1996 Saturn SL SL2 16v from North America


Modern day Vega


Nothing. Just added new brake pads at 60,000 miles and flushed out the brake fluid. Radiator flush at 40,000 miles.

New fuel filter at 60,000 miles for $85.

A new fuel filter was only $3 on my old truck!

General Comments:

Comfortable once you get in. Ridiculously low seating. This car reminds me of a Ford Pinto or Vega, due to its low seating and coarse engine.

Nice clutch with very little takeup.

The shifting action feels like broken glass.

Suprisingly light curb weight for a car with very heavy doors.

I see it as a modern day Vega rather than a Toyota competitor. At least the Saturn is reliable.

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

Review Date: 20th September, 2001

24th Feb 2003, 13:00

Until this year, my wife and I were happy with our 1996 Saturn SL2. However, enough has happened in the last 10 months to make us decide never to buy a Saturn again. First a mechanic noticed rust on the frame. He said he had never seen that before on a Saturn and advised us to get rid of the car. (I wish I had taken his advice.) Last April the alternator went out. In the middle of the summer the engine needed to be replaced at 73,000 miles. Last month the car had a cracked ignition cylinder. Now we have a problem with the fuel injection. I am amazed that so much has gone wrong with the car in such a short period of time (and so soon after the warranty ran out). We have put well over $3000 into the car in the last 10 months, and if we had let the Saturn dealership do the engine, our total would have been closer to $4500. I can't say that all 1996 Saturns are bad cars, but ours certainly is.

1996 Saturn SL SL2 1.6 from North America


A fun, fast little car!!


At 52,403 miles the electronic ignition module was replaced, but this was covered under the warranty.

Sunroof motor and cable broke and it will cost $500.00 to replace them.

General Comments:

I love this car and so do all my kids, it has a great sound system and is a fast sporty car. I taught my 16 year old daughter to drive it and she had no problem, it is a easy to drive manual.

The dealership has always been great and will help you work on your own car if you want to.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th October, 2000

1996 Saturn SL SL2 1.9 DOHC 4 Cyl from North America


If you buy a Saturn, you're buying a sporty, reliable, friend!


Standard maintenence and tune-ups.

Clutch wore out around 150,000 miles, which is to be expected.

Cam cover gasket and valve gaskets are in need of replacing.

General Comments:

Two months after buying this car I hit a deer. The hood was bent and pushed back, also the headlights were broken from their mounts. After an afternoons worth of work, the hood was fixed and all other parts that were bent or broken were either fixed or replaced. About a year later I was cut off on a bridge and was pushed into the right side of it. This took out my passenger side mirror, and did extremely minor damage to the outside of the car.

This car was also driven by my stepfather for many miles with little or no oil. Surprisingly after a few quarts of oil the car still ran and no major damage was done.

A panal truck ran a red light and T-boned the passenger side. After replacing the rear tire, the car was back on the road. A year later I was able to get the door panel and rear quarter-panel replaced since the original was shattered. The car runs fine.

At 183000 miles, some work is needed, but nothing that a car which was beaten to death all its life and has 183000 miles on it would not need.

GREAT WORK SATURN, you made a car that I have fallen in love with and will never part with. I would buy an additional Saturn in a heartbeat.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th July, 2000

8th Jan 2001, 20:37

I have one and it's a piece of crap. Everything that has gone wrong with a car has gone wrong with mine. All Saturn wants is more money!

7th Dec 2008, 19:51

I have owned my 1996 Saturn SL2 for 13 years and have 119,000 miles on the odometer.

Good points:

No fluid or oil leaks at all on my car since new.

Good AC and electrical system, transmission works great.

Four cupholders and good glove box and storage.

36-39mph fuel economy on the highway with family in car.

Very reliable and fun to drive, good sized trunk space.

Easy to fix yourself and parts are inexpensive (But not from Saturn dealer) I change my own oil.

Polymer plastic body panels do not dent, my car still looks new after 13 years.

Cons: Doors are drafty, seats are uncomfortable, brakes rotors will always warp, no underhood light for engine compartment, top motor mount and transmission mount had to be replaced.

1996 Saturn SL ??? from North America


Nothing so far (knock on wood).

General Comments:

Bought this car as a flood title - and still it's the best car I've ever owned!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th June, 1998