I bought a 2005 L300 for my oldest daughter. She's put about 4,000 miles on it (bought it with 72,000). So far, no problems. According to the service record for the vehicle, it has needed no warranty work.
The car is fun to drive and it looks good doing it.
This my second Saturn. If GM survives, a third one will come in four years, when daughter #2 gets her license.
We just purchased an 2004 L300 V6 with 34k miles. I feel so reassured that this was a smart move. We wanted a Honda, but the equivalent was $2300 more than the Saturn. My mother has been a Saturn fan since day one, so even though I had never seen one on the road, we took the risk. I have to say that we love it, and are growing more confident with our purchase each day. -db.
Well three months later and the L300 is still running fine. My only complaint is leg room getting in and out of the car. I'm not sure what it is but I'm always bumping my knees on the steering column getting in and out. I'm 5'4" so it's not like I'm too big for the car. Once I'm in though I'm not uncomfortable. -db.
I (my wife) has a 2004 L300, bought new in 2004. I was just checking this site because I have started to incur a sporadic problem starting the car. Four times now. Drive it for 20-30 minutes, park it, and then try to start it 5-10 minutes later. It cranks, but doesn't turn over. Usually I have to wait 30-60 minutes and then it will start. Any suggestions? I see the ignition module was an issue on the 2003 L300's.
Other than that, we had to replace the fuel cap about 2 years ago, and then a few months later we got the notice from the dealer. Too late to get money back for the cap, we tossed the defective one.
The original set of Firestone tires were crap and only lasted less than 30,000 miles. Replaced these with Toyo tires and got about 55,000 miles on those. Just put some new ones on from Big O Tires.
Gas mileage has always been very decent, 24-28 mpg or so.
The pep of the engine also has been very good.
The paint on the front bumper was bubbling and peeling. Got it repainted during the warranty, problem has returned.
Let's see what Roger Penske does with the Saturns!
August 5, 2009
I purchased a 2004 L300 from my mechanic at half the blue book value last October. Although this car had 210,000 k on it I have only had to replace the fuel pump. I love the V6 acceleration and response at any speed. The handling and control through winter snow and ice was also impressive. I wish that this car was still produced because I would love to buy a new one when this one is done.
Love my 2002 L300. I've got 11540 miles on it and it's still going strong. I had to do a few repairs lately, but the car IS eight years old. I had to replace the heating core, fuel pump and coolant bridge; all with in three months time. This hurt a little, but considering the fact that I've had no trouble this far, and only had to replace the front and back brakes and the tires ONCE, I think I still come out ahead in the long run.
I plan on keeping this car as long as I possibly can. The way it handles and the power of the V6, along with all the options, make this my dream car. There is nothing new that I'd rather drive than my 2002 L300. (except maybe the brand new Camaro ~ they are sharp!)
I have a 2005 with about 55000 miles on it, all city driving. The V6 is thirsty if you push it. I drive conservatively and get good mileage for city driving, around 24 MPG.
I have talked to other owners and here is what I have found for general maintenance.
First, ensure you always change the fluids when due, as the engine is a sophisticated 24 Valve and with proper maintenance, should be relatively trouble free for 200K miles or more.
The brakes and exhaust are long life. My car is 6 years old and again, %90 city driving and yet to change the brakes or exhaust.
A couple of points, the steering columns had an issues and some needed changing. Usually just greasing them regularly is OK.
The AC will likely need changing at around 60K. Mine was changed last week and costs around $1200 (give or take).
Some internal switches may need to be replaced and also some body components may come loose.
All in all, the big money things are the AC and steering. But, the excellent life for the brakes and exhaust more than offset any of these costs.
My last car, a Camry, needed new brakes every 25K miles to the tunes of $1000+.
One last thing, ditch the factory tires as soon as possible and buy some good rubber. I replaced the factory tires with a top of the line Michelin Energy-saver tire. Much quieter, 1-2 MPG improvement and long life. However I did sacrifice cornering performance.