2001 Saturn SL Reviews from North America

2001 Saturn SL

Year of manufacture2001
First year of ownership2011
Most recent year of ownership2013
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired121541 miles
Most recent distance125356 miles
Previous carSAAB 900

Summary:

The best car I have ever owned

Faults:

Had to replace the alternator (rebuild it actually) one month after the warranty expired, along with the battery.

Water pump needed to be replaced; cost of the parts and labor was $75.

Have to bend a tab in gas cap door to shut it occasionally.

General Comments:

This car is the best car I have ever owned. It has given me no headaches, and is completely reliable. I could drive this car across the country and not think twice about it.

The A/C compressor recently went belly up, but the parts are pretty inexpensive, especially if you can buy them used.

Overall, I would highly recommend a Saturn, especially if one is on a budget. It's a better car than my 1990 Saab 900 (my previous car).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th June, 2013

2001 Saturn SL SL1 1.9L

Model year2001
Year of manufacture2000
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission 1.9L Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired55000 miles
Most recent distance98000 miles
Previous carChrysler Town and Country

Summary:

Fun, economical, and reliable (but it's best to service it yourself!)

Faults:

- Rear brake drum failed at 97,000 miles (because I didn't address the noise it was making), and made a frightening noise all the way home.

- Heat shield came loose.

- Starter failed at 89,000 miles.

General Comments:

A number of other little issues popped up with the vehicle; just an overall decline in performance. So I did some research and learned how to work on it myself, and found it delightfully easy to service. I did the following:

- Replaced starter.

- Replaced the rear passenger brake drum, shoes, and wheel cylinder, and bled the brakes.

- Drained and refilled the transmission.

- Replaced the fuel filter.

- Cleaned the EGR valve.

- Cleaned the throttle body.

- Replaced the PCV valve.

- Switched to synthetic oil.

- Replaced spark plugs and wires.

All of this was very simple, and I saved myself hundreds by doing away with mechanics. In doing all of the above, I've found it to be much peppier and quicker than it used to be (though I wouldn't call it fast), and my gas mileage went from 26/33 city/highway to 33/40! In an auto!

Because of how delighted I've been with the car and how easy it's been to service, I bought myself a very inexpensive 2001 SC2 fixer-upper. It needs a lot of work, but I love the car already!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th September, 2012

2001 Saturn SL SL1 1.9

Model year2001
Year of manufacture2001
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 1.9 Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.2 / 10
Distance when acquired132000 kilometres
Most recent distance185000 kilometres
Previous carAcura Integra

Summary:

Best trouble free car that I bought for CAD $2500

Faults:

Auto shifter hesitates to shift to Reverse at times, but no issues were found other than that.

Ignition cylinder is loose on many SL1's.

General Comments:

Overall, the car was great for daily commutes. When I was a student, I used the car to go back and forth from Toronto to Halifax. I usually put about 1000km in about every month when I had it. Just did the regular oil changes, and away she goes. Did not have a single mechanical issue; very bad handling though.

When I purchased the car, it had 132000km, and when I sold it, it had over 185000km.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th June, 2011

2001 Saturn SL 2

Model year2001
Year of manufacture2001
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired210 miles
Most recent distance113320 miles
Previous carPlymouth Neon

Summary:

If they still made this car, I would have bought a new one!

Faults:

There were an increasing number of small things, especially after 80K miles. Sensors & 'idiot lights' that came on & stayed on were the most common issues. After taking it in, the mechanic assured us the car was fine, & that the lights were nothing, just some kind of a computer fault.

But, finally, about 90K miles, the trans slipped from Drive to 2nd one or two times. The people at our local trans shop said it would get worse in about 35K to 50K miles. After that, we took the other car on trips.

After the last winter (2010-2011) though, the doors began to creak, like the salt had gotten into them, and the trans slipped a bit more often, sometimes even slipping back!

The only issue involved the snow. If it was too deep, it would get stuck.

General Comments:

The car always got great mileage, near the top of its ranges for city & highway.

I cannot say enough about how well the car handled - it handled well in all kinds of weather, always getting us home thru wind, blizzards and ice over the years.

The car was always comfortable for pets & people, and the color, cranberry, was unique and fun.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th February, 2011

26th Feb 2011, 21:25

"I would buy one again if they still made them"

Just buy a Chevy! Saturn never had its own engine or transmission!

Saturn mooched its motors and transmission and other parts and designs off of other GM brands, mostly Chevy. And that's one of the reasons why GM quit production on Saturn line ups.

And Saturn was a niche (mooching) brand.

Average review marks: 7.5 / 10, based on 29 reviews