2001 Saturn SL Reviews from North America - Page 3 of 7

2001 Saturn SL SL2 2.1 DOHC

Model year2001
Year of manufacture2001
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 2.1 DOHC Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired261 miles
Most recent distance125000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Beretta

Summary:

Great low maintenance car

Faults:

We had to replace the starter at about 60000, it was under warranty at the time.

General Comments:

We have been very happy about our Saturn. It just went over 125000 and we have put very little money into fixing anything. The gas mileage is great and it has been very dependable.

Only complaint is that it is a little small putting a car seat in the back has been a slight challenge. Although we are getting rid of an SUV and looking for another Saturn so it hasn't been that big of a deal.

Overall we have been very pleased.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th April, 2008

2001 Saturn SL

Year of manufacture2001
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance160000 miles
Previous carDodge Neon

Summary:

I should have got two of these at $10,000

Faults:

The transmission linkage had become disconnected. Thanks to this site I was able to fix it in the parking lot at Lowes while on the phone with my brother.

General Comments:

This car, until now, has been flawless. Fuel economy is been great, around 40 hwy, 33 city.

It does use around 1/2 qt of oil between oil changes. I'm not sure where the oil goes because it doesn't appear to burn it and I have no leaks or oil spots in my driveway. For the $10,000. I paid for this car in 2001 I can't imagine a better value.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th April, 2008

2001 Saturn SL SL1 1.9 SOHC

Model year2001
Year of manufacture2000
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 1.9 SOHC Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired35000 miles
Most recent distance66565 miles

Summary:

Very reliable cheaply made car

Faults:

Absolutely nothing.

General Comments:

This is one reliable vehicle. Saturn made a rock solid engine and transmission for this baby. The polymer panels are a nice feature. I have never had to make any repairs as the 3rd owner of this car. It does "burn" oil, which is typical for this engine. All money put into this car are from maintenance: brakes, spark plugs, muffler strap, oil, tranny fluid etc. This car is easy enough for a new driver such as myself to do on my own. basically, the only thing I've paid for someone else to do is the oil and transmission fluid. However, this car is the essence of cheap. the interior is cheap plastic that creaks when I hit bumps. nothing feels solid, sometimes I feel like I can snap off the turn signal stalk or the AC dials. engine is wimpy. fuel economy is so so, I get about 24 mpg ALL city driving, never above 40 MPH most of the time. the transmission has a hard time deciding what gear it wants, it feels sluggish and is, but it has a nice suspension with minimal body roll on tight turns. going into my first winter so I'm gonna get to test the traction control, but it is paired with ABS (the ONLY option besides AC and cd player) it works pretty well. Overall its decent. id prefer something more upscale though.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd November, 2007

17th Dec 2007, 09:54

I do agree with the cheap plastic interior... its even worse with our cold Canadian winters! Oh well, an amazing car with over 160000 kilometers on it (100000 miles). I have a standard transmission and I find this helps both fuel economy and power, although it is a little gutless on the highway! Great car for the price though! If this one ever dies I will get a new one!

2001 Saturn SL SL2 124hp DOHC

Model year2001
Year of manufacture2001
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 124hp DOHC Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.4 / 10
Distance when acquired66000 miles
Most recent distance71000 miles
Previous carJeep Cherokee

Summary:

Great Econo-box

Faults:

At 68000 the computer complained about low fuel pressure. I reset the error after my next fill-up and the issue has not reoccurred.

General Comments:

From the outside, the Saturn is not dressed to impress, but it still takes good care of itself and never shows up with day-old clothing. The famous plastic sidepanels keep away dents and rust, and the clean up quite nicely. Though the Saturn's design is not racy, it's easy to keep looking like it just came off a showroom floor.

The interior is equally utilitarian. Hard, tough plastics are everywhere. They don't try to be pretty - they just try to do the job, and with the exception of thin window cranks and fidgety A/C buttons, they succeed.

The biggest surprise about the Saturn SL2 is the more-than-needed engine. At 124hp, the DOHC 4-banger provides more juice than most of today's econo-boxes. Combined with the Saturn's thin-and-fit body (about 2500lbs), it will get you going to 60 in about 8 and 1/2 seconds. The SL1, please note, does not have this additional horsepower, and is as leisurely as a Kia Rio on Valium. The extra bit of GO! in the SL2 makes driving at least a little bit pleasurable. And yet, I still get almost 40 mpg on the highway, and 30 in the city - numbers that put most of today's treehugging, bubble-shaped economy cars to shame. This engine is really a treat for the economy-minded; I'm surprised GM hasn't revived it for newer small cars (instead they just use whatever Daewoo gives them).

The downer is the terrible 4-speed automatic transmission, which drains all power at 65mph+ because it refuses to downshift unless you stand on the gas. It can be similarly sluggish during hard acceleration, sometimes forcing the pilot to step off the gas for a moment and allow the tranny time to catch up.

The ride is stiff and sorta-sporty. Minor bumps that my wife's Kia Rio never report are easily felt in the Saturn, but the Saturn doesn't have much body roll in turns, and unlike the Rio, it never sways more than once because of a big bump.

First impressions on reliability are optimistic. The car appears to have high build quality (for it's cheap-o class).

The Bottom Line: The Saturn does everything a reasonable person would ask it to, and a little more. It's nice to drive a car that offers 40mpg on the highway, and yet doesn't drive like a sloth. Safety is also great on these vehicles in front-impact. Side impact is decent for front-seat passengers - remember, side impact airbags were just starting to show up in these years.

But most importantly, Saturn's resale value has plummeted. Let's face it - they're not as pretty as Toyotas or Hondas, and with Saturn itself transforming completely, there is no one around to tout the virtues of these cars. I picked mine up for 5k - a bargain. If you're in the market for a used economy car, take a serious look at a SL1 or SL2.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th September, 2007

10th Sep 2007, 15:07

Yes, it does look like you got a good deal. Actually, because of the fast depreciation, a North American car can often make a good used car buy. Interesting too, is that the older models are often as (or more) fuel efficient than the newer models as they are usually significantly lighter.

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