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Wednesday, June 21, 2006



I'm a professional automotive technician and instructor. I worked on all makes for over 22 years now, seen many makes and models evolve and some demise. From my experience, Saturn is like any other GM product: cheap, poorly engineered, and over-hyped.


I wrote a detailed review of my wife's experience with a Cadillac on the Division's web page in October. For a starter my wife and I had to rent cars three times while on vacation in the first two years. It is four years old in August.

Even normal maintenance takes up to 2 days because they never stock parts. Frequently something fails as I drive it home from service. Mr. Goodwrench needs training! Too many issues for the price.

GM's response to my online rant on their customer freedback page: NONE.

In December I purchased a new, fully loaded Honda Ridgeline. Not one trip to the shop for unexpected repairs in 7 months. My wife is shopping for a car—No Caddilacs!

PS: I owned a Saturn for three years about eight years ago. I bought it new and it too had repair issues. Trips to the shop cost over $800 each. Two head gasket replacements. Local GM dealer NOT allowed to service Saturns. So I drove 70 miles (one way) to have a $98 power window motor (standard GM part) replaced.

That Saturn's final service esitmate was $800. I invested $150 and drove it to the nearest Honda dealer. I bought a Honda CRV. It cost me under $500 in unexpected repairs over the next 9 years. My son drives it now.


LOL Zarba... No one, and I mean NO ONE, buys a Camry because it is a good driver. What soul and character are you talking about? Camry is a good, reliable and safe car. It is also boring and soft.

Oh please before you start calling me a GM lover, I'm not. Camry is better than the Impala. However, it is better because of those things I mentioned. Not because Camry has a "Soul." LOL I can't stop laughing when I think of that.

I seriously doubt any Camry driver can tell the difference between Pushrod and that little wooden stick they stir up their StarBucks soy Latte with.

Camry is a high quality and reliable car that will get you from point A to point B day after day. However, let's don't pretend it is anything other than an appliance. There is no soul in the best dishwasher.


I am an original Saturn owner from 1991. Saturn was like Apple then, but not anymore. It was an independent division that GM allowed to run itself as if it was a separate company. A few years ago they plunked Saturn into a division with Pontiac & I forget who else. I'm done with GM. It's just crap. The L was the beginning of when Saturn became just another GM division. It's not Saturn anymore. It's GM. The Vue, Equinox, & Torrent are all basically the same truck & they did it with the vans too.


In 1998, I took part in a blind evaluation session with GM. We reviewed the upcoming Impala, the Avalanche, and dome SUV's.

Interestingly, they had a Honda CR-V (Which we own) rebadged as a Saturn to "guage our reactions to a Saturn SUV". I told them to do just that: Buy CR-V's and rebadge them, because GM had no idea how to do a small SUV. I also said consumers would really like knowing it had a Honda drivetrain for reliability. The reps wer enot impressed with that idea. Funny how they went and bought Honda V-6's for the Vue, and don't even take advantage of it (Hey, it's got a Honda!)

They asked me about the Avalanche, and I allowed as how it was a good idea, but that the truck was WAY to freakin' big for most consumers. And this was when gas was cheap! I told them to do it on a mid size paltform and they might sell a lot of them. Again. polite "thanks!" that said it all.

We went on to the TrailBlazer. I told them it was a nice size, but that it was way too heavy and the interior was absolute junk. More polite "thanks!"

When asked about the Impala, I just told them not to build it. I said, "There's no way in Hell that anyone would get out of a Camry or Accord to buy this." Pushrod engine, crap interior, squishy seats...

I was pretty blistering about the Impala. I told them to go out and drive them back to back (We couldn't drive the cars or trucks), and then tell me the Impala was a competitor. "This thing is nothing more than a rental car. Nothing about it that makes me want to buy one. No character, no soul. It has old technology and feels cheaper than a Hyundai." (That was back when Hyundai's were junk.)

What sticks in my mind to this day was the way they just ignored me. It was, "well, you're obvoiusly a car guy. Our REAL customers will love this swill." Totally arrogant and dismissive, especially about the size of the Avalanche and the crap interiors.

Excuse the long post, but GM has been clueless for a long time. It's insane that the world's largest car company (for now) can't do something as simple as build a Camry or Accord.

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