1996 Saturn SL SL2 1.9 from North America


Good first car


I find my little friend is very thirsty for oil find myself filling her up all the time and the oil light doesn't warn you when it needs to be filled up.

Bearing on the front wheels needs changing often.

The seals around the windows are finish.

Child safety lock well locked the door shut for good...

General Comments:

All around I like my saturn wouldn't run out and buy another, but this one hasn't given me a heart ache yet, beside my in-laws have a 1992 saturn and she still looks good and over 300 000 so they can't be that bad.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th June, 2004

24th Jun 2004, 16:23

Good average car. After 8 years had almost no rust. Regular maintenance is a bit too regular (every 3 month) and pricey.

Engine head recently cracked, but since I took good care of my car, and always went to Saturn dealer, Saturn Canada offered to pay for the head if I paid for the time and for the other parts which I considered to an be acceptable deal.

I'm not totally happy, but not unhappy neither.

1996 Saturn SL SL2 1.9 liter from North America


If you're looking for a nice, deep hole to throw money into, this is your car


The driver side door and the sun roof leak water. I took it to a Saturn dealer 8 months ago, and paid good money to have them both sealed. Well, it didn't last long, and water literally pours through each whenever it rains hard or I go through a car wash.

The sun roof motor went out two months after I got the car from the dealer.

The oxygen sensor under the hood went out three months ago.

The manifold absolute pressure sensor (MAP sensor) went out 6 months ago.

The catalytic converter went bad last week, and will cost about $1,000 to replace.

It burns through a quart of oil every 500 miles or so.

General Comments:

I thought this was going to be a great buy when I got it, but it has turned out to be quite a hassle.

I regularly change the oil (every 3,000 to 4,000 miles) as well as add oil between changes (see above).

However, the amount of little things that are always going wrong make me very against ever buying a Saturn again.

Reading the other peoples' comments makes me realize how this just isn't a very well built car.

My next car will definitely be a Honda or a Toyota.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th April, 2004

1996 Saturn SL 2 1.9 DOHC from North America


An unsafe money pit


Starter went out within a week of getting the car.

Alternator went out about a week and a half later.

Starter went out again a week after that.

Engine fan motor died.

Coolant system leaks rapidly (refill every 3 days)

Valve gasket wore out.

Engine Belt tensioner wore out.

Air Conditioning Compressor Rattles badly.

Sunroof stopped opening and started leaking.

Front Sway bar bracket broke off.

Transmission failing.

Hesitation going into reverse.

Electrical system generally poor.

Poor-quality plastic components kept breaking.

Brake Master Cylinder failed.

Rear right drum cylinder burst, causing complete brake system failure.

Oil leaked onto spark plug, causing failure of plug.

General Comments:

I have no idea why I bought another Saturn.

This car was usually fun to drive and has a surprisingly high level of performance for what it is.

However, in the first month owning the car, we spent almost 1000 dollars on repairs, and subsequently spent more than 4000 over the next 8 months on various other problems - unacceptable for a $3700 car.

The brakes on this car were absolutely horrible. Beyond the numerous small issues with the brakes, the system itself is fundamentally poor and was the cause of the demise of both this and my previous car (also a Saturn).

The transmission is no prize either - even on a good day it's not smooth, and on a bad day it's downright jerky. The car also had serious problems shifting into reverse.

Beyond that, the electrical system on this car was horrible. The starter died twice, the alternator died once, and fuses blew on a regular basis.

The interior is made of some of the cheapest material I've come across - I get higher quality product from McDonald's.

Don't be tempted by the price tag - steer clear of these disasters.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th March, 2004

4th Sep 2004, 00:13

I have the exact same year and model of car with 183,000 miles on it without replacing anything, but spark plugs. Go figure!

17th Sep 2004, 11:41

I have 1996 with 172,000 miles on it. Other than a new generator, couple of brake jobs, and two sunroofs going out, it has been a very good vehicle.