1998 Saturn SL from North America


Great Little Car!


Dimmer switch stopped working so you had to disconnect battery to turn lights off. $500 to fix.

Oil mixed with coolant and caused car to overheat (probably a cracked head gasket..)

General Comments:

This was an absolutely wonderful vehicle! It was given to me by my parents after they had been driving it for years, and I drove it for 4 years and packed a lot of kilometres onto it.

I had very few problems with this vehicle, and cannot complain about it at all.

A very quick little car, great driving car.

My only issue was where the cupholders were located, as if your cup was too big you couldn't shift into first or fifth (depending where your cup was).

It was very reliable, and always got me where I needed to go.

My mechanic still laughs about how I cried when my little car finally died. However, at 314 000 Km... it was time to let her go. So long Red Rocket!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd August, 2010

1998 Saturn SL SL1 1.9 from North America


This has been the best car I ever owned


The only things that have gone wrong with this car are that at 195000 miles the radio knob fell off, and the paint started to delaminate at 205000 miles.

General Comments:

I have had this vehicle for many years, it has been the most reliable car I have ever owned.

It is now 12 years old and has 210000 miles on it, it still has the original clutch, I just changed the original battery last year. Beside oil changes and tires, I have not touched this car (it has never been washed).

I don't understand everybody having all these problems with these cars, I bought this one because my brother always bragged about his (his also was at almost 200000 when he traded it) and we both had wonderful luck with ours. We just kept the normal maintenance up on them, and they run forever.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th February, 2010

1998 Saturn SL 2 1.9 DOHC from North America


This car excels in everything except dependability


Had to replace front passenger wheel assembly at 157000 (knuckle and hub). Previous owner hit some ice and tore up the right side.

Transmission went out at around 159000 miles. New brakes were installed around the same time, along with two new axles.

Recently at around 162000 miles, the serpentine belt tensioner stopped holding tension.

Right now, 165000, the car will not start. I am told it's the valve cover gasket and several o-rings that are leaking oil (most notably onto my spark plugs, which means I have to change all of that as well.

Windshield wipers tend to get stuck together when they run at full speed.

A/C never worked, but I discovered a 12-inch wire that was stripped at the connector. Easy fix.

Driver's side power windows never worked either. I can't figure out what's wrong.

General Comments:

Aside from the constant repairs that this car requires, it's actually a great little ride. I got it for $700 because the previous owner did not have the money to fix the front right wheel. I'm not worried about little things like the interior, because clearly a car of this age is no longer a show piece... but for general interest the seats and carpeting as well as all lighting and safety instruments work properly (knock on wood).

My previous car was a 2006 Honda Civic that I got rid of in 2008 because I could no longer afford the payments. I sunk $10k into that car over two years on the auto loan, and in one year I have put about about $2,100 into this car, and that's including buying it and replacing a transmission.

When comparing this car to the old one, I have to admit the Honda was nicer, although it was expensive and newer.

But when it comes to driving performance, the Saturn has the Honda beat - this is significant considering the car is 8 years older. The first thing I have to talk about is the ride quality. Seriously, the Saturn at highway speed tightens up and hugs corners. It rides low, so the wind never makes you drift off the road. The steering wheel does not wobble at speed, in fact the faster you go, the tighter it feels.

It gets about 33-35 mpg, the Honda got 38. The Honda chewed up the factory set of tires, the Saturn holds an alignment much better, which results in hardly any tire use.

The interior tends to have a bit more wind noise than your average GM car, but that's to be expected of any car this age with this many miles. The door seals aren't the greatest. But the heat works great, the sunroof is classy and works well. It came with an aftermarket CD system, which works awesome.

The car's looks are rubbish - somebody had heavily vandalized it before I owned it. The interior is dated and worn. Electrical situation is manageable. Reliability is not the best, because I know it'll need something else after this next repair, but it drives and rides like a dream.

Engine runs strong. Transmission shift points are spot on. The body has NO rust. Modern accents with the sunroof, CD player, keyless entry with keyless trunk access. Good lighting on the inside. And somehow this tiny car is big enough for me on the inside (and I'm no small child).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th January, 2010