Modern Saturn is not what it was when it was started in 1985 (really? I thought it was started in the 1990s but wikipedia said 1985). It was started as "A different kind of car company", and their products weren't made from the GM corporate parts bin. They made highly practical (dent resistant panels, anyone?), economical cars and sold them as part of an ownership experience that included different service practices and customer service relationships.
They were marketing to an entirely different group than most cars are marketed to. That is no longer the case.
Now they're just like any other car, there's little that's unique to Saturn, and there's not much point to making them. I don't think they should drop Saturn, I think they should go back to Saturn's niche-market roots.
I remember in like 1990 or 1991 a friend of mine bought one of the first Saturns that hit the market. Maybe Wikipedia is counting R&D in there, but the first model made available for retail sale wasn't till the early 90's. If I remember corretly they didn't do any haggling in the dealership, you paid sticker price for the car, and the salesmen were paid salary, not comission to promote a pressure free sales environment. Don't know if they do that anymore either.
If I remember corretly they didn't do any haggling in the dealership, you paid sticker price for the car, and the salesmen were paid salary, not comission to promote a pressure free sales environment. Don't know if they do that anymore either.
Yup, that was a big part of their marketing, and I'm pretty sure it's gone. AFAIK, they're just like any other dealer, and they're probably mostly combined with other dealers now anyway.
the saturn dealership here in town went under this past month lol.
i've never read a good thing about saturn vehicles through any research (CR and Lemon-Aid used car guides are good sources for the most part) and i've seen far far too many die. like a woman i work with that had a cracked head out of nowhere....at around the 200,000 KM mark. silly design problems under the hood - such as running coolant through the intake manifold - why exactly are we bothering with this? nobody really knows.
when i bought a saturn back in 1995, they explained that they did in fact do SEVERAL years of R&D as well as work w/ state farm in the safety aspect.
saturn, here in central florida, has THE best service dept in the GM family. one example...
my wife's camaro threw an unusual code(couldn't self diagnose) that the chevy dealer wanted to charge 1 hour labor for computer hook-up + repairs; the saturn dealer offered 1/2 hour labor charge and would credit THAT to the repair!
i've got several stories similar, but i'll spare everyone except to say that i'd buy a car from them again new or used, saturn or not w/out hesitation.
Of course each dealer is different. I love going to the Buick/Pontiac/GMC dealer 20 miles away in Leesburg, as opposed to going to the Chevrolet/Saturn dealer less than a mile away. The Chevy dealer has recommended service that was not required, and the GMC dealer has told me that expensive procedures I thought were required were not necessary.
yeah this is through the intake manifold for sure, not through the TB as is the norm. the problem with this is that they had major problems with the head cracking at that spot (as with this older lady i work with) as well as the gasket and intake manifold failing at that spot. whatever the reason, it caused a LOT of headaches and made it much harder to work on. i favor engine designs that have a good ease of maintainability.
I think all manufacturers have had their little engineering snags.
There was a weak spot on the Saturn SOHC 1.9 L cylinder heads made during the mid 90's that made them prone to crack when the engine overheated.
My SIL has a 99 Saturn and when it overheated on the previous owner, it cracked the head and warped the block enough so that any other head that was bolted to it would crack in the same weak spot as it was torqued down. It was pretty crazy to see all three heads lined up and cracked in the exact same spot (the crack was visible under the valve cover). It was a time consuming and expensive problem to diagnose- but we put a junkyard engine into it and she has put 20K on it with no problems.
Circa 7 years ago some GM (Pontiac Bonneville V-6) and Ford (Mustang GT V-8) engines had issues with coolant leaks from the coolant ports of their plastic intake manifolds (the plastic would flex and leak coolant into the engine or externally. The GM mechanic admitted that the OEM intakes were only good for about 70K miles (My dad replaced it twice after it leaked in the same spot both times at about 70K miles each time).
84-87 Honda civics with the CVCC engine (mine included) have a cylinder head with too few cooling passages between cylinders 2 and 3 and thus if they get a little bit hot, the cylinder head will mash the head gasket in that spot and it will fail (it happened to me thankfully it was a gradual process that took about 3K miles to get to the point where the car was not drivable for long periods of time).