OK, what is this that you guys are saying about a recall on the ignition? I have had my Saturn for a year and I bought it at the dealership and haven't heard anything of a recall? oh, and has anyone had trouble getting their key into the ignition because of the latch inside of it that unlocks the doors when you remove the key?
My girlfriend and I use her 2003 Saturn L200 as our winter car (we live in Michigan, and our other car is a 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLK55-AMG). She had the car when I met her, and bought it new, and she takes excellent care of it.
I believe it was not worth what she paid for it. It is not a very good car, but it's not terrible either, and works great as a winter car.
It has 109,000 miles on it, most of which are highway miles (she had a 60-mile drive to and from work every day from 2003 - 2007).
The car is fairly reliable and gets good fuel economy (28 - 32 MPG). It also accelerates pretty well, considering the size of the engine. The interior is roomy, it has tons of airbags, and the heater works very well.
However, it has a twitchy transmission (hard shifting into 2nd and 3rd gears), and has had quite a few mechanical problems over the years - the radiator, fuel pump, brake master cylinder, and door lock mechanism have all been replaced, and the alternator has been replaced twice. The air conditioner condenser unit needs to be replaced (we only drive in the winter, so it's not going to be).
It handles poorly on slick roads, and the anti-lock brakes give a lot of kickback, for lack of better word or proper terminology.
The horn is difficult to use, as it requires excessive pressure to engage and the buttons are small and towards the outside (this is a great nuisance to me, if you live in Michigan, you understand why having a working horn is very important).
The seats were not designed for men at all. They are raised around the outer edge and force you to sit on your testicles; it's quite uncomfortable, but you get into the habit of making sure you carefully adjust as you sit down.
All in all, I am not impressed and would never buy one myself, particularly because of the high maintenance costs (replacing something expensive every year and a half), but it's not the worst car I have driven (that medal is awarded to Buick), it's great on gas, and it seems to have a pretty well built engine.