Why Are Saturn Cars So Bad? (11 Reasons Why)

Because Saturn cars were inexpensive, many consumers purchased them. However, they found engine issues that caused them not to utilize these vehicles. Thus, General Motors eventually phased them out in 2010.

This led to the company’s bankruptcy, and Saturn’s balance statement showed millions in delinquent debts rather than more cars sold. Here’s what I’ve discovered about why Saturn cars were phased out!

Why Are Saturn Cars So Bad?

1. Unsustainable

In the early 1990s, General Motors Company, a subsidiary of Saturn, showed considerable potential but was not sustained because senior officials failed to recognize the advantages of innovative approaches in the car industry.

On the other hand, Saturn’s sales have increased steadily—but not enough for the company to sustain itself.

Ironically, Saturn’s downfall began due to a lack of appealing goods that could not sell in a comprehensive line.

As a result, the company has faced an existential crisis — it didn’t have the chance to sustain profitable margins, which led to a total shutdown!

2. Negative Reputation

An issue with Saturn is that despite being in operation for more than 40 years, it has never been able to organize itself.

On top of this, making affordable cars was a fantastic idea, but they weren’t sure how to carry it out effectively.

Unfortunately, they have had time to accumulate many unfavorable experiences from clients looking for inexpensive car options but ended up getting very little in exchange.

In that event, this negative reputation has led to unreliable character and is not worth the money they cost!

3. Uncompetitive Brand

Saturn vehicles are so incompetent because they can’t compete in the market.

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In addition, they don’t differentiate themselves from the competition and don’t give customers anything particularly remarkable or distinctive.

Because of that, consumers have never been able to overcome its unpopularity. Thus, although they’ve tried to make improvements, buyers do not seem interested in them.

Overall, Saturn illustrates an industry that has been poorly managed and has developed a reputation for being an undependable brand!

4. Phased Out Vehicles

In 2007, Saturn’s VUE and ION were the two final models with plastic body panels. In addition, Saturn’s last car models were Saturn Aura, Outlook, Sky, and Vue.

Following that, in October of 2009, GM ceased production of vehicles and terminated its remaining franchises.

Consequently, with the 2008 financial crisis, General Motors filed for bankruptcy and received rescue funding from TARP loans from the US government.

For that reason, brands that have been discontinued frequently experience a decline in customer recognition that no longer supports the association!

5. Difficult To Keep

It could be challenging for the dealership to find components for vintage Saturn cars.

Although Saturn hasn’t produced a new vehicle in the US in some time, those interested in these models can still look for used Saturns from the past.

However, if you’re determined to buy a vintage Saturn, be ready to invest time and money in getting your car fixed when it breaks down, especially if you choose the Vue or Sky models.

As a direct result, the lack of Saturn models may eventually restrict the ability of GM auto mechanics to service these cars!

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6. Surplus Value

Surplus Value

According to the Yahoo report, Saturn continues to have the lowest transaction costs on the market. This discrepancy is influenced by the fact that the preceding Saturn was built more than ten years ago.

Because there isn’t such a thing as a late-model Saturn, all its vehicles carry depreciation that dates back more than ten years.

Generally, buying a Saturn is thought to be a terrible decision. However, when a car is no longer for sale, its residual value plummets, which means you’ll get much less for it when you’re ready to trade it in later!

7. Higher Expenditures For Upkeep

Saturn is likely to require maintenance more frequently than ordinary cars, even though they have never been expensive, even for repairs.

Besides that, drivers frequently mention failing power steering systems, cooling systems, and problems with brake fluid.

In general, Saturn maintenance expenses are more costly than other car manufacturers!

8. Unprofitable

According to Mark Ritson, two catastrophic defects occurred during Saturn’s fall.

First, it is not profitable. Like many other competitive brands, Saturn was unprofitable due to substantial initial and ongoing expenses that proved unsustainable.

Moreover, the second thing is a diversion. Building Saturn proved a significant diversion when General Motors needed a comprehensive systematic approach to fend against Japan.

Unquestionably, Saturn was dead before it even got off the ground!

9. Transmission Issues

Even though Saturn’s array of cars generally offers high performance and dependability, a few problems have emerged.

In line with this, transmission troubles, gas cap issues, power steering problems, and powertrain control module faults are more common among Saturn owners.

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Undoubtedly, many consumers consider Saturn vehicles among the most unfavorable on the market!

10. Recall Scandals

General Motors faced criticism in 2014 for handling a problem with some of the ignition switches it produced that led to 97 fatalities.

As a result of these faulty ignition switches, GM had to recall 2.6 million compact cars.

Given these facts, GM admitted in the consent agreement that it had broken the law and paid a $35 million fine!

Because of these terrible scandals, GM lost all its profits and negatively impacted its reputation among consumers!

11. Short-Term Investment

Given the age of the vehicle, it is not a wise investment to purchase a Saturn ION or VUE with a CVT transmission because the transmission is still unstable even after costly repairs.

Additionally, the company’s old vehicles are not worth the initial investment because of transmission issues and decreased fuel efficiency.

Consequently, customers should be aware of these hazards before purchasing from a brand that has been retired from the business!

To know more, you can also read our posts on why people lower their cars, why Kia cars are so cheap, and why your truck is burning oil.


Since GM’s bankruptcy, Saturn has not been able to get back on track, allowing competitors to catch up and surpass them in terms of reliability and quality.

As you can see, these cars have a reputation for being unsustainable, having a bad reputation, and having a weak brand.

Overall, Saturn was doomed from the start, and no changes could have saved them!

1 thought on “Why Are Saturn Cars So Bad? (11 Reasons Why)”

  1. Over the past three years I’ve had to Saturn SL1 first and after my crash I found a 2002 SC1 coupe. My first one has 355,000, and at 60 I just changed the motor in my SC1 by myself. Saturn instructional video really helped me pull and I believe that I could fix anything that happens to my Saturn SC1 Coup,I love it!!!


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