2003 Saturn VUE AWD V6 from North America


A prime example of how quality control went down the drain. The VUE made GM leave the building!


Any wear and tear/maintenance item IN ADDITION to this list:

1- I have experienced water discharge from headlights.

2- The VUE has taken 4 ignition modules, not including the original.

3- My gas gauge quit early on.

4- I noticed that the AWD never worked, and if it did and I didn't know about it, it didn't help much.

5- The seat tracks broke right after adjusting the seats for regular use.

6- I have gone through 7 seat belt pretensioners (3 on front right, 1 in back right, 2 in back center, 1 in back left, 0 in driver).

7- I too have the slipping transmission.

8- I have numerous various squeaks and rattles.

9- The plastics are falling apart from doors.

10- There have been 5 replacement window regulators and their switches installed (2 on both back windows each, in addition to one on the front passenger window).

11- The power door locks malfunctioned.

12- The radio does not work. This includes the buttons, volume, and any functions.

13- The rear wiper does not move at all. We can't change it or wipe with it.

14- No push button in the vehicle- you name it- has its label/display anymore OR does not function.

15- The cassette player never worked. PERIOD. After having it eat 3 tapes, I will not be replacing this unit or using it.

16- The seat cushion is coming apart from the seat itself. This is a shame because it is so comfortable.

17- I have replaced 3 door handles (all handles except for that on the driver's door).

18- The tailgate doesn't stay upon its own anymore. The hydraulic hinges are sheer bogus.

19- The glove box doesn't lock anymore. Actually, the only time it locked was on the dealer lot.

20- The dash display doesn't light up anymore. This includes the speedometer, tachometer, trip computers, climate control, or radio display.

21- The Saturn emblem on the steering wheel came off.

22- I needed new spark plugs at 22K.

23- I needed new struts at 31K.

24- There is an exhaust smell in cabin, even when NOT running, not around other cars, or has not been running for a while.

25- The battery terminals rusted. Time for a new battery, I guess.

26- A short in wiring causing left turn signals not to work, but the right ones are fine.

27- The third brake light never worked. It's a miracle it passed inspection.

28- I have multiple faulty engine sensors, causing the Check Engine, Low Coolant, airbag, and seat belt lights to come on.

29- When I toot the horn, it either doesn't work at all or toots 35 seconds later. The noise is almost inexistant. It is absolutely USELESS.

30- The front-seat armrests fell off. They were nice while they lasted.

31- The hinge to the center console broke, so now it has no lid.

32- The engine eats oil between oil changes (1 quart/1000 miles).

33- I needed new springs at 13K.

34- I replaced six wheel bearings- three on the front-right, one on all of the others.

35- The odometer quit at 35422. It sat in my driveway with this mileage. I had to take a friend home (he lives five miles away one way), and the odometer didn't budge.

36- The speedometer doesn't register until you are over 70 MPH. Zero, zero, zero, BOOM- seventy, seventy-one, seventy-two, seventy-three.

37- I replaced the radiator.

38- I replaced the alternator.

39- The trip computer is worthless.

40- I have noticed that the trip-tracker does not keep track of mileage above 125 miles.

41- The car needs an alignment.

42- The car needs it tires balanced.

43- The lug nuts do not stay tight.

44- Dealers are not willing to work on this car.

45- Labor costs are outrageous.

46- The external badging has fallen off.

47- The internal badging has fallen off.

48- The Saturn symbol melted in the sun.

49- The plastic on the back of the driver seat came off.

50- The emergency brake does not work. This is a safety issue.

51- The shifter knob came off.

52- I have no working Neutral function.

53- I have coolant leaking.

54- I have oil leaking.

55- I have water leaking.

56- I have gas leaking. I don't know how this is possible. No wonder I only get 11 miles to the gallon!

57- The rear hatch does not close properly.

58- My lumbar control for the driver broke.

59- The headliner started to fall.

60- I have replaced at least 5 various seals.

61- I recall replacing the timing belt/chain (I don't remember what it has).

62- The airbag covers came off revealing the airbags.

63- I replaced the exhaust pipe. Whatever.

64- The window lock button is non-functional. You can't even push it!

65- I have antifreeze leaking.

66- The engine block heater was dead its first winter.

67- The airbags did not work in a bad head-on collision. The covers simply popped open, but nothing came out.

68- The wheel started separating from the tire.

69- I went through 2 new coolant bottles.

70- I experienced warped brake rotors.

71- There is a lot of rust on undercarriage.

72- I replaced the starter at 35K.

73- The remote key fob never worked.

74- I replaced the muffler.

75- The cargo floor has fallen.

76- The tow hitch came off when pulling a 1000 pound trailer.

77- The speakers are blown.

78- There is paint coming off, and it is leaving these ugly, annoying gray spots.

79- There are dents the dealer NOR the body shop will fix. So much for polymer dent-resistant siding.

80- The cigarette lighter does not work.

81- I had a clogged air filter.

82- The interior dome lights work on their own schedule. I leave them in the 'All Off' setting, and they turn on overnight. I would know because I see them on in the morning after I had turned them off the night before.

83- The front passenger door does not open from inside.

84- The rear view mirror just came off when adjusting.

85- The white back-up lights don't work.

86- The roof rack crossbars broke in a car wash.

87- There is dinging when you turn the steering wheel.

88- There is dinging when you turn the car.

89- There is dinging when you go into reverse.

90- There is dinging when you drive the car.

91- The reflectors don't reflect.

92- The sun visors shredded.

93- The stitching on the steering wheel has disintegrated.

94- There is a rough idle.

95- The engine is loud. My friend has a Vue with an engine that is almost silent.

96. I have experienced window washer fluid leaking.

97. Blue smoke comes out of exhaust on occasion.

98. The compass almost never says the right direction.

99. I have had a cracked manifold.

100. In the summertime, the mirror registers ice.

General Comments:

The family needed another car that was large enough to haul a kid's stuff to college. We got that, but have had far too many mechanical failures. I understand a car will need maintenance, but a starter at 35K is ridiculous. None of the above items were covered under a warranty. GM did not honor it.

I get about 11 MPG, mostly highway.

There is very poor quality.

The dealers are of no help.

It is very hard to service engine.

Don't pay the extra money for AWD on the VUE, it's not worth it. Go for it on any other car, but not this one.

The seats are very comfortable but of poor quality.

The back seat has great legroom but it is too low to the ground.

The cargo organizer is wonderful. That is the best part of the vehicle.

The VUE reminds me of a ticking time bomb. You don't know when it may blow up.

With the above things going wrong, I will never purchase another GM. The engineers at GM should be capable of better than this. I will go back to a Ford next time. I personally will now regard a GM car as an inferior car.

GM has left the building, the building being under my house in my garage. In the case of the reapir shop, The VUE has just checked in. Either way, I will never drive GM again. The cons simply outweigh the pros.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st August, 2008

25th Aug 2008, 10:26

Sorry- I forgot to mention that the engine on my VUE is V6. I have a Saturn VUE AWD V6.

25th Aug 2008, 13:08

Not that this will be any consolation to you - But I suspect that you just helped a lot of readers who thought that their cars were problematic, feel much better about their cars.

I cannot even fathom having so many issues with a vehicle, I wish you luck with your next car.

2003 Saturn VUE from North America


Last GM I will ever own


I was very happy with my trade-in at first from the Grand-Am to the VUE, and was VERY happy TO be rid of the Pontiac in the first place, but the look of the VUE with its spoiler and sun roof really turned me on to get it. About a year went by and no problems at all.

In the past year however, we have had to replace front suspension, the driver's side window will intermittently not power window, the ignition switch will lock up and not turn without me having to jiggle the steering wheel and ignition with the key in it in order for it to start (ghetto, I know), and now I am having to have a complete over-haul on the front and rear brakes due to a violent vibration. However, I am afraid there is an underlying problem to this, and it's not just the brakes. Here's hoping since this is not under warranty anymore (of course), but, needless to say, this will be the FINAL GM I WILL EVER OWN!

General Comments:

The handling is great, pick up on the car when accelerating (minus the strange rattling from time to time) is quite smooth.

I have made several long-distance trips and have not had any issues, other than what's described, but as new as this car is, there should not be this many problems with it in the first place.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th August, 2008

10th Aug 2008, 08:40

The ignition key problem has been around in GM for a while now. I owned a 96 Grand AM with the same exact problem and have used GM's with similar issues.

Buy a Toyota or Honda, you'll never go back after that.