1996 Saturn SL Reviews - Page 14 of 24

1996 Saturn SL SL2 2.2 from North America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 2.2 Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.0 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance38000 miles
Previous carDodge Colt

Summary:

Never again

Faults:

I bought this car over a Civic because of the reviews and that fact that Honda's were stolen frequently. Well, I kept in the the garage and had it well maintained. At 35,000 miles (2 years ago) it needed a new transmission. Now it still bucks and growls and I fear it is going out again, at only 38,500 miles! The warning light comes on yet no one can find any problem with it. I put in a brand new battery yet on cold mornings it doesn't turn over. The right front passenger door has a broken hinge that prevents it from not swinging wildly. The dealer-installed alarm never worked right and the dealer wanted money to fix it! I will never buy a Saturn again, although when it gets going, it is a rather smooth ride. In 1999 I bought a Subaru Impreza for my family and the difference in handling and reliability is remarkable; 40,500 miles and no problems! I will divorce my Saturn "family"! When I complained about the tranny, they wanted to buy back the SL2 with 35000 miles on it and sell me a new model. Such confidence in their product!

General Comments:

Shouldn't need a new tranny at 35,000 miles at a cost of over $2000!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th October, 2004

1996 Saturn SL 2 1.9 from North America

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 1.9 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 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)
7.4 / 10
Distance when acquired18 miles
Most recent distance120000 miles
Previous carDodge Shadow

Summary:

Gets me to and from work, but we use the Subaru on trips

Faults:

Steering Rack (recalled)

Brake Master Cylinder replaced at 110,000 miles.

Muffler replaced 118,000 miles.

Rattles.

Eats Oil.

General Comments:

Still gets 35 mpg at 120,000 miles, but eats about a quart a month. Rattles a bit and started clunking a little about 2000 miles ago. Gets pushed around a little in strong winds. Overall repairs have been few. Paint on spoiler started peeling about 6 months ago (6.5 years old).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th August, 2004

1996 Saturn SL from North America

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 4 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.8 / 10
Distance when acquired13 miles
Most recent distance65555 miles
Previous carHonda Civic

Summary:

Do not buy a Saturn!

Faults:

Steering shakes when driving 55-60 miles per hour. Car was recalled for steering, but I still have the problem. The car requires frequent wheel balancing also.

Crack in engine block at less than 64,000 miles.

Oil in coolant reservoir causing a thick mud-like liquid. The oil runs low and car overheats.

I have replaced thermostat, fan, frequent flushing of coolant, frequent oil changes.

Finally I have replaced the engine for cracked block which cost $1700. The new engine, only three months old, has now started with the same problem.

General Comments:

In researching the problem I have found many people with the same problem I am having.

Saturn released a "Special Policy" in 1999 regarding problem in which a faulty mold causing block to crack. They will only cover the cars for 6 years from first service up to 100,000 miles, which ever comes first.

My car is now too old, but only has 65,000 miles with two faulty engine blocks. It seems like they have created an umbrella for themselves so they will not be liable.

Has anyone thought of a class action suit?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th August, 2004

29th Aug 2004, 01:46

Oil in coolant reservoir causing a thick mud-like liquid. The oil runs low and car overheats.

That stuff is called Bar-Soal (don't know exactly how to spell it). If you bought it used, or something there was a problem with the radiator leaking..Basically, you put the stuff in, and it clogs up the holes after a while. The problem is that the stuff is still in there! clogging up your radiator, and making it overheat. I bought my SL2 used, and it the exact same thing! Just get somebody knows how to flush them right to flush it out for you... The person who did mine instead of just running flush through it or whatever actually had to go in, remove all the radiator hoses, run a water hose through them to get it out.

That'll take care of that problem. And that is the reason that your engine block cracked, and really is your problem altogether. My car got so hot that my spark plug cracked, and then seeped oil down in it. I was lucky I didn't crack a head though (dunno how it didn't). So, get that taken care of, and your car will probably be fine. Mine would also use a lot of oil, but that is cuz your car burns it up! (literally).

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