1995 Saturn SL SL2 1.9 DOC from North America
Drove the loaner more than my own car!
Have to replace it, forcing me to drive a loaner for 2 weeks because they had to order the part.
One month after they fixed the transmission, the battery needed to be replaced. I thought that was off since it was "Certified" and was not off the lot for more than 2 months. The warranty did not cover the battery, so I had to buy their battery for $150.
A month and a half after the battery died, my rear driver side power window quit working.
Two weeks after that was fixed, the rear passenger side window quit working.
Three months later, I started to get a squealing from under the hood for 5 - 10 minutes when the car was first started. I took it into the dealership and they told me that one of my fan belts needed replacing, which I found rather odd since the engine used a serpentine belt, therefore there was only one belt to replace. When I challenged them, they decided to look at the car more closely and needed to replace the tensioner. Since the part needed to be back-ordered, I had to wait another 2 weeks for it to be fixed. Of course, they somehow didn't want to reassemble the fan assembly, therefore I had another loaner car.
Shortly after getting the car back, the front driver-side window started to leak. When I took it into the dealership, they told me that it was the window seals and that I needed to pay them $250 to replace them since it was not under warranty. I paid the $250, and they kept the car overnight (Yes, another loaner). When I got the car back, the seals started leaking not more than 3 days after they had replaced them. Demanded my money back and wanted them to replace at no cost. They refused to do either, and told me that if I wanted them fixed, it would be another $250! Decided to go through the BBB, and it took almost 2 months for them to finally replace the seals, but still did not get my money back. About two weeks later, the passenger side window started to leak. Went through the whole process again, less the $250.
Then, the big problem happened. While driving back to Chicago from Milwaukee, I noticed that the engine started to lope from time to time while I was cruising at highway speeds. I took the car into the dealership and had them look at the engine. Two days later, they decided to replace the EGR valve.
As soon as I drove the car off the lot, it started lopeing again, but much worse this time. I made a U turn and went back to the dealership and explained that the car was acting up again. They kept the car overnight, and decided that it was a head gasket. Of course, they blamed me for the head gasket and wanted me to pay out of pocket because the warranty did not cover abusive driving. After going through the BBB once again, they replaced the gasket (the car sat at the dealership for two weeks during that time).
After I picked up the car, not more than three blocks away at a stoplight, the car began to lope again. This time, it was much worse than before. The RPM would drop from about 750 to 300. Finally, the engine died. I took the car back that night, and they told me that I was "imagining" the engine problem. Of course, when I offered to have a mechanic ride with me, they said it was a liability that they could not take.
Two days later, they called me and told me that they replaced the spark-plug wires. Again, picked up the car and it did the same thing. This time, thankfully, it did it while it was still in the bay, and a mechanic heard the problem. Car was there another week.
When they called me back, they said that they could not identify the problem, and I would be forced to live with the problem. At this time, I had retained a lawyer and started to sue under the Illinois Lemon Law.
Almost a year later, they settled out of court and I dumped the car the night I got the check. The car's condition only gotten worse during the litigation, and they still refused to acknowledge the problem.
I'm sure that Saturn has made some good cars, but this car was the worse piece of junk I had ever owned. The service made it even worse. The only good thing was that I actually drove the loaner car MORE than my own car, so I was driving a newer car every few weeks.
Although the exterior style of the car was nice, the interior road noise and handling was awful. Conversations above 50 MPH were non-existent.
The engine revved high for highway speeds. At 65 MPH, the car would rev at about 5,000 RPM. Way too much for a 4-cylinder.
The rain-gutter on the roof was a joke. If you opened the door after while the car was wet, you would get a nice puddle on the seat.
The button for "Normal" and "Performance" was a joke. It was supposed to force the transmission to shift at higher RPM when merging onto the highway, but they needed to add a few extra gerbils to the engine before any improvement could be seen.
Probably the most uncomfortable, noisy, and rough riding car I have ever owned.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 22nd July, 2002
23rd Jul 2002, 19:42
I agree totally my friend. I owned a 1993 Saturn SL2, and can honestly say this car was the absolute pits in terms of reliability and quality engineering. I myself never bothered with the main dealers, as the vehicle was out of warranty. These cars go wrong once a month. The car burned so much oil, it was as if I needed an oil tanker behind me! We warn everyone we can to stay away from Saturn. We are now huge Japanese fans!