Used Saturns

What do you think about buying a used Saturn Vue? It’s a 2006 with about 53,000 miles. It also comes with a 2yr, 100,000 warranty.

Nope…I wouldn’t think about it if it had a 5 year warranty. The CR reliability rating and owner satisfaction are both poor, so even if the drive train (it ain’t bumper to bumper, you can expect other problems) is no problem for two years, you’re on your own after that. Having said all that, it’s all about the $$$$$ and what you’re willing to put up with. So very cheap in price for family and I didn’t have to drive it; maybe. We all buy poor cars we can rationalize somehow.

Can you give me a decent alternative for under $14,000???

Consumer reports has lot’s of suggestions in that price range. Pick up the most recent automotive issue. It’s a good start and gives you an idea what’s reliable and satisfying and what isn’t according to the contributors of their surveys.

In this case, you are looking at a 5 year old car by the model year (I just bought a vehicle that is a 2011 model). The question I have is the warranty. If it is a factory warranty, it may be o.k. Third party warranties are usually not worthwhile. What does the factory warranty cover–just the drivetrain or is more included?
In an older car, I consider the maintenance the vehicle has had and the opinion of a good mechanic who has inspected the vehicle.

Consumer Reports is a place to start. I bought a 2006 Chevrolet Uplander in 2006 that had been a “program” vehicle. It fit my needs and I had no problems that weren’t taken care of by the warranty. Yet, according to Consumer Reports, the frequency of repair record wasn’t good and owner satisfaction was low. I sold the Uplander (at big family discount) to my son which I would not have done if the Uplander had been troublesome.

The $14,000 price you suggest seems high to me. However, when looking for a replacement for my Uplander, I found a very similar 2006 Uplander this spring that was within $1000 of what I paid for mine. When looking at 2008 Uplanders on different lots (2008 was the last year GM made a minivan), I thought the prices were too high. I decided that if I were going to spend that much money, I might as well buy something new which I did.

The Saturn is an “orphan” vehicle. It may be that there is a similar Chevrolet model with the same engine, drivetrain, etc. If this is the case, this may be an o.k. purchase if the price is dropped. I remember when Ford dropped the Edsel. The bottom fell out of the resale price of the Edsel. However, the 1959 and 1960 Edsels were essentially Fords and were good buys as used cars. On the other hand, the 1958 Edsels, particularly the top of the line models, were pretty unique and were terrible transportation values as used cars at any price.

If I were thinking about the Saturn Vue, I would first check the maintenance records and have it inspected by a good mechanic. Secondly, I would make sure that it was a factory warranty that covered electronic things as well as the basic drivetrain. Third, I would check to see if it is similar to some other GM model that is still produced. Finally, I would want a very good price–certainly a lot less than $14,000.

It might be a good deal if it is the AWD V6 with a lot of options. While CR rates it poorly, MSN Autos says that the 2006 Vue has only minor problems. I think the difference is in tolerance for problems. CR rates all vehicles with greater than 3% failure rate as poor. There certainly are small SUVs with less than 1% falure rate (good), but is a 3% failure rate a big problem? Edmunds estimates repairs at $3400 over the next 5 years and maintenance at $4000. A comparable Honda CR-V would cost about $2000 more to buy, and the average 5-year repair estimate is $3100 and maintenance is $3200. If you use all 3 sources together, the Vue dosn’t look all that bad. Are there better trucks out there? Sure, but are theyworth an extra $2000? You decide.

I do have some concerns about the 2 year warranty. Who is the underwriter? What is covered in the warranty? If GM provides the warranty, it seems like a great deal. But if it is an aftermarket warranty, you need to ask yourself who it is and what sort of customer satisfaction does that company have?

The car is at a Ford Dealership and the dealer said it was a “national” warranty and could be covered by them. My head is spinning at all the confusion! I will def negotiate a MUCH lower price (maybe $11,000). Thank you for all this great info!! I love the CR-V but I it’s out of my price range. I also test drove a Ford Escape and liked that. It will be interesting to see what I end up with!

there are NEW cars available for that.

If it’s a Saturn Vue-V6 Utility 4D (AWD)it’s worth $10,500. What’s “a national warranty”? If it’s a Ford manufacturer’s bumper-to-bumper no deductible warranty, it’s worth $500. If it’s a third-party warranty, it’s worth nothing.


Your $14,000 buys a totally decent and reliable Hyundai Sonata with low mileage. Parts and service will be available for the next 20-30 years or so! This car is alss classified as a “large” car by the EPA; it has lots of inside room, more than the VUE.

Pleas buy the Consumer Reports Buying Guide and you’ll discover more good buys.

I’m puzzled why you zeroed in on such a dog; the warranty is sort of meaningless since it covers those items that have a low probability of failure and only for 2 years.

My Dad used to say “There will always be cars”. Don’t grab the first one that appeals to you. I bought a 1965 Rambler Classic 550 back in 1965 that had gone 7000 miles and had the balance of the warranty. I paid $1750 for the car and thought it was a good deal. A couple of months later, my parent bought a house from a retired couple who were moving to Florida. They had 2 cars–a 1960 Oldsmobile 98 and a 1963 Ford Fairlane. The Ford had only 10,000 miles and they offered it to me for $1000. Both the Rambler and the Ford Fairlane were stripped down models, but I could have had a car that would have given me just as much service for $750 less had I waited. In 1965, $750 was a lot of money. Don’t be in a hurry. You may come across a better purchase than the Saturn Vue.

The fact that you didn’t post the price in your original post makes me wonder if you might not be rushing it a bit. Aren’t Saturns no longer made? Are there parts available?

You’re a human being on the planet Earth. Take some vitamin C, put on some Allman Brothers, and chill while you weigh your options.

Even $11,000 sounds way high. Of course I know nothing.

Keep in mind it’s almost due to have its timing thingy replaced.

Thank you for all your help & advice! The problem is I’ve come into some financial difficulty and my choices are fewer than they used to be. test drove the Saturn but it’s not "me: (whatever that means). What about a 2006 Ford Escape with 35,000 miles?? Test drove that and liked it. I had an Explorer and am used to that type of car (change is hard when you are over 40). Your thoughts please!!!

You can get Mazda CX7s and Honda CRVs for that price range.

At my bank you could get a five year loan for that car for 4.29% for a paymenyt of just over $259 a month. You can get a brand new $15,000 car at 3.74 SPR for 63 months for just over $281. You can probably do better with the promtions going on right now.

There’s no way I’d buy a 2006 Saturn with 53,000 miles for $14K. I’d get a new vehicle.

Thanks! Great info.

First, why don’t you list your needs in a vehicle.
What is your limit on what you can afford to pay for a vehicle?
How many passengers do you normally take with you?
Will this vehicle be used for commuting to work and what is the distance?
Is your driving highway, urban, rural or a combination of the above?
Since you say that you have come into some financial difficulty, it is imperative to first decide what you need in transportation. A Ford Escape may be the right vehicle, if you need to take passengers and you need the all wheel drive. On the other hand, if you don’t take several passengers and use the vehicle primarily for commuting to work and you don’t need to transport more than 3 passengers, a SUV such as the Ford Escape may not be the best purchase.

Analyze your needs before you make a purchase

If you are really interested in the Vue, ask for a copy of the warranty. You can get all the information you need from it. I suspect that it is a 3rd party warranty since this is a Ford dealership. They probably want you to pay extra for the warranty, and that’s why the price seems high. Ask them what the price is without the warranty, and then consider negotiating. I’d bet that the warranty is over $1000. My concerns with an extended warranty are whether they will consider the flaw to be wear and tear, and if it is a limited warranty (payoff based on mileage). You’ll never know until you read the fine print.

I bought a 2010 Cobalt in Febuary. With $5500 in rebates it was 12.1k plus tax and tags out the door. I was actually interested in a Certified 2008 Pontiac G6 at the time. The Cobalt was less than the used Pontiac and I decided I could live without all the bells and whistles. The seats could be a little more comfortable, but I like getting 30 mpg compared to my 2000 Blazer’s 16-17 mpg.

There is currently either a 3k or 4k rebate on 2010 Cobalts. There is a 1k rebate if you currently own a Toyota (my wife has a Sienna). The Edmunds site is a good place to check on rebates, I was able to get another $500 for the Philly Car Show. The dealer found another 1k that GM was giving dealers to move older stock.

Don’t fixate on one particular car, there’s plenty out there in your price range.

Ed B.

I had an 03 Saturn Vue and the seats were lousy. I felt like the handling around curves was a bit unstable. It had the GM computer glitch where you would step on the gas and get nothing. It would try to sneak off the road on you. The windshield was way too high up and the sun was always in your eyes. It looked stupid.