1996 Saturn SL 1 4 cylinder from North America

Summary:

Not a Toyota, but a good small car

Faults:

Headliner detached at 120000 miles.

Uses 1 qt oil every 2000 miles.

Dealer says a motor mount is broken, but it has been that way for 6 years and not been a problem. Rest of motor mounts must be holding.

Idler pulley began to squeal at 115000 and had to be replaced.

Needs freon charge every 6 months or so.

Replaced water pump 1 time.

General Comments:

I purchased this car used from the original owner as a starter car for my daughter who, at the time, was a junior in HS. She just received her 4 year degree in May 08, and the car is still running strong 6 years later at 128000 miles. The car is 12 years old.

When I drive it, I slide the seat all the way to the rear and I am comfortable enough. There would be little room in the back seat when I drive. My daughter is smaller, and she can get 3 of her girlfriends in with no problem.

The aluminum block uses oil and I constantly have to remind her to check the oil level. She carries a spare quart or two in the trunk, and adds oil from time to time. You can't just ignore the oil level once these engines get a little mileage on them.

I paid $3600 when I bought it used, and it is now worth about $2000. Gas mileage is about 25 in town with the automatic. Not a bad deal for the money spent.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th June, 2008

1996 Saturn SL SL1 from North America

Summary:

This car can take a licking and keep on kicking

Faults:

Replaced the head at 130,000 miles.

Replaced the tensioner and alternator twice.

General Comments:

I drive cars until they die. I am an office equipment technician and run 150 to 250 miles a day.

I have owned 2 Saturn SL1 models; a 96 and 97. My first was sold at 125000 miles, and my most recent was junked at 250,000. I could not ask for more from a car.

Yes, the alternator is hard to replace, but as far as reliability, this car was great. Up until it died I was still getting 30 mpg.

If I could find another low mileage Saturn of the same make, I would buy it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th June, 2008

1996 Saturn SL 2 1.9 DOCH from North America

Summary:

Good car if you don't mind working on it

Faults:

I like my car because it is paid off. Although I've had my moments of frustration. I've done all of the work on the car myself saving me about 1000 dollars. I highly recommend buying a Chilton repair manual if you plan on doing the work yourself and prepare to get dirty.

I first replaced the water pump at 175,000. The bearings on the pulley went out and leaked profusley. It cost me 70.00. I also replaced the drive belt at this time.

I then had to replace the radiator after it cracked at 192,000. It cost $115. This was due in part to the contents of my overfill cap deteriorating into the overfill tank. If your cap is rotting get a new one for about 13.00 at your Saturn dealer. It could save you a lot of trouble.

Most recently I replaced the spark plugs and the plug wires and have saved myself about 10.00 a week in gas and gained some horse power. One of the plug holes had oil in it so I replaced the valve cover gasket. In all this project cost me $80.00.

I replaced the upper and lower engine mounts at 196,000. My car used to vibrate and rattle and now it feels like a new car. Cost $80.00.

I replaced the belt tension-er at 194,000. It would make a loud rattling noise especially if the AC was on. Cost $70.00.

I have also had the headliner replaced.

I change the brakes and the oil myself.

General Comments:

Good car if you don't mind working on it.

Take good care of your transmission. My reverse takes a second to engage after I put it in gear.

Like I said before I like my car because it is paid off. But you will have problems.

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

Review Date: 4th June, 2008