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GREAT, super fuel-efficient car! by Scotty G on 05/22/2011. Trim: 2002 Saturn SL1, Owned 6 years.
Pros: I originally bought this car because I didn't want to drive my "good"/expensive car in the MN winters, but it's turned out to be a favorite of ours. I think it's a super fun little car to drive with the 5-speed. We get 42 mpg with this car on the highway which is more than it was supposed to get. We have 217,000 miles on it now and have only spent a couple of thousand on repairs in all these years. I LOVE the composite body panels, it still literally looks like new with zero body dings or dents and zero rust; you can't say that about a car with metal body panels. Why they quit making cars with plastic body panels I'll never know, it's a genius idea that should come back.
Cons: I can't think of much that I don't like about this car. It's only got 100 hp, but that's why it gets such GREAT mileage (42). The seats are a bit low but I just put a little chair-pillow on the driver's seat and that solved that problem. I hear people complaining about seats all the time, but a $9 chair pillow does the trick, plus, you don't need heated seats! We've had to replace the front wheel bearings, the starter, and a couple of front end suspension parts, but that's it. There's a slight head gasket oil leak, but after 217,000 trusty miles that's to be expected. It's about $2000 to fix that so it's probably not worth it.
Overall review: It's an absolutely outstanding car, in my opinion. 42 mpg on the highway, fun to drive with a 5-speed, and a great trip car. What's not to like?
Review ID: #552580 Is this review offensive?
My Sweet Saturn by Carol from Grand Rapids, MI on 08/14/2012. Trim: 2002 Saturn SL1, Owned 7 years.
Cons: What I don't like about this vehicle is all the taller and wider vehicles on the road obstructing my vision!
Overall review: I love my Saturn and am totally distraught that I won't be able to purchase a new(er) one!
Review ID: #563149 Is this review offensive?
Styling now very outdated. by An MSN Autos Consumer on 04/15/2011. Trim: 2002 Saturn SL1, Owned 6 years.
Pros: Safe. Gas mileage is great, it's quiet. Cheap to maintain. Blind spots are not a problem. Husband is 6' and finds there is plenty of leg room for him while driving (but hates the passenger seat). Great in snow with proper tires. Only needed to change the brakes once in 6 years. Still LOOKS like new after 10 harsh Quebec winters and salt covered roads. It starts no problem and runs great. 180,000km on it only problems we've had are listed below...
Cons: Sits too low to the ground, hard to get out of. Trunk is too small, one good shopping trip will fill it and the back seat so leave the kids at home. Small cabin, no leg room in the back, my husband and I bump elbows in the front. I'm 5' 3" so I need to bring the seat far ahead to reach the pedals, by then, my head is touching the sun visor. Goes through oil like crazy (but it's not leaking)! Rear power windows quit working 3 years ago, rear driver's side door seized shut soon after. 1.5 years ago the wiper motor seized, $250 in labour alone because they had to remove the whole dash to get to it before trying to un-stick the thing and reassembling.
Overall review: We wanted a Saturn for a long time before purchasing this vehicle and it has served us well. We mostly use it for the work commute, 50km per day, and just running around town. We've only taken one long trip in it was and was extremely uncomfortable but for basic needs it's a good little car, but our family has outgrown it. Teenagers are embarrassed to be seen it in so they refuse to come out with us...haven't decided if that's a pro or con but we're upgrading anyway. If you're considering buying one of these check places you can't readily see for rust, as rusting from the inside out has been our biggest problem.
Review ID: #552011 Is this review offensive?
Good Mileage Poor Quality by Minnesota on 08/14/2008. Trim: 2002 Saturn SL, Owned 6 years.
Pros: Good gas mileage
Cons: Poor reliability and costly repairs. 30,000 miles - Under warranty transmission seal failed and leaked oil into clutch 40,000 miles - Intake Manifold Gasket failed and needed replacement 70,000 miles - AC leaked and needed recharge 75,000 miles - Same as first problem, tranmission seal failed and leaked into clutch
Overall review: Has had good gas mileage but not the quality expected when I bought it.
Review ID: #531512 Is this review offensive?
Good Car, But Not The Lady Killer by GOPER from Washington, DC on 08/10/2004. Trim: 2002 Saturn SL, Owned 2 years.
Pros: Great gas miles recently got 41 MPG on trip to Pittsburgh. Usually get about 36 MPG around town driving with some highwauy mixed in, but I have a stick shift. I have had not one service visit for a mechanical failure in two years and 40K miles of service.
Cons: I have seen several reviews talking about a thud in the rear. I have the same thud. I am told by Saturn's Main Office that this is a common complaint. It is not a mechanical problem or a saftey proble, but an oversight in the engineering. The noise you are hearing is gas moving around in your fuel tank. Saturn did not put enouch sound deadening materials between the body and the fuel tank. The best way to keep the thud from happening is to keep the tank more than half full.
Overall review: Great cheap commuter car. Handles very nice, handles much like a German car. Strong reliable engine and no service problems. That said, the car is Plain Jane, not the most exciting runner in the parking lot, certainly won't be a babe magnet, although you will have some cash to take her to a nice dinner.
Review ID: #442244 Is this review offensive?
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