I bought this car from my dad back in 2004 with 140K miles on it. It now has about 213K, and the engine is running great - it's performed almost like a Japanese car. Other than routine maintenance (oil changes, the odd tune up, new tires) the only things I've had to replace on this car were an engine mount and a rear windshield (the windshield can't be blamed on the manufacturer - some kid smashed it one night). The cosmetics of the car aren't great, but what do you expect from a car that's been kept outside for over a decade? It needs a little oil added about once every other tank. But it gets amazing gas mileage (about 29 in town and almost 40 on the highway).
It just keeps going!
Oh, and it has a remote, and dimming headlights. No one expects a car this old and this cheap to have those things.
Saturn has bitten the dust; when this car goes, I'm looking into something with more horsepower.
I have had my 96 saturn for about the last 7 years. It was bought used by my grandparents and then sold to me when they wanted a new one. I didn't have a lot of problems with it at all in these last 7 years. Have never had any big issues until recently. Has 196,000 miles and I have a bad cylinder. Unfortunately I have to find a new car before mine really stops running. I was very pleased overall and it just seems like a fluke that I did not get more miles out of it. I am now looking at a 1999 Saturn SL2...so obsessed with the Saturn.
Comfortable, heats up quickly, not a lot of big issues.
Only some small things have gone wrong...windshield wipers started acting up, one of the windows stopped working, the car makes the ding noise when it shouldn't, sometimes the dome light won't turn off and the defrosters only works when it wants to. Also guzzles oil and the AC compressor has issues. These things aren't terribly bad for being 16 years old.
Bought this car used in 2002 with 60k miles. I kept up with routing maintenance. Repairs were consistent with normal wear and tear and never anything major. Had 185K miles on the car last week when a lady cut me off and my car was totaled and I am heart broken but my little car protected us from receiving serious injuries. It did leak oil as is common with this model because of the valve cover gasket. I still got almost 40 mpg on highway and 30 mpg city. This is the best car I ever owned in 40 years of car ownership. My little Saturn did die a noble death. I am looking for another used Saturn and would recommend it to anyone looking for a reliable economical auto.
The manual transmission provided great gas mileage.
I got this car because I had to. I regret it. This is the cheapest made car I have ever owned. My back windows won't stay up no matter what I do. I have them duct taped at the moment. My car shakes and rattles and no one can figure out why. I had to replace the radiator and muffler. The muffler has been replaced twice actually. It goes through oil very fast and I have to change the oil every 1,000 miles or so. I have to put coolant in it every other week or so. The one good thing about this car is it gets great gas mileage. I do not recommend this car to anyone.
First of all, I never write reviews. my 96 Saturn sl2 died today. Actually coolant started spraying out from the motor. I have had this car for about ten years, besides the regular maintenance, i have changed the muffler and 2 tie rods. the car is boring and plain, BUT it is VERY reliable. it will be sad tomorrow watching it being picked up by the tow truck for scrap. I am already looking at buying a more recent sl2 just because of the reliability
Gas mileage was incredible Reliability was for me unreal. Who would think you can get that kind of mileage from a G.M.