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Saturn S-Series



  • shanianshanian Posts: 26
    We decided to go with the Intrigue GL for several reasons.
    1.When we started looking, My wife wanted the Saturn LS, so we test drove the LS2 with the V6, I was suitably impressed with the acceleration/handling, but was disappointed with the front end styling.
    2.Then we test drove the Intrigue Gl in midnight blue, and it was like who could ask for anything more (sorry Camry, I would like a cheaper sticker and better dealerships), quiet and powerful (quiet coming from a 4cyl world, not compared to other V6's) and great understated styling.
    3.My brother's influence in asking me try different cars instead of same, My desire to drift away from a coldly rational, price, reliablity kind of decision making (which would have led to accord camry 4cyl Saturn) - ie take risk but not too much of one. Two to three years ago I would have been prime candidate for the said bland mobiles but now I feel a little looser, so what if my choice is not the best,so what if it depreciates, it is my choice.
    4. Then came rumblings of renaming etc,of the Ls1 to L100,which decided it for me. Finally in June Saturn decided to take GM card rebates for the LS but by then I had already made up my mind and did not want to return to the tediousness of deciding which was better etc. all over again, after all it is only a car.
    5. The Intrigue is a good value, if it holds up quality wise, Consider that you get the same drivetrain as an Olds aurora 3.5 starting at 19-20 instead of 28-30K, It has a long list of goodies, is not all that common on the road, and did I mention all the rebates/low financing and dealers eager to deal. Also the LS 2 too is a terrific hidden value as it has a Catera Engine which you could pay thousands more for,so it would be 2nd choice in the GM fold once the naming issues are put to bed.
    6. Buy the dip - .9 financing for 60 mo seemed like a dip, so I did, more fun than fixed price no haggle.
  • doug107doug107 Posts: 1
    Thought I'd relate my '95 SL2 experience. Bought in TX. Used for commuting and road trips. Loved it. Alternator had to be replaced early on (other '95 Sat owners in town had similar experience). Dealer took me for a ride at 60K maint. Around $900 of "needed repairs", $200 of which went toward solving what wound up being wheel noise (first rotation after being replaced). Moved to WA, where the Sat got exposed to a little off-road action. Puyallup, WA dealership was great! I give them higher marks than Austin, TX. No problems, but last month, the engine blew a rod! (at 107K) Hole in the block the size of a donut. I thought this is WAY too early for an engine too go. Had been about 6K since oil change, maybe it had burnt all the oil (?) NEwayz, had an independent put in a new engine from wrecking yard ($1300), and think I have a lemon. Once engine warms up, it runs great, but for the first few minutes, it spews white/blue smoke from the exhaust (burning oil). So ... it's off to the dealer to see if it's worth saving. FYI, I've had the dealer do all the work. More $$$, but I have enough hobbies.

    I'm disappointed it's come to this, because I like the car. Some cosmetic wear and tear, but I was hoping for another few years out of it. Thought this was a great excuse to get a new car - 4WD/something I can sleep in, but looking at new SUV/truck prices is quite discouragine, not to mention the gas mileage.

    All in all, here's my likes/dislikes regarding the Saturn and the "Saturn experience"

    Dislikes: wind noise at highway speeds - makes getting a decent sound system useless, rain leaks in through door seal. Both these are "known probs". Dealerships could have better hours for service. Hard to vacuum up dog hair out of cloth seats. Wish it could store more (bought a Yakima storage box), and wish I could stretch out and sleep in it after those long drives to the trailhead before an early-morning climbing outing.

    Likes: great gas mileage, unique styling, dependable. A very practical car. I've only gotten stuck once due to conditions (snow/ice - I now have tire chains), wish it I could haul more (bought a Yakima storage box), and . I've taken it on a few back road in the woods up here, and no real problems.

    The Sat SUV talk is interesting, maybe my car can hold out until then. Hearing that its taking on more GM parts is kind of discouraging.
  • mark204mark204 Posts: 1
    I'm looking for a new used car and came across the Saturn SL1 at a local dealer. It was a nice looking car at a good price and only 37K miles on it. I've checked it out on this site and others and it seems to have had all good reviews. Has anyone had experience with this car? I'm just looking for a dependable car with good gas mileage to get me to college, work, etc.

  • afk_xafk_x Posts: 393
    The Saturn SL1 is the commuter specialist. It isn't exciting, but it is very reliable and safe. It is extremely economical - both on gas and maintience and insurance.

    Good luck
  • Just sold our 97 SL2 Saturn. We purchased a Saturn for safety reasons. We previously owned a Nissan Maxima, and we were quite unhappy with our Saturn purchase. Our main reason for this was the repairs. During my previous Nissan and Toyota experiences we never had any auto repairs except for normal maint. We never had to add oil! We only replaced the battery and brakes. We drove each of these cars to around 200K. However, when we purchased the Saturn we replaced every pump, alternator, exhaust hanger, brakes before 36K (and again recently), fuel injectors, headlamp assembly, and experienced problems getting the key in and out. The real kicker was that after the fuel injector repair, we ended up with gas in our oil somewhere around 36-38K. We then burned 2-3 quarts of oil between every oil change. After complaining about the oil problem, Saturn just disconnected by oil light, and informed me that my oil consumption was normal. When the transmission was nearly gone at 77K, we traded for a Honda. My father-in-law has driven his over 200K, and they were more reasonable then the Nissan Maxima. Sorry if I seem disloyal to the "Saturn family", but that was the worst car I ever owned! But the trade-in was far better than I expected.
  • j_colemanj_coleman Posts: 143
    That's too bad about your Saturn. I guess the quality is just hit and miss with these little cars. My wife's '96 SL has been more dependable than my '99 Intrigue GL. She had a few leaking engine seals and a sticky gas pedal that were fixed under warranty. She also had one of the body panels crack and a few interior pieces break, but never a mechanical breakdown of any sort. The car has about 50K miles now and has never left her stranded. My Intrigue, on the other hand, left me stranded once with a dead battery that went bad. It also has some front suspension and steering issues that I have to get checked. I still love the Intrigue much more though, since the Saturn is under-powered, rough-riding, cramped, and handles pretty poorly (especially with lack of power steering). But it is very reliable basic transportation that has been excellent for her.
  • chasmalachasmala Posts: 14
    Things go wrong with lots of cars. If I think of the thousands of dollars I have spent keeping my 1991 Ford Taurus with 76,000 miles running I get sick. New air conditioner, $1,000.
    New fuel pump, $250. New radiator $500, new engine mounts, master cylinder, windshild wiper motor, rebuilt transmission, new rear calipers and rotors, battery, accelerator cable and on and on. But I keep thinking finally it will run well if I fix just one more thing.
    I keep looking at the Saturn SL2 and wishing I had bought one $5,000 ago. There is something about that car that I just like a lot. I know a number of people who own one and they have nothing but good things to say about them. I will most likely buy the 2001 model with the side head curtain as soon as they come out. I hope my Taurus lasts until then.
  • j_colemanj_coleman Posts: 143
    chasmala - Are you sure you want to move from a Taurus to an SL2? You may not be happy with the ride quality, room, and comfort of the SL2 after driving a midsize for so long. Maybe you should check out the L-series midsize Saturns instead.
  • chasmalachasmala Posts: 14
    Actually, I have driven the SL2 series, but never the L-Series. I keep thinking that smaller is better by way of cost. I should take your advise and test drive the L series to compare the two. Thanks for the thought.
  • Both the SL2 and LS base offer good points. The SL2 is nimble, quick for it's curb weight, low maintenance costs and costs around 13,500 for a base model with 5 speed. However if you start adding a few options such as automatic, abs, cd player, side curtain airbags, your around 15,600. which is LS price range.

    As an open Saturn loyalist, I think the LS base model is much better in terms of handling, interior comfort, power, quietness. My aunt bought a 2000 LS1 , now 7 months old she has had only one minor problem with it and loves the car.

    What options do you think are a must have? and what ones can you live with out? Definitly drive both, they are two very different cars, both having positive and negative points. The choice is ultimately up to you. Good luck.
  • chasmalachasmala Posts: 14
    Thank you for the kind advice. I would probably get the full blown SL2 less leather seats so looking at the LS makes a lot of sense. I like the look of the SL better than the LS but I am sure that is not what to base my decision. I guess I'm a purist and think the SL is the REAL Saturn. But I do appreciate your input. Thanks again.
  • At the end of July I posted a message about buying a used 93 SL1. I got some good advice , so I am hoping to get more. Well, soon after I got my car, I had 4 new tires (55,000 treadlife) put on, actually Cooper Lifeliner Classics. Then I decided to have it aligned. Even after having it aligned and rotated the (new) tires, the car still floats to left mercifully. They say it is aligned according to there machine and I should not wear the tires, but I am worried about the float thing. Also, the steering is not tight, it is very loose. It seems to "oversteer" when you turn corners. Since I only know the cars this way, should the steering be tight and agile on these cars. Also, the previous owner had one motor mount replaced a year ago and new brakes with new rotors. My mechanic (a GM dealer) said he inspected everything closely (he is reliable). The closet Saturn dealer is 2 hours away. Can anyone give me a little help here? thanks
  • ken1776ken1776 Posts: 41
    My wife's car floats when the tire pressure is incorrect. Might check that for starters. Also, I'm not a big fan of Cooper tires, but they shouldn't make the car pull. As for the steering problem? No clue! This is actually one feature I like about our Saturn, good tight steering. I suggest you spend the time and see the dealer.
  • Hello Saturn fans,
    I'm stuck between purchasing two saturns.
    one is a '94 SL 2 with auto and ac and has 112k miles. This one is going for about $5,000

    The other is a '95 SC 2 with 35,000 miles. This also has auto and ac but is around $8,300.

    I would prefer not to spend the extra 3,300 but am concerned that my Saturn will die very quickly with those miles on it. Which one would you get? Thanks!
  • norbert444norbert444 Posts: 195
    Re fw alignment: I also suggest you get an "alternate opinion" on the correctness of the alignment from another place.

    I had to have the alignment done during my first year ownership of 95 SL2. It was done at the dealership. The mechanic could not get the alignment while he was just using the threads on the alignment linkage. He had to enlarge the mounting hole on the strut to finally get it right.

    And yes, the steering must not be loose, it could be dangerous if it's not made tight soon.
  • I agree with Norbert444 that you might want to try a different alignment shop. As far as the loose steering, it could be the rack and pinion unit, or any one of or all four of the tie rod ends. The inner two are mounted to the rack and are inside the flexible boot that is on each end of the rack to keep out dirt and water. If any one of them comes apart, you'll have little or no control of the steering. Get it into another shop real soon.
  • I realize that I am probably in the wrong forum, but is there anyone out there that has a 2001 SC2? I will be in the market for a new car since my lease on my 98 Malibu is up shortly. My wife loves the look of the SC and I just wanted to hear some overall comments. WE are currently looking at other possibilities as well such as Toyota Echo, Daewoo Nubira, Hyundai Tiburon. (I know it sounds like I am crossing the boarder on different classes of vehicles but we are trying to figure out if we want sporty or not. We don't want the SL simply because a family member owns one and we want to be different!)
  • T Soden
    If your looking for sporty, IMO , The Saturn 3 door coupe blows away anything around 15k as far as style goes. However, the 3 door coupe rides lower to the ground then the SL 4 doors, providing for countless scrapes on the bottom front bumper. Also, insurance will be significantly more compared to a SL2 4 door with the same engine and equiptment.

    The choice is up to you, if your marginal benifit (what your gaining) is greater then your marginal cost(what your giving up) then a 3 door coupe is the way to go. Good luck.


    I would try to get the price down a bit on the 94 SL2 to around 4500.00. For some reason, the SL2 4 door model's are rated more reliable then the SC's. A friend of mine has a 94 SL2 in tan with around 150k on the original engine, trans. Don't see anyreason why this SL2 wouldn't go the same distance. Good luck.
  • I recently purchased a 98 Saturn SL2 and I have a very interesting question. On the top of the dashboard there is a square indentation that has 2 holes covered up. What is this meant to be used for? I thought maybe a CD player or a fuzz buster but I am just curious. Any ideas anyone?
  • I thought it was a sunglass holder or something, However I put a hushpuppy and a disney character their to liven things up a bit : ) Who knows, didn't see the holes before, we'll have to look into that.
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