1996 Saturn SL SL2 from North America


Sounds like a nightmare waiting to happen


I have been considering buying a 1996 Saturn SL2. I found a used one on E-bay for around $1,000. The previous owner recently had a motor mount, brakes, a battery and an alignment serviced or replaced on this car.

General Comments:

After reading your comments and reviewing the problems this owner has had, it seems as though he's just trying to get rid of his trouble. Up to this point, I thought Saturn's were reliable cars. After all, most college students, single families, or older adults seem to be the majority buying these vehicles. I will stick to my Honda's, Toyota's, and Pontiac's.

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

Review Date: 19th October, 2002

7th Nov 2002, 19:23

If you don't own a Saturn, why did you write this review? Not helpful to someone looking for first hand knowledge.

1996 Saturn SL SL2 1.6 dual cam from North America


A great, reliable car; a good first vehicle


At around 65,000 miles, I noticed that the engine was running a little rough. I had it serviced at the dealership and they made an adjustment in the computer. I never had the same problem again.

I replaced the alternator around 80,000 miles.

General Comments:

Like many 4-cylinder vehicles, my Saturn has a little less pick-up while the air conditioning is running.

I find the seats very uncomfortable on a long drive, but for my daily driving to and from work and errands, I have no discomfort at all.

My Saturn still gets an average 26 miles per gallon, a combination of city and highway travel.

This car has been worked hard over its lifetime. My wife and I bought it when we were first engaged. Seven years and two kids later it is still going strong. For most of our marriage (including the present day), it has been our only vehicle, so we have put a lot of miles on it.

I have had no major problems with this car and I plan to keep it until it is no longer drivable, which I think will be a long, long time!

I read some of the other reviews and I think some of the other contributors must not take care of their cars!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th September, 2002

1996 Saturn SL 1.9 from North America


Good overall bang for your buck, but not my pick of the litter!


This was a 1997 base model with manual transmission and was an extremely reliable car. Gas mileage from this vehicle was top notch - I once traveled 425 miles on a full tank from Georgia to Florida and that was even while the A/C was in use. Maintenance costs were reasonable with the exception of spark plugs which was a few hundred dollars every 30,000 miles. Customer service at the dealership was above average and your car was always given a complimentary wash each time it needed its required maintenance at the dealership.

General Comments:

Despite the fact that this is a 1.9 4 cylinder engine, this car definitely does not get awarded top marks for acceleration. However, this baby enjoys speed and will not want to travel under 70 MPH. Handling was excellent for rack and pinion steering, but hydro planing even on the slightest of wet surfaces was a problem.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th June, 2002

1996 Saturn SL 2 1.9 Dual Overhead Cam from North America


A very reliable car with power to boot


The clutch went out at 70,000 miles.

The fuel pump went out at 70,000 miles.

General Comments:

This is one of the hardest cars I've had to find performance parts for.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th May, 2002

1996 Saturn SL 1 from North America


Good until the warranty expires


Horn had to be replaced.

Driver's seat-belt had to be replaced.

Sunroof stopped working, had to replace the motor on it.

Alternator went out at 45,000 miles.

Cigarrete lighter assembly needs to be replaced.

I'm told that the fuel pump is weak and needs to be replaced along with the clutch and temperature sensor.

The dash rattles at speeds over 55 MPH.

General Comments:

I was perfectly happy with my Saturn up until the extended warranty expired. Now that the warranty is up, the dealership is recommending a lot of high cost maintenance.

The dealership here (Champaign, IL) seems a little shady: they didn't notice any problems with the car in August (still warranty) but in January there was $2000 worth of problems when I brought the car in for a routine oil change. The a week after telling me all these problems they called to say there was a "special" warranty of the 97 Saturn's fuel pump. Seems a little strange.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th April, 2002

11th Jul 2004, 04:39

Thank you for your story. I too have had problems with my Saturn recently. I also feel like the dealership here is a little shady. We have had to take our car in 3 times for the same problem in the last month. The last two times we have had to replace the fuel pump and they have no excuse for why we would have to replace the fuel pump twice in a month. I am very unhappy with the way we have been treated and will no longer take my car to a Saturn dealer.

Sincerely Tricia Barker.

26th Mar 2005, 22:08

Late 1996 and all of 1997 Saturn tried a different type of fuel pump from a different supplier. it was not their fault of the fuel pump troubles that's why they put out tech service bulletins