1996 Saturn SC 1 from North America


A short-term solution for a transportation problem


There was an air bag problem at 9000 miles. The dashboard light stayed on for several minutes. The technician said that had it not been repaired, the air bag may not have gone off in a collision or may have gone off randomly while driving down the road.

The brakes pulsated. The Saturn dealer rotated the rotors, but the problem continued. Another service technician found that the air hose for the brakes was too long and therefore, kinking, which decreased the performance of the brakes.

There have been numerous times that the engine has needed miscellaneous repairs. The #1 cylinder seems to be the culprit most often, misfiring frequently. At one point, I had the car in 4 times within 1000 miles. Now, I am being told that the engine cannot be fixed and needs to be replaced - at 56,000 miles!

The car has been consuming oil at a noticeable higher than average rate, since somewhere around 50,000 miles.

General Comments:

Although I loved my 1996 Saturn SC1 for the first 3 years/36,000 miles (which happened to coincide nicely for me), my eyes have since been opened. Stupidly, I did not pay attention to what needed repair while the car was under warranty, but just accepted the free repairs happily. Now that I am responsible for paying for those repairs out of pocket, I am much more aware of what is going wrong with the car that I have babied since 200 miles.

At 56,000 miles, I am being told that the engine needs to be replaced, even though I was so good about taking it in for all of its recommended maintenance and attending to other needs so quickly. I am very disappointed with my overall Saturn experience.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th November, 2003

2nd Nov 2004, 22:22

I bought my 1996 SC1 Saturn, and it is perfectly fine. My Saturn has over 120,000 miles on it. So who ever told you the engine needs to be replaced after 56,000 is full of it. My car goes good in the snow, held up fine in an accident, and has great gas mileage!

1996 Saturn SC 1.9L from North America


High performance bargain!


Saturn SC2.

Coolant leak at 125,000 miles, but fixed it with a $10 coolant cap.

Engine missed (or skipped) I spent $200 at one place and they claimed they fixed it, but 1 week later the missing started again. then I spent $600 on getting it fixed at the Saturn dealer...hasn't missed since.

My horn broke in late 2002 and hasn't worked since.

Other than that all I spent $$$ on was alignments, tires, oil changes and wheel balancing. the normal spending for everyone. $800 for 4 years and 80,000 miles aint bad... i say it's a great buy and I'm very happy with my saturn.

General Comments:

Tips to you all: the stupidest thing you guys can do is buy a used car from a dealership!!! the second it not taking care of your cars in the first place.

It's a great car and I love how it looks!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th September, 2003

1996 Saturn SC -2 from North America


Not worth the headache


What a headache! This car has caused me a host of problems since I bought it two and a half years ago. The mileage was low when I purchased it, and the engine appeared to be well-maintained. However, over the course of two years I have had the following problems:

- replace alternator

- replace battery

- replace stereo (because it worked on its own schedule)

- flickering interior lights that turn on and off as they please, regardless of whether the car is turned on

- new muffler mount because of terrible rattling

- deteriorated rubber around all doors, windows, and the trunk that lets rain in in torrents and disintegrated well before its time

- freon leak that resists repair

- seatbelts that tend to lock in place, especially when merging onto the freeway- making it impossible to turn one's head and see other cars

- and the best and most persistent problem of all... a mysterious coolant leak- mechanics initially told me it was due to a cracked coolant case- had that repaired... leak persisted...the second culprit was the radiator- bought a new radiator, but is the leak gone? No. It loses about a gallon of coolant a week, making the concrete under my car a lovely brownish-green shade.

- and now, a new problem: the "service engine now" light has come on and refuses to go away... and since I can't afford any MORE repairs, I'm choosing to ignore it.

General Comments:

All in all, I would not have paid $11,000 for this car if I had known better. Yes, it is fun to drive, but what good does that do if a) I'm constantly afraid of it blowing up and b) no one besides myself can fit into the tiny interior? Granted, it has never broken down on me while driving, but I've simply had too many problems considering that I've taken good care of the car, and it had relatively low mileage when I bought it. I'm selling this one and buying a Volvo.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd June, 2003