by mattmk on Jun 22, 2013 Vehicle: 2002 Saturn S-Series SL1 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl 5M)
I bought my SL1 with 26 miles on the odometer. Had doubts about this car from the outset; the car I was supposed to get had trans. failure on the way to the dealer. At the moment, I'm just shy of 260,000. I'm hoping to make it to 300K. The car has been very reliable, the only major issues I've had:
1) Front driver side wheel bearing ($400)
2) Back up lights stopped working at about 200K
3) Emergency brake (which I used every time) went at about 250K
4) The engine goes through about 2 qts of oil every 4k miles. I also used 10W30 instead of 5W30 and still averaged 38mpg
I finally replaced both front headlamps ($34) with a little brighter lamp.
Heat and A/C still work (surprise!)
by dthyrunner14 on Oct 12, 2012 Vehicle: 2002 Saturn S-Series SL1 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl 5M)
Bought this car new in '02.
Low mileage first 2 1/2 years due to college, except for a spring break trip from Ohio to Texas.
Performed wonderfully entire trip.
Currently at 125,00.
Have only started having trouble with it last 3 years or so.
Ignition went bad, actually had to be replaced TWICE, but 2nd time was probably due to the fact that dealer did not tell me to get a new key made after the first replacement.
Around 120,000, catalytic converter was to be replaced.
Muffler also shakes and has been difficult to fix, but the fiance tries. :)
by saturndriver2 on Mar 22, 2012 Vehicle: 2002 Saturn S-Series SL1 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl 5M)
If you want unmitigated perfection, you have to spend more than $14,000.00.
But if you want reliable, comfortable, economical transportation so you can spend your money doing fun things, then the Saturn SL1 is for you.
I am on my second, and between them have over 300,000 miles.
I only got rid of my first one because of damage I induced.
Great gas mileage, simple to keep up, and reliable.
I like the manual transmission because I live in the mountains and I want control.
Great car for people who don't need a ride to define themselves.
by mjg on Sep 15, 2010 Vehicle: 2002 Saturn S-Series SL1 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl 5M)
Have had my 2002 SL1 for 1 year, bought it from a dealer and had it checked out before I bought it. It only had 61,000 miles on it. Within one year (and I only put 4,000 miles on it!) I have had to do $ 2,000.00 in repairs. Besides regular maintenance & oil changes, the passenger side lock will not work, ignition problems key won't turn on car, key replaced several times, serpetine belt, radiator hoses, rear brakes replaced, rear manfield leaking, coolant intakes gaskets leaking, alignment, coolant leaking, hoses replaced and on and on. This car is a piece of crap and the most mileage I ever got out of it with manual transmission on the highway was only a stinking 28 mpg. What a waste!
by bagman on May 7, 2010 Vehicle: 2002 Saturn S-Series SL1 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl 5M)
I bought this car for a commuter car I drive 116 miles round trip 5 to 6 days a week it has served me well I was averaging 40 mpg. The only issues I had with the car was now and then the key was hard to turn and the spark plug wires had to be changed after 200,000 miles ha! I'm selling the car today only because I purchased a new Commuter car. I hate to see her go it has been the best car I have ever owned but all things must come to an end, today she has 238,999 miles Great Car.
by Not sure... on Apr 6, 2010 Vehicle: 2002 Saturn S-Series SL1 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl 5M)
The Good: Sporty car, fun to drive, LOVE the 5-speed, power moonroof. I have put about 30,000 miles on it since I bought it and have only put new front tires, brakes, and rotors on it. It's a smooth ride but mechanically it is starting to mess up. The Bad: Every other day I have to put oil in it. I have never seen a car burn that much oil! The Service Engine Soon light has been on since 2 days after I bought it. I took it to my mechanic and he said it's an emissions issue but he can't find a problem. It begins to overheat in the summer so I have to turn the heater on to cool it down. Now my trunk will not open. Definitely a good car but once one thing breaks, everything will break.
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