Used 2001 Saturn L-Series Consumer Reviews
There is a design flaw on the timing chain tensioner. Anywhere from 80k miles to 150k miles, it usually breaks. This is a 30.00 part. But if you don't know about it, and you don't fix it, the car will "jump time", and when this happens, it almost certainly will destroy the top part of your engine. This will cost about 2k to fix. If you own one, get it down to the shop and get that part changed. You will be sorry if you don't. In my town, the junk yard is full of these L series Saturns. They all look nice, but they are sitting there rotting. I had a S series, and it was the best car I ever owned. This L series, not so much!
I needed a new car, and heard a lot of good things from other Saturn owners. We took delivery of this car with just under 17k on the odometer. For the first 21/2 years it was a very reliable car. There were 2 recalls on this car and this was taken care of with no problems. We did oil changes and all suggested maintenance on time. One day I was driving to work and the car was acting a little sluggish but did not seem to be running rough or anything. I parked the car at work and when I came out it would not start. I had it towed to the deaer and was told that it was the timing chain and would cost $1100 to fix. Many other Saturn owners have had this problem at around 70 to 80k miles
If your thinking of buying this model vehicle DON'T. Hands down the worst car I have ever owned. It WILL suck every penny you have out of you. These cars have the weakest commuters in any car I am aware of. Just change a battery, alternator, or just put a battery charger on it and you can burn out the BCM (Body Control Module). Diagnosing the problem will be the first problem then there is the $600 to replace it. Subframe built by SAAB with a curved muffler $400 for muffler only. Poor design on the oiler that keeps timing chain oiled+interferance motor=t-chain jump & replace motor, used $1000, new $2500. Heater fan,switch, and repair melted under sized connector in the dash $400. Just say NO
Please pay attention to the model of car people are reviewing. This car is fabulous! Mine has 116,000 miles and it still looks new under the hood. The lw300 is the best version in this model line and can come with lots of extras such as leather seats, remote start and locks, power everything, rear defog and wiper, heated seats, etc. so you might get a lot more for your money. It drives and runs fabulously!
I really like the comfort and performance of the car, but repair costs are killing me: Oil cooler leak, $1,350; water pump $450; power steering pump $400; front brake pads and rotors $450; faulty MAF sensor $450; thermostat $400. All of these repairs in the last year after the car went over 50,000 miles. The dealer tells me a new steering rack will be required in the near future. If anyone has one of these cars, sell at the first sign of problems after 50,000 miles. It will only get worse!
Upon purchasing this car I found that the previous owner had replaced the engine. I heard of this engine having issues yet I doubted it would actually blow due to the list of issues that plague these engines. After one year of ownership, the engine blew due to a random rod busting through the block. The second engine only had 40,000 put on it upon purchase and then another 30,000 put on by me during the year. Awesome car besides the shoddy craftmanship.
I was on the way to buy a Suburu when I swung into a Saturn Dealership. I was driving a 1998 Saturn 4cyl wagon.I needed something to get over the mts & past the semi's and a 4cyl was a little scary at times. I test drove the 2001 6cyl LW300 (new) and what a difference in performance. It had more features,+ 8 speakers, leather heated seats were a plus. I traded! Only in for servicing& never a problem. I also like the back seat lay down for more cargo room.
Worst Car Ever. Cons: Breaks worked great after I spent a lot of money to get them fixed. The windshield breaks very easily. The exhaust was horrible. The battery never held a charge, I bought three batteries. Headlights were very dim and break lights broke all the time. The tires went bald fast. Pros: Great gas mileage, plastic body, fairly cheap parts.
I bought my Saturn L-Series with 63K back in 2007. She has been altered exterior with window tint, nice stereo and sound speakers/woofer and ampÂ which was installed in 2007 as well, and she still boomin'. Drives great, good on gas. All I replaced was the fuel pump, starter, tires & battery of course. She has 295k miles, and I really feel she will hit 300k. We just made sure the oil was changed, use synthetic oil 5/30, with good driving habits. You know I was just rear ended a few days ago, and she didn't budgeÂ that bumper does wonders!! Still in tacked. We used interior parts from the salvage yard to make the inside look like new.
Love this car. Bought it after my daughter totaled my old one. Have owned 5 Saturns over the years. It's 8 years old, and has only cost a couple thousand in repairs...mostly normal wear and tear ( tires, etc. ) Replaced brakes once, and the heater core just this past summer. oh, and a tune up. That was probably my single biggest expense. It was the last car off the line, or so I'm told. Fun to drive, and very dependable
Decent car, too bad it is no longer made. Not fast: highway merging means use of high rpms, but the engine doesn't mind. Fuel economy acceptable but not stunning (26-27 avg). Rented a 2.2 sedan with auto, very weak - if looking for used go with 5spd. Only major repair issue was the clutch slave cylinder at 25K (under warranty) but is on the way out again and will cost $$ (requires tranny removal on this car), otherwise nothing except oil changes, brake job and new tires. I even have a hitch and towed a 10 ft trailer 2200 miles to NM. Gripes: handbrake is too close to passenger's left leg, bar behind back seats in split fold mode, notchy gear change, no abs.
I bought this car thinking it was great. It was for about 1 yr then perpetual coolant leaks, alignment problems, electrical problems, never ending sensor problems, low mpg, hard to find parts, and expensive parts became the too often crisis. I love the feel and drive but trying to keep up with the mechanic's bill is too much to bear. My Toyota has never had a problem and is only a year newer. Beware of this model if you are not a mechanic or on a tight budget. I was going to give it to my daughter for school but I don't think we could afford it. Won't even qualify for Cash for Clunkers. I would have to give them money to take it.
I bought this car in 2004 with only 42,000 miles on it. It now has 165,000 miles and has given me nothing but problems since it hit 100,000. Replaced the heater core twice, water pump twice, oil filter, hoses, gas gauge doesn't work right now, and I've replaced multiple spark plugs. I had a Nissan before and it never had any problems at all besides basic maintenance and it had over 250,000 miles on it!!
My L200 is really a fully dressed L300 except it has the 4 banger engine. We have had the dealer do all recommended servicing and other than a blown fuse and the normal the wear and tear items, we have not had any problems with this, our 5th Saturn!
I bought this car used with an extended warranty. The 1st yr the computer system died, but the warranty paid in full. For the remaining 5 yrs. that I drove it, it was dependable and got decent gas mileage. I recently totaled it and was amazed my car sustained less body damage than the big Mercedes who hit me on the passenger side. Would definitely recommend the Saturn.
Well, my dad bought this car used for $1200 with about 146000 miles (I think.) I've owned it for about a year and it's about to have 156000 on it. The only thing I can say is the oil leak it has can be a bit annoying and it smells like engine coolant whenever I turn it off. But other than that I absolutely love it. The accelleration is incredible and the gas mileage is very nice. Too bad my speakers and stereo suck. Why you no have tape player?! I wouldnt trade her in for anything, well, maybe the stationwagon version. Its one of my goals to make the odometer read 500000 on this car. How can I sum her up? Well as Stevie Ray Vaughn once said, Shes my sweet little thing, shes my pride and joy.
Bought my Saturn used w/ 48,000 miles. After 2 yrs I had to replace my timing chain ($2000 to fix). Eating through tires and oil faster then ever. 2 yrs after fixing my engine it is now completely dead, finally had to sell it to the salvage yard for nothing. Timing chain broke again and destroyed the engine. 4 yrs in I started leaking coolant into the floor of the car, the whole under the hood started to rust and had to replace the whole coolant system to rusted to repair, also the battery brackets rusted to the battery. I had the car for 6 yrs and put over $6000 in repairs and now it is completely dead at the salvage yard with 146,500 miles on it. Would never touch another Saturn again!
Recently bought my L200 with 2.2L engine, which is fuel friendly, reliable, and provide decent pep. I've owned an Ion sedan, Vue V6, and SL2 sedan in the past. I just needed something inexpensive to own, maintain, & insure since while I finish law school. It has 117,000 miles and I believe I can get another 117,000 miles out of it. It makes a great 1st car or 2nd car. I hope to find a good Saturn Aura as my 5th Saturn after I finish school.
This is my second Saturn and my first was a new '97 SW2. This car has been great to drive and own as was the last one. I have the 4 cylinder automatic which has plenty of power to get me to my vacation home in the mountains. I get 31-33 mpg on the highway and 19-23 in town. I have kept mileage records since day one of owning the car. I wish that Saturn still built a car like this.
Bought this wagon for my growing small family. At approx $20K + 0.9% financing over 5 yrs it was a good deal at the time. Plus the advertised 24/32 MPG was a selling point for us. Factory Firestone tires were terrible so at 5K had to replace those. Things started happening before the warranty was up. Steering rack, transmmission woes, power slippage. Dealer refused to acknowledge there were problems until after the 3 yr warranty elapsed. So I dealt with a squealing steering system and a supreme lack of power. I was flooring it up suburban hills and highways at 40mph. Resale value was terrible. Finally traded it in for a Honda CRV. Never again.
Purchased new, constant quality issues, will not buy GM again. Ignition cylinder has failed 2 times. Transmission sensor has failed 2 times. Electronic locks and or remote entry keys failed 4 times, final time off warranty and still dead. Abnormal short tire life. Air-conditioning failed at 4 year mark like my prior GM car. Transmission leak at year 5. Constant small and big quality issues ruin the reliability and leave the owner wondering what is going to fail next. Honestly needed 8 years /100,000+ mi from this vehicle. Dumping before 80,000. Last GM, perhaps ever.
I've leased my LS for 3 years and found it an excellent car. Plush upholsterystill looks like new, despite hard use-kids, dogs, camping. Comfortable ride that lets you feel the road without being jarred. Brakes (not ABS) never let me down. Standard issue CD/radio/ cassette sound system outstanding! And the paint job looks like new, too, with nothing but a car wash now and then. Handles great in all weather. Wish the reviewers and "experts " would quit picking on a great company!
I bought this car with only 125000 miles on it, it had a lot of work, new timing chain, new hoses, brakes, etc. After 2 months of driving it started pulling insanely hard to the right, it turns out the subframe had completely rotted out and if it had been under more stress I would have wrecked it. I purchased another L200 that had the engine blow on it and took the subframe from that car and put it on mine. About two weeks later after putting the new subframe on, the temperature dropped to about 10 degrees Fehrenheit and the engine froze up and blew. This car was a total waste of time and money, and it had been maintained. Be very careful with these cars, they don't like to last. Be prepared to do work on it or replace an engine or two. Also be careful of the parts that aren't made of plastic (the whole car is plastic) because they will rust out on you.
Inherited car from my nephew with 118,000 miles. Already has a new engine and catalytic converter. Already having trouble removing key from ignition. Wondering if car isn't a lemon, but it's better than not having any transportation in spite of the inconvenience of having to disconnect the negative battery cable every time I par the car. I can't believe this car has had so many problems thus far. Had a 1984 Blazer with almost 300,000 miles before it was totaled in 2000 because of an idiot driver who stopped on the freeway in traffic to answer her cellphone.
Saturn service at least from Sutliff has been very poor. Nobody suggests any service be done to vehicle. Only buy this vehicle if you hate haggling on price and want a car that is as exciting a clothes washer (i.e. an appliance). Resale value is horrendous what with all the new car incentives. We are replacing this vehicle with a Volkswagen Passat that is a cheaper lease even though it is more expensive, but is simply worth more at the end of the lease.
Love my L300. Still looks brand new and the silver shines proudly along with the Mercedes & BMWs that share the scene. My only true complaint is having to go to the dealership for oil changes - takes too long, they want me to schedule, etc. Local quick lubes make a million excuses about not having filters, but in reality won't service the internal filter this 6-cylinder uses.
Purchased this THING with 20,000 miles from dealer. It has 140,000 on it now. It always has something wrong.. never all that costly but a day a month in the shop, almost a guarantee. Bad seatbelt computer took 3 trips for the dealer NOT to find it. Shade tree mechanic suggested cure and it worked. Has tires every 15,000 miles, timing chain replaced, rear lights go out randomly (NTHSC recall that was not honored by Saturn) Armrest cover replaced multiple times, Oil pan replaced, and it was aluminum casting!! Water leaks from AC made car smell for months!
I will never buy a saturn again. We had problems from the beginning. We bought a brand new saturn after owning a used saturn thinking things might be better. Boy were we wrong. Having three children makes it not smart to own a saturn because of reliablity. We were never compensated for all our problems either. We traded it in for a kia and are so much more satified than before.
I purchased my L300 used after having a SL2 for 3 years. I like the larger, higher seats, more spacious back seats and heavier feel of the car. It is a 6 cylinder and has more acceleration and passing capability. I'd say the major downside is reduction in gas mileage. I get 23-26 MPG.
My mom gave me her Saturn L. It the worst car ever. Ever time there was at less 2in of show the car would get stuck and you had to PUSH it or you didn't go no where for the day. My step dad is looking for a car for me because I drive so fair for college and work. The shocks are falling a prat. When you hit the right bump you can here the shock shack. It is the worst can i ever had. A deer cam out and i was going 2 MPH and the deer hit his head on the driver side of the car. The front driver side had to get replace. If i was to get hit i would be dead. This is not a good car. I'm happy that they stop making them.
I traded in my little SL2 in for my "new" L300 and boy, I felt like I hit a hot deal. Leather seats, V6, and all the amentities you can ask for, with a low tag price. After reading all the reviews on the V6 model, the reason why the price on these models are so cheap is because they have horrible reliability issues. What kind of car needs the BCM computer changed out at 36,000 miles? That's what happened to me only 3 days after i purchased it used when i discovered the wrench light go off. The service engine light will drive you crazy, blinking! SO far, after only half a year of ownership, it has had the BCM replaced (600$) and the MAF sensor replaced (400$). Stay far away from this model.
Let's see, whirling noise they can't find the source, speedometer issues, center arm rest top broken, radio and speaker dies and this is all within the 1st 2 years. Everyone I know that has this car has the same issues. We bought this car at the end of the lease and that was a bad decision. We should have given it back. I say get rid of it just like the other reviewer suggest.
very nice car. Lots of features for little money. i Drive 100+ miles a day, even the week there was a foot of snow on the roads (without chains). At 130k miles have not had a problem yet and i drive it hard. While my SL2 was a little more comfortable the L300 offers alot more room. The 3 liter V6 comes in handy when dealing with freeway traffic. reviews for this car seem very polar but i have loved mine since i test drove it. Take offs can be "sluggish" but in more then one moment of weakness i have raced smaller cars and once moving the L300 will get 100+mph in no time flat. I will drive this car until the wheels fall off.
Thus far the only disappointment is the fit, finish, and material quality of the interior (the plastic door grips seem a bit cheap). Otherwise, I am very pleased with my L200 and enjoy driving it. Long trips now seem shorter, and I'm not as stiff as I'd been in other cars after a long stint on the road. Fuel mmilage is excellent: avg 28.5 mpg with combined city/highway, over 33 mpg on long trips. The 4-banger engine is far more than adequate to propel the L200 down the road (I've surprised a few people). Passengers comment on how comfortable the seating is and on how well the car rides. Great car.
I absolutely loved this car from the moment I bought it! It had a very comfortable feel. Great performance. No major issues in the 9 years I've owned it. I would drive this car until it dies, were it not for the fact new Saturns would not be available when it came time to replace it, so I am hesitantly trading it in for a new Aura. I hope my great Saturn experience continues for years to come.
I was never a big Saturn Fan. But my dad passed away and I got his 2001 L200 Auto 4cyl. After 2 months of driving it I must say I am impressed. The car is quiet, great on gas, has adequate power, plenty of room, and has been very dependable for my dad.
My dad recently passed and he passed on his 2001 Saturn L200 to me. It has 66K and is a 4 banger. I thought this car is going to be not much fun. But I am pleasantly surprised. It gets GREAT GAS MILEAGE! Same as a new ACCORD, or CAMERY and better then a new Fusion, or Altima! AND IT IS QUIET on the road! They are still make the 2.2 engine and I can see why. And the body still looks new. The fabrics are very durable. The blower motor is smooth and quiet.
I bought my L300 2+ years ago. It was well used, but in incredible shape for its age. This car has HUGE get up and go! Considering I have over 130,000 miles on it, it's just starting to show its age. In the last year I have had to replace the MAF, timing belt/chain, and now I have a blown head gasket and the a/c is bad. Folks, I've seen a lot of people write ugly stuff. You've had a bad experience, sure. But keep in mind you had only one car for your one experience. I have had three Saturns and loved every one. Nothing is wrong with mine that 10 years and 130,000 miles doesn't explain. It's nothing more than normal wear and tear. You folks slay me... ever heard of the Lemon Law??
Just past the 1 year mark of ownership of my L200. Nothing but good to say about it. No mechanical problems, great fuel mileage and lots of compliments on "the look" of the vehicle. My wife drives the big SUV (which we still take if we're hauling alot), but comfortwise I get no complaints from her when we jump into the Saturn. The 4-cylinder is more than adequate and fun to drive!
I purchased my L200 (White in color, whoever thought gold looked good on these cars should be put-down) in 2005 with 56k miles on it. T-Boned (passenger side approximately 40 mph) a few weeks ago, and the vehicle was totaled out. Side-curtain air bags kept my girlfriends head from going through the window, and she had no injuries beyond bumps and bruises. In 5 years I only put 30k miles on the car, and never put a dime into it beyond routine maintenance (oil changes, new tires, etc.) and frankly I didn't even perform those as often as I should have. Great car. Reliable. Dependable. Safe. I'd definitely buy another Saturn if they were still manufacturing them.
Bought this car because I needed something affordable that I could fit in (I'm 6'5"). Bonus was that it was fun to drive and looked good too, and I loved the dent-proof side-panels. The timing chain snapped, causing some engine damage, but no major engine problems after that repair. As it aged a few other things did stop working (AC, power steering, seat-adjuster), but it was still fun to drive, right up until I was rear-ended on the interstate. If you can find a low-mileage one cheap, it is a comfortable, fun sedan to drive with a lot of useful space.
This car is 9 years old and I have replaced the battery a few times, brakes and other regular maintenance up keep. Driving it is okay I'm noticing now that the right speaker is starting to go out but overall it's been good to me.
I bought this car used with 66,000 miles and have been very pleased; already at 110,000 miles. I have had problems with the axle seals leaking, they've been replaced twice, which is about $900 parts & labor. But better than a car payment. The daytime lights began blinking around the 90,000 mile mark. It's annoying, but not worth fixing for $800. The Saturn dealership has the part in stock to fix it; apparently it's a problem they see periodically. No other major concerns or repairs. Overall I'm happy with the performance, reliability and low maintenance of the vehicle. I'll drive it 'til it dies.
Great buying experience. Fantastic service department. Have done nothing but general maintenance and don't expect too for a long, long time. I also get better mileage than the window sticker shows as average!
Over all I am very happy with my l100. I had an l200 as a rental car for 2 weeks and loved it. My wife and I went with the 100 Special edition. It gave all the goodies of the l200 minus power windows, rear disc brakes and height adjusting driver seat for $2000+ less. It also included mags and a rear wing.. big plus for me. Saturn needs to improve the quality of the seat fabric.... bit on the cheesey side, and i dont know how long it will hold up. The sales experience was awesome. No compalints about the sales team. Friendly from start to finish. Ive been spoiled by it, and would buy from Saturn again because of it.
It's a dream to drive! Reliable, comfortable, fun and fast! And the service I receive at Saturn when I take my car for it's three monthly service, superb.
I set out seeking a mini luxory car to be used as a daily commuter to & from my office. When a friend introduced me to, at that time the new L300 with full options, leather, Moonroof, power seat, heated seat, fog lamps and V6 for $23,000 I bought it. To date I have been very pleased with both the dealer attention to detail, reliability, and the performance of the car. Gas mileage is just wonderful on regular 26 mpg average.
I drove a Blazer for 11 yrs., so was wary about buying a car. The V6 has plenty of punch so it's been fun to drive on the country roads. I've never gotten a speeding ticket 'til this yr...My test for usable interior space was if I could get a Xmas tree into it. No problem. Also crammed in a 27" tv! Had a coolant leak that, hopefully, is fixed after the second try. Other than that, no problems in a year and a half.
Overall performance good though hesitates when punched from stop. Handling good at mod speeds, adequate at high speeds. Interior quality poor, especially doors and controls. Door locks stopped working – solenoids replaced. Front end tie went out at 60,500. Had extended 60k warranty & Saturn still covered it. Firestone tires very noisy w/ bad snow traction. Lots of back-end road noise inside, especially in rain. The car is less then 2 years old and already has several rattles, sounds like a ten year old car. Disappointed in the overall construction and would not buy it again nor recommend it. Buy the V6 Camry instead.
The Saturn LS200 is a wonderful car. Our car has just the 4 cylinder engine, but produces amazing power and fuel economy. Driving in the mountains at 65mph with air condition on and four passengers we got 39mpg.On a 250mile drive on the prairie at 70mph we got 43.9mpg.This I think is fantastic for a family sedan.I sure cannot understand the poor rating given to this car.