2002 Saturn L300 3.0 Liter L-81 from North America


The 2002 Saturn L-300 is a profound disappointment; an embarrassment to General Motors


Replaced 4 tires three times in 56,000 miles.

Replaced cradle mount bushings.

Replaced torsion bar supports.

Center console cover replaced twice.

Replaced thermostat (dealer) for $630!!

General Comments:

The Saturn L-300 is a stylish, moderately comfortable car (but not on long trips) for a family, however the rear leg room leaves much to be desired for a mid-sized car. The car has a high (uncomfortable) level of road noise.

Most disappointing is the L-300's suspension. Excessive tire wear has required tire replacements averaging every 15,000 miles. Alignment problems abound with this vehicle. Front end suspension problems included excessive vibration, shaking steering wheel and grinding noises on turns.

Maintenance costs also seem excessive for this vehicle. Notably, the cost to replace simple things like thermostats and brakes runs in the $500-$600 range. Interior plastic parts break often and make the car feel cheap.

Saturn's one bright spot is their service and attitude; they really seem to want to make things right; there's far too many opportunities for them to show this however.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th April, 2006

16th Jun 2009, 10:44

I own an Saturn LW300 with "sport-tuned suspension," now with 90,000 miles. It is quiet and comfortable on long trips. Tire life has been over 35,000 miles, including the OEM tires.

It lost two front wheel bearings and a transmission solenoid, thankfully under extended warranty.

Does this car have a fundamental problem? Yes, the same as any modern transverse-engine car. They are designed for easy assembly, not easy maintenance, so don't be shocked at the time it takes or the cost to do even supposedly simple things. Overall, I'd rate the car about average. I'll keep it till the wheels fall off or I find a comparable wagon.

I have just changed the alternator, for which I removed the passenger-side wheel for access, and rotated the axle into position so that the fluted axle shaft had a flute on top, so I could maneuver the new alternator into position.

Also here in Northern Ohio winters, the rear calipers are susceptible to crud buildup inside the pad pockets. I changed one rear rotor that had rusted due to a stuck pad. (I still need to clean out the other rear caliper pockets.) The rear pads are held in by pins, so they get tapped out with a pin punch.

When doing a front brake job, I cleaned and lubricated the bolt pins (Some parts stores include the proper grease in their better pad kits). They were not originally lubricated. Also, one caliper bolt was loctited in, so had to be heated with a torch to get it out.

2002 Saturn L300 from North America


This car is the MOST unreliable car I have ever seen (probably worse then the De Soto was)


Tires worn out at 26,000 miles

Brake rotors warped at 30,000 miles

Horn broke twice since I've owned

Belt Tensioner broke at 33,000 miles

Crank Shaft sensor wire harness broke at 34,000 miles

1 Piston no longer getting compression at 34,000 miles

Currently being diagnosed for other issues at 34,000 miles.

General Comments:

This car is the MOST unreliable car I have ever seen (probably worse then the De Soto was). I owned a 1994 and 1995 Saturn SL2, which both made it over 114,000 miles. I did not have this many problems with both the 1994 and 1995 Saturn SL2 COMBINED in the 114,000+ miles, as I had with the 2002 Saturn L300 in 34,000 miles (Brand New).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th February, 2006

5th May 2007, 10:10

I'm buying a 02' Saturn L 300 with 40,000 miles on it. Do you have any idea where your car is now? And where are you from?

I don't want a lemon.


2002 Saturn L300 V6 from North America


I don't think I would buy another Saturn


Battery terminal broke off 20,000 miles.

Sensor malfunctioned 20,000 miles causing car to accelerate sluggishly or stop altogether (in the middle of traffic, no less)

Windshield wiper fluid leak due to hole in hose at 10,000.

Leak in engine coolant at 28,000.

Leak in water pump at 28,000.

General Comments:

Until recently I have been very happy with my car and it's performance. I love the body style, leather interior, sun-roof, stereo, etc. The car was affordable and comfortable.

In the last few months I have had to spend about $3000 on repairs. If the car were older and had more miles on it, these types of repairs may be expected.

I am disappointed in having so many repairs. My whole reason for buying a brand new car was to avoid costly mechanical problems for a few years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th December, 2005

10th Jan 2011, 19:21

Saturn L300. Love the car, not the repairs. Service lights often. Just turned 30000 miles. Spent about $6000.00 for repairs, including almost a whole transmission.

As I am writing this, my car is in the shop again. I had a smoke coming out the hood, smelling of rubber.

I wonder how much this time is going to cost me!!!