1996 Saturn S-Series SL2 Sedan Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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1996 Saturn S-Series Sedan - Consumer Reviews

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If you're looking for a cheap, reliable ride...
By ladystardust on 10/11/14 00:45 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Saturn S-Series Sedan SL2 4dr Sedan


Review

I bought this car from my dad back in 2004 with 140K miles on it. It now has about 213K, and the engine is running great - it's performed almost like a Japanese car. Other than routine maintenance (oil changes, the odd tune up, new tires) the only things I've had to replace on this car were an engine mount and a rear windshield (the windshield can't be blamed on the manufacturer - some kid smashed it one night). The cosmetics of the car aren't great, but what do you expect from a car that's been kept outside for over a decade? It needs a little oil added about once every other tank. But it gets amazing gas mileage (about 29 in town and almost 40 on the highway).
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Great little car
By bwright06 on 04/28/12 17:59 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Saturn S-Series Sedan SL2 4dr Sedan


Review

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.
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DON'T BUY
By quadski on 11/12/11 19:29 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Saturn S-Series Sedan SL1 4dr Sedan


Review

I bout my saturn sl with 121,000 miles on it last november since then i have put on 15,000 miles. It ran fine at first burning just a quart here and there which is usual, but then in about february my transmission blew. It didnt end there after i got tht replaced i kept having more nd more problems. the oil problem kept getting worse and worse ik have to buy a case of 12qts a month i just replaced my drive axel my tie rod ends nd now i have to do my ball joints. it seems it just doesnt end with this vehicle i would not recomend it for anyone like me who is on a tight student budget and can barely afford the oil and gas much less repairs
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I LOVE My Saturn
By beelor on 04/30/11 02:04 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Saturn S-Series Sedan SL2 4dr Sedan


Review

Bought this car used in 2002 with 60k miles. I kept up with routing maintenance. Repairs were consistent with normal wear and tear and never anything major. Had 185K miles on the car last week when a lady cut me off and my car was totaled and I am heart broken but my little car protected us from receiving serious injuries. It did leak oil as is common with this model because of the valve cover gasket. I still got almost 40 mpg on highway and 30 mpg city. This is the best car I ever owned in 40 years of car ownership. My little Saturn did die a noble death. I am looking for another used Saturn and would recommend it to anyone looking for a reliable economical auto.
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Don't Buy
By brittnb on 02/28/11 07:31 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Saturn S-Series Sedan SL2 4dr Sedan


Review

I got this car because I had to. I regret it. This is the cheapest made car I have ever owned. My back windows won't stay up no matter what I do. I have them duct taped at the moment. My car shakes and rattles and no one can figure out why. I had to replace the radiator and muffler. The muffler has been replaced twice actually. It goes through oil very fast and I have to change the oil every 1,000 miles or so. I have to put coolant in it every other week or so. The one good thing about this car is it gets great gas mileage. I do not recommend this car to anyone.
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400,000 km
By jimmy123 on 11/03/10 00:00 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Saturn S-Series Sedan SL2 4dr Sedan


Review

First of all, I never write reviews. my 96 Saturn sl2 died today. Actually coolant started spraying out from the motor. I have had this car for about ten years, besides the regular maintenance, i have changed the muffler and 2 tie rods. the car is boring and plain, BUT it is VERY reliable. it will be sad tomorrow watching it being picked up by the tow truck for scrap. I am already looking at buying a more recent sl2 just because of the reliability
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3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Saturn SL2
By djohn910 on 02/24/10 21:34 PM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Saturn S-Series Sedan SL2 4dr Sedan


Review

I bought this car in dec of 06 for 2700. Two months later the starter goes out, 9 months after that the alternator goes out, 4 months after that the starter goes out again. The sun-roof has leaked since day one, causing the leather seats to crack, my driver side window not to roll down, the radio has been completely fried due to the leaking sun roof. I would not by a saturn with a sun roof ever again. Drinks way too much oil. I put 2 quarts every week in it. Have oil changes every 1000 miles.
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It's a good car
By It's a good car on 11/21/09 10:23 AM (PST)

Vehicle

1996 Saturn S-Series Sedan SL1 4dr Sedan


Review

I've had this car for 2 years as of the 27th of December. It's a good car, but u must keep up with it. I've had to replace my intake gasket, get a motor mount, and constantly keep oil in. I just replace a fuel injector and a EGR valve a few months ago, but other than that it's a good little car. I have another year to keep before I give it up.
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Everything I Expected
By Ridyen on 07/25/09 11:04 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Saturn S-Series Sedan SL1 4dr Sedan


Review

I bought my 96 Saturn SL1 new and it has been the most reliable car I have ever owned. Not a fancy car but one that always gets you from point A to B. Like others a very minor problem with the shift linkage which was fixed by dealer even though it was out of warranty. Took on a deer at 50mph, car stopped straight with both hands off steering wheel (was covering my face for protection). Very solid car for the money. Son and I just put a new cylinder head on at 150K but total cost was about $600 which included tools, the head, gaskets, all new hoses etc. Put it back together, started it up and son drove it home. Still gets 37mpg after 14 years. Doesn't burn a drop of oil.
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Solid All Around
By dan.t on 07/12/09 13:48 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

1996 Saturn S-Series Sedan SL2 4dr Sedan


Review

This car we purchased in 2003 as an extra car that would become the kids car. It has an outstanding manual transmission, as well as a powerful engine for what it is. I am always shocked at how the quick the motor is. Interior headliner is sagging like crazy though, which is about the only negative to this vehicle. I can average almost 30 mpg with this car though, which is great.
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