2002 Saturn SC Reviews

2002 Saturn SC from North America

Model year2002
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.5 / 10
Distance when acquired48000 miles
Most recent distance73000 miles
Previous carJeep Grand Cherokee

Faults:

Moon roof/sunroof - will not open. Not sure if the motor is the culprit, or if it is off track and was disconnected. I checked on some Saturn message boards, and learned that this is a common problem. I will investigate how to fix it once the warm weather gets here.

Trunk leaked - was told that the drainage tubes are either clogged or disconnected; another common issue.

Transmission - Wasn't shifting right. The engine would rev too high and suddenly the RPM would drop. Worked itself out without having it repaired. Not sure what it was, but it went away.

Burns too much oil. Be sure to check the oil level. Don't wait until an oil change. Saturns are notorious for this.

Gas door cable broke.

General Comments:

I bought this car from the original owner with just 48,000 miles. It's been a really reliable car. I haven't put any money into it the last two years besides oil changes and tires. All the little quirky stuff I was able to fix myself by visiting Saturn forums. Don't ever assume that your problem is unique or that you have a "lemon" (I hate that term!). The Saturn SC2 is an affordable, reliable little car that gets great MPG.

The seats are very uncomfortable and there is very little room for a tall person. This is to be expected from a car like this. It wasn't designed as a family car or a sports car, despite its looks. Yes, it has a noisy engine and feels every bump in the road. Let's face it, it isn't a Cadillac or a Porsche. I wasn't expecting anything more.

Overall I am more than pleased with this car. Once the little annoying stuff is taken care of, this is a great little car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd February, 2013

2002 Saturn SC from North America

Model year2002
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission  
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.5 / 10
Distance when acquired89000 miles
Most recent distance107000 miles
Previous carFord Taurus

Summary:

It's not a reliable, safe car to drive

Faults:

When I bought the car, the SE light was off and on, but the dealer said nothing was wrong with it. I had to replace the intake manifold gasket, the horn, the body control module, battery, spark plugs and I can't remember what else.

The gas cap door became hard to close about 6 months ago, and I'm not sure why. It opens from the inside, but yesterday my SE light came on and I notice the door looked pushed in. I opened it only to find someone broke it, and it won't close anymore by itself. They also punched a hole in an area next to the gas cap. I guess to siphon gas.

General Comments:

In the almost 2 years I've had the car, I've spent a small fortune on repairs, and apparently the locking gas cap is a joke.

I wanted a basic car, no power windows, etc. so that I was happy with.

It handles well, and at times the gas mileage is good.

But, the battery died without warning, leaving me stuck at night in the middle of a severe storm, and the repairs have been numerous and not cheap.

Parts have to be pre-ordered.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th June, 2011

2002 Saturn SC Coupe from North America

Model year2002
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission Automatic
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance75000 miles
Previous carChrysler LeBaron

Faults:

2004: Driver's side mirror fell off; not sure how, woke up one day and it was hanging off by the wires (I suspect rowdy teens). Cost $270 to replace.

2005: Needed new brake pads, replaced at Advance Auto parts for $175.

2007: Back tire on driver's side went flat; took it to mechanic who repaired it, but advised I replace all tires to avoid further damage. Replaced all 4 with Michelin tires (great deal at BJ's price club, $200 for all 4!), and have to fill them up with air every few months or so.

2008: Brakes started to sound crunchy, needed new brake pads - again! And while at the mechanic's, they replaced the ignition wires - total was $400. This time brought it to the Saturn dealership, where they told me the reason the first brake pad replacement didn't last was because Advance didn't use Saturn-specific parts. That was a warning sign to me, if a car will only run properly on the specific dealer parts, it's going to be a money pit. And it pretty much has been...

General Comments:

Overall, I've been fairly satisfied with the car. Aside from the costly replacements, it runs well, great gas mileage, and is just adorable in copper with the 3rd door.

However, with the need for Saturn-specific parts, and of course GM discontinuing the Saturn models altogether, I certainly wouldn't recommend purchasing a used Saturn. Back when I was ready to purchase a new car in 2002, it was down to a Saturn or a Kia with my price range, and everyone advised me to get a Saturn over a Kia. And... guess which car is still around?

I paid off my Saturn about 3 years ago (5 year payment plan with 0% interest, which was nice), so I will definitely keep it for as long as it runs, replace what needs to be replaced, because I certainly can't afford another brand new car, and it generally runs well enough to get around.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 22nd November, 2010

12th Jul 2012, 07:03

Most of your "faults" are common maintenance and the one was vandalism. Brakes, tires wearing out are not "faults", and all dealerships tell you to use OEM parts.

29th Mar 2013, 11:59

My thoughts exactly...

1st Apr 2013, 03:21

Wearing out brake pads in only three years is not normal unless you are putting over 50,000 miles a year on the car. I commented to another mechanic friend of mine a few days ago that I was surprised that the brake pads on our 2003 GM car show virtually no wear at 115,000 miles. His reply was that the pads being used over the past decade or so on domestic cars should easily go over 200,000 miles.

Average review marks: 7.0 / 10, based on 22 reviews