Where to start? I bought this car four years ago with 88k on it because I had no other choice at the time and needed a bigger sedan. But when this year is over, I'm donating this disaster and buying s...
Where to start? I bought this car four years ago with 88k on it because I had no other choice at the time and needed a bigger sedan. But when this year is over, I'm donating this disaster and buying something brand new. That's right, donating. This car is worth less than the socks I'm wearing right now, and I have a hole in the left one.
German engineering? You bet. As in breaking down all the time like a M-B or an Audi. German handling? Not a chance. This snoozer mushes around like a bumbling, old Buick in the corners, despite its air suspension that GM targeted firmly at BMW. German looks? Nope. Totally anonymous with completely uninspired lines. To make matters worse, mine is beige with tan interior. The seats are okay, but the interior is on par with a late model Kia Optima. Hard plastic abounds, and don't get me started on that goofy cupholder mounted within the console. It broke within a few days of my ownership.
The worst problem with this car, and likely most dangerous, stems from the electronics. The computer often moves the transmission into "limp home" mode, which keeps the tranny stuck in third gear all the time. This car is lethargic enough (whoever said this car gets to sixty in 8.5 seconds must have installed a 502 from GM Performance, though that 8.5 figure is wimpy enough), but when you're taking off from a dead stop in third gear, you might as well remove the engine, install sails, and get a kitten to sneeze into them. If this happens and I'm trying to evade something (which happens quite often with DC drivers), I could get rear-ended or otherwise impacted. My three-year old sometimes rides with me, so this transmission issue is unforgivable, but it would cost thousands to fix, and I think this car is worth about 75 cents.
Speaking of electronics, sometimes the doors won't unlock or lock, the lights won't turn off, and many of the buttons don't work unless I punch them. Letting the car sit for a day or un/reinstalling the battery are your only hope. And if you need to replace a headlight, get ready to skin your knuckles, because there are so many sharp pieces of metal and other detritus smashed up against the headlamp buckets. The adjustors will also break, and you can't buy those little pieces of plastic separately. You have to buy completely new headlamp assemblies. That's $1000. And you have to buy new units because used ones will have broken adjustors, and in some states, broken adjustors means your car won't pass inspection. I'm convinced this car was built as a ploy to shore up GM parts sales.
The motor is an asthmatic, wheezy, cheap-sounding farce that has as much in common with the autobahn as a birthday cake shares with an M80. Why GM thought this powertrain - shared with many Saturns - could take on the C-Class and 3-series is a total mystery. Despite its gerbil-ish, 200-hp output, two weeks ago, I got 10 miles to the gallon. No, that's not a typo. 10. You'll find many owners get around 13 in the city, and maybe 20 on the highway. I avoid jackrabbit starts, I never speed, and I don't run the A/C or the stereo when it's unnecessary. Doesn't make a lick of difference. I would be better off with a Ferrari.
If you've only got a few thousand to spend, find something Japanese, or make a down payment on something with monthly payments you can sustain. This car is not luxurious or sporty. It's just embarrassing.