1997 Saturn SL SL2 from North America


A Very Good Buy, Even if used with high mileage


Very soft brakes since purchase.

No IP cluster lights.

No working tail lights.

General Comments:

The dashboard rattles a little bit, but I'm used to it. A little slow up hills, but that can be expected from a 4-cylinder, and stays in 2nd gear even with push on the gas pedal. All in all I love my Saturn and am very pleased with it. Very comftorble seats and spacious in the back.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th May, 2006

1997 Saturn SL SL2 16v - DOHC from North America


Will never buy another Saturn


Driver seat adjustment lever broke.

Headliner fell off (down).

Fuel Pump.

Tachometer stuck at 1,000 RPM.

Electric motor for left rear window.

Uses 1-qt of oil every 1,500 miles, despite having no leaks.

Intermittent fault with Air Bag light/sensor (problem can't be found).

Rubber guides on all four windows are worn out, making a squealing sound when the windows are raised or lowered.

Clutch shot at 80,000 miles.

Both front indoor panels rattle.

Automatic locking mechanism on driver front left door broke.

Front suspension (tie-rod ends) shot at 70,000 miles.

General Comments:

I've owned many vehicles and am a competent mechanic. I bought my Saturn from a dealership and have all the maintenance records. I was looking for a good, reliable used car to commute to and from work (about 10-miles).

Despite ALL maintenance being done and the car being driven very gently, it is falling apart. I've never owned such an unreliable car. Very disappointed. The actual mileage I obtain is about 20% to 25% lower than the manufacturer claims.

The car burns at least a quart of oil every 1,500 miles, despite no apparent leaks and good compression checks. Everything on the car rattles.

My previous car was a Nissan Sentra SE-R, which I sold at almost 200,000 miles only because I needed a bigger back seat and four doors.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th April, 2006

25th Apr 2006, 14:29

It seems (after reading many, many Saturn reviews on this very site) that Saturns are unreliable to say the least. Still though, you can always expect fuel economy that is less than what the EPA or manufacturer claims.

26th Apr 2006, 07:34

Lousy mileage out of a 1.9 4-cylinder? Clutch shot at 80k?

Sounds like you need to learn how to drive.

1997 Saturn SL sl-1 1.9 I-4 from North America


Great car for the money


Battery goes bad every 5 years or so.

Horn recall 1 month after purchase.

Alternator recall 3 months after purchase.

Computer chip went dead after 200,000 mile marker.

Consumes oil quickly.

General Comments:

This car has been a great daily driver. first purchased brand new in 97 and other than general recalls, no problems. great gas mileage even after 200,000+ miles. the five speed is a wonder too drive, if not only a little to soft, but you get used to it pretty quickly. the rear tires wear oddly, but routine rotation keeps all in check. the clutch just went bad on it, original clutch too. but I was still able to drive it from San Jose to Sacramento (135 miles) without it doing serious damage. not a comfortable car, but for $11,000 brand new out the door, I wasn't expecting it to wrap me in luxury.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th December, 2005

1997 Saturn SL SL2 1.9 liter DOHC from North America


It is underrated


I bought my 97 Saturn in 1998. It had been totaled. If the auto body shop, that was supposed to be life-time guaranteed hadn't have been so false I doubt I would have had any problems with it. But at over 100,000 miles I had to replace the valve body.

General Comments:

My 97 Saturn SL2 is underrated. I check the mileage all the time and it gets 33 m.p.g. around home and 36 to 41 m.p.g. driving on a trip. When I take it on vacation we drive up to 15 hours. going on average 80 m.p.h.

I am an average person and it fits me fine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd October, 2005

1997 Saturn SL SL2 from North America


Comfortable, reliable, economical transportation.


After I first got this car, check engine light came on all the time. Engine was misfiring. Replaced spark plugs, wires, tune up. Finally Replaced ERG Valve. Fixed the problem.

Serious squeaks and moans in the dash and windows. I have gotten used to it.

Mysteriously uses oil.

Tires, brakes, Normal maintenance.

I enjoy the car, and do not mind adding oil every 1000 miles.

General Comments:

This is a very comfortable car to drive. Air conditioning blows "Ice Cold" Great gas Mileage. took 2500 mile trip and averaged 34 MPG. Great in the Cold, rain and snow. Zippy around town for 4 cylinders. I crashed into a Toyota Previa and caused a few thousand dollars in damage to the Toyota. I few scratches on my Saturn. Dent resistant sides are amazing. Would definatly think about buying another Saturn.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th September, 2005