My L300 (reviewed above) just passed 30,000 miles. It's still rock-solid and reliable, and hasn't seen the dealer other than for routine tire rotations (and free car wash). I do oil changes (Mobil 1) myself according to the oil-life monitor, and I usually get about 6000 miles between changes. The mileage continues to improve (about 24-25 in the city, 28-30 highway) and it's an absolute blast to drive.
Tire wear is also good; only minor wear on the Firestone Firehawk GTA02s, although they are beginning to become a little noisy. I'll probably go with a different tire when the Firestones are worn. The brakes are fantastic, though dusty.
I still get compliments on the car. Although the upcoming Saturn AURA looks pretty sharp, I'd still rather have my L300. I'll continue to update.
I purchased my L300 in January 2005 just after they announced they would discontinue the model. Got a great price. It only hve 16,000 miles on it. I am still happy with it. Just see the dealer to change oil and that it about it.
Just updating the review. We have 42,000 miles on the L300 now, and still love the car. We still have the original Firehawk tires on the car. They have become very noisy in the last few thousand miles, but the grip is still OK, and they have worn evenly. I've decided on Yokohama AVID tires to replace these--probably in <3000 miles.
Otherwise, the car has performed perfectly. No "real" repairs so far, and the mileage is still decent. Before the warranty expired we had the hood latch lubed and the Saturn emblem replaced (it was bubbling underneath). It still surprises us with the power from the V6, and has been remarkably comfortable on 14 hour trips. If you're considering an L-series, look for a 2004/2005 model as they appear to have the fewest problems. You won't be disappointed!
I also have a 2004 l300 with the 4cyl engine. We have 58000 miles and have not have 1 major problem with. We has a gas cap not sealing correctly. For the money this car is/was a good buy. And service is the best int he industry! Thanks for the journal about your car!
I Have a 2004 L300 2.2L Car has 145,000 miles. I am very pleased with this car. Fuel mileage is good. Drives Nice. Decent power. Good car for the money in my opinion.
I had to buy a new used car to drive from Ohio to Nevada. I purchased a Saturn L300 with 80,000 miles on it because it was a good price. I made it all the way with no problems at all. I am just hoping if somebody is out there reading this and has a V6 with about that many mile or more I need to know how its holding up. I love the car and want to keep it for awhile, but I need to know if its going to compare to a Honda once I continue to add on the miles. Any info on this is appreciated.
There have been a few L300's with that kind of mileage, but it's still a relatively new car so there aren't many. I would have your car thoroughly inspected by a mechanic, but I see no reason why the L81 V6 would have trouble with that kind of mileage and beyond. It is quite a sophisticated engine and is not cheap to service, but if properly maintained it should be fine. Keep in mind that even if it cost a little more in repairs, it is much cheaper outright than a Honda.
The timing belt and water pump should be changed at 100,000 miles, but other than that, the 2004/2005 L300 models are quite reliable and a pleasure to drive.
Saturn 300L 2004 Excessive Wind Noise: The Saturn dealership advised this a a problem with this make of car. Dealership ordered door gasket in May 2007 (while on warranty) did not receive until Dec 2007 (off warranty 119,000 km) Would not honor warranty.
HORRENDOUS fuel economy for the L300 2004 V4 engine. I only get 18 mpg city and 25 highway. I have already had to replace all 4 tires, and the rotors and brakes, oh did I mention that happened at only 25K miles?!! The dealer was surprised I needed new brakes so soon. I drive slow and no jack rabbit starts or long idles. Would not buy it again, not buying another saturn. I feel cheated by the gas mileage as the sticker when I bought it said is was 28/34 not 18/25. with gas over $3 a gallon it is really hurting my in the pocket. The car is VERY noisy and constant wind noise on highway -- dealer never offered to fix that. I currently have 29k on it after almost 4 years. Cost me quite a bit so far for replacement of brakes rotors and tires, not to mention gas $$
It does do well in snow and other than gas mileage it seems to be reliable.
The fact that you needed new brakes and tires in 25,000 miles meshes quite well with your lousy fuel economy. You may THINK you're driving conservatively, but the numbers would suggest otherwise.
I achieved much better MPG than you with my V6-powered L300 (about 24 city, 29 highway), and still had the original tires and brakes at 44,000 miles when we traded it in.
You can go ahead and blame the car--that's the easy way--or learn to drive more conservatively if you're truly interested in saving fuel. I have a feeling I know what choice you will make, however...
I also have a 2004 L300.1 and I like the car. This my third Saturn (I still have a 2002 L200). I average 29mpg in combined city/hwy driving. I have replaced the Front Brakes and Rotors and have bought 4 new Goodyear Triple Tread tires. The car has 56k miles. I think I may have lost 1mpg with the triple tread tires, but in the Chicago area winter weather (and in rainy weather too) they have proven their merit in hazardous conditions.
I have a 2003 Saturn l300 V6 with 72000 miles on it. I am just about to put new rotors and brake pads on the front. I am about to replace my 2nd set of tires. Goodyear Assurance were the 2nd set. They were supposed to be 80000 mile tires, but are at the wear bars, evenly, at only 35000 miles.
My only gripe about my Saturn is the steering vibration at 65 mph. It has been there from day one. Read somewhere that it is a design issue. Very good car. Aura is even better.
If people could realize how many people directly and indirectly, GM employs in this country, they would see that it is much better for our economy to buy national brands, not just foreign brands made in the USA.
I have a 2004 L300 with 71,000 miles.
Two months after purchasing it the air conditioner compressor had to be replaced.
I have also had to have the fuel pump replaced.
At 10,000 miles the tires began whining loudly. Saturn personnel told me I had not rotated the tires often enough, and that the L300 model has a Saab rear end, which are hard on rear tires.
I replaced the Firestone Affinity tires that came on the car with Uniroyal, which have 40,000 miles (rotated once).
A linkage in the steering has been replaced twice, and a new rack and pinion was installed 2 days ago. In addition, the fan and switch for the air conditioning/heating needed to be replaced.
I can't remember the other problems it has been in the shop for. I am very displeased with the car, and wish enough problems had occurred so I would have been covered by the Lemon Law.
My wife has a 1997 Saturn station wagon which has been great, in fact, that is why I bought my L300. A service person at a Saturn dealership told me a year ago that the L series car was a problem vehicle. I doubt I will buy another Saturn as the sales people should have warned me, if what the service person told me is true.