2001 Saturn L200 2.2 from North America


Great car for the money - 100k and no repairs required


I purchased this car in 2001 (new).

I just went over 100,000 miles and it is still going strong.

It has never been in the shop for repairs.

I replaced my brakes pads at approximately 70,000 miles.

I have used Mobile One Synthetic oil from day one.

General Comments:

Great car for the money.

Has over 100,000 miles behind us, and has never been in the shop for repairs.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th April, 2008

2001 Saturn L200 L series 2.2 liter from North America


Not worth the metal it was made with!


Clutch failed on way home - less than 100 kilometers. Spent a week in the shop.

Clutch failed day of pickup - less than 20 kilometers. Spent a week in the shop.

Exhaust manifold cracked - defect.

Blows through tires quickly.

AC worked once.

Cup holders behind shifter - interferes with shifting gears.

General Comments:

The clutch is a hydraulic two reservoir system - according to the shop - and the easiest one to access was the one they fixed. However, the one inside the transmission was the problem one. They didn't know because both were bad.

It had this problem when we purchased it, however they wanted to get the vehicle off their lot, so they pressed the sale.

Parts are hard to get and expensive. One exhaust part with flex pipe and catalytic converter is 1400. This is three times the price of a generic model, and 15% of the cost of the car.

The design for the interior is pleasing, unless you want to put two coffee cups in the two spaces provided. When you want to shift into 2nd, 4th, or reverse, you must remove one coffee cup or it won't go into gear.

The brake light came with a faulty socket that may turn off at will.

Not fuel efficient. Our Ford Escort filled up with forty liters of gas and would run 400-500 km, depending on the highway driving. This Saturn fills up with 50 liters and will still only go 400 km, depending on highway driving.

Finally, there is a fault in the electrical system where the lights, (I notice it at night) will dim and return to full brightness several times in a minute. It will then not do it for an hour, or do it many more times. This is something Saturn is aware of, and there is no fix for it. Nor will they attempt to fix it. It is an annoyance, in their words.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th February, 2008

2001 Saturn L200 2.2 Ecotech from North America


A great car that Saturn refuses to stand by


I have been watching this board for a few years now after buying my 2001 Saturn L200, and dreading the thought of my car being one of "the" cars that were affected.

So, I was religious about changing my oil every 3000 miles with Castrol Syntec blend, and also always adding a quart of Lucas Oil product to make the oil lubricate even better. Apparently, this only bought me some extra time, as my engine imploded on the way into work this morning.

I was driving down a busy road at morning rush hour when the engine just died, almost getting rear-ended by multiple cars as I tried to get off of the highway. I had the car towed to the Saturn dealer, who a few hours later told me that my timing chain had gone, and bent some valves along with it. They estimate it will cost $2,000 to fix the engine.

I said, but there is a recall. He stated my car is not one of the cars involved in the recall. I'm just sick over this. I don't have the $$$ to fix this thing, and am still paying on the car yet.

I truly believe that I went above what would be considered normal for oil changes, and still had the same end result.

I also have, as some of you Saturn L-series people know of, the problem with the rear wheels being badly out of alignment (another defect from the factory) that causes the tires to scalp and vibrate badly. I still love this car, but absolutely hate Saturn for sticking it to all of us that have this problem.

I gave up Ford's for Saturn thinking I would be much better off, I guess I was mistaken. While the Ford's had more problems, they were easier to deal with and fix than the catastrophic problems that Saturn has with their cars.

I will probably end up pulling the engine myself and fixing it after getting the cylinder head exchanged for another. If anyone has any documentation on doing this, I would appreciate it if they would post the URL here.

General Comments:

First off, I would like to say that this car WAS the best car I have ever had the pleasure of owning. It is a very comfortable, nice handling car.

Other that my 2 problems (which I'm convinced were factory defects that were just ignored by Saturn, because they are tight @$$) it has been the most reliable car I have ever owned, just changed the oil and tires, nothing else.

It also had some features that I really like, such as the vent controls have what seems like infinite adjustments between settings (not just 3 settings like most cars). I love the vent controls and the ability to shut the vent because I drive by a factory daily that has a horrible smell from the smokestack. The vent control shut off the outside air from coming in my car. I just hit the button before and after I'm past the factory, and never have to smell that nasty odor.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th January, 2008

20th Feb 2008, 15:44

Well I have a 2001 model and my car is affected by the recall so why isn't yours? I think someone is telling you a lie about the timing recall.

9th Aug 2009, 21:17

Saturn ran my serial number and stated that mine had just missed the recall by a month or two. I even called Saturn corporate and they did end up paying for a large portion of the cost. My out of pocket was $700 instead of $2000.

Since then, I have had more issues with the car. Broken coil springs (which service told me is common on the L-Series), an A/C evaporator (in the dash), the transmission is sometimes not shifting out of first gear, and a heater core leak. Seems like the car is falling apart now.

I bought it used and still have 5 payments left. It will probably finally fall apart the day after I pay it off... No more Saturn's for me. Once was enough. No more GM's either, as far as that goes. My next car will be foreign. I'll take the 10-year, 100,00 mile warranty.

If America car builders think they REALLY are reliable, they should match this warranty. I am done supporting the UAW. I have bought enough crappy cars and can't afford it anymore.