Yea sure they aren't the best cars on the road, but they are sooo cheap to buy that it is a deal. You can't complain about this car being unrefined when it only costs $10000 brand new! My 2000 SL1 has over 100,000 miles on it and it runs like a champ. The seats aren't comfy for long distances, it rattles a bit, especially in the cold, and the engine is starting to burn oil... but that's all my complaints! I can't complain about the tranny or clutch because they are pretty decent and the car is as reliable as hell... what cars are you comparing this one to?
My Saturn is a piece! I had to get a new engine after 75,000 miles. It was having a problem with burning oil and we took it to get fixed and it was running fine, but then I was getting on the highway and had to speed up and hit 4 thousand rpms and it almost died on me. The entire way home it was rattling and everything, then I turned it off at home and it wouldn't start again. Turned out I had a cracked piston.
Saturn is calling me tomorrow to follow up with a complaint I filed. Engines should be built to last more that 75,000 miles. I see bunches of cars older than mine on the road. Currently I am having no problems with my car with the engine from the junk yard I got, but it was also from a Saturn. I was also advised by a mechanic that my car would most likely not see 80,000 miles, and he was right, at least about the engine.
Try changing the oil, maybe even on time.
Ever had a timing belt break on a Honda? Result; boat anchor.
I have 5 SL series Saturns (2000, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997), 1 has 500 k, 1 has 475, 2 have ~ 350 1 has 90 k. The TOTAL amount I have spent on repairs in the years I have owned them: $2672.40.
If you can beat that, good for you.
I just bought a Saturn SL1 2000, which has about 120 000 miles on it, and so far, it's working wonderfully.
Honestly, the only problem I've got with it is that, I think it's ugly, LOL.
I don't like the "curved" form that the designers gave it.
But besides that, I haven't faced any other mechanical problems with it, yet.
I have owned a 2000 SL2 manual 5 speed since new. I have 213,000 miles on it. It now uses about a quart of oil every 1000 miles. It runs great. Still gets great gas mileage and I have never done a major repair. Original starter, alternator, clutch, emission controls. It's not a fancy car, but has been very reliable.
I have a 2000 SL1 that I bought 7.5 years ago with 20000 miles on it. It now has 128000. It still gets 39 mpg, and the most I have had to do it was an intake gasket. It has the original exhaust, battery, alternator and everything else. It is a no thrill car, but it has been the best car I ever owned. My other 2 were Fords.
I purchased my 2000 SL2 5 years ago for $4700 cash. It hasn't had any serious problems in those 5 years. I've been able to fix anything that failed. And it's all been simple stuff. With 4 large adults in the car, I get 39 mpg highway. City it's always 27 mpg. It has 120,000 miles on it, and uses a quart of oil every 2000 miles. It's a no frills car, but I knew that before I purchased it. And it's the very reason I purchased it.