Used 1999 Saturn S-Series Consumer Reviews - 155 Car Reviews | Edmunds

Consumer Reviews

1999 Saturn S-Series

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155 Total Reviews

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Best-Quality American-Made Car of the Late '90s!
11 of 15 people found this review helpful
Performance
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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
Performance
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Fuel Economy
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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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Great Car
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
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By Anonymous
on

Vehicle

1999 Saturn S-Series SL2 4dr Sedan


Review

This is our 3rd S series car, and like the first 2, a very reliable ride. The S series is very simple, economical transportation. Routine maintenance is all that has been needed. This car gets around 32 MPG, 36 on the highway. We bought this one with 70k miles. It now has 200K miles. 2 sets of tires,drive belt, and and cleaned the EGR valve once. Thats it. You will get bored with it before you wear it out!


Best Features

Simple to work on. MPG. No rust.


Worst Features

Cupholders!


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Great little car
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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By green saturn girl
on

Vehicle

1999 Saturn S-Series SL2 4dr Sedan


Review

When I bought my Saturn I never expected to have it for 11 years! Hardly a problem. Tires replaced once; brakes replaced once; just keeps going! Great gas mileage. One downfall; burns a lot of oil so you have to keep up on changes, not the greatest in the snow.


Best Features

Plastic exterior keeps car looking new. GREAT gas mileage. Very little repair.


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This car has served me well
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
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By Degs
on

Vehicle

1999 Saturn S-Series SC2 3dr Coupe


Review

I've had my Saturn for 6 years now, and am just now considering selling it because I need a bigger car. I have literally driven this car across the country and back, in the summer and winter, through mountains and desert and never had a problem. This car has been my baby and I've taken very good care of it. At around 125,000 miles I had the brakes replaced, and about 1000 miles later had to replace the heater core and thermostat. It has about 130,000 miles on it now and it needs a new front wheel bearing. The engine, transmission, clutch and exhaust have never given me any problems and still have no signs of wearing out. This has been a fun but reliable car for me, and I'll miss driving it.


Best Features

I drove 2100 miles for $150 when gas was about $3.50/gallon. This car has insane fuel economy when you use cruise control. Having plastic parts actually prevented this car from getting some serious body damage. It's been hit 4 times while parked, but only has some scratches to show for it.


Worst Features

The seats aren't very comfortable. Marathon driving like I used to do gets pretty uncomfortable. Also, the interior is pretty cheap and easily damaged.


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