Saturn has hot car at Detroit Auto Show

I’m looking at buying a new car and Matt Kelly, PodTech employee, was raving about the new Saturn that just won a big award at the Detroit Auto Show. He has video about that.

In other PodTech news, Gillmor Gang, er, Calacanis Cast is now up and Irina and Eddie had lunch with MingleNow.

My own show gets back on track later today. In the meantime my link blog is up to date with dozens of juicy new posts from my favorite bloggers.

Comments

  1. I still advocate the Prius. I’ve had mine for nearly 3 years and it’s sweet on the gas bills and still nearly the room of a Camary.

  2. I still advocate the Prius. I’ve had mine for nearly 3 years and it’s sweet on the gas bills and still nearly the room of a Camary.

  3. The car looks great. At the end of the day, it’s great to see all the innovation.

    My concern about this car is the same about too many North American cars: How long with the engine and transmission run well?

    Buying a great car is kind of like buying a good computer. With a PC, it may look great to have fast peripherals, memory, video cord, and high number capacities. But at the end of the day, in a PC, you need a motherboard and a HD that will LAST for a long time. If either of those fail, you have to redo and rebuild almost everything.

    So I hope the Saturn engineers have made the engine and transmission more durable – something that Toyota and Honda have done well for many years.

  4. The car looks great. At the end of the day, it’s great to see all the innovation.

    My concern about this car is the same about too many North American cars: How long with the engine and transmission run well?

    Buying a great car is kind of like buying a good computer. With a PC, it may look great to have fast peripherals, memory, video cord, and high number capacities. But at the end of the day, in a PC, you need a motherboard and a HD that will LAST for a long time. If either of those fail, you have to redo and rebuild almost everything.

    So I hope the Saturn engineers have made the engine and transmission more durable – something that Toyota and Honda have done well for many years.

  5. @3

    Audis are overpriced, high-maintenence cars. I know. I’ve had plenty of co-workers with Audis, and to a car, they all were in the shop a great deal of time, warranty aside. They are overpriced for what you get.

    Having a car that “separates one from the crowd” is immature and costly. Car payments are the single reason most Americans never get ahead in terms of savings. They depreciate 20% when you drive them off the lot, and they depreciate 7% a year. There are more used Audis on CarMax lots than almost any other German import. There is a reason for this. They look good, but they are very high-maintenence.

    Robert, do yourself a favor. Save your money. Audis are a money pit. This is a fact.

    Did you know that most millionaires drive used cars that they pay for in cash. If you cannot buy a car with cash, don’t do it. Car payments are stupid. You’re better off driving a used Honda or Toyota that’s ecomomical. Just because you have a high-profile job and you live in Silicon Valley doesn’t mean you have to look the part. Rebel. Look at Sam Walton of Wal-Mart fame: he was a BILLIONAIRE, yet he drove a pick-up truck. I’m not advocating you do the same, but be a good steward of your money. Save as much as you can.

    All expensive cars do is serve to make you look good to other people for whom you neither like nor know. It’s impressive to see, but most people are in debt. You should have NO debt if at all possible. Again, car payments are evil. Buy a nice used one for cash on craigslist and be happy.

    If I were a millionaire I would drive a 1968 VW Beetle in purple metallic flake. Let ‘em think about that one…

  6. @3

    Audis are overpriced, high-maintenence cars. I know. I’ve had plenty of co-workers with Audis, and to a car, they all were in the shop a great deal of time, warranty aside. They are overpriced for what you get.

    Having a car that “separates one from the crowd” is immature and costly. Car payments are the single reason most Americans never get ahead in terms of savings. They depreciate 20% when you drive them off the lot, and they depreciate 7% a year. There are more used Audis on CarMax lots than almost any other German import. There is a reason for this. They look good, but they are very high-maintenence.

    Robert, do yourself a favor. Save your money. Audis are a money pit. This is a fact.

    Did you know that most millionaires drive used cars that they pay for in cash. If you cannot buy a car with cash, don’t do it. Car payments are stupid. You’re better off driving a used Honda or Toyota that’s ecomomical. Just because you have a high-profile job and you live in Silicon Valley doesn’t mean you have to look the part. Rebel. Look at Sam Walton of Wal-Mart fame: he was a BILLIONAIRE, yet he drove a pick-up truck. I’m not advocating you do the same, but be a good steward of your money. Save as much as you can.

    All expensive cars do is serve to make you look good to other people for whom you neither like nor know. It’s impressive to see, but most people are in debt. You should have NO debt if at all possible. Again, car payments are evil. Buy a nice used one for cash on craigslist and be happy.

    If I were a millionaire I would drive a 1968 VW Beetle in purple metallic flake. Let ‘em think about that one…

  7. I bought my Prius 6 months ago and I love it. The gas mileage really is as good as they claim, but that’s not my favorite thing about it. I really enjoy driving it. It’s roomy and comfortable with a very quiet, smooth ride. I feel like I’m driving a car of the future.

    Once you’ve experienced the pushbutton start & smart key system, other cars seem primitive. I never have to fumble for a key; I just keep the fob in my pocket. I simply touch the door handle to unlock & open it and then push the power button to start it without ever taking the fob out of my pocket.

  8. I bought my Prius 6 months ago and I love it. The gas mileage really is as good as they claim, but that’s not my favorite thing about it. I really enjoy driving it. It’s roomy and comfortable with a very quiet, smooth ride. I feel like I’m driving a car of the future.

    Once you’ve experienced the pushbutton start & smart key system, other cars seem primitive. I never have to fumble for a key; I just keep the fob in my pocket. I simply touch the door handle to unlock & open it and then push the power button to start it without ever taking the fob out of my pocket.

  9. I’m curious about those that are disparging the new Aura. This is not the Saturn of 2002 or even just a year ago. Mind you, I’m not being a GM/Saturn cheerleader here, I was just impressed with what I saw at the Detroit Auto Show. Check the car out before you pass judgement. 49 independeant full-time automotive journalists voted this car the 2007 Car of the Year and the Toyota Camry was one of the finalists it competed against. The reason it won was because you get so much more for the money. Starting at about $20k I was impressed–granted when you want all the extra’s it’s going to check out at about $26k. For me, the journalists couldn’t all be wrong and it’s good to see the American car company start to get it together…although they are being forced to because of companies like Toyota and Honda. Another benefit is it will come in a hybrid in about 60 days as part of the Green Line.

  10. I’m curious about those that are disparging the new Aura. This is not the Saturn of 2002 or even just a year ago. Mind you, I’m not being a GM/Saturn cheerleader here, I was just impressed with what I saw at the Detroit Auto Show. Check the car out before you pass judgement. 49 independeant full-time automotive journalists voted this car the 2007 Car of the Year and the Toyota Camry was one of the finalists it competed against. The reason it won was because you get so much more for the money. Starting at about $20k I was impressed–granted when you want all the extra’s it’s going to check out at about $26k. For me, the journalists couldn’t all be wrong and it’s good to see the American car company start to get it together…although they are being forced to because of companies like Toyota and Honda. Another benefit is it will come in a hybrid in about 60 days as part of the Green Line.

  11. Peter makes a good point–I drive a 15 yr old Mazda Miata that I bought used at 12,000 miles for $18k, now with 110,000 miles on it that shines up like a new penny when it gets washed. I’ve just had to replace the rear window a few times and just last year the top for the first time. Really the only way to get your money’s worth on ANY car you buy, is when you drive it until it stops running. When I think about buying a new car, I have to wonder about the payment, insurance and then the dings that occur here in LA, and I usually figure I’m better off keeping the Miata for another 100,000 miles, which it will probably run for…

  12. Peter makes a good point–I drive a 15 yr old Mazda Miata that I bought used at 12,000 miles for $18k, now with 110,000 miles on it that shines up like a new penny when it gets washed. I’ve just had to replace the rear window a few times and just last year the top for the first time. Really the only way to get your money’s worth on ANY car you buy, is when you drive it until it stops running. When I think about buying a new car, I have to wonder about the payment, insurance and then the dings that occur here in LA, and I usually figure I’m better off keeping the Miata for another 100,000 miles, which it will probably run for…

  13. OneMore…

    Actually, GM has a strong history of building high-quality, high-durability powertrains (engines and transmissions). To reinforce that, and to combat the quality perception gap that exists with people like yourself, all GM vehicles (including Saturn) now have a 5-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. This also includes roadside assistance and courtesy transportation for repairs conducted under warranty for the life of the warranty. It is fully-transferrable with the vehicle.

    Honda and Toyota don’t offer that.

  14. OneMore…

    Actually, GM has a strong history of building high-quality, high-durability powertrains (engines and transmissions). To reinforce that, and to combat the quality perception gap that exists with people like yourself, all GM vehicles (including Saturn) now have a 5-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. This also includes roadside assistance and courtesy transportation for repairs conducted under warranty for the life of the warranty. It is fully-transferrable with the vehicle.

    Honda and Toyota don’t offer that.

  15. If you want a car that will last forever and not break down you have to go with a Japanese car! Toyota (Lexus), Honda(Acura), Nissan(Infiniti), Mazda, or Subaru are the way to go. European cars are nice but in the long run they will bite you in the wallet. I have no experience with American cars since I have never owned one.
    I guess it all depends what kind of owner you are. Are you the type that keeps your cars forever (Like me) or are you the type that changes every 4-5 years. If you are the later any car will do.

  16. If you want a car that will last forever and not break down you have to go with a Japanese car! Toyota (Lexus), Honda(Acura), Nissan(Infiniti), Mazda, or Subaru are the way to go. European cars are nice but in the long run they will bite you in the wallet. I have no experience with American cars since I have never owned one.
    I guess it all depends what kind of owner you are. Are you the type that keeps your cars forever (Like me) or are you the type that changes every 4-5 years. If you are the later any car will do.

  17. Most Americans are ignorant when it comes to dealing with cars. Almost everyone I know buys a new car, pays it off, and then almost like clockwork, feels the need to trade it in and buy another new car.

    Unfortunately, American society dictates that we drive nice, shiny, new cars. I don’t. I drive a paid for beater which costs almost nothing to insure. It’s a well running car, it has no dents, no engine trouble, and gets a respectable 30 MPG. I need nothing else. I never wash it, and rarely vacuum it. I’m not a car person. Some people are.

    If you want a car that sets you apart from the crowd, drive something that is older and is not a thief magnet. I love seeing people driving down the road in 1977 Toyata Corollas. They have common sense. They save their money.

    The average car payment is around $400 a month. At 12 payments a year, that equals $4800. On a 5-year note that equals 24,000. What a rip-off. All so you can drive down the street and feel cool or whatever.

    If and when my current car dies, I’m hitting craigslist for a couple of grand.

    Ask yoursel this: would you rather invest 25,000 every 5 years or blow it on something that has no social redeeming value whatsoever. 25000 in mutual funds at 12% a year actually gets you something at the end of that 5 years.

    Cars are designed to make people look good. All I see when I see people in BMWs and high-end cars is a huge car payment. That’s all you should see as well.

    I would rather have nice clothes for my kid and new computers than a nice car that I spend very little comparative time in.

    Wake up, people…

  18. Most Americans are ignorant when it comes to dealing with cars. Almost everyone I know buys a new car, pays it off, and then almost like clockwork, feels the need to trade it in and buy another new car.

    Unfortunately, American society dictates that we drive nice, shiny, new cars. I don’t. I drive a paid for beater which costs almost nothing to insure. It’s a well running car, it has no dents, no engine trouble, and gets a respectable 30 MPG. I need nothing else. I never wash it, and rarely vacuum it. I’m not a car person. Some people are.

    If you want a car that sets you apart from the crowd, drive something that is older and is not a thief magnet. I love seeing people driving down the road in 1977 Toyata Corollas. They have common sense. They save their money.

    The average car payment is around $400 a month. At 12 payments a year, that equals $4800. On a 5-year note that equals 24,000. What a rip-off. All so you can drive down the street and feel cool or whatever.

    If and when my current car dies, I’m hitting craigslist for a couple of grand.

    Ask yoursel this: would you rather invest 25,000 every 5 years or blow it on something that has no social redeeming value whatsoever. 25000 in mutual funds at 12% a year actually gets you something at the end of that 5 years.

    Cars are designed to make people look good. All I see when I see people in BMWs and high-end cars is a huge car payment. That’s all you should see as well.

    I would rather have nice clothes for my kid and new computers than a nice car that I spend very little comparative time in.

    Wake up, people…

  19. “I’m curious about those that are disparging the new Aura. This is not the Saturn of 2002 or even just a year ago.”

    Yeah, you obviously haven’t ever owned a Saturn. I’ve had nothing but problems with my 2001 L300. The suspension is so crappy that it causes my tires to wear unevenly, cupping and causing me to have to buy new tires way more often than I should have to. I’ve told Saturn customer satisfaction all about it and they’ve done nothing for me even though it’s a “known” issue for that model/year. That’s just the tip of the iceberg too. I’ve had coolant leak *into* my car, electronics go out, *FOUR* times I’ve had coolant and/or oil leak issues, parts break during services because they’re made of cheap pot metal, etc..the list goes on and on. It’s interesting that Saturn stopped making the L-series sedans after a few years..probably because if the got any worse they’d fall under the lemon law.

  20. “I’m curious about those that are disparging the new Aura. This is not the Saturn of 2002 or even just a year ago.”

    Yeah, you obviously haven’t ever owned a Saturn. I’ve had nothing but problems with my 2001 L300. The suspension is so crappy that it causes my tires to wear unevenly, cupping and causing me to have to buy new tires way more often than I should have to. I’ve told Saturn customer satisfaction all about it and they’ve done nothing for me even though it’s a “known” issue for that model/year. That’s just the tip of the iceberg too. I’ve had coolant leak *into* my car, electronics go out, *FOUR* times I’ve had coolant and/or oil leak issues, parts break during services because they’re made of cheap pot metal, etc..the list goes on and on. It’s interesting that Saturn stopped making the L-series sedans after a few years..probably because if the got any worse they’d fall under the lemon law.

  21. @13

    Wow. I knew a woman that had that same model and the same things happened. Exactly the same problems. One day she was on the highway doing 55 or 60 MPH, and the car just died. Died. No warning. No nothing. Thank God she had control of the steering or she would have been in serious trouble. She traded it in for a Japanese car, a Mitsubishi and never had issues.

    I would never buy a Saturn. Yes, yes, I know, buying a car is a risk and you could get a lemon, but the most reliable car I’ve ever seen was a Chevy Lumina. THe guy ran it for 300,000 miles. All he did was new tires, fan belts, and oil changes. That’s it. All in all, American cars are better made. They may or may not be as reliable.

    Cars, like most things these days, are made with planned obsolesence in mind. I’m sold on this. Computers most assuredly are.

  22. @13

    Wow. I knew a woman that had that same model and the same things happened. Exactly the same problems. One day she was on the highway doing 55 or 60 MPH, and the car just died. Died. No warning. No nothing. Thank God she had control of the steering or she would have been in serious trouble. She traded it in for a Japanese car, a Mitsubishi and never had issues.

    I would never buy a Saturn. Yes, yes, I know, buying a car is a risk and you could get a lemon, but the most reliable car I’ve ever seen was a Chevy Lumina. THe guy ran it for 300,000 miles. All he did was new tires, fan belts, and oil changes. That’s it. All in all, American cars are better made. They may or may not be as reliable.

    Cars, like most things these days, are made with planned obsolesence in mind. I’m sold on this. Computers most assuredly are.

  23. No matter how hard they try, American car manufactures have failed miserably to convince people to buy their cars. Many cite the reason as being purly a positioning problem – atleast the manufacturers say so! But this is not the case. Anyone who has driven a Ford Escort and has taken a good turn at 30mph knows that the smooth ride an American car offers does not cover up for the loss of control experienced. Moreover, when it comes to reliability, the comparison is worthless. What is it that a user should look for when buying a car? Is it just the looks or the long term value of an investment? One who prefers the latter would never chose an American car, atleast not for now.

  24. No matter how hard they try, American car manufactures have failed miserably to convince people to buy their cars. Many cite the reason as being purly a positioning problem – atleast the manufacturers say so! But this is not the case. Anyone who has driven a Ford Escort and has taken a good turn at 30mph knows that the smooth ride an American car offers does not cover up for the loss of control experienced. Moreover, when it comes to reliability, the comparison is worthless. What is it that a user should look for when buying a car? Is it just the looks or the long term value of an investment? One who prefers the latter would never chose an American car, atleast not for now.

  25. Just buy a Prius. The best car on the planet, period. 65mpg. Comfortable ride, GPS navigation, well equiped, roomy, low cost of ownership, great warranty, fair price. It’s a Toyota which means dependability, reliability, quality. And Made in Japan. I’ve owned mine for 5 years and will never go back to the ‘traditional’ automobile.

  26. Just buy a Prius. The best car on the planet, period. 65mpg. Comfortable ride, GPS navigation, well equiped, roomy, low cost of ownership, great warranty, fair price. It’s a Toyota which means dependability, reliability, quality. And Made in Japan. I’ve owned mine for 5 years and will never go back to the ‘traditional’ automobile.

  27. I’ve had plenty of problems with Toyota… Head gasket at 60k miles, 2 alternators before 100k, fried wiring harness from bad alternator, oil pump and fried ignition at 105k miles. I got rid of it right before the oil pump and ignition problems, bought myself a 2000 Chevy Camaro with the 3800 S2 v6. Not a single problem in 40k miles and counting!

  28. I’ve had plenty of problems with Toyota… Head gasket at 60k miles, 2 alternators before 100k, fried wiring harness from bad alternator, oil pump and fried ignition at 105k miles. I got rid of it right before the oil pump and ignition problems, bought myself a 2000 Chevy Camaro with the 3800 S2 v6. Not a single problem in 40k miles and counting!

  29. Every manufacturer is capable of making a lemon. That said, I currently drive a 2001 L300 and it’s a remarkably reliable car, despite comments I’ve seen in this thread that suggests otherwise. American cars have taking a beating perception wise from mistakes made in the mid 80s. Those days are long past. The Aura looks to be an exceptional value and those that are stuck on paying a premium for the Japanese models are getting ripped off. Overall, GM’s quality is on par but offered at a much better price. The worst experience I’ve ever had with a car was with a Subaru.

  30. Every manufacturer is capable of making a lemon. That said, I currently drive a 2001 L300 and it’s a remarkably reliable car, despite comments I’ve seen in this thread that suggests otherwise. American cars have taking a beating perception wise from mistakes made in the mid 80s. Those days are long past. The Aura looks to be an exceptional value and those that are stuck on paying a premium for the Japanese models are getting ripped off. Overall, GM’s quality is on par but offered at a much better price. The worst experience I’ve ever had with a car was with a Subaru.

  31. I’ve owned a little of everything: Volvo, Saabs, Audi, VW, Honda, Subaru plus Chevrolets, Dodge, Ford, Chrysler-and more. Personally, I’ve had my best luck (reliability, low maintenance, durability, etc.) with American cars. I tried to ignore the unreliability and very high maintenance costs of 4 consecutive European models. They I went Japanese. My Accord required more service that I’d expected-better than the European cars. My Subaru requred premium fuel and consumed lots of it. Electrical problems, broken timing belt before the recommended change interval, etc. American, then on to VW. Pitiful! Buy imports if your ego or your status requires it. I got over that a while back. For me, it’s domestic vehicles.

  32. I’ve owned a little of everything: Volvo, Saabs, Audi, VW, Honda, Subaru plus Chevrolets, Dodge, Ford, Chrysler-and more. Personally, I’ve had my best luck (reliability, low maintenance, durability, etc.) with American cars. I tried to ignore the unreliability and very high maintenance costs of 4 consecutive European models. They I went Japanese. My Accord required more service that I’d expected-better than the European cars. My Subaru requred premium fuel and consumed lots of it. Electrical problems, broken timing belt before the recommended change interval, etc. American, then on to VW. Pitiful! Buy imports if your ego or your status requires it. I got over that a while back. For me, it’s domestic vehicles.