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Old 05-22-2007, 10:18 AM   #1
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Any Saturn Toads out there?

Our nine year old Windstar Minivan is just about on it's last legs after many years of faithful service. So, it looks like it's time for a new one. I was wondering if any of you MoHo folks use any of the Sarturn line of vehicles as Toads? Specifically, what type of reliability problems have you encountered?

We have a tendency to buy new and keep for a long time, so we would want a car that will stay out of the shop and on the road (but then, who doesn't?).

Right now, we are looking at the Saturn Vue hybrid. Great gas milage and reasonably priced. The Ford Escape is also an option. Both are based priced about the same, the Ford gets slightly better milage, the Saturn has a much better warrenty. I am kind of a Ford guy at heart, but I've heard so many good things about the Saturns......

So, any ideas?

Jim
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Old 05-22-2007, 11:49 AM   #2
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Jim, I don't think you should tow a Saturn behind your Overlander...
Seriously, the Escape is a nice little vehicle, if you want to save a few bucks and not get the name brand, the Mazda Tribute is the same vehicle, for a few thousand less. I have had them come in for minor repairs only, some of them with 120,000 miles on them. The hybrid is a different story, I haven't had the pleasure of working on many of them. You are pretty much relegated to the dealer for most repairs, including replacement of the battery bank at around 50,000-60,000 mile intervals.
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Old 05-22-2007, 12:05 PM   #3
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We owned a 2003 Saturn Vue purchased new. We had a 4 cylinder. We traded it to purchase our tow vehicle. Prior to the Vue we owned a new 1995 Saturn 4 door. We loved it we had no problems with it at all. The only reason we got rid of it was a growing family. The only problem we had with the Vue was a steering wheel squeak when we first bought it. The squeak was quickly resolved by the Service department. It got great gas miliage and fit our needs quite well. Our model had the variable speed transmission from reading about it I understand there were a lot of troubles with it. We never had a problem with it. I don't think they are using that anymore but I wouldn't buy one with it if they are. Our interior was pretty utilitary no leather or anything. We did have a sun roof that was great. We were always treated well by the service departments we used in Ohio and TN. I have no experience towing one though so maybe others who have could post more. Good Luck. The new hybrid sounds interesting. Let us know what you decide!
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Old 05-22-2007, 12:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Jim, I don't think you should tow a Saturn behind your Overlander...

Yeah, talk about tail sag!...

One of the advantages of the Saturn (according to the Saturn sales dude ) is that the batteries can go to 100,000 miles and "only" cost about $750, as opposed to 60,000 miles and "several thousand" dollars on the Ford. Hummm....I think keep reading and making phone calls.

Jim
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Old 05-22-2007, 12:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
Right now, we are looking at the Saturn Vue hybrid. Great gas milage and reasonably priced. The Ford Escape is also an option. Both are based priced about the same, the Ford gets slightly better milage, the Saturn has a much better warrenty. I am kind of a Ford guy at heart, but I've heard so many good things about the Saturns......

So, any ideas?

Jim
Jim

I just talked with my cousin who owned a Vue 04-05 model until yesterday.
He had the wheel bearings replaced at 38,000 miles,
the entire steering column replaced,
the transmission failed and had to be replaced,
the car would not pass emissions test at 68,000 miles and the dealer could not find the problem.
Most of the above items were covered by warranty, but the
Saturn dealer finally informed him they WOULD NOT work on his car any more!

Of course every car manufacturer has it's lemons.

For what it's worth.

Don
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Old 05-22-2007, 01:09 PM   #6
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Yikes! That's not good news. Susan's niece has an older model that was a Hanger Queen also (not the Vue, one of the older compact sedans). But, she bought it used and was a teenager with all that that entails.

At least part of any machine's longevity has to do with proper maint. and use habits. Doesn't seem to be the case with your cousin.

Thanks for the comments everybody.

Jim
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Old 05-22-2007, 05:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
One of the advantages of the Saturn (according to the Saturn sales dude ) is that the batteries can go to 100,000 miles and "only" cost about $750, as opposed to 60,000 miles and "several thousand" dollars on the Ford. Hummm....I think keep reading and making phone calls.

Jim
Pick up the phone, and call the Ford dealer, and the Saturn dealer, and ask the parts guy what retail price is for the battery. If you ask the Ford salesman, he will tell you a similar story. And yes, I AM a Ford guy.
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Old 05-22-2007, 06:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Pick up the phone, and call the Ford dealer, and the Saturn dealer, and ask the parts guy what retail price is for the battery. If you ask the Ford salesman, he will tell you a similar story. And yes, I AM a Ford guy.
That's what I'm doing, after all, who believes a car salesman.
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Old 05-22-2007, 08:04 PM   #9
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Anyone listen to Car Talk? This thread is the answer to this weeks Puzzler.
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Old 05-22-2007, 10:46 PM   #10
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Saturn for a toad; are you joking?

Hi, My brother tows a Saturn with his SOB motorhome. Saturn is the number one toad out there; Because it can be towed without modifications. But, they are small, loud, and not very comfortable. When we go camping, my brother [and his wife] unhooks his Saturn from his SOB motorhome and I [and my wife] unhook our Navigator from our Airstream and................................Well you know. Need I say more?
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Old 05-23-2007, 01:04 PM   #11
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If you don't mind a stick (5-speed)

I'd suggest you look at a Scion xB. The 5-speed is towable four down. It has lots of room for four adults, gets good mileage, it is a bit noisy at highway speeds (partially depending on the road surface). It's also inexpensive.
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Old 06-18-2007, 12:04 AM   #12
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Getting ready to buy a saturn (no car, just the blue ox)equipped toad hook up that is with the M.H. I'm buying. I can't use the hook up. Gonna have to use a dolly7. I'll be pulling a P.T.C. Drop a line in a couple days if you pick up a saturn.
Jim
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