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2005 Saturn Relay Van

4dr Relay 3 FWD

Starting at | Starting at 18 MPG City - 24 MPG Highway

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  • $26,865 original MSRP
Printable Version

2005 Saturn Relay Van

Printable Version

2005 Saturn Relay Van

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2005 Saturn Relay

Source: New Car Test Drive

Overview

A brand-new member of the Saturn family has hit the streets. Saturn calls its new Relay a "family utility vehicle," and it plays this role well.

The new 2005 Saturn Relay is designed to look like a sport utility vehicle. To this end it uses SUV styling cues such as its long nose, exposed C-pillars, and big roof rails. Indeed, the Relay looks like an SUV. But it drives and operates like a minivan. It has sliding doors, seven seats, and other practical features that are hallmarks of the minivan. The Honda Odyssey, Nissan Quest and Toyota Sienna are listed as its direct competition.

As a minivan, the Relay does a fine job. It gets on down the road with no muss or fuss. The driver gets a commanding view of the road and the interior styling is clean and contemporary, with good fit and finish. The V6 engine is relatively smooth and quiet and the Relay rides smoothly and quietly. The steering is light and easy, the brakes are powerful and easy to modulate for smooth stops. All-wheel drive is available as an option, with the Versatrak system providing excellent traction and stability for wintry driving. Saturn dealers are renowned for their attention to customer service and the Saturn Relay has been priced aggressively.

Model Lineup

The Relay family will have one name and two numbers: Relay 2 and Relay 3. Both are powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to a four-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available. All have seven-passenger seating, with four bucket seats and a three-across split folding rear bench seat.

Relay 2 ($24,485) comes with manually operated sliding doors on both sides. Standard features include ABS, OnStar with a one-year subscription, air conditioning, tilt wheel, remote keyless entry, cruise control, power driver's seat, power locks, power windows, a roof rail system, a nice-sounding six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 entertainment unit, rear-seat DVD entertainment unit, rear seat audio controls, heated mirrors, 17-inch wheels and tires. A power sliding door for the passenger side is optional ($450).

Relay 3 ($27,580) has quite a list of additional standard equipment, including a six-way power driver's seat, rear air conditioning, power vent windows, headphones and remote control for the DVD system, more overhead storage, rear storage bins, a universal garage door opener, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, and other features.

Relay 3 AWD ($30,570) is the performance truck of the family, with Versatrak all-wheel drive, its own rear suspension and steering, an inflator kit, 17-inch tires and wheels, and a raft of additional touches like front-row seat-mounted side air bags.

Options include dual power sliding doors with ultrasonic rear park assist ($995); a Safety Package ($545) with seat-mounted side-impact airbags and traction control; StabiliTrak chassis control ($450); XM Satellite Radio ($325) which includes a one-year subscription; remote starter ($175); heated front seats ($295); Touring suspension package ($360); and a trailering package for up to 3500 pounds ($165). Leather seating ($1,350) is available as is a new entertainment system that features a 40 gigabyte hard drive that can store 10,000 songs in MP3, WMA or WAV formats. (Saturn's prices are MSRPs and include destination charges.)

Safety equipment is below average for the class. Dual frontal airbags are standard. Front-seat side-impact air bags are optional. Curtain air bags are not available.

Walkaround

The exterior designers have made the Relay look like an International Harvester minivan, about as bland and neutral a look as you can get, with its horizontal-bar grille, and a big red logo stuck in it so it sort of looks like a Saturn product. (Rumors has it that this was to be the Oldsmobile version, but was switched over to Saturn late in the program.)

Our heart did not skip a beat, nor did we mistake it for an SUV. The sliding-door slots are a dead giveaway, as are the rear door handles, which are in the wrong place for an SUV. It's also too low to the ground to pull off the masquerade, with a 5.5-inch ground clearance and a 17.5-inch step-in height, about 3 inches lower than a typical SUV stance. These are not bad things, they're just not SUV things.

The long-wheelbase Relay's flanks have a uniform gray lower panel, like the one used on the Vue, all the way around the vehicle, and only a single strip of body-color trim down the side, with six discrete side windows. Both models ride on 17-inch tires and wheels; Relay 2 comes with steel wheels, Relay 3 gets painted alloy wheels.

The Relay has a steel body, not a plastic one like the Saturn coupes and sedans.

GM's new minivans, the Saturn Relay, Buick Terraza, Chevrolet Uplander and Pontiac Montana SV6, feature some styling and equipment differences, but are very much alike under the skin, sharing a single powertrain with a choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

Interior Features

There's plenty of space for family use inside the Relay, plenty of outward vision available in all directions, and a nice, commanding view of the road. The standard Relay interior scheme is four captain's chairs and a split/folding rear bench, with a right-side power sliding door. Everything inside the Relay looks like standard stuff from GM's various suppliers, from the captain's chairs to the overhead entertainment system to the hard materials and absence of chrome bits. It feels like we've seen it all somewhere before.

The roomy interior features an overhead console and overhead rail system that integrates rear HVAC (heating) and audio controls, lights, and rear-seat DVD entertainment system in a single unit. Each of three additional storage modules is about 12 inches wide, 10 inches deep, with job-specific shapes.

Relay's optional and removable rear storage system provides a level but high load floor for carrying cargoes secured behind the second row. Second-row bucket seats can be folded and tumbled against the front seats. As the seats are stowed back to front, you get 27 cubic feet, then 74 cubic feet, and finally 136 cubic feet of cargo space. All but the front seats are removable.

The interior styling is clean and contemporary, with good, but not adventurous, materials, and good fit and finish. The Relay uses an unconvincing maple wood grain for its radio and HVAC trim and door switch plates. Two interiors are available, in ebony/gray and ebony/cashmere combinations. Relay 3 models have a leather-wrapped steering wheel with redundant audio controls built in.

The gauges in the central cluster are large, with large numerals, easy to read and use. The instrument panel, center console and door panels are well integrated, and follow GM interior schemes to the letter. Most of the materials look good and are soft to the touch. Likewise is the operation, adjustment, and stowage of the seats. The second-row captain's chairs are roomy and comfortable. The hidden rear area cargo organizer on our Relay 3 test truck was well thought out for small, medium, and long cargoes, though not very deep.

The standard eight-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 sound system sounded good to us, and the DVD system was easy to use, even for an adult. One of the most interesting options on the Relay is the new PhatNoise entertainment system, a 40-gigabyte hard drive that installs in the overhead rail system. It can store up to 10,000 songs in MP3, WMA or WAV formats, store and play up to 40 movies, or a combination of songs and movies. It can play video games, and has a voice-browsing interface. It can transfer digital photos through a USB port in the cartridge and play them back on the DVD screen.

Driving Impressions

The Relay's V6 engine is relatively quiet and relatively smooth, but not particularly powerful so you have to leave extra time and space for passing maneuvers. The 3.5-liter V6 is rated at 200 horsepower and 225 pound-feet of torque, a cast iron engine with a long pedigree of continuous improvements. This ancient V6, dating from 1980, still gets the job done, but isn't exactly rippling with musculature.

The automatic transmission worked flawlessly. GM's high-capacity 4T65-E transaxle has only four forward speeds, not five like some of the competition.

The Relay has a nice, light, easy touch and effort at the steering wheel, making it easy to maneuver in crowded parking lots. The four-wheel disc brakes with ABS were powerful and progressive at the pedal. The suspension provides a good amount of body roll in fast corners, which is nature's way of telling you to slow down. It's smooth-riding and quiet. There's clearly not as much sound insulation in the Relay as there is in the Buick Terraza, but the ride in the Relay is still pretty quiet and it feels substantial at nearly 4500 pounds.

The Versatrak all-wheel-drive system on the Relay 3 AWD model is lightweight, quiet and efficient. It works full time. The driver need do nothing. If one or both front wheels lose grip, the system goes into action, with no buttons to push or levers to throw. Whenever the front wheels lose grip, the system transfers power to the rear tires. But it also apportions power from side to side between the rear wheels, an ability not found on most all-wheel-drive systems.

Summary

The Saturn Relay is the first family transporter available at a Saturn dealership, which should mean a lot to a lot of growing families that already like the Saturn way of doing business. It offers broad flexibility in its pricing across a band of more than $10,000, with lots of options, and it excels in its family entertainment systems.

New Car Test Drive correspondent Jim McCraw filed this report from Pellston, Michigan.

Model Line Overview
Base Price (MSRP)
$24,485
Model lineup:
Saturn Relay 2 ($28,825); Relay 3, ($31,885)
Engines:
3.5-liter ohv 12-valve V6
Transmissions:
4-speed automatic
Safety equipment (Standard):
dual frontal airbags
Safety equipment (Optional):
front-seat side-impact air bags
Basic warranty:
3 years/36,000 miles
Assembled in:
Doraville, Georgia
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSRP):
Saturn Relay 3 ($31,885)
Standard equipment:
traction control, dual air bags, power windows, power mirrors, power locks, 6-way power driver seat, air conditioning, AM/FM/CD player
Options as tested:
dual power sliding doors ($995), side curtain air bags ($395), StabiliTrak chassis control ($450), XM satellite radio ($325), remote starting ($175), heated front seats ($295)
Destination charge:
N/A
Gas Guzzler Tax:
N/A
Price as tested (MSRP)
$34,520
Layout:
front-wheel drive
Engine:
3.5-liter ohv 12-valve V6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm):
200 @ 5200
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm):
225 @ 4400
Transmission:
4-speed automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:
20/28 mpg.
Wheelbase:
121.1 in.
Length/width/height:
205.0/72.0/72.0 in.
Track, f/r:
62.4/62.9 in.
Turning circle:
40.4 ft.
Seating capacity:
7
Head/hip/leg room, f:
39.8/59.9/39.9 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m:
38.9/61.2/38.9 in.
Head/hip/leg room, r:
38.1/48.7/36.2 in.
Cargo volume:
136.5 cu. ft.
Payload:
N/A
Towing capacity:
3500 lbs.
Suspension F:
independent, MacPherson strut
Suspension R:
independent, multi-link, coil springs
Ground clearance:
5.5 in.
Curb weight:
4470 lbs.
Tires:
P225/60R17
Brakes, f/r:
vented disc/vented disc with ABS in.
Fuel capacity:
25 gal.

Printable Version

2005 Saturn Relay Van

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Opt

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Opt

Security

Telematics Std
Printable Version

2005 Saturn Relay Van

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Miles

Months

Saturn Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

2-year/24,000-Mile¹ CPO Scheduled Maintenance Plan.

12-Month/12,000-Mile² Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty.

5-year/100,000-Mile³ Powertrain Limited Warranty for model years up to 2014.

¹Covers only scheduled oil changes with filter, tire rotations and 27 point inspections, according to your vehicle's recommended maintenance schedule for up to 2 years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. Does not include air filters. Maximum of 4 service events. See participating dealer for other restrictions and complete details.

²Whichever comes first from date of purchase. See participating dealer for limited warranty details.

³Whichever comes first from original in-service date. See participating dealers for limited warranty details.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 2009-2010 model year / Under 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 172-Point Vehicle Inspection and Reconditioning
Download checklist
Return/Exchange Program 3-Day 150-Mile Satisfaction Guarantee
Roadside Assistance Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $0

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2005 Saturn Relay Van

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