1995 Saturn SL SL1 1.9 SOHC from North America


Very reliable, had some chronic issues but nothing making it undrivable


Issues with warping brake rotors, finally after a couple sets I went with Brembo rotors and had no problems with warping.

The engine has always burned oil and more so now that it is approaching 200K, switching to 10-40 has helped.

Replaced EGR Valve at around 100K.

Replaced the O2 Sensor twice up to now.

Replaced belt tensioner.

Water Pump Failed at around 170K. (It was making noises so I knew it was going out.)

Been through 3 batteries total over the 14 years (just replaced one at 185K).

General Comments:

Handles reasonably well. Is very economical, I got 40+MPG on the HWY when new, now it gets 35-38MPG on the HWY.

The engine has good low end torque so you can stay in a high gear much of the time to get good MPG.

The drivers seat is showing its age but overall the wear on the car is pretty minimal. I keep it clean inside and out and this has helped with the longevity.

I believe this car may make it to 250K without any major issues. We are getting a new car because the original clutch may not last that long and is $1000 shop replacement cost. Also this car is pretty small so we needed something a bit bigger for our family.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th August, 2008

1995 Saturn SL SL2 1.9 DOHC from North America


Safe and reliable


Positive battery terminal would occasionally work itself loose, causing the car to lose all power.

Sunroof would only open partially.

In heavy rain, the door gaskets leaked.

General Comments:

I bought the car in March of 2002 from a salvage yard. The car had been t-boned on the driver side right by the rear fender well and rear door. After welding in a new lock pillar, and hanging a new rear passenger door, quarter panel, and rocker panel, the car drove like a dream.

It had great performance for a 4 cylinder, and the AC would turn the car into a freezer within a few minutes of operation.

We took the car on many long trips, as well as drove it daily.

The only huge out of pocket expense on repairs wasn't even the car's fault; the positive battery terminal would loosen about a quarter turn periodically, causing the car to lose all power, This happened to my then wife at the time. She called me at work and asked me what to do; I educated her for the hundredth time on how to use the ratchet in the glove box with the appropriate size socket on it for the battery to tighten the battery cable bolt. This appeared too difficult for her, so she called a "friend" of her's that ran a local lube shop. He "hooked her up" on the towing and repair bill, this consisted of "replacing" the fuel injectors, the coil packs, and the 40.00 set of Bosch quad platinum spark plugs I had just installed the week before on a tune up, with a 4.00 set of cheap Champion plugs. He also "replaced" the valve cover gasket; this replacement gasket was nothing more than blue RTV sealer and lots of it. His "friend" discount was 450.00.

Upon trying to leave the shop, the power issue reappeared. After getting home from work, I read the service sheet of what was supposedly done, popped the hood of the car and saw that we had been ripped off and started laughing. I took my wife out and showed her the "work" that was performed by her "friend", after getting hit for asking her how it felt to get raped by a friend, when all she had to do was tighten the battery terminal (which I again demonstrated righty tighty, lefty loosey for her.) I was then instructed to make it not happen again, this was easily fixed by using a chisel and hammer to slighty burr some of the threads on the bolt which caused a tighter fit.

Unfortunately I lost the car in our divorce, and 30 days to the day our divorce was final, my ex-wife managed to total the car again for the second time in its life. She was T-boned on the passenger side smack on the windshield pillar. These little plastic panelled cars are just tanks in disguise; she was hit by a BMW X5 SUV going about 40 mph. And that SUV only managed to move the windshield pillar less than 6 inches towards the center of the car. I have been doing body work for over 12 years, and I have seen more expensive cars fare worse in lesser collisions. I absolutely loved this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st June, 2008