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  #1  
Old 11-11-2004, 10:49 PM
Hatterasguy's Avatar
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Anyone know anything about Saturns?

I want to get a winter/school beater next year. I want something that is cheap to run small and reliable. I also want it to cost around $2k (give or take)

Now I would really like another Toyota but they have very high resale, I can't get much for $2k. But for $2k I have seen some nice clean say 1996-97 100k Saturns. Their is a clean green coupe for sale down the street from me. Are Saturns cheap to run?

I would probably keep it for 5 years max probably more like 3-4. I don't think I will put more then 40k on it since I will on drive it November through early April.

I am thinking $2k for the car and $500 to bring all the maintaince up to speed and for unexpected problems.

Any other ideas? I don't care what the car is like just that it is fwd for the snow and has heat and a radio. Newer is better I don't want to fix this one I have plenty of that with the SDL!
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  #2  
Old 11-11-2004, 11:01 PM
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I think Mazda Proteges are the best 2k cars around. I bought a couple of them for my teenagers and I use one in my business. They are indestrucable. My kids abused them in every imagineable way, and they had no worse a repair record as my easy driven 98 Camry. Parts are plentiful and cheap in the junkyards, tires are cheap and the five speed manuals get phenomenal gas mileage. If you want to really cheap out, find a Ford Escort made between 90-93 - they are actually Mazda Proteges, and they have lower resale because they carry the dreaded Ford Escort badge. Don't buy any made after 93, because the cars are rebadged Hyndai, Kias, etc and are pieces of ****. The 90-93 are identical to Mazdas made those years. I picked up an 93 Escort wagon I use to haul computer parts for $1000 bucks, I have run up 50,000 miles on its still running like a top. Saturns, I know little about them, but I have heard they are good cars that don't like abuse. That might not be a good choice for a kid.
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  #3  
Old 11-11-2004, 11:07 PM
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Can youn find those Suburus for under 2g?
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  #4  
Old 11-11-2004, 11:07 PM
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Mazda and Subaru are possible. The only problem is Subaru's have high resale around here to! I would like to stay in the mid 90's or newer. I am looking for the most bang for my buck.
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  #5  
Old 11-12-2004, 12:02 AM
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Can't say anything to the reliability of Saturns. But I have driven one for a while that belonged to an ex-girlfriend.

All around nice little car for the money, but one issue that I hated: the seats.

If you've got any kind of back trouble, stay away. Long trips were the worst for the lower back in these cars.
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  #6  
Old 11-12-2004, 01:40 AM
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BIL bought one new back in '97. Fried the engine at around 85k. He used to be one of those annoying Saturn freaks that proselytized endlessly about the myriad benefits of ownership. Religiously went to their annual hotdogs n' coolaid GTG's...for some reason he don't do that no more. Caveat emptor...
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  #7  
Old 11-12-2004, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfloriII
Can't say anything to the reliability of Saturns. But I have driven one for a while that belonged to an ex-girlfriend.

All around nice little car for the money, but one issue that I hated: the seats.

If you've got any kind of back trouble, stay away. Long trips were the worst for the lower back in these cars.
Strange.......I have a '96 with the Leather seat option and those are the most comfortible seats I have ever sat in. The Neon and the Escort had the worst.

I routinely set in them for upwards to 6-7 hours a day at times.

Seats are all about body type and shape. They either fit you or not. No seat can fit everyone equally well.

Mine has 117,000 city miles and has been very reliable. But like every car made you will find a lemon once in a while. You can easily do far worse for a beater.
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  #8  
Old 11-12-2004, 09:00 AM
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yal yal is offline
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I second the Mazda Protege. Bullet Proof!
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  #9  
Old 11-12-2004, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boneheaddoctor
Strange.......I have a '96 with the Leather seat option and those are the most comfortible seats I have ever sat in. The Neon and the Escort had the worst.

I routinely set in them for upwards to 6-7 hours a day at times.

Seats are all about body type and shape. They either fit you or not. No seat can fit everyone equally well.

Mine has 117,000 city miles and has been very reliable. But like every car made you will find a lemon once in a while. You can easily do far worse for a beater.
I think hers was a '93 or thereabouts. It had cloth seats. I'm 5'8" and about 160 lbs. Too bad she didn't have the leather!
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Past:
2006 Jetta TDI 135,970 miles. Sold Nov. '13.
1995 E-320 Special Edition. 220,200 miles. Sold Sept. '07.
1987 190-E 16 valve. 153,000 miles. Sold Feb. '06.
1980 300-D 225,000 miles. Donated to the National Kidney Foundation.
1980 240-D manual, 297,500 miles. Totaled by inattentive driver.
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  #10  
Old 11-12-2004, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfloriII
I think hers was a '93 or thereabouts. It had cloth seats. I'm 5'8" and about 160 lbs. Too bad she didn't have the leather!
the '96 was the first year of the new body style. Don't know what the older ones seat were like.

I am 5'11" and 210 lbs every person has to see what fits their butt best. My Saturn seats fit my body perfectly.....So well in fact I tried to find a set of the black leathers from the SC2 (just the fronts) to put in my Civic. But no luck.

I love my SL2, I ordered it from the factory, was the first and may very well be the last person to drive it. Never regretted its purchase.
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Proud owner of ....
1971 280SE W108
1979 300SD W116
1983 300D W123
1975 Ironhead Sportster chopper
1987 GMC 3/4 ton 4X4 Diesel
1989 Honda Civic (Heavily modified)
---------------------
Section 609 MVAC Certified
---------------------
"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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  #11  
Old 11-12-2004, 10:05 AM
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I would prefer a Honda Civic but again they have high resale around here. I can get a newer lower mileage Saturn, Mazda than a Civic, Toyota, Subaru.

I guess I will have to sit in one to see if I feel comfortable in it. I have driven a Civic and found it to be very comfortable for a little car. It was gutless as can be and it hated the highway but it wasn't bad for a cheap little car.

Do these cars have any problem areas that I should look for? Other than making sure the oil was changed.
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2017 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ
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  #12  
Old 11-12-2004, 10:11 AM
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How about a '92-'95 Dodge Caravan? No, I'm not crazy. They're dirt cheap to buy and maintain, take lots of abuse, and long on utility... excellent second car/beater material. Their legendry transmission problems were improved in '92, but still somewhat hit-or-miss, so look for one that's been rebuilt. The 3.3L V6 will far outlast your desire to keep driving it. Don't get the 3.0L Mitsucrappi engine.

My parents bought one new in '92, drove it 176k miles with largely indifferent maintenance and next to zero problems, and it was still going strong when they sold it for $3k in 2001. It sucked to drive, but it was still an outstanding car for what it was.

My zero cents worth,
Tom
'82 300D 316k
'95 S320 138k
'96 Passat TDI 177k
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  #13  
Old 11-12-2004, 10:12 AM
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Saturns are like any other......maintained they last a LONG LONG time.

I actually got 42 miles to the gallon with mine between Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands (near NYC) and Northern VA, both times I drove it there and back, averaging 70 mph. Mine is an SL2 automatic, loaded will every option but sunroof.

in city I average about 25. Try them out, only your but knows what suits you best.

Honda seats? hate most of them, Prelude has nice seats though. I have '92 prelude buckes in my '89 hatch.
__________________
Proud owner of ....
1971 280SE W108
1979 300SD W116
1983 300D W123
1975 Ironhead Sportster chopper
1987 GMC 3/4 ton 4X4 Diesel
1989 Honda Civic (Heavily modified)
---------------------
Section 609 MVAC Certified
---------------------
"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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  #14  
Old 11-12-2004, 10:18 AM
webwench
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I had a 2000 year model Saturn SC2 that I ran for 70,000 miles without any problems before I sold it early this year. I see a lot of mid- to late 1990 sedans on the roads here. Nice thing with plastic is you never have to worry about body rust My mileage wasn't all that great, but I do have a lead foot...
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  #15  
Old 11-12-2004, 11:00 AM
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Thanks for the sudjestions I am still leaning towards a Saturn because I can get a lot for my money. Also their are tons of older ones around so I shouldn't have any problem picking up a 96-97 with 100k on it and selling it in a few years with 130k-140k on it. I hopefully won't lose much money either.

Are parts cheap? GM parts are usually dirt cheap.

tesavage thanks for the sudjestion but I would never buy any kind of van, ever! Sorry I just can't stand vans. At least a Saturn looks halfway decent.
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-Thomas Jefferson
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