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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?
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