2004 Saturn L

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$16,370

starting MSRP

2004 Saturn L

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Instrument layout
  • DVD entertainment available
  • Rust-resistant body panels

The bad:

  • Performance with four-cylinder
  • Resale value

1 trim

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2004 Saturn L trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Sedan and wagon body styles
  • Standard automatic transmission
  • 5-hp boost for four-cylinder
  • OnStar, sunroof or video entertainment included in upscale models

2004 Saturn L review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview
Saturn’s larger front-wheel-drive sedan and wagon got new interior and exterior styling for 2003. The GM-controlled automaker promised that these changes would give the L-Series models “a more commanding and refined exterior appearance.” The fresh front end included wraparound projector-beam headlights, a larger grille and a raised hood. Sedan models also gained new taillights and a revised rear fascia.

Only an upscale L300 model is available for 2004, and it is offered in three trim levels with a standard automatic transmission, antilock brakes and traction control. Curtain-type airbags stow in the headliner on each side. Buyers of an uplevel edition can get a DVD entertainment system, GM’s OnStar communication system or a sunroof at no extra cost. Base-model sedans are equipped with a four-cylinder engine, which gains 5 horsepower for 2004. Upscale versions get V-6 power.

Based on the European Opel Vectra, the L300 — formerly called the L-Series — was modified considerably for the U.S. market and is built at a GM plant in Delaware.

Exterior
Last year, the appearance of the L-Series changed significantly, but the dent- and rust-resistant polymer bodyside panels are still attached to a skeletonlike steel space frame. Saturn has used this construction method since the company began to market cars in the 1990 model year. A Saturn badge with a three-dimensional look sits within a chrome-framed grille. At the rear, a chrome strip replaced the horizontal red appliqu� that was used on the prior-generation sedan. The rocker panels and lower fascia sections are body colored.

Measuring 190.4 inches long overall, the L300 sedan rides a 106.5-inch wheelbase — that’s close to the dimensions of the top-selling Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. This Saturn model stretches 68.5 inches wide and stands 56.4 inches tall. Five-spoke wheels hold 15-inch tires, but alloy or chrome-clad 16-inch wheels are available.

Interior
Five people fit inside the L300, which features a rear bench and front bucket seats that provide ample space for 6-footers. Taller people may not be able to stretch out in the backseat. Space is more than sufficient for two passengers back there, and three can manage. The 60/40-split rear seatback folds down to add to the trunk’s 17.5-cubic-foot cargo volume.

European-style seat upholstery is installed, and the instrument cluster features a silver-colored faceplate. Round analog instruments face the driver. Column-mounted stalks operate the lights and wipers, and the audio and climate controls are stacked in the center of the dashboard.

Standard features include air conditioning, a tilt steering wheel, an immobilizer alarm, cruise control, heated mirrors, remote keyless entry and a CD player. A six-way power driver’s seat goes into uplevel sedans. GM’s OnStar communication system and a DVD-based entertainment system that includes wireless headphones are available.

Under the Hood
The L300 may be equipped with a 140-hp, 2.2-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine or a 182-hp, 3.0-liter V-6. Both engines team with a four-speed-automatic transmission.

Safety
Side curtain-type airbags protect the heads of front- and rear-seat occupants; they stow above the side windows and inflate along the length of the passenger compartment. Antilock brakes with traction control are standard. LATCH child-safety seat tethers are installed.

L300 Wagon
Other than its rear liftgate, the L300 wagon specifications are virtually identical to those of the sedan. The wagon’s cargo volume is 33.5 cubic feet with the rear seat up and 79 cubic feet when that seat is folded.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.0
  • Interior design 4.3
  • Performance 4.3
  • Value for the money 4.8
  • Exterior styling 4.5
  • Reliability 4.0

Most recent consumer reviews

4.7

Great car to own. very dependable and comfortable.

This care meets all my needs. I used it for commuting between school and work. Very comfortable and has a lot of leg room. Good for transporting a group of people.

5.0

my third saturn

i bought this car new in 2004. i drive hard, fast and put 123,000 miles on it so far. i have not had one major repair ever, just routine maintenace, in fact i'm giving this car to my 19 year old daughter soon. i'm sure i will be able to put 200,000 miles on this car easily. this is my third saturn and they have all performed the same way. it's the best american car made for the buck, period. i have heated leather seats, remote start,tinted windows, power sunroof.most of my friends are shocked when they ride in it to find out it's american made and a SATURN. if you can find one with low mileage and an orignal owner...BUY IT!

3.1

2004 Saturn L300 Experience

I bought it new (2004) and have only 35,500 miles on it in 2008. I have had to put a new set of tires, a new fuel sensor and now a fuel pump on the car. Have always had a gas vapor in the car off and on and a jerk in the engine when I start up after it sat overnight. Not a good experience for me.

See all 4 consumer reviews