Why Are Saturn Cars So Bad and Are the Cars Reliable?

‘Why are Saturn cars so bad?’ This is an understandable question that many car owners have when considering that Saturn vehicles have gone out of business since 2010, and there are no new models available for purchase.

Faulty Saturn Cars ~ Ran When Parked

If you want to buy a Saturn vehicle, you should know that the newest models were made over a decade ago, and the only available options are second-hand vehicles. In this guide, we take a closer look at the Saturn models and whether they are reliable or not.

Why Are Saturn Cars So Bad?

Saturn cars are so bad because they have transmission issues, they require higher maintenance costs, and they have a very low resale value. The cars are difficult to keep and would break down easily. The Saturn vehicles are also phased out and older.

It’s also important to note that the Saturn models are unsustainable, have a negative reputation, and are an uncompetitive brand. The brand is also unprofitable. All of these are downsides of the Saturn vehicle models.

Transmission Issues

One of the problems with the Saturn vehicles is the transmission. Although the cars have some high performance, there are troubles with the transmission, like gas cap issues, powertrain control module faults, and power steering problems.

Higher Maintenance Costs

Saturn vehicles usually require more maintenance than other cars, even if they have never been expensive.

Higher Maintenance Costs ~ Ran When Parked

The drivers usually complain about constantly repairing the power steering systems and changing the brake fluid and the cooling systems. In general, the maintenance expenses are costlier than other models.

Low Resale Value

Another reason why Saturn vehicles are bad is their resale value. They have low transaction costs, especially since the last Saturn models released date back to over 10 years ago. There aren’t any late-model Saturn vehicles, so buying one might not be a good decision. If you buy one now, you might have to sell it for next to nothing later on.

Breaks Down Easily

You should expect that your Saturn will probably break down often, and if it does, it will be hard to find the parts. It would be difficult to find a dealership that can find components for a Saturn vehicle.

If you’re interested in a Saturn vehicle, you have to consider the maintenance and servicing. The limited parts also increase the maintenance costs.

Saturn Vehicles Are Phased Out

It’s also important to note that Saturn vehicles have been phased out. The last car models include Saturn Sky, Outlook, and Vue. The Saturn Vue and Saturn Ion models were the last ones with plastic body panels.

Phased Out Saturn Vehicles ~ Ran When Parked

Since the brand has been discontinued, it would be hard to purchase one. Another well-known model was the Saturn SL.

The Brand Was Unsustainable

The Saturn brand was also quite unsustainable. Even if the car sales had increased when it was released, the model had some unappealing features that did not sell. The sales increase was not enough for the company to sustain itself, and this led to a complete shutdown.

The Vehicles Are Uncompetitive

Saturn vehicles were unable to compete in the market, and they still can’t, especially since they are old models. The cars did not have features that would separate them from the competition. Due to this, the cars were not very popular upon release.

There Were Recalls

The Saturn models have experienced different recalls since it was released. One of the reasons why it was recalled was the faulty ignition switches. This caused GM to recall 2.6 million cars, and they had to pay a $35 million fine.

What Are the Strengths of Saturn Vehicles?

The strengths of Saturn vehicles include the long-lasting design, as they could handle a lot of driving. These vehicles could be used for a longer time, like other small to medium-sized cars. Even with their downsides, the Saturn model was long-lasting.

Although the maintenance of Saturn vehicles is costly and it was hard to find the right parts, the longevity made up for the difficulty in driving, like the clutch. The engine system of the Saturn was also well-designed.

They did not have oil leaks and did not have a lot of trouble for the owners. But, since Saturn vehicles are over a decade old today, the same cannot be said.

Strengths of Saturn Vehicles ~ Ran When Parked

Even with the fact that Saturn vehicles are old, they have impressive fuel efficiency. If the car was properly taken care of, the fuel economy would be pretty good. It can even be on par with the modern cars of today, including hybrids and electric cars. Depending on where you purchase the car, it might also be warranty-protected.

Even with the fact that the last Saturn vehicles were made 12 years ago, you can still find many of them on the road. If the cars were not strong, they wouldn’t still be running. There are many drivers that are loyal to their Saturn vehicles due to their reliability.

Furthermore, the engines perform well and would hardly need any major repairs, which is fortunate since the repairs are costly.

What Are the Weaknesses of Saturn Vehicles?

The weaknesses of Saturn vehicles include interior and comfort features that don’t stand the test of time. While the engine’s components last for a long time, the doors, seats, and internal finishes don’t last longer. You would have to replace the cabin seals and other interior features regularly.

Since the Saturn models available on the road are over a decade old, you would have to deal with the high mileage and sensor failures. The cars already have a lot of stress on them, and this would have lowered their fuel efficiency.

Weaknesses of Saturn Vehicles ~ Ran When Parked

The high mileage and poor efficiency make the car drive roughly, and the maintenance costs are also high. It would be hard to find parts to repair your Saturn vehicle, and many mechanics will shy away from helping you fix it. Due to this, you would spend a lot of money on repairs and maintenance of the Saturn vehicle.

Another major downside of the Saturn vehicles is that they won’t last for a long time. Since these cars are already over a decade old, if you purchase a second-hand Saturn model, you can only use it for a few more years. After that, it would get damaged and would require constant repairs again.

Are Saturn Vehicles Reliable?

Saturn vehicles are reliable, even if the latest model out there is 12 years old. The cars are known for being highly reliable with top-notch fuel economy. The engine and transmission systems are also durable and have an impressive design, so they run properly even after a decade or more.

Even if the Saturn models are reliable, you need to consider the expensive repairs. The Vue and L-series have a costly V6 engine that would be more expensive to maintain and repair than the entire value of the car. Also, the Saturn Astra already had a poor fuel economy when it was released, so it is worse than a second-hand car.

Saturn Cars on Road ~ Ran When Parked

It’s also important to note that the Saturn models were discontinued because of production costs rather than the quality of the car. The car models were of good quality and were highly reliable, and so the main reason why the brand failed was the structure and production costs of the company. The car company was unable to make a profit.

Even with that, the Saturn vehicles have some negatives. The interior features show signs of wear and tear quickly, like the door seals, seat covers, and more. You will have to replace them often. Also, even if the GM has to honor the warranty of models that have been discontinued, there’s a good chance the warranty would have almost expired.

How Long Will a Saturn Vehicle Last?

A Saturn vehicle will last for about five to ten years at most. Most Saturn models on the road are about 10 years old, but they would start to show their age and have high mileage. They would also require regular repair and maintenance and will not sit idle.

Since Saturn models are already old, this means that they only have a few years left. The cars can work for 200,000 miles or more, as they are highly reliable. But, if you are using a Saturn model that is 20 years old or more, you should expect a lifespan of 3 to 5 years at most.

Keep in mind that the older the Saturn models, the more expensive and constant the maintenance would be. The second-hand models would already have a lot of mileage and a lot of wear and tear. They would also be really cheap and have a low resale cost, so if you want to sell a Saturn after buying it, it would not be worth it.

How Can You Make Your Saturn Vehicle More Reliable?

You can make your Saturn vehicle more reliable through constant maintenance and care. The Saturn models need a lot of care to make them reliable, especially since they are really old. You will need regular oil changes and replace the old sensors with new ones to keep the car running.

Reliable Saturn Vehicle ~ Ran When Parked

If you have a Saturn vehicle, you can drive smoothly and regularly maintain the brake and suspension. You should also keep the battery in good condition if you want to extend the life of the car.

Since the interior of the car gets worn out easily, it’s important to replace the cabin seals and other features. If the seals fail, they can reduce the aerodynamic design of the car. This can also reduce the car’s fuel efficiency and put more pressure on the brake and suspension systems.


With our article on the topic, ‘Why are Saturn cars so bad?’ you now know what to expect from this second-hand car. Here’s a rundown of what we covered in our article:

  • Saturn vehicles are bad because of the poor transmission, high repair, and maintenance costs, and they break down easily.
  • The strengths of the Saturn models include the durable engine design, the high fuel efficiency, and the long-lasting use.
  • On the downside, the Saturn vehicles have a poorly designed interior that wears out easily, engine seals that might be worn out, and all the models are old.

If you’re thinking of getting a Saturn vehicle, it’s important to inspect it thoroughly and ensure it is of high quality. Also, consider the repair and maintenance costs and the fact that you might have to scrap it after a few years.


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