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Old 05-05-2003, 07:04 PM   #1
macmaroon
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2002 SL1
Arrow Looking for help with a 2000 Saturn SL1

Hello,

Until recently, I have been driving the streets of Winnipeg Canada in an old 1975 Chevy Nova. It was a good car, but this past winter was a bit hard and the car finally gave out. I have been busy looking for a 'newer' car, and came upon a 2000 Saturn SL1. I had never driven a Saturn before, and did not know what to expect. I was very impressed with how it handled, and was very comfortable driving it. It didn't have a lot of 'pep' as my eight-cylinder gas-guzzling Nova, but I guess that's really not important.

What I would like to know, before I buy the car, is some feedback from other 2000 Saturn SL1 drivers. How have your experiences been with your car, any problems, complaints, horror stories, or have you simply enjoyed driving it? Any information would be most helpful, as I'm torn between the Saturn and a 2000 Chevrolet Malibu.

Thank you very much for your time. I look forward to your comments.

Mac Maroon
mailto:macmaroon@geocities.com

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Old 05-05-2003, 07:23 PM   #2
Jaseball
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Saturn SL1 and SL2 models are built quite well and should last a good long time.

As in any used car purchase the most important aspect is doing your homework on the car before you buy. Check the VIN for accidents/repairs. Look into the car's service records. Have an independant mechanic check out the car inside and out. Factor in tires, brakes, and other other parts on the car that wear out normally.

Best of luck with the car. My SL2 held up for well over 10 years and with care I am sure it would have lasted another 10 years easy.

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Old 05-06-2003, 12:49 PM   #3
GreyDuck
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1992 SL2
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I test drove a 1993 SL1 and It was in perfect condition, but It was too slow for me. You should look at SL2's if you want 'pep'

...
Brian
2001 Ford Focus ZTS
1992 Saturn SL2
Go UofL Cardinals!

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Old 05-06-2003, 01:51 PM   #4
BobL
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We owned one and found it only fair in reliability. Had it from 0 to 50K miles when a hit-and-run sent it to the great Spring Hill in the sky.

1. Two steering racks changed for noise
2. Auto trans valve went at 34K. Common glitch - symptom is delayed then rough shift into reverse.
3. Very flimsy interior especially console. The 99 was much sturdier.
4. Power window auto down switch died (son's car - I'd never get power windows in any car).

Had several S's before this one. Would only rate the 2000 fair. The change from gen 2 to gen 3 was 2000.

Might want to look at the 99 or, considering the deals out there, an ION.

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Old 05-06-2003, 03:25 PM   #5
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2002 VUE 2.2L
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Quote:
Originally posted by I need a car
I test drove a 1993 SL1 and It was in perfect condition, but It was too slow for me. You should look at SL2's if you want 'pep'
The SL1 you drove was a 85 hp TBI model, his is the 100 HP SFI model... quite the difference. I have seen a 100 HP SL1 grab rubber in 2nd numerous times.
~D.J.~

...
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2002 VUE FWD4m - Gone but not forgotten. 5/14/2002 - 10/31/2011

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Old 05-06-2003, 03:26 PM   #6
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2002 VUE 2.2L
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Quote:
Originally posted by BobL
We owned one and found it only fair in reliability. Had it from 0 to 50K miles when a hit-and-run sent it to the great Spring Hill in the sky.

1. Two steering racks changed for noise
2. Auto trans valve went at 34K. Common glitch - symptom is delayed then rough shift into reverse.
3. Very flimsy interior especially console. The 99 was much sturdier.
4. Power window auto down switch died (son's car - I'd never get power windows in any car).

Had several S's before this one. Would only rate the 2000 fair. The change from gen 2 to gen 3 was 2000.

Might want to look at the 99 or, considering the deals out there, an ION.
I would not consider this normal, Bob.. I see very few SL1s come into work with serious problems.. mainly they come on for fluid changes and such.
~D.J.~

...
2012 Mercedes Benz C250 Sport Sedan
2008 smart fortwo Passion Coupe 8/28/2008 - 3/12/2012
2002 VUE FWD4m - Gone but not forgotten. 5/14/2002 - 10/31/2011

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Old 05-06-2003, 08:11 PM   #7
Swizelman45
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My SL1 has almost 70,000 miles on it, and it's running great. As long as you keep up on the maintenance, and it was descently taken care of before, you should be fine.

The only problems I had was the rear center cupholders, the plastic broke. I've had other things replaced, but it was my fault. (one case McDonald's)

It's a solid car, with a great torque, and light wieght. Excellent fuel economy. The interior is mediocre though.

...
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2000 Saturn SL1

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Old 05-07-2003, 01:36 PM   #8
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Roll Eyes SL 1 Horror Story

Let me start by saying I've given Saturn a second chance and thankfully CAC has been responsive by offering a substantial complimentary extened service plan on our new VUE. I agree with the previous posts and do believe that the 2000 S series is lacking in quality but that also our particular situation was extreme.
Last Friday we traded our SL1 in with 63,000K at a huge loss for a VUE after finding out that we would have to replace the rear main seal for the second time in a year. Ironically not a drop of oil was on my garage floor and the tech determined that it was collecting in the clutch housing. Our clutch has been getting increasingly soft and in the last month we lost a full quart of oil. The rack and pinion also needed replacing etc... all in all we were looking at nearly $4,000 in work. I'm moving my family to Alaska in 3 weeks from Pennsylvania and have no desire to get stranded on the way. So we decided to cut our losses.
The trouble began before the warrenty was up. We had to have the clutch accentuator replaced twice, exhaust work, warped brakes, rear main seal and other issues ad nauseum.
I really hope the VUE doesn't give us this much trouble, so far we love it. However the thought of how much money the SL1 cost will haunt me for some time.
Definitely do a VIN check for repair reports etc... if you do so, you definitely won't end up with our old 2000 SL1!
Good Luck!

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Old 05-11-2003, 03:11 PM   #9
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I have a 2000 SL2. Only repair so far was a minor trans pan leak. Know friends who had the Malibu. No real problems.

I would go with Saturn for the service, plus you'll never have to worry about rust being in the north.

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Old 05-13-2003, 12:56 PM   #10
Mentul77
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Quote:
Originally posted by OhioVueBoy
The SL1 you drove was a 85 hp TBI model, his is the 100 HP SFI model... quite the difference. I have seen a 100 HP SL1 grab rubber in 2nd numerous times.
~D.J.~
hmmm what year was this changed? between 99 and 00?

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Old 05-13-2003, 02:02 PM   #11
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2002 VUE 2.2L
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Between 1994 and 1995.
~D.J.~

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2002 VUE FWD4m - Gone but not forgotten. 5/14/2002 - 10/31/2011

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Old 05-13-2003, 02:34 PM   #12
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I would never even consider and SL1. If you're going to get an S series Saturn, make sure you get the DOHC motor at the very least. I also would never consider a Saturn with a slush box, but if you're looking for an auto, I understand the Saturn version is one of the better ones out there.

...
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2007 Ion Coupe (Daughters eventually)

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Old 05-13-2003, 04:24 PM   #13
Mentul77
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Quote:
Originally posted by OhioVueBoy
Between 1994 and 1995.
~D.J.~
ahh cool. sorry to ask a stupid question.

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Old 05-14-2003, 08:59 PM   #14
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2008 Astra XR
Thumbs Up Good experience with SL1

Quote:
Originally posted by Applefool
I would never even consider and SL1. If you're going to get an S series Saturn, make sure you get the DOHC motor at the very least. I also would never consider a Saturn with a slush box, but if you're looking for an auto, I understand the Saturn version is one of the better ones out there.
Awwww Rats!

But power and performance wasn't a high priority on my list when I bought my car. I saw that the price for the SOHC was lower and it got slightly better gas mileage, so I bought that. I originally wanted a manual but they didn't have one with the options I desired and I really needed a car and couldn't wait (also, I didn't really know how to drive a stick, so I figured getting the auto wasn't so bad, and I was reminded of that today when I spent an hour in stop and go traffic)

So Apple is right, if you want something with a little more pep try to find an SL2 with a manual.

As for my 2000 SL1 automatic, it’s been great for three years and 60k miles. Its never left me stranded on the side of the road or failed to start. I couple non-maintenance items needed to be replaced but they were nothing major and were covered under warrantee. I average about 32 mpg with mixed highway and city driving. My only complaints against the car are the usual ones involving the “stiff ride” and the “buzzy engine.” It sounds cool as it growls but when I try to pass someone on a hill it sounds a little stressed out. The car will get you to the top of the hill but its just really loud in doing so. But like I said, performance wasn’t an all-important issue for me.

All I wanted was something to get me around efficiently and economically (with some nice power options ), and my Saturn has been just that.

...
2008 Astra 5-dr XR
black sapphire, manual
leather, sport, sunroof, adv audio
*************************
2000 SL1
2003 Ion3

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