Used 1999 Saturn S-Series Consumer Reviews - 153 Car Reviews | Edmunds

Consumer Reviews

1999 Saturn S-Series

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153 Total Reviews

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To Start, or not to Start, that is the question...
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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By krad007
on

Vehicle

1999 Saturn S-Series SC1 3dr Coupe


Review

I just bought a 1999 SC2 automatic coupe. It's a good little car, and hopefully will get me through a rough patch in my life.
However, in approximately 1 out of every 5 starts, it won't. It behaves as if the battery is dead. The dealer I bought it from has replaced the battery, as well as the starter, and the problem remains. He did this on the advice of two auto technicians, and it was tested prior to doing so.
I didn't have this issue on my 2003 L200, which was totaled in an accident in February :( I have the owners manual out in my front seat, and am doing what it tells me to do when I start it and when I park it.
Any ideas? No car, no work for me!:(
Thank you.


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Bought new and still have 13 years later!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
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By jdavi25
on

Vehicle

1999 Saturn S-Series SL2 4dr Sedan


Review

I bought my 99' SL2 at 18 years old. It has been the best car! It fits me like a glove. The gas mileage has always been close, or above 40 MPG. The car is spoiled. It has all proper maintenance performed, and the car looks great inside and out. The paint has started to fade only on the rear spoiler. I am thinking of having that touched up. I do have the sunroof option, and the drains need to be cleaned once a year so they do not clog and cause leaking. I have had to replace the speakers, one power window motor, and the alternator all after the 10 year mark. When it came time to make the repairs I really did not feel bad because the car never gave me any trouble before.


Best Features

The leather interior that requires care, but is still looking nice. I love the manual trans. It is hard to find a fully loaded car with a manual now days. My seats are very comfortable. The #1 best feature......the polymer panels that are dent resistant as well as rust proof! Another reason my car still looks great! I bought a 2007 Saturn Vue when I found out Saturn was not going to be using this material after 07'. (My wife drives that vehicle) Other people complement the car, and thinks it is much newer then it is. I have always had tinted windows on the car. I had them re-tinted a fews years ago. I feel it helped protect the interior from the sun. Traction control! LOVE IT!


Worst Features

I know it will not happen, but bring Saturn and the S series cars back!!! I planned on driving S series cars the rest of my life. I am doing my best to keep my car new, but wish I could buy a new one again! So with that said.....no reason to wish, or request improvements when no one will be able to do anything. Huge mistake that 2002 was the last year for this model. I will continue to drive my car I live very close to work, and bike sometimes so I only have 96k on the car. I now drive it about 2k a year in nice weather. No plans to get rid of it. I am happy driving it another 13 years! I am happy to get behind the wheel of this car!!!


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My Milage Did Vary
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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By pjm83
on

Vehicle

1999 Saturn S-Series SW1 4dr Wagon


Review

I purchased my Saturn used, with 52k miles, for $4k. Given the price of the car, I didn't demand much from it. I could forgive the uncomfortable seats, the anemic engine, the spartan interior; all I wanted was good gas milage and reliability. I was partially satisfied.

A wiring problem killed the headlights at 85k. At 90k, the rear wiper stopped working. The car began burning oil in this time period as well - I was a lot less impressed with the fuel economy when I was routinely adding other fluids to the car. 100k, and the engine mounts loosened, adding more to an already-obnoxious rattling while driving. At 115k, the transmission went kaput.

I had expected to drive the car further.


Best Features

Fuel economy was a high point. The car had an automatic transmission (there was no option to designate this when choosing a model for the review) -- which usually saps efficiency -- and still managed 30 mpg around the city. The wagon body style and folding rear seats provided a bottomless pit to stow cargo. Going camping in the mountains, I found the car had more space for passengers and their gear, than the engine was really able to move.


Worst Features

I had purchased this car largely based on reviews raving about it's reliability -- some saying they'd gone over 150K without anything more than basic matinence. Getting only to 115k, before facing repairs costing more than the value of the car, was a major disappointment. I'd suggest Saturn look to improving the overall build quailty of the car. I experienced a lot of trouble with the amenity features failing: there was a lot of rattling and creaking; the rear wiper failed; pieces of plastic covering from the dashboard frequently came loose. The cupholders needed to be redesigned: they were pushed so close to the front console, a beverage would block the use of the HVAC controls.


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Best-Quality American-Made Car of the Late '90s!
11 of 15 people found this review helpful
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By skeetervt
on

Vehicle

1999 Saturn S-Series SL1 4dr Sedan


Review

I bought my 1999 Saturn SL1 -- used -- in September 2002. It had just over 31,000 miles on it at the time. Nearly nine years and over 186,000 miles later, I won't part with it until it finally dies -- or I die, whichever comes first.

Even today, with more than 217,000 miles on it, my Saturn still runs very smoothly. And aside from the usual parts replacements you'd expect to have as your car ages (brake pads, battery, shocks & struts, spark plugs and, of course, tires), it has never had a major mechanical failure.

As far as I'm concerned, the 1999-2002 Saturn SL1 and SL2 were the best-quality cars that Saturn's Spring Hill, Tennessee plant ever produced.


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A good, if not exceptional, sedan
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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By landric
on

Vehicle

1999 Saturn S-Series SL2 4dr Sedan


Review

I bought a SL2 new in early 1999.
I went with the 5-Speed manual with a power package, ABS with traction control, alloy wheels, and the AM/FM cassette w/EQ.
Overall, I had a good experience with the car.
It was reasonably fun to drive, got excellent fuel mileage; 40 MPG on the highway regularly, and I never had a problem.
When I had to replace the tires at about 40k I got slightly wider 60 series (rather than the stock 65 series) tires and that improved handling significantly.
The manual shifted crisply and the engine was happy at higher RPMs.
I put 68k miles on the car in 3 years and traded it on a new 2002 Mazda Protege ES, which was a much better car for about the same price.


Best Features

Great gas mileage, smooth shifting manual transmission, totally reliable for the 3 years/68k miles I owned the car, and reasonably priced with the options I wanted. I bought the Saturn over a number of imports because I really wanted to buy American. I was happy with the car overall, and I don't regret the purchase. I really liked the fact that the engine had a timing chain rather than a belt, no costly replacement necessary at about 60k. If I found a SL2 manual for the right price in decent shape now, I'd consider it for a back and forth to work daily driver.


Worst Features

I did not like the location of the power window controls between the seats and the front seats lacked support and didn't go back far enough for me to be really comfortable on long drives, for someone taller than my 6 feet, this car would probably be a no-go. The change from rear discs to rear drums on the 99 was not an improvement, and the stock 65 series tires lacked grip, making the car less fun to drive than it could have been. The ABS/traction control was optional, and I had a hard time finding a manual transmission car so equiped, so I had to settle for a second choice color. ABS should be standard on all vehicles.


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