1997 Saturn SL SL1 from North America - Comments

24th Sep 2002, 23:59

I agree with the last comment. We own a 1993 SL2.These cars are pure junk. We warn anyone whenever we can to "Stay Away From Saturn".If you drive a Saturn you had better get the oil tanker in tow!

6th Oct 2002, 13:15

I have a 1997 Saturn SL1 with almost 75,000 miles on it and have had no major problems with it. As noted in above reviews, the 1995 Saturn is notoriously bad; everyone whom I've met with a '95 has had complaints. So far, my experience with my '97, would lead me to purchase another Saturn in the future.

3rd Nov 2002, 21:54

I have the 1997 model of this vehicle, and it's been a pleasure to own. The only thing that's died on it is the alternator, which was fairly inexpensive to replace. It's been very low maintenance, and I'd definitely buy another Saturn.

25th Feb 2003, 05:33

I have two '97 Saturn's. One of which I bought at 30,000 miles, now at 130,000. The only major thing that went wrong was the transmissions blew out at 59,000, which was covered by warranty.

My second Saturn is great, at 115,000 miles. I suggest that some of you people try some preventative maintenance for some of your problems. Yeah, both of mine use some oil too, but come on, you don't expect your engine to wear down a little bit after 100,000 miles? Be realistic. Parts wear, gaskets get brittle, oil clearances rise. Also, if you had 5 alternators blow out, don't you think there's another underlying problem here? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to imagine that there's an electrical problem that your dealer can't understand. There are better alternators than stock OEM that may last longer, even with some obvious problems.

17th Mar 2003, 23:12

I use to buy japanese and I use to swear by them, but I did not know what a car should be until I bought my Saturn, I have a 1993 Saturn with with 89,000 miles and just replaced the battery and that's it. I love my Saturn and it gives 100% in mileage per gallon and very reliable car. And the buying experience was like no other at the dealership. (very smooth no bull and great experience)

27th Mar 2003, 14:05

I own a 1997 Saturn SL1, so far not happy, the trans axle turbine speed sensor has gone out 3 times in the past few months, would never buy another Saturn.

2nd Apr 2003, 13:34

My Saturn is great, no problems at all. As to previous complaints, My car's warranty was honored everywhere, including Europe for the 2 years I was there. All it has needed was a new alternator and my brake rotors warped prematurely. Both under warranty. The alternator went out in the states and the dealership gave me a loaner. In Europe, a rental car was covered. best Car and SERVICE I've EVER HAD.

18th May 2003, 07:40

I own a 1997 SL1 and this is by far the best vehicle I have ever owned. I purchased it used and it had 16,000 miles on it now 3 years later it has 59,000 and for the last 2 years I have been in Germany and the car handles great on the Autobahn. The only thing I have had to do is replace the alternator at about 17,000 miles. Even if this car went to hell right now it was a great car. How often do you buy a car that all you have to do is change the oil and put gas in it for 3 years and it still purrs. I would definitly purchase another one. I am testing a new car also now I have a Grand Jeep Cherokee Limited, I will see if it lives up to the Saturn.

26th May 2003, 15:09

Own a 1996 SL1 with 85000 miles. By December 2003 had already replaced the alternator once. In December the car went to Saturn because service engine soon light came on. Up to this point, I should add, every required schedule maintenance/service check had been done according to schedule. The dealership put in another battery even though the one in the car was only two years old. Then the infamous "Service Engine Soon" light came on again. Back to the Saturn dealership. A third alternator installed. One week later.. you guessed it..Serv. en.soon...this time they gave me a loaner which I should have just kept. Ever hear of three strikes your out! They haven't. They installed a new starter. In March 2003, The Service Engine light comes on, I take the car in (again-for the 4th time in 3 mos.) and they call me to say I need over $2000.00 dollars worth of work so I may want to talk to a Sales Counselor now to see what I could get for my car. I owned two toyotas previously. The last one I had for 13 years with 130,000 miles & no problems like Saturn. Saturn is not selling cars. They had considered eliminating the L-Series which is a line no better than the S Series. Saturn put too much emphasis on its advertising, one price schlick, and not enough is making a reliable car. The Sales Satisification was high, but not Reliability. GM, Ford, & Chrysler sales are down in 2003. Toyota and Honda sales are Up. Saturn tried.. it failed. See the light people. Res Ipsa Loquitor.

6th Jun 2003, 21:09

I own a 1997 SL2. I bought it used and before 1 month I had it in the shop because it was burning oil. (surprised?) The extended warranty that I purchased would not cover the repair because it was a "design flaw". My car was at the dealership for a week and nothing was accomplished. When I bought the car my salesman insisted that I would have better peace of mind if I purchased the warranty, I fell for the sales pitch. I was told the warranty would not be in force for 30 days and to bring the car back to have it repaired. then surprise the would not cover the repair. I wanted my money back for the warranty and was told that since I waited 30 days I could only get 67% of the purchase price refunded. I wonder if someone is getting a kickback?

Now the fuel filter has to be replaced. (surprised?)

I was so proud when I bought my car, now I just feel stupid. I will never buy or recommend anyone buy a Saturn. How sad.

11th Jun 2003, 15:12

We bought a used 97 SL2 Saturn and have had very little problems. We did have a fuel pump recalled and Saturn fixed it. In fact, we don't have a Saturn dealer in our town, and had no time to get to a dealer before the recall warranty was up, so Saturn drove 2 hours to get my car, took it, fixed it and brought it back to me all in the same day. Now I call that customer service. Ours just turned 83000 miles and I still love it. The only thing is I wish it was bigger!!! It has no room for a family. By the time you put luggage, a car seat and a stroller, where does the family sit!!

I would buy another Saturn!!! They have great customer service!!

Laura (happy in Colorado)

9th Jul 2003, 12:17

I have 1997 SL with 160,000 miles. I am the original owner.

So far, the only thing that's gone wrong is the starter, which was covered under the warranty. It's been a great car. I've had to replace the typical wear & tear stuff, likes tires and the battery, but that stuff is to be expected. I've been okay (but not stellar) with preventative maintenance. I'm not sure why my car has lasted this long with so many highway miles (I drive the DC beltway everyday). The car continues to outlast and outdo my expectations.

My favorite phrase concerning my car is, "drives like a Honda, parks like a Buick."