1995 Saturn SL -1 from North America


It does the job for now. Can't wait to pay it off


EGR valve went bad

Alternator failed and needed replacement

Air Conditioning drain tube plugged up, causing leakage and mold

Air Conditioning needs frequent recharging, though no leaks were found

Catalytic converter was replaced

Burns oil quickly

Breaks wear quickly.

General Comments:

The car has been OK, but the engine is a chore to keep running. It does not have the power it used to, though there are no major problems with the engine. Many parts are only available from the dealer, and they are expensive.

The one good thing about it is the body. I was hit by an F350 with a grille guard and barely had any damage. Also hit broadside in the driver's door with minor damage.

It has certainly been better than my other junker cars, but when it comes to the engine it's still a GM.

My main regret is having paid for an extended warranty. It was a waste of money and did not even cover the faulty EGR valve.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th March, 2003

1995 Saturn SL 1.9L from North America


Cheap, reliable transportation


The engine is leaking oil from the valve cover gasket or the head gasket. The visor strap is loose and unusable.

General Comments:

I purchased the car to economically commute a distance of 70 km per day. The SOHC 1.9 L engine gets great gas mileage of about 39 miles per gallon in cold weather. It has always started in cold temperatures as low as 30 below. The handling and performance is fine considering that this is a small car.

My 12 year old daughter was not impressed with the dealership as the car was dirty when delivered. She claims that the seats are too low and uncomfortable. She finds the ride rough and the road noise excessive. We live in a cold climate and while the heater is excellent the car does take a while to warm up and it cools down quickly. The lack of cup holders and armrests in the back seat are a constant frustration. The front seat recliner is set too far back to be easily reached.

This car has performed up to expectations. It is a cheap economical car that with the manual transmission gets great gas mileage.

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

Review Date: 23rd February, 2003

1995 Saturn SL SL1 from North America


A real tank, capable of more miles than you'll likely want to put on it


Exhaust system, causing "service engine soon" light to illuminate, has been fixed three times.

General Comments:

After eight years and 160,000 miles, this car is infinitely more reliable than my Ford Escort was.

My Saturn has been hit on the driver's side by a semi, resulting only in cosmetic damage.

It has had a small concrete lip from an overhead bridge fall onto the hood, roof and windshield from thirty feet.

Although denting the roof where the windshield meets the roof, there are no leaks.

The car was rear-ended on the highway on three separate occasions, with no structural damage sustained.

Essentially, this SL1 is a tank, still hanging in there after much abuse and over 160,000 miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th February, 2003

1995 Saturn SL SL2 1.9L - SOHC from North America


Reliability defined


Almost nothing. The horn diaphragm jammed/clogged at 75,000 miles, which I think is the only original part that's given me any trouble. Oh yes, the tumblers in the door locks started getting a bit balky at about 130,000 miles.

General Comments:

The Saturn is a very, very low maintenance vehicle, and very durable. I've driven mine into the ground: almost 90,000 miles in a little over four years (and it had 55,000+ when I got it), but it has caused me very little grief. What few repairs I've had to make have been due to faulty replacement parts and/or mechanic error.

As I've seen many others mention, the serpentine belt on this car can get quite noisy, which is a frustrating annoyance. Also, as others have mentioned, as Saturns get older they start to go through oil like mad. Still, regular and standard maintenance is really all that's required to keep this car on the road.

A few, very minor gripes:

- The car is a tank. The turning radius on Saturns is absolutely horrible, especially for such a compact car.

- The car is very "loosely" built with plastic paneling, and as the car gets older you can expect it to get increasingly noisier from rattling and vibration.

- As others have mentioned, the car doesn't hide road noise well.

- The car is kinda sluggish (especially at lower octanes) and the fuel injectors seem to clog easily. However, I started adding a $10 bottle of fuel injector cleaner every six weeks, and they're still running fine to this day.

But, some good points too:

- Very fuel efficient

- Engine runs quite smoothly, great for long trips.

- A/C and heating are very efficient. The radiator on my Saturn has gotten a lot of work, with temperatures over the course of the year ranging from 15 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit, but I've never had a radiator or coolant issue. I've never had a problem starting or running the car under any conditions.

- Upholstery has held up well.

- Strong electrical system: virtually no problems with fuses, lights, radio or alternator.

All in all, a terrific choice for a person who doesn't know a lot about cars and wants a low-maintenance choice that will just run (e.g., students, etc.).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th January, 2003