I've had my SLII for nearly 10yrs and it won't die. It's been stolen, in several fender benders, gone on long road trips, never had covered parking and it's in good condition and runs like a champ! It's by no means a luxury vehicle, but it still gets great gas mileage and has comparative get-up-n-go to current cars in it's class. It's encouraged her family members to purchase Saturns, all at very affordable prices. After 14yrs it still passes the state's strict smog standards, has never broken down or left me stranded, and I would guess is close to or over 300,000 miles on the engine (odometer was broken 5yrs ago when it was stolen). I love my Saturn!
I bought my '94 Saturn used with a rebuilt engine, and it feels like new! Clutch is solid, every gear engages like a new Focus (I've had those, too). I got nearly 250 miles in the city on a half a tank of gas. It takes 50 miles just to come off FULL, and with the 5-speed I spend a lot of time in neutral to save gas. I LOVE it, and what's more, I love having a clean title and NO CAR PAYMENTS!
This has been an amazingly trouble free car. It is 11 years old, consistently gets better than 38 MPG (Hwy) and has had very little maintenance. In fact, I have had 4 repairs (outside regular maintenance) in 9 years of owning the vehicle, and the most expensive was $400.
Overall this car never left me stranded. But, the quality of the car was not good. It only had 76,000 mile on it when I bought it. Yet trim pieces fell off all the time, one of the power windows only worked sometimes, many little things. However, the major issue was that the engine block actually broke where the motor mount bolted to the block (not the mount but the actual block). Thus, I have a perfectly running engine with 82,000 miles on it. But no way to bolt the engine to the car. Pretty much makes the car (or at least the engine) worthless.
I bought my car in march of 2001, and
it has set a record at the dealer I
bought it at. That record is the cost
of the repairs. It is on its third
transmission, it has a new feul pump,
new radiator core, most of the engine
has been replaced, it has had about
four major oil leaks, the list goes
on. The car gets good gas mileage, it
is fast, it handles like a dream. But
I have never, ever seen a car with
such horrible reliability. I
recommend this car to no one.