2002 Saturn L200 Reviews - Page 2 of 7

2002 Saturn L200 2.2L I4 from North America

Model year2002
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 2.2L I4 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.4 / 10
Distance when acquired50000 miles
Most recent distance94000 miles

Summary:

Unreliable piece of junk

Faults:

Body control module (BCM) went at 80,000 miles.

Catalytic converter failed at 86,000 miles.

Brake master cylinder failed at 88,000 miles.

Timing chain jumped time, mashed valves and trashed the engine at 94,000 miles.

General Comments:

In the past year this car has cost us $2500 in repairs. Keep in mind that is cost-cutting and doing the majority of the work myself.

BCM was $500 from the dealer (a COMMON failure on L200s).

Cat was $400 in parts and hardware from part store for me to do myself (dealer wanted $1500 to replace!!)

Brake master cylinder was $100 in parts (a $250 job by a mechanic)

As far as the timing chain goes, GM has a class-action lawsuit against them because of the timing chain design on the 2.2L Ecotec. In other words, if you have a 2000-2004 Saturn with a 2.2L, THE TIMING CHAIN IS GOING TO STRETCH/BREAK. This will ruin the head and most likely the rest of the engine (like in my case when the piston got dented by mashing the valves). A new engine from GM is $3800 plus labor at $1600. If you have a 2.2L, GM sells an upgraded timing kit for $290 plus labor to install. I bought the kit and a junkyard engine to install it on and did a swap. Total cost for me, $1500 with upgraded timing kit, gaskets and other various assorted parts needed to install the engine.

Oh by the way, to put this in perspective, this is my wife's car. She drives like a grandma, has a highway commute of 40 miles round-trip a day. I used synthetic oil for all oil changes and kept up with all the maintenance (I do it all myself).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th January, 2009

8th Apr 2009, 13:50

This totally made me laugh! I bought a used 2002 L200 about 2 and a half years ago and your checklist of what has went wrong is so accurate, even the price quotes. I had to have my catalytic converter replaced in September and it cost me $1000! Today my car died on the highway and they said it was the timing chain! Great! "Unreliable piece of junk" totally sums it up!

2002 Saturn L200 from North America

Model year2002
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 0 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.2 / 10
Distance when acquired10 miles
Most recent distance53000 miles
Previous carNissan Maxima

Summary:

Poor long term value compared to Nissan

Faults:

Catalytic converter under warranty year 2.

Catalytic converter again 1 month after warranty expired.

Driver seat fell apart in 2006.

Rotors at 40000 miles.

A/c compressor at 45000.

General Comments:

I bought the car because of no hassle purchase, non-rusting body parts, stainless exhaust as I intended to keep it for 10 years. While the body looks swell, the high cost of defective parts is very annoying. Shops tell me all GM rotors are shorter lived, as are the converters. I will return to Nissan or Toyota for all future purchases.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th December, 2008

2002 Saturn L200 from North America

Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission Don't Know
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 4 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.8 / 10
Distance when acquired35000 miles
Most recent distance130000 miles

Summary:

This car is a new car owner's nightmare

Faults:

When I bought my Saturn it was 2 years old. From the beginning I had to change the brakes and rotors.

The tail lights go out violently every other month. Took it to the dealer to change it as there was a recall on tail lights catching a fire. (Yikes!) They still go out with a bang. (They bust)

Then the speakers went out one by one, now all I can hear is a whisper.

My middle console door broke off, then my driver side sun visor would not stay up.

One day my car suddenly ran hot for some reason.

My front passenger side wheel started making a grinding noise that got worse and worse. I had to pay 800.00 to get the bearings replaced.

I was told by the Firestone mechanic that antifreeze was mixing with my oil. Probably head gasket blown, will cost 1500.00 to fix.

I went to a different mechanic to get more brakes done and a serpentine belt replaced, only to find out later that he removed 5 crucial fuses under my hood to ensure I return with more problems for him to fix.

AC wouldn't work, engine cooling fan wouldn't work, along with some internal engine regulatory fuses. I had t replace the thermostat.

Then I had an oil leak start. At first a little, then I would wonder who's drinking my oil? I noticed it was leaking in front at my oil pressure sensor. Which leaked on top of my starter, which began to smoke while starting stalling at first, and eventually died on one cold rainy night. $450.00 plus tow. I eventually fixed the leak, by replacing the sensor. I bought it at Auto zone for 25.00. Plus the deep socket 9.00. No more oil leaks.

However, when I turn my heat on, my temperature gauge goes all the to the red or just inside the red until I turn my heat or defrost off, then it pulls back to normal. Might I add, while it is happening, my cooling fans are roaring like a 747. I think some how it's related to the gasket issue.

One winter's day my head lights decided to come on by themselves; after wiggling the switch they would go off for a few minutes and resurrect full throttle. I resulted to removing my fuse during the day and when parked. I've recently, in fact today, have learned that it is a switch that I can replace to remedy this issue.

Oh and lastly, my front and rear passenger windows won't go up or down.

All I can think of is the many people who advised me that Saturns are reliable and low maintenance. I haven't paid for the gasket repair. The car has little to no resale value, and I owe 3,000, I don't know. What would Jesus Do?

General Comments:

This car sits very low to the ground, can be difficult to get out of at times.

It hesitates when accelerating.

This car has two bad blind spots.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st December, 2008

30th Apr 2010, 19:40

I have a 2001 Saturn L200 that I bought at the Saturn dealership. It only had 25,000 miles on it. I have to say that I haven't had any problems with it. I love this car. I would definitely get another one, but too bad that the Saturn vehicles are not made anymore.

Average review marks: 6.3 / 10, based on 25 reviews