1992 Saturn SL Reviews - Page 7 of 11

1992 Saturn SL 1.9 from North America

Year of manufacture1992
First year of ownership1993
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.9 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired20000 kilometres
Most recent distance231000 kilometres
Previous carPontiac Bonneville

Summary:

Overall good value

Faults:

Power steering pump malfunction, causing alternator to short replaced both at 60,000Kms.

Head gasket blew at 200,000Kms.

Alternator dies at 220,000Kms.

General Comments:

Great on gas.

No rust - plastic body.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 13th November, 2003

1992 Saturn SL SL2 1.9L I4 DOHC from North America

Year of manufacture1992
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.9L I4 DOHC Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired127000 miles
Most recent distance160000 miles
Previous carToyota Tercel

Summary:

Fun to Drive and Economical

Faults:

Typical problems known to early Saturn's are the problems I've had with my car.

The upper motor mount has failed twice. I replaced it the second time with an OEM unit from the Saturn dealer, which has been redesigned, and seems to be holding up a LOT better than Autozone's offering.

Alternator failed shortly after I purchased the vehicle, 100$ later I'm back on the road and it's been happy ever since.

Interior is fastened together with cheap plastic clips. These break frequently causing different trim peices to rattle. Luckily Saturn sells a 1.50$ reattachment clip. Takes some work, but does the job and stops the rattle.

Window regulator on the drivers side is missing teeth on one of the gears. When I roll the window up, it stops about 1/2" from the top.

General Comments:

I cannot describe how economical this car is. I can't remember the time I got less than 30mpg, and I can go 360 miles on one tank of gas. Maintenance is beyond cheap, with the engine's DIS (distributor-less ignition system), and Multi-Point fuel injection.

The car is suprisingly quick, these will go 0-60 in 8.7 seconds, and handles quite nicely as well. Engine is responsive, has a lot of low-end torque, but has a lot of upper-end power toward redline for those sprited driving occasions.

Interior isn't the greatest design as it's all made with hard plastic, and isn't the quietest over bumps, but has held up well and looks nice.

The ride could be softer, but considering this car is 11 years old-- maybe I'm looking at new struts in the near future.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th October, 2003

1992 Saturn SL SL2 1.9L from North America

Year of manufacture1992
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.9L Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired149000 miles
Most recent distance172000 miles
Previous carMazda MX5

Summary:

Dependable, durable basic transportation

Faults:

The coolant sensor was bad when I bought it at 149,000 miles, so I had it replaced right away.

The muffler rusted through at about 165,000 miles.

The transmission has started to slip intermittently since turning 171,000 miles.

I just replaced the brake pads at 172,000.

That's it!

General Comments:

This car is a bit bland to drive and noisy, but it is without a doubt the most reliable that I have owned. In the last year I have put over 23,000 miles on it, and I have had less problems than my Miata (which has 132,000) and my old Explorer (which had 90,000).

The plastic panels mean that I don't really have any rust. The paint is still glossy. People can't believe it when I tell them I bought it used for $1300 last year--at first glance it looks like a new car.

The car is not very quick, especially with an automatic.

I get about 22 mpg, which isn't bad.

It is comfortable and the interior components held up well over the years. Most of the things that don't work on it now are due to neglect or carelessness of the previous owner.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd August, 2003

1992 Saturn SL SL2 2.0 from North America

Year of manufacture1992
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.0 Manual
Performance marks 1 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.0 / 10
Distance when acquired149000 miles
Most recent distance171000 miles
Previous carSaturn SL2

Summary:

Piece of crap

Faults:

The belts broke and left me sitting on the highway at 5 A.M. on a cold December morning.

The pick-up is really starting to get bad and the car is really slow.

It blows a lot of white smoke out of my pipe.

Currently, when I step on the gas the car bucks and stutters (especially when it's hot).

I put at least a quart of oil in a week.

General Comments:

The car is seriously a piece of crap. I would never buy another Saturn again!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th July, 2003

8th Jul 2003, 20:35

Sounds like a person that does not know how to take care of a vehicle. Worn belts break... that's why we look after them and change them when they appear worn. When belts break damage can be done to aluminum engines. White smoke usually means the head gasket is defective and water is getting into the cylinder (s). Excessive use of oil, especially if there are no oil spots on the ground beneath the vehicle, can be another indication of head gasket problems. Continuing to drive a vehicle so burdened can result in lack of power, "bucking" back-firing and possibly seizing of the engine. Sounds like this Saturn didn't have a chance with this owner. Gotta take care of them!

13th Sep 2006, 20:09

I just bought a used saturn sl 1992 1 1/2 months ago.Apparently the noises I heard on the way home from school was the timing belt going and a piston breaking off bouncing around in the engine. Now it sits here useless. I need to know is a 96 engine compatible for a replacement engine in my 92? I know it is a 96 dual engine and I would need the computer chip. My engine is an single engine 92. Please someone help.

14th Sep 2006, 07:08

Yes, the 96 engine will work with your 92, but as you said, you'll need to replace the PCM (computer) since it's the DOHC engine.

16th Mar 2009, 10:20

To the above comments:

Saturns have timing chains, not belts. Unless the car was run low on oil, the timing chains generally last the service life of the engine.

Average review marks: 7.2 / 10, based on 38 reviews