1997 Saturn SC consumer reviews

$12,495–$13,335 MSRP range
side view of 1997 SC Saturn
100% of drivers recommend this car
Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 3.9
  • Interior 4.0
  • Performance 4.0
  • Value 4.6
  • Exterior 4.3
  • Reliability 4.6
Explore the 1997 Saturn SC

Small but good commuter car

I bought my SC2 at an auction with issues and at 248,000 miles. It now has 264,000 miles and I've replaced items like the radiator, coolant reservoir, throttle position sensor, ac compressor and rotors. All these items are to be expected at this mileage. The engine uses a lot of oil but has been mostly reliable and is very efficient. It's pretty cramped inside for me at 6'4" but is usable. I wish I had a lower mileage SC2 but it has been a good commuter car and is consistently giving me 32-36mpg with the DOHC engine and 5 speed manual.


Sporty. Economical. Average.

These cars have decent options, are decently attractive, get pretty good fuel economy, and can last pretty long of you're willing to work on them or have them worked on. They are well-known among owners to have transmission valve body issues - specifically regarding the five solenoids. It is common for one or more of them to go bad. Also the coolant temp sensor and the pigtail that attaches to it often need to be replaced. The fixes actually aren't too hard and do have a lot of in depth documentation online helping do-it-yourselfers to get the jobs done inexpensively. Nonetheless, they aren't Toyotas. They aren't as reliable, and most of them are uglier. In a rare exception, the SC1 of this year isn't half bad to look at.


Saturn SC2 is riders little brother

This car is very reliable very affordable to fix it has great features like sunroof power door locks power windows right side power mirror bucket seats alloy rims and gets great gas mileage over 30. The engines on these cars with a little maintenance can go over 200,000 miles with no issues as I had a few of them. I would upgrade the cars suspension and the car be perfect.


Best First Car I Could Ask For

I loved my Saturn. It took me from College back to home without any issues in the 6 years that I have had it. Replacement parts were always really cheap and easy to fix!


Pretty Decent

I bought this car fairly recently and have put 15,000 miles on it. I would definetly recommend the SC2 for performance as the 30hp over the SC1 is very noticable and with the 2 you still get 35mpg. The car has performance and normal shift modes via a switch. The performance mode I prefer much more as the shifts are quick not dragged out thus the transmission will last longer and I only notice a 1-2mpg difference vs. the normal mode. The handling is pretty good for an entry level sports type car, I find it to soft, but I'm sure others who like a more luxious ride will find it too stiff. The Cloth seats I find are more comfortable then the leather. The car is made for smaller people being 6 foot I have about an inch of head clearance but lots of foot room and average room for the rest of me. All the gauges are easy to read and are easy to understand and operate, even though I don't like the white lighting on the gauges and changed them to blue. The stereo is sub par but the speakers are better than some I've experienced in cars that cost twice as much as this. The cd player died after my third use and had to buy aftermarket which really utilizes the great speakers. The rear seats fold down which makes hauling larger items easier and it has a very large trunk for a car its size. The reliability seems to be pretty good and so far I've spent $150 on parts and did the labor myself and fixed everything that was wrong with this car. The body panels are plastic so no need to worry about rust or dents. Typical things that go wrong with this car are failure of the ignition switch, failure of the door switches, failure of the stereo head unit, failure of the window motors. Also uncommon but something to watch for is failure of the cylinder head gasket on the engine and the sensors, especially the crank sensor, throttle sensor and oxygen sensor. Also if equipted with traction control or sunroof both can be expensive to repair and would recommend finding one with neither to avoid headaches. Overall I think it is a pretty decent inexpensive car. It has really good economy with a larger engine then its competitors and more power with the SC2. It also has pretty good reliability and general repairs are inexpensive. Overall I think it is a great car for a first time smaller driver. The


Just enough torque plenty mpg's

the first Saturn i bought was at an auction. it was a 1994 Sl1. It had over 150,000 mi on it. At this particular auction the entrance to the freeway was right across the street upon exiting from the parking lot. once i got on the freeway this car had me. The economy power were all there. easy to work on if i ever had to. then came the day i got hit by a 2001 dodge ram @ About 50 miles per hour. i was surprised that my saturn could drive. right after the collision. And i did. as where the rams suspention. Just fell apart. the moral of the story is saturn cars have great crash test ratings. Oh, i should mention, every one in the car walked away without injury and all that junk. So now i own a SC1. It gets ALOT less parking lot dents that the1995 toyota camry i used to own, and i couldnt be happier.


Good, Practical Vehicle

This is a workhorse truck and a good alternative to a full size 8 cylinder van. The vehicle has a high profile, and a 36 gallon tank. The 4.3 litre V6 is based on Chevy's perennial 350, minus the last two cylinders. Many models have full time AWD, which makes the vehicle easier to control on wet or icy roads.


Mark Martin

I just bought this car,and can say that it has alot of style and punch.So far it has giving me great gas mileage as long as you dont get on it to hard.The sun roof is stuck but it still looks nice at night{looking at stars}.Give me a month or two and i will let you know more.Safe driving,and God Bless.MM 06,09,2006