Bought a Saturn 2002 VUE (V6) with about 100K on it for under $10K from a local dealership. The original owner put every bell and whistle on it.
No issues for the first 2 years and then the parade of issues started. I understand the SUV had 100K on it but what started happening should not necessarily be expected
The engine is horrible. It is my understanding that Saturn opted for a SAAB motor. I believe they has those engines until 2005. Nothing but issues. Leaking oil, burning oil, had gaskets replaced. Recently the 6th cylinder quit. We have sunk about $3500 to keep this car on the road. We should have dumped it within the first 3 years after purchase.
The heating system is horribly inadequate. Living in the cold north you either had to choose to defrost your windshield or heat the interior. The keeping the side windows frost free is a long process.
The horn stuck on. Had to pull the fuse to shut the horn off. To fix it would require removing the airbag at a dealership for over $700.
Only positive: The plastic sides. The vehicle still looks showroom new with very few scratches.
DO NOT BY A USED SATURN 2002-2004 VUE.
Owned it since new (June 02). It really has been quite reliable. Had a few accidents and it still handled great after the repairs. Honestly, you can't tell.
Apart from normal wearables (tires, oil changes, tune ups, etc.), it has had a few expensive repairs over the years. Several faulty sensors had to be replaced to the tune of $500 a pop and the belt that MUST be done at 100K miles.
Gas mileage was about 22 mpg in mixed city/hwy. We took a number of very long trips in it (family of four) and were quite comfortable.
Great acceleration and handling. Outstanding performance in the SNOW! And, we have always loved our sunroof.
Few more comforts like power seats, GPS, bluetooth, extra cup holders, storage compartments, cigarette outlets, etc. would've been nice but weren't available at the time.
Worst car ever. After owning for 1 1/2 years, I have to get rid of it. Have is the key word. It died on the highway. Nobody can tell me specifically what's wrong with it because there's about 8 different things wrong with it. The engine is about to go. There are brake problems, engine problems, thermostat problems, etc. I regret getting this car-- it's had problems since day one. No wonder Saturn's out of business. The reliability of their cars are seemingly terrible.
Worst car I have ever owned! I bought this car in 06 and have had problems ever since! Within a week of getting it, it went the shop for a mouth and a half. and I have had problems ever since. Wish I could trade it in instead of putting more money in it but cant afford either one right now. I really dislike this car!
I LOVE My Saturn! It has been very dependable & handles excellent! Other than Oil Changes, I had to replace the crank position sensor which was about $85 (A very popular problem in these vehicles) and Im about to change the sway bar links here pretty soon. (also another common problem in VUEs) I take great care of my VUE. Oil Changed every 3,000 with Mobil 5,000, Wax's, Mid-Grade Gas, I get about 24MPG, I love it and expect it to last another 75,000 or more!
The AWD with Traction Control! Works Wonders in a Snowy State! Love that the Center Council/Cup Holders are below the seats and can hold coffee mugs easily with out spilling.
Better Cloth Interior, Seats in the Back are really firm.