I see that Saturn is now putting Toyotas and Hondas side-by-side next to their own cars in the showrooms. They then compare features offered by the three automobile makers to try to convince customers that Saturns are better.
Those tactics won't work for me. I bought my first Toyota Corolla in 1978--brand new. I finally abandoned it when I moved from Minnesota in 1992. It still ran, but I was embarrassed by the rust that had accumulated during the years in Minnesota. (I am told that Minnesota salts their roads with calcium chloride rather than sodium chloride, and that the former is four times as corrosive as the latter?) All I ever did to maintain the car was fill it up with gas, change the oil, buy new tires, and have the brake drums/pads changed periodically.
After the Toyota I bought a Ford Tempo, followed by a Dodge Maxivan. Both worked for awhile, but it wasn't long before I was faced with huge maintenance bills just to keep them running.
In 1995 I bought a Geo Prizm (made by Toyota--it looks like a Corolla); in 1998 I bought a Toyota pickup; in 2001 I bought a Chevy Prizm (also a Toyota Corolla underneath). Maintenance costs have been negligible.
Today--in preparation for a long trip later this month--I took the 2001 Prizm (with 80,000 miles on its odometer) into the mechanic to get new belts, a new fuel filter, new PCV valve and new plugs. Well, he said the belts (still the original) looked brand new; the fuel filter is no longer a separate part and isn't something that is replaced; it doesn't have a separate PCV valve, and the plugs last for 100,000 miles. I asked him about the timing belt, and he said it doesn't have one. (Probably a timing chain?)
In case you haven't guessed by now, here is why I love Toyotas: When other cars reach about 5 years of age, they start falling apart and require major expenditures to keep them going. Toyotas, on the other hand, just keep on running, with negligible out-of-pocket expenses. It is no wonder that they are among the most popular cars in the world!