Overview & Reviews
The Saturn brand, which was part of General Motors, has been discontinued as of the 2009 model year. Though popular in its early years, Saturn suffered from poor sales and was shuttered as part of GM's bankruptcy reorganization.
Despite its sad end, Saturn started with a bright future. After losing market share to Japanese imports during the '80s, General Motors launched Saturn, a new division that began selling small, low-priced cars in 1990. The division promoted itself as "different," with Saturn dealers offering no-haggle pricing and friendly customer service.
Saturn made its debut with the S Series line of vehicles. Available in sedan, coupe and wagon configurations, these Saturns differentiated themselves from other GM products with all-new platforms and flexible plastic panels meant to resist denting. Additionally, the brand was granted its own plant, with all Saturns being built at a dedicated facility in Spring Hill, Tennessee. These first Saturns weren't exactly built to burn rubber; they were powered by engines that offered from 85-124 horsepower. The payoff, though, was that these were among the most fuel-efficient vehicles of their day, offering up to 40 miles per gallon (when equipped with a manual transmission).
Just after the brand's conception, GM boasted that Saturn vehicles would benefit from rapid evolution, but in the early years, this wasn't the case. The brand's vehicles saw only one redesign in their first decade of existence. The revamp took place in the mid-'90s, and for the most part, it was only skin deep. Exteriors were spruced up and interior room saw a slight increase.
The Saturn brand enjoyed some success in its earliest years, fueled by buyers who were in love with its unique approach to customer relations that included "no-haggle" pricing. By the turn of the century, though, the novelty had worn off. With dated platforms and a limited range of products, the marque was neglected by GM, and disappointing sales figures showed that buyers had taken note and chosen to spend their dollars elsewhere.
GM responded by ramping up its commitment to the Saturn brand. In 2000, it rolled out the L Series; sharing a platform and an engine with the Opel Vectra (one of GM's European products) the sedan was the opening salvo in GM's ultimately futile fight to resuscitate the struggling brand. An SUV, the Vue, was unveiled, as was a minivan, the Relay. The S Series was replaced by the lamentable Ion, which was available as a sedan and a coupe. GM also added a hybrid to the lineup, with the introduction of the Saturn Vue Green Line.
Later, Saturn included the sporty Sky roadster, the midsize Aura sedan, the compact second-generation Vue crossover and the full-size Outlook crossover. For a brief period, there was also the European-sourced Astra compact hatchback.
Despite the increase in product quality, however, the Saturn brand effectively collapsed in 2009. As part of GM's bankruptcy proceedings, Saturn was offered up for sale. Initially, it was believed that the Penske Corporation would take over Saturn. But the deal fell through at the last minute, thereby spelling the final end for GM's import-fighting experiment.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 3,764.00
Disappointed... - 2007 Saturn Outlook
By Jessica Williams - August 21 - 6:33 am
When I first bought this car... It was love at first site. Beautiful outside, perfect size for my family, ran very well... But that didnt last long. After the first week of having it, I couldnt run my heater for too long because it would get too hot ( the car, not the temperature) and I had to avoid overheating, then it would periodically say "traction control turn a/c off" even when it wasnt running. Now it does it 7-10 times a day. I cant drive it a certain distance because I get a message that says "transmission hot engine idle" Ive tried method after method to figure out how to fix this problem and nothing has made a difference. This car has been nothing but problems and I can already tell its gonna shit out on me anyday now.... So disappointing.
Great buy if you get the discounts - 2006 Saturn ION
By brian - December 31 - 9:16 pm
Very roomy for such a small car. Fun to drive. Fuel economy could be better. I dont think the car is worth the MSRP, but with incentives, and GM family discount, it makes this car a great buy.
Sky Redline - 2008 Saturn Sky
By Joe - December 30 - 12:40 pm
WIfe and I love this little car. Traded our 2004 Crossfire for it and it is 10 times more comfortable on long trips. Not much for storage, but then again, its a sports car. Thats why we have the Dodge Dually. Excellent performance and handling topped off with 28 mpg fuel economy.
An Opel Gem Penske Should Keep! - 2008 Saturn Astra
By Opel Fan - December 30 - 12:30 am
I grew up with Opels, and I have owned a Cadillac Catera (nee Opel Omega). My Saturn (nee Opel) Astra XR 5 door is unique, understated and an awesome "German hot hatch". From the wonderful smell of the cloth interior, to the way the CDC40 Opera audio and board computer work, to the sound of the turn signals - this is pure Opel. I have the sport handling package with 18" wheels, and the handling is Mini Cooper-like with incredible poise at 80 mph on the highway. The Astra is no fireball, but I like the balance between excellent shift quality of the 4 speed automatic, fuel economy and acceleration. A future collectible since the Astra will only be imported in 2008 and is discontinued.
This is America, Buy an AMERICAN CAR - 2004 Saturn ION
By LJSaturn - December 29 - 2:00 am
I can see that this car got poor ratings because it isnt from Japan..well screw that. This is the best car EVER, and its AMERICAN. Saturns are reliable, built well, reasonably priced, great on gas, cheap to insure and SAFE. I wouldnt conform to supporting foreign cars if you paid me, I love GM.
XE Owner - 2007 Saturn Aura
By aura owner - December 28 - 8:30 am
After extensively researching/testing alternatives in this class, we skeptically decided to stop and test the all new Saturn Aura. We were shocked by the value as well as the sporty driving dynamics. We have approx 1500 miles on the car and are still impressed with the comfort, interior quietness, styling, and overall package. Mileage is mid 20s with mostly mixed driving. After owning Hondas, we feel that GM has finally delivered a competitive product at an approx $2-3K discount. Would highly recommend checking this out before purchasing another vehicle in this class.
MY SILVER SURFER - 2004 Saturn VUE
By GINA - December 24 - 10:00 am
MY OVERALL REVIEW OF MY SATURN VUE, IS AN HONEST ONE. THIS IS A VEHICLE FOR SOMEONE WHO WANTS THE COMFORT OF A SEDAN AND THE CARGO SPACE FOR MOVING MEDIUM SIZED FURNITURE, GROCERIES AND LUGGAGE. I LOVE MY VUE...IT IS COOL, FUN AND NOT SOME HUGE VEHICLE THAT I NEED A LADDER TO GET INTO. I AM GLAD THAT I DID SOME COMPARISON SHOPPING!!!
Nice car for the money - 2005 Saturn ION
By gary wagner - December 24 - 8:43 am
Leased for $110 per month from GM and its a vary nice car. Fun to drive with plenty of power. Basic no power windows but has air and automatic.
Grand Cherokee vs Saturn view - 2005 Saturn VUE
By Dennis Hyrkas - December 23 - 8:46 am
Was amazed with the acceleration for a 4 cylinder. High RPM during acceleration sounds like a souped up go cart. Steering takes a little bit of getting use to. Handles much better than the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Traded my Jeep for the VUE, glad I did.
Love this SUV!!! - 2003 Saturn VUE
By SandyOrangeVue - December 22 - 10:00 am
Had a 2001 Ford Escape -- took a 2002 Escape to replace it when Lemon Law kicked in due to constant stalling. When the 2002 stalled, Ford wouldnt take it back, so we traded in with the 0% deal. Getting 22-23 MPG -- 6 MPG more than Escape. Love the drive, comfort and affordability of this SUV! Engine is a little noisy.