1993 Saturn SL 1.9L single cam from North America


Good trouble-free car.


A seal of the power steering leaked (at around 120000km), causing the belt to slip and throw oil under the hood.

Developed bad rust in the rear doors sills and less bad, but still not good, rust in the metal part beside the rear doors triangle-shaped window.

Plastic trim on A-pillar (beside the windshield) loosened. No easy or inexpensive fix found. Looks bad, but not a problem.

General Comments:

For an econobox, the car has great handling, behaves very well in the snow (with winter tires, factory 4 seasons Firestone are VERY BAD in the snow).

The 89hp engine is appropriate. By no means a "fast" car, but the performance is decent. But the engine could be softer.

The polymer body panels really are a plus. Didn't dent, crack or anything. And the paint still looked like new after 8 years without any particular care.

Fuel economy is great. Used to pull around 600km from a full tank.

Interior is OK. Functional. Seats are average, not very good for long trips.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th February, 2002

26th Aug 2004, 13:05

I also have a 1993 SL2 that developed bad rust in the rear passanger door sill and the rear drivers side window frame. I took the car to Saturn and tried to have it repaired, since this type of problem is clearly due to poor rustproofing or sealing. After several consultations and letters, they refused to pay anything, saying I was the only person they heard of with this complaint. Apparantly there are others.

28th Apr 2010, 21:41

I have the rust also... thought it was just because it was old. I've had mine 17 years now... had to replace engine at 100k... love the panels!!! Best idea ever... wish others would do it.

My car still looks awesome after 17 years!! My friend hit me pretty hard on the side of my car and not a scratch! Any other car would have been crunched. Now have to buy another car, and hate thought of buying a regular paneled car!

1993 Saturn SL SL2 2.2 liter 4 cylinder from North America


Very poor investment if kept longer than the warranty


1 month after the standard warranty ran out the alternator failed for the first time. After much arguing with the dealer they finally replaced it for $100. I'm now on my 4th one with 89,000 miles.

The engine also began heavy knocking. Saturn's service department told me they could fix the timing chain for around $2,000. I called my local shop who informed me there is a TSB regarding the timing chain - they'd fix it but said Saturn should take care of it (the TSB reported the orifice on the idler pulley was designed too small putting excessive tension on the chain causing premature stretch). Not only did Saturn's service department claim ignorance, but also the service manager and the home office in TN. When we showed the manager the TSB he finally admitted to knowing about the situation, but still wanted to charge us $600 to fix. Again after a great deal of arguing, they repaired it for $100.

The seals on the water pump blew at 85,000 miles.

The check engine light has remained on for the past year.

The brake pedal, when applied the first time after starting, does something that feels like it's losing pressure then pulses back to position. Our shop says this is not right, although Saturn assures me it is.

The seat belt carriage stays in the 'open door' position about half the time.

I also have all the rattles, creaks and engine vibrations.

General Comments:

Their attitude changed the minute the warranty ran out.

The doors may not ding, but the paint chips easily.

The home office is as bad to talk to as the dealership. They all but told us they don't care what problems we've had, they won't be responsible for anything - even design flaws.

One thing it does well is handle in snow and ice with traction control.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th January, 2002

24th Jan 2002, 14:43

I also have a '93 Saturn and have noticed upon starting and putting it in reverse that the brake pedal would lose pressure, the car would start backing up faster and would then reset when I pushed it in. Very disturbing. I just figured it's part of the car and got used to it. It's a possible safety hazard though.