1996 Saturn SL Reviews - Page 19 of 24

1996 Saturn SL 2 DOHC from North America

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission DOHC Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.2 / 10
Distance when acquired70000 miles
Most recent distance118653 miles

Summary:

The best first car a girl could ask for!

Faults:

I am a twenty year old female and this was my first car, so needless to say I could have taken better care of it and so could have the previous owner.

The headliner is coming off, but it was already torn when I purchased it. I just have used a spray glue to keep it up.

I have replaced the starter, the alternator, and the head gasket. Although all those replacements have been after 100,000 miles.

General Comments:

I absolutely LOVE my Saturn and I highly recommend them to anyone! Besides, all the problems I have had, the majority of cars have these problems much before I did.

Although the car has been the result of 3 speeding tickets because of it's great get up and go.

It also gets great gas mileage!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th August, 2003

1996 Saturn SL 1 1.9L from North America

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.9L Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.4 / 10
Distance when acquired26 miles
Most recent distance58000 miles
Previous carFord Ranger

Faults:

My "96" Saturn SL1 Sedan has been a very decent car, it has only needed an alternator, battery & front brake rotor, up until now. Recently I noticed oil leaking from it on the passenger side near the coolant tank... Oh No!!!. The oil was in the recovery tank. I e-mailed Saturn about the problem & was informed that my extra warranty for this defect had expired last year (6yrs. or 100,000 miles). Well I'm looking at $2700.00 in bills & crossing my fingers it will still run at least a couple more years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 29th June, 2003

1996 Saturn SL SL2 1.9 Gasoline from North America

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.9 Gasoline Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired14000 miles
Most recent distance158000 miles
Previous carPontiac 1997 Pontiac Grand A

Summary:

Stable driver

Faults:

Alternator replacement 2 times, EGA valve. Rotors, front right caliper assemble, Front Brake pads, and Oil consumption although it passes emissions just fine, can't find the oil egress. Sunroof stopped operating, dealer replaced the Motor and then it worked 2 times, now it is locked shut and I am tired of screwing with either of them.

General Comments:

Car is almost all original and seems to keep going. My goal is 200k. Drives predictably and has great driver ergonomics. Visibility is outstanding. A V6 would have been the ticktet if the dependability was as good as the 4 cylinder.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th June, 2003

1996 Saturn SL 2 1.9 24v from North America

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.9 24v Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance78800 miles
Previous carToyota Camry

Summary:

Tiresomely reliable, occasionally fun

Faults:

Nothing major has broken on this car in six years. It does have an appetite for mufflers, but I live in an area where the roads are heavily salted in the winter so this isn't necessarily a Saturn defect.

I'm still on the original battery and the car fires right up on the coldest days, though this is probably pushing my luck.

There is quite a bit of rust on the bottoms of the doors. Again this is from salt, but there should be better sealing here.

The passenger seat belt is jammed and needs to be replaced.

There are many annoying rattles inside from various plastic parts, which get worse in winter.

The syncro for first gear is going; it's increasingly difficult to shift into first and it requires several tries sometimes. Annoying, but livable.

Saturns are "known" (urban legend) for burning oil. Mine does not. I think people who have this problem did not maintain their cars properly.

General Comments:

This is not a sports sedan, but I tend to drive it like one. Handling is decent and the 24V engine pulls nicely through 4500rpm (dieselishly, there's no point in revving it higher as all you get is more engine noise). Speeds over 80mph are tiring and loud from engine and wind noise, but the car is very nice at 75mph.

Consistent 30-32mpg fuel economy on the highway with the manual trans running 87-octane cheap stuff.

The seats are decent and I have driven 12 hours at a stretch without too much discomfort. Interior materials are of high quality (not the case with new Saturns) and there is no wear of the carpet and upholstery. However the assorted plastics do buzz and rattle especially in the cold.

This is the most reliable car I've owned, but I am ready for something new. I chose "no" about buying another Saturn because the current models are 1) extremely ugly 2) are a poor value and 3) seem made of the cheapest materials.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th June, 2003

19th Feb 2009, 20:30

My Saturn was meticulously maintained and DID eventually begin to burn oil. I'd say it's more likely you're lucky.

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