I got this car from my grandparents. It's the cheapest model, with a mere 85 hp. I have to say, this car is a perfect example of how mean old economy cars were. It's extremely slow, so slow that I actually feel unsafe in traffic because I can't accelerate quickly in a pinch. It requires a huge amount of gas to shift gears without shaking. It leaks oil (though it doesn't seem to burn it). Fuel economy is around 30 mpg overall, but I'd expect more given how underpowered this car is. The turning radius is very wide at around 38 feet, and power steering doesn't help one bit. At 143k miles, the car feels much older than many higher mileage cars I've owned in the past. The car feels old. Even at just 143k, it is on its last legs. There aren't any big problems, but many small ones.
I'm sitting here with a heavy heart today...after eleven years with good Ol' Bessie, I have purchased a new car and have decided to donate Bessie to Melwood. I bought my new car 3 weeks ago, but I can't stop driving Bessie. My friends have been kidding me about it, but I truely do love my Saturn. I need to feed her a quart of oil every week, but she's been a fantastic car and has never let me down.
I bought the 1993 Saturn SL2 used from a private party in August 2003 w/ only 45,000 miles on it. From the very 1st day I had it the car was nothing, but a money pit even though it had a clean Carfax record!!! 1st of all the car burned a ton of oil ( a quart every 600-700 miles and after reading many reviews this seems to be a problem on this model. 2nd - The A/C Blew out on it and had the compressor replaced 3 times because the clutch on the compressor kept burning out for some reason that mechanics couldn't figure out. 3rd - Went through 2 alternators. 4th - My favorite here went through 3 tensioner pulleys, which Saturns seem to go through all the time. Out of space but can go on!
Had to have altenator replaced right after warranty ran out. Stuck out on road when it happened. Then had to have another altenator at around 75,000 miles. Several other things. I'm afraid to drive out of town by myself in it.
Bought my Saturn SL2 after 15 years in a well-loved VW Rabbit. Can't believe I am at 12 years in the Saturn - it still looks almost new. I got sidswiped in a parking lot and was able to scrape the other car's paint off with a cuticle stick, re-wax, and voila, looks like new. Any other car would have been $1000 in the body shop. After a few mechanical glitches under warranty which the dealer cheerfully fixed, I have had no significant problems and have spent very little money on the car other than preventive maintenance. Buying this car was a good decision! I am hoping for 4-5 more years while the kid is in college.