2003 Saturn VUE AWD V6 3.0L
Unreliable, costly plastic junk
Oil cooler (replaced before I got it).
New calipers and hoses ($375).
Valve cover gasket and thermostat again ($780).
Needs a new catalytic converter.
Possibly a new valve body or TCM.
When doing research on buying this car, I was told to stay away from the 02-05 4 cylinder VTi, so I thought the V6 would be a suitable candidate. Boy was I wrong. This car has been nothing but problems.
The trans gives me whiplash from Park to Drive, and I average crappy gas mileage. The car really wouldn't be so bad if the repairs were actually easy to do. Changing a thermostat requires lifting the intake up from the engine, and that's where a lot of the problematic things go wrong such as the oil cooler, valve cover gasket, and even maintenance items such as spark plugs.
This car also has a timing belt, so if you don't change that at 100k, bye bye engine if it snaps.
The leather leaves a lot to be desired, and the AWD system is expensive too if the center carrier bearing decides to crap out on you, which is common.
The suspension is noisy.
When it runs fine it's a good car, but mine has seem to have caught every problem that has been reported as a common problem, or one that only a few people have seen. Regardless, I can't recommend that anyone buys this car, unless you want to be paying thousands every time something goes wrong.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 8th July, 2013
Sounds like routine maintenance and wear and tear on a high mileage vehicle like that. The thermostat isn't such a big deal though - if you want to save some money, consider not replacing it if it goes out again.
The Saturn cars started out as great basic transportation. Then over the years, General Motors started changing too many things on them... trying to make more and more money on the car, instead of improving on what they had.
Everything started going downhill. Saturn tried to stay independent of the big General Motors machine, but couldn't escape it, and in the end it was destroyed.
The executives that destroyed Saturn, along with many parts of General Motors, are now retired living off $10,000 a month pensions in the warm Florida sunshine.
How does a thermostat cost $425?