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2001 Saturn L

$297 — $5,381 USED
Sedan
5 Seats
23 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
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Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
Curtain-type airbags that protect the heads of front and rear occupants are a new option for all Saturn models this year. The airbags store above the side windows and inflate along the length of the passenger compartment. Antilock brakes and traction control also are optional on all models.

Saturn introduced the midsize L-Series sedan and wagon for 2000 to broaden its market reach beyond the small-car segment.

The front-drive L-Series models are based on the European Opel Vectra but are substantially modified for the U.S market and are built at a General Motors plant in Delaware. They are the first Saturn models not fully designed and developed in the United States. In addition, the Delaware plant operates under a conventional UAW contract instead of the more flexible arrangement at the Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tenn.



Exterior
Despite its European origins, the L-Series has dent- and rust-resistant polymer side body panels attached to a skeletonlike steel space frame that is characteristic of all Saturns. Styling on the L-Series shows a strong family resemblance to the smaller Saturn S-Series sedans (the SC and SL), including a prominent crease that runs the length of the side body.

The L-Series’ 106-inch wheelbase and 190-inch overall length are close to the dimensions of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, the two best-selling midsize cars.



Interior
The dashboard looks like it was lifted from a Toyota or Honda, with round analog gauges, column stalks for lig...
Vehicle Overview
Curtain-type airbags that protect the heads of front and rear occupants are a new option for all Saturn models this year. The airbags store above the side windows and inflate along the length of the passenger compartment. Antilock brakes and traction control also are optional on all models.

Saturn introduced the midsize L-Series sedan and wagon for 2000 to broaden its market reach beyond the small-car segment.

The front-drive L-Series models are based on the European Opel Vectra but are substantially modified for the U.S market and are built at a General Motors plant in Delaware. They are the first Saturn models not fully designed and developed in the United States. In addition, the Delaware plant operates under a conventional UAW contract instead of the more flexible arrangement at the Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tenn.



Exterior
Despite its European origins, the L-Series has dent- and rust-resistant polymer side body panels attached to a skeletonlike steel space frame that is characteristic of all Saturns. Styling on the L-Series shows a strong family resemblance to the smaller Saturn S-Series sedans (the SC and SL), including a prominent crease that runs the length of the side body.

The L-Series’ 106-inch wheelbase and 190-inch overall length are close to the dimensions of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, the two best-selling midsize cars.



Interior
The dashboard looks like it was lifted from a Toyota or Honda, with round analog gauges, column stalks for lights and wipers, and audio and climate controls stacked in the center. Air conditioning, power steering and a tilt steering wheel are standard on all models.

The front buckets have ample space for 6-footers, and while taller people can’t stretch out in the backseat, there is more than enough room for two. The rear seatback is split and folds to expand the trunk’s cargo volume, which Saturn lists as a spacious 17.5 cubic feet.



Under the Hood
The L100 and L200 models, called LS and LS1 last year, use a 135-horsepower 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine that Saturn developed, and it currently is not shared with other GM brands. The L300, called LS2 last year, has a 182-hp 3.0-liter V-6 produced by GM of Europe, versions of which are used in the Cadillac Catera and Saab 9-5. The four-cylinder comes with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, and the V-6 is equipped only with the four-speed automatic.



Driving Impressions
The L-Series was a logical but overdue addition to the Saturn line. There was no place for its owners to go for a larger car except to other brands. The L-Series sedan is not only larger and roomier but also smoother and quieter than the S-Series. The four-cylinder is no slouch, but the V-6 is potent and refined.

Saturn hasn’t sold nearly as many L-Series sedans as it hoped, and a key reason may be that it does not offer anything out of the ordinary except for its dent-resistant body panels. It is a roomy, competent sedan that stacks up well against rivals like the Camry and Accord, but it sets no new standards for performance, features or design.

 
Reported by Rick Popely  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2001 Buying Guide

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.1
18 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(3.6)
Performance
(4.0)
Interior Design
(3.6)
Comfort
(3.9)
Reliability
(4.2)
Value For The Money
(4.0)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

Running at 300K

by Andrewpr09 from Indianapolis, IN on February 17, 2018

My father currently owns my old 2001 Saturn LS. This car has held up well for 300K on the odometer. Still running strong. Read full review

(4.0)

Its good on gas

by Dfresh from Blanchester ohio on December 3, 2017

Good starter car or everyday driver. Good on gas great a.c. and nice interior. Good acceleration and handling. Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2001 Saturn L currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2001 Saturn L has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The L received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker