1999 Saturn S-Series Review

Type:

Pros & Cons

  • Composite dent- and rust-resistant side body panels, standard third door, optional ABS, optional traction control.
  • Questionable styling, ultra-cheap interior materials, weak standard equipment list.
Other years
List Price Estimate
$977 - $2,283

Used S-Series for Sale
Select your model:
See all for sale

Get More For Your Trade-In

Get More For Your Trade-In

Edmunds shoppers get on average $235 more for their trade-in.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

There is inherent goodness to Saturn designs, and the SC is no exception. The cars are fun to drive, they are reliable and Saturn dealers have almost single-handedly sparked a retail revolution that emphasizes the ownership experience over sales commissions.

Unfortunately, we want more from Saturn. We want more comfortable seats and better quality switchgear. A consumer pays full sticker when buying a Saturn and, frankly, we aren't convinced the cars are worth the price of admission. Let's examine the SC coupe, which costs more than $13,000 for the base model and doesn't include air conditioning, power windows, power door locks or a cassette stereo.

Under the hood is a 100-horsepower 1.9-liter inline four-cylinder engine, putting power to the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox. Add minimal essentials like A/C and a cassette and the sticker climbs well above $14,000. At this price, you're still cranking that window up on your own. Want ABS (which includes traction control)? You're at 15 grand, and the car still has plastic wheel covers and manual locks. Is this value? We think not.

Move up to the SC2, which gives you a more powerful twin-cam engine, variable effort steering, a sporty suspension, aluminum wheels, fog lights, spoiler, multi-adjustable seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The tariff for these goodies is an additional $1,300, which is well worth the money. But at this price, you could get behind the wheel of a Honda Civic HX, replete with power windows and power door locks. If you then add a CD player and the option package that includes air conditioning, power equipment, cruise control and remote keyless entry, the price soars above $17,000 and that doesn't include ABS, floor mats or an automatic transmission. With these additional items, the SC2 closes on $20,000 after taxes.

Price aside, the SC2 is a good time in the twisties. Saturn coupes grip the road well and the SC2's twin-cam engine provides entertaining acceleration. Seating positions are low to the floor, while the seats themselves feel flimsy. Long-haul comfort isn't a Saturn strong point, although the new driver's-side third door makes it easier to access the back seat. The dash is contemporary in style, but there obviously isn't much invested in the plastic used for panels and buttons.

One of the best parts about buying a Saturn is that dealers treat you like a human being. The service is outstanding, the advertising tugs at the heartstrings and the cars run for a long time. Still, sales are sliding, and we think it has more to do with stale product and high prices than anything else. Just make sure you shop around before settling on the Saturn.

1999 Highlights

Starting in the late fall of 1998, all coupes will be fitted with a rear-access door on the driver side designed to provide easier entry to the backseat. Drum brakes replace the rear discs previously available on SC2s and SL2s equipped with ABS. Engines benefit from engineering upgrades that improve fuel economy and reduce noise, vibration and emissions. Finally, the SC2 gets new plastic wheel covers and a new optional alloy wheel design.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1999 Saturn S-Series.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

outstanding car
jstout1331,08/10/2012
i bought this my 1999 SL1 for a measly 500 dollars with 200,000 miles on it... it was sopposed to be temporary. ha! now with nearly 300,000 miles on it i cant think of a reason to get rid of it. the darn thing gets 40+ MPG its pretty comfortable for a little car, and im 6 foot 5!!! the only things we have had to fix were the water pump (20 bucks), a pulley tensioner (40 bucks), and a valve cover gasket (8 bucks) this car is great. ive had many cars, not one this reliable!! kudos Saturn, its a shame GM got rid of you and left Buick still standing
This car takes a licking and keeps on ticking!
schanteuzer1,06/21/2013
I did not realize 'til I had my "new" 1999 Saturn wagon just how badly this car had been abused. I drove the car home on fumes, it was so low on gas. I checked the oil a few weeks later. It was over 3 quarts low! Then I had a flashback to when I first went to look at the car and the first words out of the previous owner's mouth were "It hasn't been sitting." I drove it around for a bit, liked it and bought it. I seriously don't know why this car continued to run the way it was treated, but I did some regular maintenance things (like an oil change), I've had it for about 5 years now and I have not had to do any major repairs -it still runs great!
Great used car. 4 years 150k miles later
cody ross,12/17/2015
SL2 4dr Sedan
Bought it for 4k flat title included used at 70k miles flat. 4 years later at 150k miles and even hit a deer. All it required was a 150 dollar bumper and headlight replacement and oil changes and various other little basic needs over the course. No major fixes. No major problems. Small issues include power locks dying. Air conditiong dying. Lock broke on driver door. But not something i care about. I recommend this as a cheap moving point a point b location car.
Great Car
its_pacmang6,03/08/2013
I bought a 99 Saturn SL1 with the 1.9l five speed. the car sat for two years after hitting a tree and bending the frame a bit, and after two years of sitting in the weeds and snow(and no passenger window), I put plexiglass in the window changed oil and brakes and the car runs great. I bought it for a work car so Im not gunna put a lotta money in it. I know its oly got 113k but there is absolutely no leaks, its not a car to brag about but it is very reliable and gets great gas mileage.

Features & Specs

See all Used 1999 Saturn S-Series features & specs

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    0

More about the 1999 Saturn S-Series

Used 1999 Saturn S-Series Overview

The Used 1999 Saturn S-Series is offered in the following submodels: S-Series Sedan, S-Series Coupe, S-Series Wagon. Available styles include SC2 3dr Coupe, SW2 4dr Wagon, SC1 3dr Coupe, SC1 2dr Coupe, SL2 4dr Sedan, SC2 2dr Coupe, SL 4dr Sedan, SL1 4dr Sedan, and SW1 4dr Wagon.

What's a good price on a Used 1999 Saturn S-Series?

Price comparisons for Used 1999 Saturn S-Series trim styles:

  • The Used 1999 Saturn S-Series SL2 is priced between $1,199 and$1,199 with odometer readings between 125526 and125526 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1999 Saturn S-Serieses are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1999 Saturn S-Series for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 1999 S-Serieses listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $1,199 and mileage as low as 125526 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1999 Saturn S-Series.

Can't find a used 1999 Saturn S-Seriess you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Saturn S-Series for sale - 2 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $21,004.

Find a used Saturn for sale - 1 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $22,705.

Find a used certified pre-owned Saturn S-Series for sale - 7 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $18,869.

Find a used certified pre-owned Saturn for sale - 8 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $7,937.

Should I lease or buy a 1999 Saturn S-Series?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Saturn lease specials
Check out Saturn S-Series lease specials