We purchased a 2003 Saturn Vue in 2005, and recently started having issues, which we think is the transmission. This car has given us nothing but trouble since we purchased. I would NEVER own another Saturn vehicle.
I own a 2003 Saturn Vue. The transmission died for the fourth time two days ago. I bought it in October 2002 and it died for the first time in January 2003. The Saturn dealer always refused to admit there was a problem with the stupid newly engineered VTI transmission that some brainless engineer developed. Now being on my fourth transmission they now want me to pay $4,619.00 plus tax because the vehicle is over 100,000 miles. I still wanted to keep this car three more years, this is crap. GM should pay 100% for their faulty transmission. I bet the people who invented this tranny are sitting high on the hog while people like me can't afford to get it fixed or buy a new vehicle.
In March 2003, I too purchased my 2003 Vue new. I had absolutely no problems until Jan 2009 when the Reduced Power and Service Engine Soon lights came on - while driving 45mph on a highway. The car sputtered and barely moved. Thankfully no one was close behind, and my hazard lights let those behind me know I had problems.
This continued off-and-on for 2 months, with numerous trips to the Saturn dealer. 3 times the service tech and mechanic both stated that the tranny needed to be replaced and were waiting for Saturn corp to authorize, which they did not. They 'authorized' several 'fixes' and the car worked properly, until 1 1/2 yrs later, when I hit 102,000 miles. Then it started again. In the meantime, the Saturn dealer had closed and another local GM dealer became the authorized Saturn dealer. I had sent a certified letter in 2009 stating that I expected FREE replacement should this problem arise after 100,000 miles, and showed the copy to the new dealer.
Long story, but the GM dealer was awesome! I not only got professional and polite service, but GM corp. said they'd 'work with us' and pay part of the cost of the new tranny. We were shocked when the rest of the statement from the service tech was that their dealership would pay the balance! Yes, we got the tranny replaced at no cost. The tech said my certified letter and - get this- the fact that the mechanic currently working on my Vue is the same mechanic who worked on it at the Saturn dealer, made the difference. I dropped the car in the AM and picked it up in the PM with a new tranny. I can't say enough about how wonderful this GM dealership has been.
I too have purchased a Saturn Vue on 2-16-11, and the transmission went out in the Vue. I haven't had my Vue for more than 30 days, and I'm already getting the run around on having to fix my truck. Not to mention that I paid 4600 cash dollars for the truck with 106k miles. I think that Saturn should recall these cars and note that they are lemons, before letting people spend their money for nothing.
This is the reason I purchased a 2003 Vue with a 5 speed manual transmission in 2012 from a good friend, who bought it new. Over 180K miles and she still runs great, with only normal maintenance required. The 1st clutch even lasted to 130K, which is more than I can say for any Toyota I've ever owned. As with any used car though, original owner break-in and prior owner maintenance is the only real factor. I don't care if you buy a used Porsche, Lexus or Acura; if the previous owners beat on it and neglected upkeep... it will be one huge lemon of a money-pit.