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Old 11-05-2013, 03:43 AM   #1
warlik50
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2001 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Which used car to get, SL2 or SC2

Hello, this is my first post in the S-series section, I own a 2001 V6 L300.

I'm very interested in the S series cars and am deciding upon getting either the SL2 or SC2. Hopefully you guys can help me choose between which might be better for my needs.

From what I've read the SL2 is lighter but also slightly bigger than the SC2, could anyone confirm this? Also, presuming that the SL2 is lighter, does that mean that it is faster or has a better 0-60 and fuel efficiency?

Looks wise, I think I prefer the SC2 but if the SL2 has more "get-up-and-go" to it and better fuel efficiency then I think I have my pick.

Lastly, what are the best years for these cars? I'm definitely looking for something 1996 or later for the OBDII, but I would like opinions on the best years regarding weight, looks, fuel efficiency and speed. Also, I'm only interested in a manual transmission, but I believe both cars have this option.

I tried looking for a thread like this but haven't had much look so I made my own thread, thanks in advance for any information
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:36 AM   #2
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2001 SC2
Default Re: Which used car to get, SL2 or SC2

All the DOHC's get nearly identical (within 2mpg) fuel economy, given the same conditions. I've noticed the cops noticing me more in my SC2 than they did with a SW2, even doing the same things and the wagon being unsuspected for the entire ~8 months I owned it (made it less than a day with the SC2 even though I was on Day 1 of the 15 day window and not past a single cop while the wagon they never noticed).

I'd go with a SC2 if I don't need more than 1 passenger room more than once in a while. If you'll need more than 1 passenger fairly often, or have a baby/child's seat you'll hate having less than 4 doors.

Trunk room is the same between all the non-Wagon models.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:43 AM   #3
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2000 SW2
2002 SL1
Default Re: Which used car to get, SL2 or SC2

Both cars are good, Just is your own personal preference weather you want a Coupe or a Sedan, Both cars are good though best of luck!
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:47 AM   #4
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Which used car to get, SL2 or SC2

I prefer the SC2 because of it's spritlier cornering. I also prefer the look. Good 2nd gen (1998).
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:10 AM   #5
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Which used car to get, SL2 or SC2

No rear doors to rot out in the SC2
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:53 AM   #6
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2002 SC2
1998 SL2
Default Re: Which used car to get, SL2 or SC2

^ ^ ^ beat me to it

I seldom carry back seat passengers. SL2 for now, will eventually sell it (in ~5 years?) and drive the SC2 because my coupe doesn't have rust at the rear doors. Probably very slight aerodynamic advantage to the SC2 though have not confirmed.

My preference is 96 or 98... 97 only if you can confirm the fuel pump has been replaced or can remember to turn the key to ON, wait a few seconds before starting. (or if you don't mind doing it yourself)

1999 puts you into the narrow head years, and possibly AIR pump as well (I wouldn't throw a 99-02 out of bed for eating crackers, just would not be my very first choice).

Though I think personally, the 3rd gen cars (00-02 SL2, 01-02 SC2) were the best looking.
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:28 PM   #7
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1996 SC2
2002 SL1
Default Re: Which used car to get, SL2 or SC2

The back seat in a SC2 folds down. I have hauled pvc pipe, 2x4's even a water softener! I have removed the passenger seat so many times. With the passenger seat removed and the back seat folded down. I'm amazed at the things if hauled in such a small car!!
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:11 PM   #8
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1997 SL1
Default Re: Which used car to get, SL2 or SC2

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
^ ^ ^ beat me to it

I seldom carry back seat passengers. SL2 for now, will eventually sell it (in ~5 years?) and drive the SC2 because my coupe doesn't have rust at the rear doors. Probably very slight aerodynamic advantage to the SC2 though have not confirmed.

My preference is 96 or 98... 97 only if you can confirm the fuel pump has been replaced or can remember to turn the key to ON, wait a few seconds before starting. (or if you don't mind doing it yourself)

1999 puts you into the narrow head years, and possibly AIR pump as well (I wouldn't throw a 99-02 out of bed for eating crackers, just would not be my very first choice).

Though I think personally, the 3rd gen cars (00-02 SL2, 01-02 SC2) were the best looking.
I wonder why saturn did that to the 97's.
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:30 PM   #9
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2002 SC2
1998 SL2
Default Re: Which used car to get, SL2 or SC2

Quote:
Originally Posted by jesse8931 View Post
I wonder why saturn did that to the 97's.
Wasn't intentional... I think they got a bad supply

Back seats of SL2 fold down as well

Back seats of SC2 have cupholders in the middle, can't put a baby seat in the middle (has to go to one side or the other). People have swapped rear seats though
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:51 PM   #10
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1998 SC1
1996 SL
Default Re: Which used car to get, SL2 or SC2

I have a coupe and a four door. If you park in tight spaces the four door has a shorter door and it makes it easier to get into and out of. This is of big concern to some.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:38 PM   #11
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Which used car to get, SL2 or SC2

Park farther away from the door and you will have plenty of door room.
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: Which used car to get, SL2 or SC2

If I had to redo my buying decision, I would still get an SL2. IMO the pop-up headlight coupe is the only coupe that I would buy, because I'm not a fan of the looks of the other coupes

I prefer SL2s from 1996-2002. I prefer the 1996-1999 exterior design, but if I remember correctly the 2000-2002 style has cup holders in the doors
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:36 PM   #13
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1997 SL1
Default Re: Which used car to get, SL2 or SC2

If I could buy any saturn it would be a sw2 with manual trans
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:40 PM   #14
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1997 SC2
Happy Re: Which used car to get, SL2 or SC2

The coupe was and is my vote.

If you don't need to put anyone in the rear seats often (if ever), go with the coupe, or possibly the wagon.
The 4-door sedan seems to me to be a bit compromised for door size, seat size/position and general utility.

The coupe's wider doors really aren't a problem in parking lots, and the front access is definitely better.
If you move the seats back a few inches as I did, almost anyone will fit in and out of the front seats without being contortionists.

As someone else said, I too have carried things in the back with the rear seats folded down that you would never believe would fit.
And the trunk lid even closed on all of it!
The wagon would be just that much better in that regard.

The three door coupes (later models) are quite appealing, but I like my '97 too.

BTW, my car has the fuel pump check valve flaw.
I turn on the key, fasten my seat belt, and start it.
That's more than enough time for it to prime.
It starts on the first try 99+% of the time.
It's just a habit you get into.
I'll change the pump out someday.....
I'm really not concerned about it.

I'd buy my '97 SC2 again.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:46 PM   #15
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1997 SL2
Default Re: Which used car to get, SL2 or SC2

if it's just you, yourself and well, you (with the occassional friend or roomie/girlfriend) I'd get an SC2. Otherwise get a SL2. And yes, both configurations did come with a manual.

As for better years, keep in mind that 1996 and 1997 use a return fuel system and the '97s take a few extra seconds to prime before it runs. 1998-2002 are returnless systems and the regulator is in the fuel filter.
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:09 AM   #16
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2001 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Which used car to get, SL2 or SC2

WOW! I never expected this many comments in such a short time (I've only ever posted in the L-Series section.

I am pretty sold on the SC2 (as apparently most of you are too)

Mostly its just me and 1 passenger so I certainly don't "need" the ease of access in the backseats.

I think I like the 2nd and 3rd gen looks of the coupes the best. If I'm correct the 2nd gen starts from 96 to 99 and then 3rd gen is 00-02 right?

Is there anything I should be worried about concerning the 97-99 2nd gen coupes? I think I remember one poster mentioned something about the fuel pump, more information on possible issues would be wonderful, again thank you guys so much for the fast comments!
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:02 AM   #17
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Which used car to get, SL2 or SC2

The 97 has a generic fuel pump defect with the pump check valve that allows the fuel system to bleed down so starting requires waiting for the prime cycle to complete.

The 99 is a transition year as is the 96 to a lesser extent which makes information and parts interchange more difficult.That leaves the 97 and 98. The fuel pump is not a big deal so consider them as equivalent.
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:00 AM   #18
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2002 SC2
1998 SL2
Default Re: Which used car to get, SL2 or SC2

Quote:
Originally Posted by warlik50 View Post
WOW! I never expected this many comments in such a short time (I've only ever posted in the L-Series section.
The S-series forum is pretty active (and opinionated )
Quote:
If I'm correct the 2nd gen starts from 96 to 99 and then 3rd gen is 00-02 right?
I think the 2nd gen coupe body style is 97-00. The 1996 coupe still had the flip up headlights and gen 1 exterior but was OBD II with gen 2 interior. Not sure which interior the 2000 coupe had.
Quote:
I think I remember one poster mentioned something about the fuel pump, more information on possible issues would be wonderful, again thank you guys so much for the fast comments!
The fuel pump issue is realy not a big deal, just something to be aware of.... I said only if it was changed OR you can remember to wait a few seconds to start the car after turning the key to ON (what DIYguy mentioned, using those seconds to buckle up, is how a lot of people do it. If you have signatures on, you'll see a '97 coupe in my sig as well

I mention remembering to wait, because my wife does not remember things like that and would kill the starter before she remembered I didn't have a problem buying my '97 because it's a manual trans, which she won't drive
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:05 AM   #19
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Which used car to get, SL2 or SC2

It is the 95 that has the gen-2 interior in a gen-1 body, the 96 is all gen-2. The 96 electrical is a bit different so that can cause some confusion when swapping parts. The 97 and 98 are comparable for the most part. The 99 has the first year of the narrow head engine and aluminum intake.
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:42 AM   #20
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1999 SL2
2001 SL1
Default Re: Which used car to get, SL2 or SC2

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
It is the 95 that has the gen-2 interior in a gen-1 body, the 96 is all gen-2. The 96 electrical is a bit different so that can cause some confusion when swapping parts. The 97 and 98 are comparable for the most part. The 99 has the first year of the narrow head engine and aluminum intake.
Are you talking coupes or sedans/wagons? I though the coupe was delayed a year like alordofchaos eluded to. New body style in 97 and again in 2001.
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