1996 Saturn SL Reviews - Page 11 of 24

1996 Saturn SL from North America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10
Distance when acquired50 miles
Most recent distance114000 miles

Summary:

Good general car for the general driver

Faults:

General wear and tear items nothing unexpected. A brake master cylinder went bad though, but at 85000 miles.

General Comments:

This is a great car for the economy minded driver. It's a no-frills vehicle and handles and performs as such. Cheap to buy (originally) and cheap to own.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd August, 2005

1996 Saturn SL Base 1.9 litre from North America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 1.9 litre Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.3 / 10
Distance when acquired90000 kilometres
Most recent distance147000 kilometres
Previous carHonda Accord

Summary:

A good reliable cheaply built car

Faults:

Front struts need replacing around 100,00 kms.

Hood started to rust at around 130,000 kms.

General Comments:

This car handled well and gave good fuel economy and was responsive with the 5 speed manual. Also, the car was very reliable, the only fixes I made were for maintenance purposes only.

But, with the very poor interior build quality and the very poorly designed interior I could not really enjoy it. The lack of sound deadening materials made it difficult to talk while at highway speeds.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th July, 2005

1996 Saturn SL SL1 4 Cylendar from North America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 4 Cylendar Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired25 miles
Most recent distance205455 miles
Previous carSaturn SL

Summary:

I love my Saturn!

Faults:

I've only had to replace the water pump once. That was at 180,000 miles.

I have never had any major problems with my Saturn.

As the mileage went up, it seemed to burn a lot more oil, but that's not a major issue.

The interior is in excellent condition after 9 years.

General Comments:

This is a great first car for a new driver.

My Saturn gets 300 to 350 miles to each full tank of gas!

I do not have any complaints about this vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th April, 2005

1996 Saturn SL SL2 1.9 from North America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.9 Manual
Performance marks 2 / 10
Reliability marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.7 / 10
Distance when acquired124000 miles
Most recent distance137000 miles
Previous carDodge Daytona

Summary:

A lesson learned the hard way

Faults:

Engine light comes on repeatedly for no reason.

Faulty electrical system - car will occasionally not start; but repeated tries will get it to run.

Transmission is weak in the manual models.

Car has a lot of road noise and parts are expensive for a domestic car.

General Comments:

I first found this site while searching for a reason that my 'Service Engine Soon' light kept coming on. We've had our Saturn for over a year, and use it primarily for commuting; it averages about 33mpg. However, it has some quirky problems that really detract from its overall value.

First, there is the aforementioned engine light. From time to time it will come on just out of the blue, yet every time we take it in, there's no code found. What a waste of money! A few days later the light will just go off.

We have the same problem with the radiator light, even though the reservoir is full.

Occasionally, the car will simply not start. We've replaced the battery, and the starter is fine, but there is some quirky electrical problem that does not permit the ignition to engage. If you try repeatedly to start the car when this happens, eventually it will catch. There's no real rhyme or reason to this.

This is a very cheaply made car with considerable road noise. However, the PARTS to fix it are ridiculously expensive. I am hesitant to rely on it for trips that are outside of our "towing range". But all in all, you get what you paid for. We would not buy another Saturn.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th April, 2005

9th Apr 2005, 10:53

Just to let you know, most large auto parts stores (and many independent mechanics) will scan your car for codes free of charge. It's not necessary to take it to the dealer.

15th Nov 2005, 13:39

I was hoping you could clarify the previous comment. It is not clear what action needs to be taken. Thanks!

1996 Saturn SL SL1 4 Cylinder from North America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 4 Cylinder Automatic
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
1.0 / 10
Distance when acquired59000 miles
Most recent distance135000 miles
Previous carGMC N/A

Summary:

Saturn's are great and you get what you pay for!

Faults:

The only problem that I have had with my 1996 SL1 is that a cylinder cracked 3 months after I bought it. Since this was Saturn's fault as a recall, the damage was fixed for free and I got a free rental from them for 4 days! They let me drive their luxury sedan at the time. I liked that car as well. Since then, my car has been running smoothly!

People who complain about fixing things on cars need to grow up. It is a car, it is not meant to last forever! If you treat your car nice and keep it "maintained" your car will perform well. If not, then problems lie ahead for you.

General Comments:

Saturn is a great company. I don't care what anyone says. If you keep up the maintenance like you are supposed, you should have no problem with ANY car you own. This car and other Saturn models are great for college students, which I was when I 1st bought it and I do plan on buying a Vue Red line for myself this X-Mas.

The customer service at all the dealers I have gone too is excellent and they are a different kind of company with different kinds of cars!

I love Saturn!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th March, 2005

Average review marks: 6.5 / 10, based on 84 reviews