I own a 1995 saturn wagon sl1 it now has 326,000kms on it only thing I had to replace was the water pump and ball joints, brakes, great car.
I own a 1999 Saturn SL2, with about 56,000 miles and no working engine! The car worked well, but as soon as I finished paying it off it started falling apart. The latest ordeal has to do with compression, or lack off, in the motor. It will cost me about $4000 to repair it, much more than what the car is worth. I have a beautifully kept car, that had regular check ups, and yet was unaware that something so bad was lurking around. Are you as upset as me for buying "American made"?
I bought a 1995 SW2 new, and it is about to reach 100,000 miles. It does burn oil, at what I consider to be a fast rate. I asked the service manager at the Saturn shop about it, and he downplayed the oil consumption. He said that older cars tend to do this. I like the car, it is economical, and has never broken down on the road. Mechanical problems have included: a broken transmission seal which ruined the clutch plate, and cost $2100 to fix; a valve which that went bad and caused it to run rough when it was warmed up. I have gone through several batteries, and it has some rattles. It still gets 37 mpg on the highway. I wonder what kind of problems other owners encounter.
I own a 1998 SC1, and since I paid it off 6 months ago I have spent another $3000 to fix it. The main problem being that the Saturn techs could not figure out what the problem was and the service engine soon light always was on. So they kept fixing things that were fine, then sending me down the highway only to have it quit and leave me abandoned on the side of the road, 2 times, in a snowstorm with no help or cell service. But they still charged me for every little thing, even after realizing it wasn't the problem. Saturn of Canada did nothing for me, but they did offer me 15% off my last bill, wow!, thanks for the $20 off, that just insulted me. I am a young woman who bought a Saturn because of the "wonderful service" I would receive. Saturn does not back up the cars and disguises their faulty work with false advertising. Do not buy a Saturn... or you will regret it.
My brother just bought a 2000 Saturn (forgot the model, but it is a 4-door and not an Ion or SC) last July. A month after he got it the engine locked up with 40K miles on the car. He was able to convince the dealership to replace it for $500 (not sure how they got to that number). They put a new engine in and it stopped working while they were testing it, then they put another new engine in it that quit working as he was driving it off the lot. So then they put another one in it, which worked until Saturday night, we were leaving Tulsa for KC and the engine locked up 3 miles down the road. My brother takes really good care of his cars, gets an oil change every 2500 miles. Also this was an automatic, so he wasn't over reeving the engine.
He is now hoping that the dealership will give him a good trade-in on something not made by Saturn.
He also has a 98 Pontiac Sunfire, with 150K miles on it, about 120K of those are pizza driving miles. And all he has ever done for it is Battery/Alt. Not even new brakes.
I bought a 1996 saturn in ontario.. At 127000 kilometers, and months out of warranty, the engine seized. lack of oil. approx 2 weeks after I had gotten an oil change. It cost me another $3,000 to get another engine put in. I have had numerous repairs, 3 sets of brakes, 2 batteries, 2 ignition control modules, alternator, and many other regular repairs. it now has 195,000 kilometers. I don't think I will ever buy another saturn!!
I have a 1997 Saturn SL2 (same engine 119cid 1.9lt DOHC) I bought the car used with 80,000 miles on it and there never has been a single day when the car wouldn't start, and it has never died on the road (ever). It now has 142,000 miles on it and still runs great. My fiancé has a 1998 SL2 and it runs almost as good. The bottom line 4 cylinders with overhead cams run hot and oil will end up going out the tail pipe, it all has to do with the higher RPM. My car has more miles than my fiancé’s yet it is her car with 80,000 on it that has needed an EGR valve and an O2 sensor, the reason for this is her high amount of city driving. If you are a commuter that spends a lot of time on 45mph or above roads this is your car. If you are in stop and go traffic look else where. As for oil burning switch from the stock NGK plugs the Saturn dealer sells you to the NGK V-Fire or an Iridium based plug these run cooler and raise compression which keeps oil from seeping above the piston rings. The NGK V-fires are actually recommended by Saturn Engineers (GM service parts however carries the stock NGK plug). A lot of people’s problems with Saturn’s come from pure lack of maintenance. Changing your oil and plugs is good, but you have to change the fuel filer, pcv valve, and other key components if you want your Saturn to run correctly. I would testify in any court that the SL2, SW2, and SC2 are the most reliable American made car on the road. Barring any accidents I plan on this car going another 100,000 miles.
I have a '96 Saturn SW2 and it is without question the biggest piece of junk I've every owned. Nothing else comes close. Endless trips to Saturn Service and hundreds into thousands of dollars poured into it now that it's well out of warranty. I swear that the Service Engine Soon light is burned into my retinas, it's been on so much. Worse, the dirty little secret is Saturn Service usually does'nt really know why it even comes on half the time! I can't tell you how many times their scanner has said this or that, they "fix" it, and boom the light is back in a few days! A horrible, horrible car...
My 1997 Saturn sl2 had a service engine light issue that they traced to the wiring harness. Had to get it working to pass state inspection, ultimately ended up costing $3500k much more than the car was worth, but I thought I could last another 100,000 miles. then the gearshift fell apart. Leaving me sitting in a parking lot stuck in reverse. Saturn service has been pretty abysmal, they would not honor their own rental car coupon after I went to the trouble of driving to the dealer in 2nd gear. They could not get to the car until the next day, so I would have had to spend the night. I ended up driving my disabled vehicle home. I will never do business with Saturn again and would never recommend this vehicle.