1997 Saturn SL SL2 from North America


Fun to drive, sporty, reliable


Transmission sensor triggered the check engine light to appear.

My 1997 Saturn SL2 has been very good to me. I bought the car in August of 2006 for only $2,500 with only 64,000 miles on it. It now has about 93,000 miles on it.

The check engine light appeared, and I noticed the temperature was running extremely cold. I took it Autozone and they hooked it up to their "code" detector device, and it spit out a code for the transmission sensor. The car runs perfect still.

If anyone knows anything about this, please let me know. My email address is chicagodog88@hotmail.com

Thank you.

General Comments:

This Saturn SL2 has been very good to me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th December, 2007

1997 Saturn SL 1 from North America


Great little car so far, but watch the oil or you're toast!


Air conditioner compressor went out.

Fuel pump.

Radiator (mechanic knocked a hole in it while replacing the air conditioner)

Seats sag and are torn, even with covers.

Oxygen sensor went out.

Habitual oil burner, starting at 80000; 1 q per 500 miles with no leak or blue smoke.. no clue where the oil was going... found out there is a service call out on this car for sticking rings. Took it in to have it looked at, after several mechanics said it was in need of a new engine.

Find a mechanic who knows about the service recall, and have them flush out the crankcase with a special detergent.. it unstuck my rings, and we shall see if that fixes the problem.. just hoping there was no damage to the rings themselves before the problem was found.. if there was then I will ditch the car as I'm not going to pay close to $4000 for a new engine, which is the next step... Will just drive it until it dies, and then get a new car..

General Comments:

So far I have loved this car, and it has been extremely reliable. Just watch the oil!!!

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

Review Date: 3rd August, 2007

1997 Saturn SL from North America


A dependable runner, with a few odd quirks


The dome light goes on by itself occasionally when the switch is set to "door."

The door bell goes on and off arbitrarily. (Turning all lights and knobs to 'off' before turning the car off seems to help it do this less often.)

The left bright headlight refused to work for the 3 years I owned it, even after a change of light bulb and examination of the wiring. I did not personally try replacing the entire light system.

General Comments:

Gas mileage was excellent, and even fairly good on short trips.

It started fine in cold weather; before I totalled it in an accident (my fault, not the car's), it was only slow to turn over twice, and even then it still started for me. This was in roughly 0 degree weather.

Its response to the gas pedal was a little slow, but after it caught it had more than enough pep to pass cars on freeways.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th January, 2007

1997 Saturn SL SL1 1.9L from North America


Overall great economy car; worth the money!


Transmission went out at about 180,000 miles.

Sticky gas pedal at about 150,000 miles (new engine fixed that)

Cracked head gasket at 205,000 miles (replaced engine at this point)

Door sealers have began to leak; air, but not water.

Stereo started having issues within the past year; replaced it.

Muffler has rusted out twice; second time we decided just to throw a glass pack on in instead of a stock muffler (sounds pretty good).

General Comments:

I love this car! It has pretty good fuel economy (30-35 mpg) and still has a fair amount of get up and go. The manual transmission is something you would definatly want to look for. This car has really only had one major problem with it. I work at an auto shop, and I have yet to see ANY vehicle with as much mileage as this SL1, and any that were near it were barely running, while the SL1 runs just fine. I could not be happier with this car. If you are looking for a car to get you around or a first car for your teen, I would strongly recommend this one.

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

Review Date: 19th October, 2006

19th Oct 2006, 23:45

You don't see cars with more than 205,000 miles on them? Where do you work. I here stories from my mechanics about V8's with 400,000 miles on them all the time. My mechanic also works on a lot of honda's with that many miles on them too. I have a 1994 Accord with 242,000 miles on it and when ever I take it to the Honda dealer, they don't even bark at the mileage because they get so many like mine and older that have over 300,000 miles on them on one engine and tranny too. Well, happy motoring...

7th Dec 2008, 19:43

If your Saturn SL2 overheats, turn on your AC, this will turn on your engine fan and cool your engine down. Apparently all Saturns do this and people wonder why their engine is hot.

Just turn on your AC for a few minutes and the fan will cool down the engine, then turn off AC when you are cooled down.