1994 Saturn SL -2 Twin Cam 1.9L DOHC from North America


Reliable Economy Car


I have owned this car for two years and have not had too many major problems.

Front brakes and brake light switch needed replacement at 90,000 miles.

Alternator blew at 95,000 miles.

Battery is in need of replacement, probably from the alternator burn out.

Most recent is an oil pan leak and a transmission fluid leak.

General Comments:

Overall not a bad vehicle. For the most part all work performed since purchase has been routine maintenance with the exception of the alternator and the oil/transmission leaks.

Pickup could be better, but is not horrible for a car this size.

Not the most comfortable car around, the seats are very uncomfortable.

Not a big fan of the automatic seat belts as they lock up when they shouldn't.

Still on original exhaust system.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th March, 2003

1994 Saturn SL (base model) not sure, about 80 HP from North America




This is not a luxury car (about 13K new), so you get what you pay for. But overall, you get a lot for your money.

The dash is created from several different parts, which causes mysterious buzzing from time to time, as these parts rub against each other. Apparently, modern Saturns don't have this design flaw.

This car is definitely 9 years old.

Some of the plastic parts have cracked with age, unfortunately, these are parts that hold interior pieces in place. These are cosmetic faults that were fixed with a little ingenuity(such as velcro), not serious mechanical faults. The cloth on the seats have faded somewhat (due to the California sun).

The car is somewhat underpowered (newer Saturns have higher horsepower), so sometimes you'd like more power when passing or on the freeways. It's more of a reliable car than a sporty speedster.

The stock radio is nothing special, so I replaced it with a Kenwood CD player and Polk Speakers. I don't blame Saturn for putting an average radio in a budget car.

The seat belts actually have two parts, and the upper part moves when you open the door. Saturn has (thankfully) eliminated this clumsiness in later years. It's annoying to have to explain the seat belt system before people get in the car.

General Comments:

Although I've had this car for almost 9 years, the total amount I've spent on repairs is only about $300. I had to replace the alternator and battery a few years ago. So, in summary, this has been a very reliable car.

Of course, I'm not counting normal wear and tear maintenance, such as the usual oil and filter changes, and the occasional new brake pads and tires. But overall, maintenance has been very inexpensive.

Would I get another Saturn? I bought the 1994 SL when I first entered the job market. Now that I can afford a more luxurious sporty car, I'm not sure if I'd buy another Saturn. But I would certainly recommend Saturn as someone's first car, or for people on a tight budget.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th March, 2003

1994 Saturn SL SL2 from North America


Piece of junk that the company doesn't stand behind


We purchased this car for my then 16 year old daughter from the Saturn Dealer. We did not purchase an extended warranty (mistake). In 6 weeks, the engine threw a rod, and we had to replace the engine. Within 3 months, it was a new transmission. The car is literally falling apart; the interior plastic fittings have all come loose, and are now held together by screws. The plastic fittings throughout the car are bad - from the fan that opens and shuts, to the shift, the windows are leaking and the dashboard and all of the vinyl sides are cracking or breaking apart as well.

The exterior finish looks lousy as well. Most recently, it looks like it may need a new radiator - the coolant light comes on and no one can exactly diagnose what's wrong. Seats have a soggy, caved in feeling. Nothing works well in this car.

I would never consider purchasing another Saturn!

General Comments:

When it's working, it handles OK. That's about the only positive thing I can say!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd March, 2003

7th Oct 2008, 18:32

Instead of throwing a rod, keep it oiled and don't over rev it.

9th May 2010, 04:31

As for your cooling light coming on, you need to replace the fan sensor, which is on the driver's side under the valve cover. It's pretty easy to get to and will cause an over heating problem. Don't be an idiot like the previous owner of mine that let it go so bad it blew the head gasket. Worst mistake of buying a used car that I ever made, buying a used Saturn. I have to do a lot of mechanical repairs to mine.