Posts from ‘Saturn’

Feb
22
1984 Volkswagen Scirocco

198? Volkswagen Scirocco

Apart from being the home of Consumer Guide Automotive, Lincolnwood, Illinois is a rather ordinary municipality. Adjacent to Chicago’s Northwest Side, Lincolnwood is a middle-income community of 12,000 citizens, most of whom appear to be in their seventies. I intend to retire someplace with less traffic, but I digress.

Aug
19
Japanese Saturn Commerical, 1997

In 1997, Saturn began selling cars in Japan. A right-hand-drive SW2 is seen here. 

Saturn executives had reason to feel confident in 1997. In just six years on the market, the fledgling brand had accrued 1.5 million customers and was on pace to sell another 300,000 cars in the coming 12 months. Saturn was on fire, and the division’s management was eager to continue making good news.

Jul
02
Saturn Ion Roof Rails

The Saturn Ion’s removable roof rails were meant to entice young buyers interested in personalizing their cars.

Introduced for 2003, the Saturn Ion was the long, long overdue replacement for the brand’s popular, but seriously dated, SL sedan and SC coupe.

Oct
28
2008 Saturn Astra

Too little, too late? Imported from Europe, the Astra was meant to help lift the Saturn brand upmarket.

By now, you know the story. In a post-apocalyptic haze, driven by Wall Street pundits, the UAW, and the federal government, General Motors killed three brands in one fell swoop. Just like that, Hummer, Pontiac, and Saab were transformed from viable sales channels to discount retailers, peddling their remaining inventory in limited variations and at steep discounts.

Jun
17
1994_Isuzu_Oasis_rv

1994 Isuzu Oasis

This year, American new-vehicle shoppers will snap up about half a million minivans. Now, while that may seem like a lot of people-movers, it’s worth noting that minivans accounted for more than 1.2 million annual sales as recently as model-year 2000.

Mar
27

Identify this car for one bonus point. It’s an ’81, if that helps.

Funny thing about the memory–it doesn’t let you know when things begin to fade beyond easy recall. I realized last week that I can no longer remember the name of my fifth-grade science teacher. I rather expected to remember all my grammar-school teachers on my deathbed. Looks like that plan is off.

Jun
06

Car Logo HistoryThrough their logos, many automakers have created a dazzling world of wonder. In logo land, you’ll discover roman gods, prancing horses, and mystical beasts—as well as religious themes such as the Holy Trinity and the Christian Crusades. It’s a universe of stars and planets, ships and rockets, diamonds and domination. One emblem, which is simply a crooked letter, symbolizes a trustworthy handshake.

Apr
25

Saturn Vue

You hear often enough that ugly vehicles are the product of “design by committee” thinking. I can’t help but wonder, in the case of the five cars and trucks listed here, why no one on that committee raised his or her hand and noted, “Dude, that thing’s nasty.” But, be it too many or too few decision-makers in the design studio, these are some unpleasant-looking machines.

Oct
31

Mercury Milan

Not to speak ill of the dead, but it seems that General Motors is doing just fine without Pontiac and Saturn, and it doesn’t look like Ford misses Mercury very much. In our hearts, we knew that the clock was ticking for all three of those marques, but it took the fallout of an economic catastrophe to really nail the coffins shut.

But from death comes life, and if life to you is a good deal on a used car, then look no further than the five we’ve got listed here. It seems that picking over the carcasses of the fallen can lead to ghoulishly good bargains—that is, of course, if you don’t mind the term “dead brand.”

2011 Mercury Milan Premier V6
Carmax Price Range: $15,599-$17,500
Even in life, Milan was a ghost. While everyone talked about (and purchased) the likable Ford Fusion, the mechanically identical Milan went unnoticed. And that’s a shame, because Milan was arguably better looking on the outside and subtly classier on the inside.

And the dead-brand impact on pricing? It seems that used Milans trade for slightly less than comparable same-year Fusions, despite Milan’s nominally enhanced standard equipment list and slightly more upscale trim. It’s a ghostly good deal.

Jun
15
2007 Chevrolet Uplander

Ed may have been tempted to push this 2007 Chevrolet Uplander into the lake!

I might have just answered my own question in the title. After reading the blog about the Pontiac Aztek by my boss—CG publisher and automotive sage Tom Appel—it got me thinking about General Motors’ other vehicles that used the old Chevrolet Venture minivan platform.

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