1996 Saturn S-Series Review | Edmunds.com

1996 Saturn S-Series

Saturn S-Series Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.9 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 100 hp @ 5000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 25/36 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 1996 Saturn S-Series

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  • Safety
  • Pros

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  • Cons

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  • What's New for 1996

    Sedans and wagons get new exterior styling -- resulting in a softer, rounder appearance -- along with redesigned rear seats and standard…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (122 total reviews)


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Vehicle: 1996 Saturn S-Series SW2 4dr Wagon

A 1996 Saturn SW2 was my first car, I bought it at a cheap price with 139,000 miles on it. I put about 30,000 more miles on it in 3 years. The only major issue with the car was an oil leak that I knew had to be repaired when I bought it. Other than that, it was routine maintenance and minor repairs. When the heater coil broke, the car was pretty close to 170,000 miles and the price to fix it was nearly the price of the car itself, so I sadly had to say goodbye. Overall, the car was EXTREMELY reliable and the gas mileage was great. I drove it to and from college (over 100 miles away) with no problems. I'd buy the car again if I could. Definitely well worth what I paid!

Great first car

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Vehicle: 1996 Saturn S-Series SC2 2dr Coupe

I have a '96 SC2. It has about 145,000 miles on it and runs like it is new. The interior is a little small, especially when you try to pack people into the back seats, but for driving it is very confortable. It has great handling and hugs corners and is very fun, especially with performance mode on the transmission. It is very reliable, everything works, all I have to do is keep the oil changed. Overall, it is a great first car, gets 30mpg and is fun to drive.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great little car

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Vehicle: 1996 Saturn S-Series SL2 4dr Sedan

I have had my 96 saturn for about the last 7 years. It was bought used by my grandparents and then sold to me when they wanted a new one. I didn't have a lot of problems with it at all in these last 7 years. Have never had any big issues until recently. Has 196,000 miles and I have a bad cylinder. Unfortunately I have to find a new car before mine really stops running. I was very pleased overall and it just seems like a fluke that I did not get more miles out of it. I am now looking at a 1999 Saturn SL2...so obsessed with the Saturn.

Gas Mileage


  • 25
  • cty
  • 36
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 1996 Saturn S-Series Review

What's New for 1996

Sedans and wagons get new exterior styling -- resulting in a softer, rounder appearance -- along with redesigned rear seats and standard daytime running lights. Traction control is now available on cars equipped with a manual transmission. Finally, both engines now use sequential-port fuel injection in place of multiport injection.

Talk About The 1996 S-Series

1996 Saturn S-Series Discussions See all Started By

And on the converse, I worked with two people who owned Saturn S-Series (both 1996s) that were shot after 70K. The first thing they noted was the great dealer satisfaction. But both of them said that ...

Hi, lets see.. years to avoid on the S Series... the more rounded looking S Series sedan and wagon came out in 1996, with the redesigned coupe a year later. I have heard that 1998 is the best yea?...