While on vacation, August 2001 we traded a minivan for a new 02 SL1 auto in Fargo North Dakota. Now has over 208000 miles . Oil has been changed every 5000 miles or less. I have never let it run low on oil ever. It has the ALL original engine and automatic transmission,struts,radiator.A/C still works. power windows and locks all in pretty good condition rides good. Transmission fluid and radiator fluid flushed regularly. I used spray adhesive from Home Depot to glue in new diamond tweed seat covers front and rear diamond tweed from O'Reilley Auto Parts. Replaced headlights from Amazon.com The only thing I regret is that the rear licence plate frame from the Fargo Saturn Dealership got pitched. Wish I could find a new one. I HAVE A LOT MORE FREED UP CASH BECAUSE OF THIS CAR! Full coverage insurance is $265 every 6 months. I live in southern Illinois.
The car handles great and is responsive. Occasional repairs but can work on a last leg and just be one part to replace and fine. Transmission is shotty. Manual flywheel went at 150000 and auto still going strong at 186000. Regular maintence required but not heavy. Reccomend high mileage synthetic oil. Its all plastic with no safety features. If you can turn your head you have all visibility needed with no blind spots. Braking is not very good. Performance of 100-120 hp 4cyl and 30mpg city/40mpg hwy. 12 mile tank. 360-480 miles on full tank. Fantastic first car for child. Easy shifts in manual if you are teaching someone. Great car if you can't afford that $6,000 car and great on gas.
This has been the best car we've ever owned. It has nearly 200,000 miles on the clock and still runs like new. I inherited it from my parents when I became old enough to drive, and it's never let me down even once. That was nearly 7 years ago. It's needed very minor repairs every now and then, but they were all after 150,000 miles. I wouldn't be afraid to hop in this car and drive it across the country. The most expensive repair that it's needed so far, was a replacement intake manifold coolant stem. This was about $500 to repair. Everything else has been minor, and essentially routine maintenance. Wish they still made them, because I would buy another (if this one ever dies)!
This was my 2nd Saturn sc2.
I have 14 years exp with these cars!
Fall in love with this cars acceleration, it has torque power that the Google search doesn't mention.
It reliably blew all V6 sports cars off the road in the 1/4 mile. This car will do 140mph, and goes to 60 in about 8 seconds!
The engine seized on me completely at 50k miles (8 years old), but that might have been due to negligence on my part. Replaced engine.
Everything else on the car kept going strong for 13 years, never even needed ac recharged.
Complaints electrically were most frequent, grounding, fuse and voltage issues were a regular problem. Electricity in general was a constant issue.
These cars handle like complete, tee-total #### on wet roads, there is no help, avoid driving in rain, no handling!!!
Safety is pretty good, 2 of mine were totaled by at-fault drivers in wrecks but nothing came into the interior. The airbags should have deployed but didn't.
The car is built solidly under its plastic exterior, its skeleton is built like a drag racer, it's reimbursed by solid steel rodding. Can't bust that.
You cannot bust the tranny on these either, they will go forever even with abuse.
All-together, a good, reliable, performance-ready, safe, nice car but with frequent glitches.
I would buy a 3rd one if they were still being made.
I own a 1995 SC2(180K Miles), a 2002 SC2(153K Miles) and a 2002 SC1(113K Miles). These are quite possibly the greatest economy cars ever built. These cars were so far ahead of their time, it's insane. Back when these cars came out in 1991, GM only had a piece of junk Iron Duke 2.5L 4-cylinder with throttle body injection in their other cars. Saturn was GM's answer to Honda and Toyota. The original Saturn(which were actually 100% Saturn and not made of other GM junk parts) SL's and SC's are just wonderful cars. They are easily the cheapest cars in the world to buy, maintain, drive and fuel. The only thing I have ever had to do to these cars is: You will have to replace a wheel bearing/hub assembly($35 on ebay) at around 135-150K and they will lose the plastic radiators at about 150K($50 on eBay). Other than that, they are 100% bulletproof reliable. All mine are 5-speeds. My 95 SC2 gets 35mpg on the highway. My 02 SC2 gets 36mpg on the highway and my 02 SC1 gets 40mpg on the highway. I highly recommend the 2001-02's for the updated styling and better, more rattle free interiors.