Used 2002 Saturn S-Series

2002 Saturn S-Series
List Price Estimate
$1,125 - $2,545

Pros & Cons

  • Advanced airbag system, dealer sales and service experience, composite dent- and rust-resistant body panels.
  • Poor seating position and comfort, flimsy interior materials, questionable build quality.
Saturn S-Series years

Edmunds' Expert Review

Few cars on the market go 11 years without a major redesign -- the S-Series shows us why.

Vehicle overview

Saturn's small cars have enjoyed quite a following over the years, proving both fun to drive and reliable. And Saturn dealers have almost single-handedly sparked a retail revolution that emphasizes the ownership experience over sales commissions. Unfortunately, we want more from Saturn, such as more comfortable seats and better-quality switchgear and interior trim.

Saturn's biggest innovation as of late is an optional head-curtain airbag, which is available on all models. Deployed from the side roof rail, the head curtain unfolds as it inflates, creating a broad cushion to help prevent head and neck injuries in the event of a serious side impact. While head curtains have been incorporated into numerous high-dollar luxury sedans, Saturn was the first car company to offer this technology on economy-class cars.

Although the S-Series has never been fully redesigned since its debut in 1990, the various models have undergone slight revisions to keep their looks fresh. Last year saw the SC Coupe getting numerous reshaped body panels, while the SL Sedan and SW Wagon received their new faces a year earlier. As always, all models feature dent- and rust-resistant polymer exterior panels that not only eliminate corrosion, but provide dent resistance to the ever-present runaway shopping cart.

Inside, the small Saturns have a one-piece instrument panel cover, ostensibly to eliminate miscolored plastic pieces and ill-fitting seams, but we still find fault with interior fit and finish. The seating position is low to the floor, while the seats themselves feel too flimsy for long-haul comfort.

Two engine choices are on the S-Series roster, a 100-horsepower 1.9-liter four-cylinder or a twin-cam version of the same that generates 124 ponies, with either a five-speed manual or four-speed autobox. Allow us to suggest the twin-cam engine mated to the manual for less-pedestrian performance; they're a must if you plan on spirited driving. Rear drum brakes are standard on all models, with no option for four-wheel disc brakes.

Sedans can be had as a base SL, midrange SL1 or uplevel SL2; wagons are available as the standard SW1 or high-end SW2. Coupes come as the basic SC1 or sportier SC2. Although SC coupes received more standard equipment last year, be aware that the equipment list is short on all base versions, and many features are not packaged well enough to sell you on the midrange models. That means you may be forced into pricey high-end versions to get the kind of equipment you really want, which puts the price near or beyond such formidable opposition as the Nissan Sentra and the Ford Focus.

Packaging aside, if you're tired of the haggling quagmire and you're pretty much set on the car and options you want, Saturn's excellent dealer network, money-back guarantee, customer-first philosophy and reputation for reliability are attractive selling points. But we'd recommend that you shop around -- many econoboxes of yore have been vastly improved so as not to deserve such an ignominious title.

2002 Highlights

New aluminum 15-inch wheels and four new exterior colors are the only notable changes for 2002.


Overallundefined / 5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2002 Saturn S-Series.

5 star reviews: 44%
4 star reviews: 34%
3 star reviews: 14%
2 star reviews: 7%
1 star reviews: 1%
Average user rating: 4.1 stars based on 181 total reviews

Trending topics in reviews

  • fuel efficiency
  • value
  • reliability & manufacturing quality
  • appearance
  • driving experience
  • handling & steering
  • sound system
  • acceleration
  • safety
  • maintenance & parts
  • engine
  • oil
  • interior
  • doors
  • transmission
  • comfort
  • road noise
  • brakes
  • climate control
  • lights
  • seats
  • wheels & tires
  • spaciousness
  • warranty
  • electrical system
  • emission system
  • steering wheel
  • towing
  • ride quality
  • dashboard
  • visibility

Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars, Best Car We've Ever Had!! 200k and still like new!
SL2 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl 4A)

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)!

5 out of 5 stars, Didn't expect much, was pleasantly surprised.
SC2 3dr Coupe (1.9L 4cyl 5M)

This was my car in college. I thought I could get maybe three years out of it--I kept it for six. It wasn't fast, slick-looking or even very comfortable, bur it ran well when I needed it. I could always start it--even with a nearly dead battery in an icy Wisconsin winter. It wasn't very sporty, but the steering was responsive and fun. The acceleration with the manual was decent for a small engine and it sipped gas. The road noise was harsh at speed and the interior felt cheap, but the engine didn't sound hoarse and the controls were logically-placed. Parts for it were very cheap and easy to replace myself. I sometimes miss the simple, easy to fix Saturn.

5 out of 5 stars, I LOVE this car!!
SC2 3dr Coupe (1.9L 4cyl 4A)

I bought my 02 SC2 3 years ago and it only had 60,000 miles on it. I love the way it looks, sporty with an attitude, it definitely cannot be mistaken for any other vehicle from any angle, which is a huge plus in my book. I used my car for commuting over 500 miles a week for almost 2 years. I also am very hard on my cars, I have a bit of a lead foot. Now I use him to travel all over U.S. for my job, he now has over 133,000 miles on him but I do take care of him, with regular oil changes and tune ups. But this car has not cost me any more than that, I did put tires, but that's normal. My father, who owns a auto shop, told me to buy a Saturn. It was best choice I ever made! (8/2016) Still have car, it has over 175,000 miles, getting ready for a 1000 mi trip. I still love it.

5 out of 5 stars, ORIGINAL OWNER HAS OVER 208000 MILES
Mike Ainsworth,
SL 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl 5M)

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 original engine with a 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'Reiley Auto Parts. Replaced headlights from 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. Full coverage insurance is $265 every 6 months. Updated on August 7,2016 My Saturn SL1 is still running. Did have some repairs cost around 800 dollars to get it to pass emission. and misc. repair like new thermostat,,belt. air filter etc. at a honest repair shop here in town. Now it has about 216000 miles on it . I am so happy I don't have a payment. Its a good car. Last year 2016 my daughter bought a new car and instead of trading her old one she wanted me to buy her 2010 Ford Focus. Then we sold the saturn. It still ran good. I like my new used ford focus ses. I'm retired now and the car has been sold.

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Features & Specs

SL2 4dr Sedan features & specs
SL2 4dr Sedan
1.9L 4cyl 4A
MPG 22 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
124 hp @ 5600 rpm

SL1 4dr Sedan features & specs
SL1 4dr Sedan
1.9L 4cyl 4A
MPG 24 city / 34 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
100 hp @ 5000 rpm

SL 4dr Sedan features & specs
SL 4dr Sedan
1.9L 4cyl 5M
MPG 25 city / 36 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
100 hp @ 5000 rpm

SL1 4dr Sedan features & specs
SL1 4dr Sedan
1.9L 4cyl 5M
MPG 25 city / 36 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
100 hp @ 5000 rpm

See all Used 2002 Saturn S-Series features & specs


Is the Saturn S-Series a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2002 S-Series both on the road and at the track. You probably care about Saturn S-Series fuel economy, so it's important to know that the S-Series gets an EPA-estimated 26 mpg to 29 mpg, depending on the configuration. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Saturn S-Series. Learn more

Is the Saturn S-Series reliable?

To determine whether the Saturn S-Series is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the S-Series. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the S-Series's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2002 Saturn S-Series a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2002 Saturn S-Series is a good car. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2002 S-Series is a good car for you. Check back soon for the official Edmunds Rating from our expert testing team Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2002 Saturn S-Series?

The least-expensive 2002 Saturn S-Series is the 2002 Saturn S-Series SL 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl 5M). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $10,570.

Other versions include:

  • SL2 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl 4A) which starts at $14,375
  • SL1 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl 4A) which starts at $12,890
  • SL 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl 5M) which starts at $10,570
  • SL1 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl 5M) which starts at $12,030
  • SL2 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl 5M) which starts at $13,515
Learn more

What are the different models of Saturn S-Series?

If you're interested in the Saturn S-Series, the next question is, which S-Series model is right for you? S-Series variants include SL2 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl 4A), SL1 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl 4A), SL 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl 5M), and SL1 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl 5M). For a full list of S-Series models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2002 Saturn S-Series

Used 2002 Saturn S-Series Overview

The Used 2002 Saturn S-Series is offered in the following submodels: S-Series Sedan, S-Series Coupe. Available styles include SL2 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl 4A), SL1 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl 4A), SL 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl 5M), SC2 3dr Coupe (1.9L 4cyl 4A), SC1 3dr Coupe (1.9L 4cyl 4A), SC2 3dr Coupe (1.9L 4cyl 5M), SL1 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl 5M), SL2 4dr Sedan (1.9L 4cyl 5M), and SC1 3dr Coupe (1.9L 4cyl 5M).

What do people think of the 2002 Saturn S-Series?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2002 Saturn S-Series and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2002 S-Series 4.1 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2002 S-Series.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2002 Saturn S-Series and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2002 S-Series featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2002 Saturn S-Series?

Which 2002 Saturn S-Serieses are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2002 Saturn S-Series for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2002 Saturn S-Series.

Can't find a new 2002 Saturn S-Seriess you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Saturn S-Series for sale - 6 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $23,120.

Find a new Saturn for sale - 11 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $7,859.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2002 Saturn S-Series?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Saturn lease specials