Saturn was GM’s chance to change the game, but only lasted 20 years. Why did it fail?

GM needed small cars in their lineup, but was hesitant to build them under their already existing brands. So they started Saturn, and gave them free reign to design an entirely new car. But somewhere along the way, they failed.

WheelHouse answers all the questions about the automotive world you never thought to ask. Nolan Sykes looks at the history, sociology and psychology behind the cars you love, and the features you might overlook.

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    • Brian Squire
      Brian Squire

      You are so cute!!
      Had a 95 Saturn SL2 in high school. That thing wouldn’t die!! Had almost 200k miles when I got rid of it.

      about 1 hour ago
    • General Oranger
      General Oranger

      Sega Saturn and GM Saturn all failed...

      about 2 days ago

      Radiator for Saturn cost's $400.

      about 3 days ago
    • Derek P.
      Derek P.

      I love Pontiac, but Saturn's were just awful. They are the worst car in the snow, seriously. Always got stuck in that death trap! They were fairly reliable though. I wish GM would bring Pontiac back though. I loved many of their cars.

      about 3 days ago
    • FANG

      Two of my friends owned Saturn SL1 cars. They both work as couriers. Two of those cars made 360000 miles with no major problems and the other car reached 420,000 miles before the trans started to leak. If you find a low mileage Saturn buy it. Not fancy cars but they are solid. Do NOT buy the Saturn Vue.

      about 3 days ago
    • Sean 2002
      Sean 2002

      GM's biggest problem is GM management, Saturn is just 1 of many GM bean counting failures...the share holders SHOULD throw top management out, and start a fresh!

      about 3 days ago
    • Vincent Novick
      Vincent Novick In reply to Sean 2002


      about 12 hours ago
    • FluffyShark Datazz
      FluffyShark Datazz

      Family had a Saturn dealership..was amazing! All 5 of our saturns got 350,00+ miles. They truly are amazing... then of course... the new versions sucked asssssss.our vue got to 180,000 trouble free but every other one was just junk. And it also was a hassle dealing with GM. And when they closed they really screwed some people and their retirement and benefits up.

      about 3 days ago
    • Benjamin Dyer
      Benjamin Dyer

      my dad had an sc2 from 2008 to 2015 and in that time it went from 180k miles to 280 something and me being a mechanic did all the work to that car... and by all the work I mean an alternator. yes 7 years and 100k miles on a 20 something year old car and all it ever needed was an alternator. oh and a temp sensor, and of course brakes, amazingly reliable.

      about 3 days ago
    • Dirty Dom
      Dirty Dom

      do one on Geo

      about 3 days ago
    • Marc B.
      Marc B.

      Anyone remember that when the very first Saturns came out, they had put coolant fluid in the transmission, or transmission fluid in the coolant system? I recall that, hundreds of cars were sold that way, they self destroyed in days and that hit the news FAST,and those people got FREE cars for replacement. I didnt get one of them...but anyone else remember that? Wish I got an the SC with the pop up lights,3 drs. in bright yellow! But alas, nope. never got one. Bummer:(

      about 4 days ago
    • PLANET X
      PLANET X

      My wife has had 3 of them. The last one is a Vue. I am looking for a S3 stick shift wagon in good condition.

      about 4 days ago
    • jimmyraythomason1

      I have a 1997 Saturn SW1 wagon with the little 4 cylinder engine. I have had it for about 15 years. It has over 460,000 miles on it with no signs of stopping. Yes I have done some repairs including replacing all 4 fuel injectors and a manifold gasket. Several other components also had to be replaced but parts were easy to replace and relatively low cost. Remember, this car is 22 years old and the clear coat has just now began to peel.

      about 4 days ago
    • Timothy1266

      The old Saturn factory is Spring Hill is still there today responsible for making the Chevy Equinox and it's GMC counterpart. I've been there before. Quite a large factory to behold and it employed a lot of locals.

      about 4 days ago
    • Aaron Bane
      Aaron Bane

      Ugly little cars. I'd take a Jdm car any day. Of course this is all subjective.

      about 4 days ago
    • Tracy Albino-Daggett
      Tracy Albino-Daggett

      I loved my 1992 SL1... by 2004 when I was ready to get another car. I hated the replacement of the SL1, the ion...
      I miss my SL1

      about 4 days ago
    • James Phieffer
      James Phieffer

      The Sky wasn't a rebadged Opel. It was based on the same platform as the Pontiac Solstice, and was sold as a Vauxhall in the UK, and I think as an Opel as well, but the originals were the Pontiac and Saturn.

      about 5 days ago
    • Jason Mitchell
      Jason Mitchell

      I had a 2002 L series and loved it until the day it died.

      about 5 days ago
    • Jareth Hogan
      Jareth Hogan

      Been through 3 Saturns great cars ,and fun fact the dealership sold aftermarket parts such as flame thrower exhaust and light weight rims etc and you had almost a buffet while you waited.

      about 5 days ago
    • smooth

      Ive always thought Saturn were just shitboxes but I guess not

      about 5 days ago
    • FANG
      FANG In reply to smooth

      Two of my friends owned Saturn SL1 cars. They both work as couriers. Two of those cars made 360000 miles with no major problems and the other car reached 420,000 miles before the trans started to leak. If you find a low mileage Saturn buy it. Not fancy cars but they are solid. Do NOT buy the Saturn Vue.

      about 3 days ago
    • Vaidas Šukaukas
      Vaidas Šukaukas

      When did Detroit ever not underestimate something?

      about 5 days ago
    • insaneengine

      Why TF wouldn't you talk about the electric car they made ... ???

      about 5 days ago
    • Jimmy Minter
      Jimmy Minter

      I put a 1998 sc1 engine in a porsche 1977 Targa 911s

      about 5 days ago
    • UmmYeahOk

      I remember them advertising how reliable their cars were. How some of their earliest models were still be driven "today." Well, I did the math back then, and that would mean their most reliable car was a mere 10 years old. They might've not even gone 100k miles by then.

      about 5 days ago
    • Richard Lorith
      Richard Lorith

      I remember everyone wanting a Saturn in the Early-90's and when you went into their showrooms it was different than many other companies, then around 2003 when I was car shopping went back to Saturn dealership it was empty and depressing, they got away from what made it work

      about 6 days ago
    • Beaux Duncan
      Beaux Duncan

      I miss my SL2 I wish I could find another that’s in good shape again

      about 6 days ago
    • dellstudio10

      I have plenty of family and friends that now own or use to own various Saturn's. There great great, reliable cars. Other than replacing the typical wear parts and maintenance they never needed anything. The engine's are built extremely well and there easy to work on for most of the typical repairs. None of them ever had any engine or transmission trouble. Goes to prove that Americans can build car's to be reliable as any other manufacturer's offerings. We just don't do it often enough.

      about 6 days ago
    • SonnyGTA

      Today we talk about car crompany name of Staturn. It's not a planet, you dingus! CHECK IT OUT! -Dr. Steve Brule

      about 6 days ago
    • SonnyGTA

      It's astounding to me that auto execs can be so smart and so dumb all at the same time.

      about 6 days ago
    • Arthur Hackman
      Arthur Hackman

      i worked at saginaw steering gear when saturn begain they came in and said they would only pay so much for a part therefore quality suffered as parts were made to a cost funny, saginaw steering gear became delphi and it and saturn were both killed by G.M.

      about 6 days ago
    • Michael Benson
      Michael Benson

      my mom had a Saturn. that thing was in a flood, in accidents, had all these problem but no matter what the thing refused to die. it just kept running. the car was a legend

      about 6 days ago