1998 Saturn SL 1 4 cylinder. from North America


Accelerated Entropy Before Your Very Eyes


The transmission went with less than 60,000 miles on the engine. This was the first sign that this was not a well made vehicle.

Throughout my ownership of this vehicle it slowly, but very surely, fell apart. From the dome light simply falling out of its socket, to the repeated failure of the rear light, to the upholstery splitting for no real reason, to the fabric of the ceiling and doors peeling away suddenly, to the service engine light coming on constantly (both when things were wrong with the vehicle, but also when nothing was wrong with the vehicle), to the driver-side window crank breaking, to the factory-issue stereo failing a mere 3 yrs. after its being created, to the persistent battery drain from bad wiring (i.e. a trunk light that stays on when the trunk is closed), to the cigarette lighter/charger that ceased working less than 4 yrs into it, to the back door which was, to say the very least, difficult to manage, this car proved to have absolutely no craftsmanship whatsoever. Did I mention the "service engine light" that seemed perpetually lit for six years? It became like an old friend.

Anyway, on top of these electrical and cosmetic faults, there was also a steady string of mechanical problems with the car, culminating in the head gasket blowing recently. I'm finally giving up on it. I had a pulley which regulated the tension on the serpentine belt replaced just two weeks before this "last straw."

The car started losing oil well before I hit 100K, which I've been told by mechanics is typical of this car.

It also lost coolant at a ridiculous rate, starting at about 100K.

General Comments:

This car, this Saturn car, is really about as powerful as a dog sled led by woodchucks. If the wind is with you, blinding highway speeds of 80 to 85 mph are yours to enjoy. If, however, the wind is against you, I hope you have a cell phone, just so you can call to let them know you'll be late. I also know someone with a VUE, which I think must have the same motor as this car and about 1,000 more pounds to move around. To be fair, you're probably not buying a Saturn if you have a need-for-speed kind of mentality.

It handles about average.

I found these seats to have been engineered for a race other than humans, something with a much different spine; although, I can't really imagine these creatures for the oddity of their shape. If you have any kind of back problems/issues, even of the minor variety, don't even think it. I mean it seriously, don't!

I will say that through all the problems this car continued to turn over in the morning. It might not have gone very far, but, darn it, it started, except, of course, for that aforementioned episode with the mysterious battery drain related to the persistent trunk light, during which time it did not start in morning... at all. But other than that it always got up, even if just to get knocked down again, like a boxer, like Rocky, except this Rocky isn't really much of a champion.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th April, 2007

18th Apr 2008, 09:14

I don't understand what you went through with your Saturn to make you hate it so much. I have the very same car and I love it. Although, we are entitled to our opinions, huh? I do have back problems and I actually fall asleep in my car while waiting to pick someone up, for example. Give Saturn another chance :)

1998 Saturn SL SL2 1.99 DOHC from North America




I have only had one mechanical failure with this car and that was the battery, though I will add that the transmission acts funny.

General Comments:

I don't think anyone coudl ask for a better all around car. It now has 263,000 km on it and I am still waiting for it to fail me.

The gas consumption is amazing I can get 700km out of a 40 litre tank if I drive it nicely and usually anywhere between 600-650km otherwise.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th March, 2007