1998 Saturn SC Reviews - Page 4 of 7

1998 Saturn SC SC1 1.9 I4 from North America

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 1.9 I4 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired128000 kilometres
Most recent distance165000 kilometres
Previous carDodge Neon

Summary:

This is a reliable, gas con-servant, powerful, small car

Faults:

↔Exhaust shield bolts broke causing it to vibrate against exhaust pipe which was very noisy and annoying. Solution: Took it to Canadian tire for no cost repair.

↔Problems with the muffler pin not holding the muffler up. Solution: Quick weld to the frame and no problems since.

↔Passenger seat wouldn't automatically slide forward for people in the back to get out.

General Comments:

This is a great car. It NEVER let me down. It gave me great gas mileage, ran in -30 temperatures (only needing 2 starts to get going too! I didn't have a block heater, so that is quite amazing!) The back seats are very uncomfortable, but long distance trips can be made with adults sitting in them. I did have 5 people in the car at one point, with some fairly large adults in the back, but it was for a 10 min trip...

The car, for only being rated at 100HP, has amazing power. I was never left in the dust by any vehicle (I have good reaction time to green lights, and V8's would leave me as soon as they shifted, but it still felt good to initially beat them off the line!) It is a very light car so when you have 4 people in it you feel the weight through both the power loss and bumps. Its handling is great, sticks to the road when you really want to make a fast corner. It has decent trunk room, Driver might be a little cramped if over 6'1, especially for long drives.

The plastic panels are great except in really cold weather... then they shatter.

Overall, a great car, extremely reliable. Great on gas, not so great for more than 2 people. I would highly recommend this car to anyone who is interested in it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th March, 2007

25th Mar 2007, 08:09

By taking V8s off the line, do you mean actual races or just normal starts where maybe the other person doesn't care?

There's a difference.

If it's a normal start, my god, I've beaten a Z06 with a vw golf. *rollseyes*

12th Aug 2007, 17:00

I was talking actual, not normal. Obviously if it was just normal starts a person on a bike could beat a car off the line... Look at how heavy it is, just over 2600lbs and look at the torque, 117@4000. It does well for a little car, especially when there is only 1 passenger. However, when more than 1 person was in the vehicle, you can feel it in its acceleration and shocks.

1998 Saturn SC SC1 1.8 SOHC from North America

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 1.8 SOHC Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired52000 kilometres
Most recent distance188000 kilometres

Summary:

Cheap, reliable, gas-sipping transportation

Faults:

Note, all odometer readings approximate!

Speedometer/odometer assembly started 'clicking' around 60000km, needed $600 repair for replacement and recalibration.

Alternator broke at about 120000km.

Thermostat needed replacing around 140000km.

Engine Coolant temperature sensor went around 150000km. Easy repair, did it myself.

Second gear is now difficult to engage when down-shifting, will likely need a somewhat major repair?

Engine has started to consume oil more as age increases, currently about 1L per 4000km.

Now on my third muffler, but I don't think this is GM's fault, but crappy aftermarket parts. The muffler bracket recently (187K) rusted itself to bits, but I replaced it myself for $15.

General Comments:

Overall, I'm pleased with this car. I knew getting into it GM was notorious for crappy alternators. Found out later about Saturn oil consumption issues, mine is no different, but not as severe as some I've heard of. Keep it topped up, you'll be fine.

It's not quick, but handles great, particularly in snow.

The interior is sparse, but that's what I wanted, more gadgets = more to go wrong. I got this car while in grad school, I wanted cheap, reliable transportation.

Gas mileage is great in this car, I can still get close to 40MPG highway.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th December, 2006

13th Dec 2006, 03:56

I've heard so many complain about the oil consumption, but it's a REALLY cheap and simple fix and so many other makers have the same issues...mitsu, toyota etc. My SC2 has 194k on it and I have zero problems with it except the oil... big deal, Id rather add oil than replace expensive ecu's or fuel pumps etc...

But that's just my opinion. The cars peppy, well handling, durable all things considered (at 2450 lbs don't expect a tank) and I still get 34mpg.

My only complaint is the sub-frame is WEAK... a woman bumped me in the right tire one day at about 10mph and it twisted the frame.

16th Dec 2006, 06:51

I agree, so long as the oil consumption problem doesn't get too bad (i.e., you run out of oil during your morning commute after topping it up the morning of...), you should be fine. You just have to keep on top of it.

Like I said, I'm pleased with my car. :)

Too bad about your sub-frame, I've been rear ended hard enough to punch a hole in my bumper, and my frame was fine...

6th Oct 2007, 00:49

I loved my 1998 Saturn SC2 -- except for the past 18 months. I had a few minor issues with the temperature gauge and getting water in my tail lights. Then, a year and a half ago, I started having problems getting it to start. Even when it would start, I couldn't keep it running. Every couple of months it breaks down, needs to be towed and costs $500-$600 to get running again. Mind you, I have less than 60,000 on the car, but it has always been stored outside. I just get frustrated because every time I bring it in for a repair, the dealership gives me a new list of repairs that are needed. When it breaks down, it is never anything that was on that list. I thought my head was going to explode the day I brought it in for stalling and they told me the stalling wasn't a problem, but I needed new brakes.

Average review marks: 6.6 / 10, based on 22 reviews