1999 Saturn SL SL1 1.9 single cam from North America
Wouldn't buy another
Well I bought this car used. I thought it was a good deal at the time, but now I know I should have walked away as soon as the owner asked me if I did my own work on cars.
Radiator - cracked.
Cylinder head cracked 147,000.
Brakes squeal still after pad and rotor replacement.
Lug nut stripped, my fault, I didn't know they where aluminum.
Radio had only two settings, off and all the way up.
Window tracks are junk, they break if you rest your head on them when they're half way open.
In all fairness, it handles decent for a front wheel drive and got great gas mileage. I knocked down 39+mpg in it nearly every tank, and it was just an automatic. It also rode nice compared to the 98 I test drove when new.
I changed the oil and greased everything every 3,000 miles. Despite that, the cylinder head still cracked, which I found out was a defect from the factory on the 98-01 cars. It would suck the oil out of the crack and dump it into the radiator. I put 5qrts of oil into it once to travel 35 miles. It was a good car in good shape (body wise) when I got it, but this a big problem.
All in all, I wouldn't buy another 98-01 Saturn, there are just too many things that go wrong with them for them to be called a good car. And GM screwed up big time with these heads, then they tried to sweep it under the rug. Their recall was to add a bottle of stop leak to the rad and oil. Yeah, good idea GM.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 11th November, 2010