off of lease, 2 years old with 40K miles. original cost of vehicle with
    all options was about 23Kilobucks. We bought it for 10K. I didn't get the
    extra warranty since I'm fairly handy. Warranties are like throwing the
    Car is definitely fun to drive. Not as much space as my previous minivan but
    better on gas. I may add a trailer hitch and get a utility trailer for
    hauling logs and the like.
    Good luck with your search.
    Oppie, Sep 3, 2004
  3. Ken Teich

    Mitch Guest

    I've got a 97SW2 with 128k and its been a practical car with few
    maintenance issues. Make sure you get one that's been well maintained.
    Poorly maintained Saturns suffer from oil burning, worn timing chains,
    and lots of annoying problems.

    My biggest annoyances are the fit and dashboard rattles. I'm 5'll" and
    that sloping windshield means I'm looking through the top 4 inchs which
    the wiper blade doesn't cover (no I don't want to recline the seat!).
    Its also means I have to drop into the seat and watch my head on the
    door frame. The interior has lots of cheap plastic that buzzes and
    rattles OTOH I wasn't expecting a luxury car. Also the shifter (5sp) and
    stalk controls aren't very smooth. Drive it and see if you can live with
    it. There are better and worse cars out there and the S Saturns are a
    good value.

    Mitch, Sep 3, 2004
  4. Ken Teich

    Terry Guest

    My recommendation is also mixed. About a year ago I purchased a 2000 Saturn
    it is definitely good on gas. It had 19K on it when I bought it, now still
    only has 39K on it.
    Battery failed recently at 37K. Tires needed replacing at 37K, I guess
    that's typical for original tires.
    Interior plastic parts are more than annoying,
    the center console lid broke off, kick panel by the console keeps falling
    off, even though I
    keep regluing me, the car feels real cheap and not durable. Brakes
    have always felt soft, braking
    is ok but not great. I have a feeling that if we have a winter (Wisconsin)
    of lots of snow, ice, and cold,
    this car will start showing it's age real fast. Of course I'm a '60s car
    hobbyist so I'm a little biased.

    --I'd say go for it if you want a gas mileage champ. Saturns are known to be could
    always spend a little more and buy a new one, that way you can have the
    dealer worry about it when
    things go wrong!

    good luck,

    Terry, Sep 3, 2004
  5. Ken Teich

    Oppie Guest

    you could always spend a little more and buy a new one, that way you can
    have the
    I worked in military electronics for many years. If you go by the theory of
    the MIL/883 standard which calls for a (2000 hour?) burn-in interval on all
    parts, buying a used car makes sense.
    Buying milspec conditioned parts is equivalent to buying a new car and
    paying someone to put 30,000 miles on it before you take delivery <g>. It is
    supposed to weed out the 'infant mortality' failures.
    When you look at average reliability over time, there are the 'infant
    mortality' failures in the beginning followed by a long low failure rate
    which is then followed by end of life with increasing failure rates.
    Back in the moon rocket era, the word was that if your color television
    had the same reliability factor as the rocket, your set would last 400 years
    without a service call. 'course it would also cost $2 Billion :-D
    Oppie, Sep 3, 2004
  6. Ken Teich

    Ken Teich Guest

    Thanks for the replies, folks!
    If I decide to go with a Saturn I will keep you posted.
    Thanks again,
    Ken Teich, Sep 8, 2004
  7. Ken Teich

    Nick Guest

    I have a 96 SW2 that I have had since new. It has had very low durability
    on the interior plastic items...annoyances, but not 'deal-breakers' in my

    The deal breaker was the perfectly well-maintained engine throwing a rod at
    42K and needing replacement. Warranty on these cars was 3/36 so I was stuck
    having to replace the motor.

    Net-net. This is my first and last Saturn. Aside from that one time it
    never left me along the road. But overall it's been too vanilla and too
    cheesy to recommend when there are better alternatives out there. We bought
    a used 90 Honda Civic around the same time and it has has simply driven
    circles around the Saturn. Better handling, better mileage, lower repair
    costs. I know it's blasphemous to not recommend Saturn on this newsgroup,
    but ...

    - Nick
    Nick, Sep 17, 2004
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