My New Car Experience: A love, hate relationship with a 1999 Saturn (Part 1)

By Jenny Haddo, Auto Show Global

Welcome to “My New Car Experience.” My name is Jenny and I am an intern for Thornhill Communications. I will be graduating at the end of April, so leasing a new vehicle could not have come at a better time.

For the last 5 ½ years, I was driving a 1999 Saturn that I acquired from my uncle’s towing yard. When I got the car, it did not shift into reverse, which for two years made parking more than a challenge until my uncle found a transmission from a different Saturn. From that point on, I would say that from the electrical problems to mechanical issues there was always something going wrong. Some days I was afraid of the car overheating as I sat in rush hour traffic. I was putting so much money into that car — in the end it wasn’t worth it.

I had never thought about leasing a vehicle until a few months ago when I weighed my options and laid out the pros and cons.  In the end, I figured that it was probably costing me more to keep fixing my Saturn than to lease a vehicle.

Jenny’s 1999 Saturn

Don’t get me wrong, I loved my first car; most of the time. It got me where I needed to go and I didn’t care about all the new technological features I was missing because I never had them to miss. There were plenty of upsides to having my first car like not having a car payment and excellent gas mileage. I can recall when gas was at its lowest point and I filled my tank up for $13!

On the other hand, my 1999 Saturn did not have any special features, except for a CD player. It had a sunroof, but of course that did not work. My driver side window had been broken since I acquired the car. The passenger side window was from a replacement door replaced from an accident, and could only roll down.

If ate a lot of fast food, I would have probably gotten it fixed. The back two windows worked perfectly, but did not harness the air of spring and summer for me. In my Saturn, it would take a good twenty minutes, on a chilly day, to get decent heat going. I kept a blanket in my backseat for frigid days. Last year, I had my water pump replaced, so it was a lot warmer than it had been, especially during the polar vortex. The air conditioning did not work on very hot and humid, summer days either.

Having air conditioning is something I’m looking forward to in the hot summer months, but right now I truly appreciate rolling my window down and feeling the breeze in my new car.

Stay tuned. next week I’ll reveal what I leased.

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