Used 2003 Saturn L-Series Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Saturn L-series - Consumer Reviews

2003 Saturn L-Series

Average Consumer Rating

173 Total Reviews

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Great Car but had electrical problems
4 of 7 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By k_maxwell712
on

Vehicle

2003 Saturn L-Series L200 4dr Sedan (2.2 L 4cyl 4A)


Review

Even though this car is know to have electrical problems the are pretty expensive to fix, its still a great car. I had to replace the ignition module right around 75-80,000 miles. Then around 120,000 miles the Body Control Module(BCM) went out. The gas gauge would read at empty and the temperature light would constantly be on. The car ran like that for over a year with us just keeping track of milage for gas getting around 350 miles per tank (its about a 12 gallon tank) after a little over a year the car started acting up more and then eventually had a mind of its own when it came to starting and multiple dash lights coming on but not reading on computer scans. BCM costs around $4-500.


Favorite Features

Comfort, easy to drive, style


Suggested Improvements

I think Saturn should have recalled the BCM or offered warrenties on it because through research those are pretty common to go out on this model.


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Weak, at best...
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By fsu1
on

Vehicle

2003 Saturn L-Series L200 4dr Sedan (2.2 L 4cyl 4A)


Review

I got it with 40k miles, and fought to 100k. Going with Saturn due to previous experience - seemed like a good idea. Ended up not. First year with it went ok. Regularly maintained with Saturn, then GM dealers. The following major issues occurred: BCM module failure, entire brake system failure (three times), water and fuel pump failure, and a front strut replacement. A belt broke once, but that was likely age. Sometimes it liked not to start - two new batteries in a year. The brake system completely burned out - requiring a new master cylinder, booster and rear drums. This appears to have been common. It is underpowered, rode loud, and turned like a boat. It was a poor man's Buick.


Favorite Features

The size of the trunk, and the plastic panels. Otherwise, driving it on a freeway was like whipping a dying horse. The acceleration was horrible. The claims for MPG I really don't believe - to keep it at 70MPH required about 3200RPM - which just sucked through fuel. Riding on a freeway was awful because the engine had to work so hard to keep the speed limit. The road noise was deafening. It looked like a cost effective way to get a lot of options when I got it. Sunroof, power everything... But that was something of a Trojan horse. The climate control system was terrible.


Suggested Improvements

I defended the Saturn because I pretended to myself that it was reliable. The first one I had (02 S series) was great. So, I moved up to the L. I wish I didn't. It's a shame Saturn didn't make it. But, this car was awful. I have read that many of the issues that I experienced, other people did too, and in other Saturn models, there were recalls. Especially over the BCM module - which was $500 to replace. Saturn just told me that they were pleased I drove one of their cars. The car is too heavy for the engine size. It was a weird hybrid of euro technology brought to the US that just completely sucked. Buy anything else.


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ENGINE FAILURE
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By nosaturn
on

Vehicle

2003 Saturn L-Series L200 4dr Sedan (2.2 L 4cyl 4A)


Review

Engine failed (blown piston) 58 days after purchase from local dealer. No warranty, no nothing. They said about $2,500 to fix it. This doesn't seem possible with any car that's a 2003 with 68,000 miles...this just should not happen. Regular dealer maintenance has always been done, regular oil and filter changes, proper fuel -- very moderate driving... What's the manufacturer doing to help owners with these problems??


Favorite Features

Comfort OK


Suggested Improvements

See review above...crappy engine!


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Just Okay...
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By bciarlo
on

Vehicle

2003 Saturn L-Series L200 4dr Sedan (2.2 L 4cyl 4A)


Review

I bought the car used in 2008 with 48K miles on it. Since then I have only put a little over 12K on it, but there have been a few problems. The first week I had it the passenger side mirror fell and shattered just from closing the door. The biggest problem was my alternator dying last year, and costing me about $800 from the Cadillac dealership, since Saturn went out of business. There is also a spring in my brake assembly that constantly comes loose, causing screeching sounds until I take it apart and re-assemble it. The car also makes a creaking sound when I enter or exit the vehicle. Overall it's a comfortable car that gets great mpg, but the build quality just isn't all there.


Favorite Features

-Comfortable seats -Decent stereo for what it is -Great MPG


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I LOVE MY SATURN L200
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By ilovemysatur
on

Vehicle

2003 Saturn L-Series L200 4dr Sedan (2.2 L 4cyl 4A)


Review

I have had my saturn for over 2 years i baught it used at 116K i have now 140K and all i have done is Roters and regulat maint. I get 38 MPG and that is with adding octane booster to every tank. i does not hurt the car. I have always had saturns and this is one of the most reliable ones i have had my SL2 i have had to replace the cluch at 2000 miles and the radiator and all kinds of other stuff i have not had to do with my L200 THIS Car has saved my ass form the SL2 too many times to count. ran a carfax on it and found NOTHING so this is a WONDERFUL car.


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