2004 Saturn L

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$979–$6,031 Inventory Prices
(4.0) 3 reviews
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Key Specs
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Overview
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Key Specs

of the 2004 Saturn L. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
    Sedan
  • Combined MPG:
    24-29 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    140-hp, 2.2-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    4-speed automatic w/OD
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

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

The Bad

  • Performance with four-cylinder
  • Resale value

Notable Features of the 2004 Saturn L

  • 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 Overview

By Cars.com Editors
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 re...
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.

Latest 2004 L Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.3)
Performance
(4.3)
Interior Design
(4.0)
Comfort
(4.0)
Reliability
(3.7)
Value For The Money
(4.7)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

my third saturn

by THEO from Danbury,CT on March 16, 2009

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 ... Read full review

(3.0)

2004 Saturn L300 Experience

by LogenPar3 from SC on June 19, 2008

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 ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2004 Saturn L currently has 2 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2004 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