Used 1996 Saturn S-Series Sedan Consumer Reviews
I bought my 96 Saturn SL1 new and it has been the most reliable car I have ever owned. Not a fancy car but one that always gets you from point A to B. Like others a very minor problem with the shift linkage which was fixed by dealer even though it was out of warranty. Took on a deer at 50mph, car stopped straight with both hands off steering wheel (was covering my face for protection). Very solid car for the money. Son and I just put a new cylinder head on at 150K but total cost was about $600 which included tools, the head, gaskets, all new hoses etc. Put it back together, started it up and son drove it home. Still gets 37mpg after 14 years. Doesn't burn a drop of oil.
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).
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.
I bought this car in dec of 06 for 2700. Two months later the starter goes out, 9 months after that the alternator goes out, 4 months after that the starter goes out again. The sun-roof has leaked since day one, causing the leather seats to crack, my driver side window not to roll down, the radio has been completely fried due to the leaking sun roof. I would not by a saturn with a sun roof ever again. Drinks way too much oil. I put 2 quarts every week in it. Have oil changes every 1000 miles.
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.