1996 Saturn SL consumer reviews

$11,395 starting MSRP
side view of 1996 SL Saturn
81% of drivers recommend this car
Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 3.8
  • Interior design 3.5
  • Performance 3.5
  • Value for the money 4.3
  • Exterior styling 3.7
  • Reliability 4.3
Explore the 1996 Saturn SL

Go too Soon

I really thought Saturn was on to something but after owning one , I was disappointed, first the engine had huge problems & secondly the paint finish deteriorated, without those problems I liked my Saturn and just feel it was a missed opportunity to create something cool


Great car! Would not die!

245000 miles when I sold it. The air still worked great. This was like a Corolla but 40 mpg on highway. GM had to pull plug to get bailout from government What a shame!


Wow this 1996 Saturn wagon won't die!

I bought a 1996 saturn wagon in 2007 with 69k miles on it and drove the odometer up to 210,000 miles. Then I sold it to my friend who currently has 255,000 miles on it and is still driving it to work every day. I replaced simple stuff like EGR valve, battery, brakes all the usual routine stuff but nothing serious. But if you take care of these old s series saturns they are hard to kill seriously. Don't let the age of these cars scare you, you see a used saturn and it's 20 years old? doesn't matter...this is the only car I could say that about from experience.


Beats the Toyota and Honda on MPG. Beats the Honda

Just went over 300k. Never broke down. Tires, brakes, battery and 1 clutch job. Still hitting 40 + mpg highway. Even the AC still works after a recharge.


Best First Car

For a very first car, my SL-2 met all of my needs. It was small, fast, reliable, and for the price I paid for it I was very satisfied. I loved that car!


Worst Car To Buy

The most worst car you could ever buy stay away from Saturn's .These cars brake easily theirs not reliable they don't look good in the front,very cheap made cars.


238000 and still going strong

I'm shooting for 300000. Yes, I have had a few near $800 repairs over the years, but nothing that wouldn't wear out on any car. I've owned it since 1998 (sl2) and have only had it completely fail to start once or twice. I change oil every 3-4000 mi. and have a few leaks now. Some oil, some coolant. I've had this over 100mph several times in the last two years without the slightest effort. It has started regularly in the coldest Minnesota winters and only now does the body have visible wear. The clearcoat is mostly pealed off, but the overall integrity of the body is intact. I still get about 27 mpg in downtown minneapolis stopngo driving. The engine still purrs. When GM broke the mold for this model, it did not have the consumers' interest in mind.


Casper the Saturn

this Saturn is 20 yrs old and the interior is kind of rough but it just needs love any this car is sporty,safe,reliable etc.........



when mine dies, I will be buying another saturn sl series! i bought mine from a friend and have had no complaints. it has about 300,000 miles on it and still runs like a champ. AWSOME gas mileage!!!!


Very Reliable Commuter Car

I got the 1996 SL model in 2004 when it had only 36,000 miles on it. I had few problems with it, commuting 100 miles roundtrip since then until it hit 211,000 miles and the transmission went out. My mechanic told me that it wasn't worth putting a new or used transmission in it at that point. Otherwise, the car was still working OK; AC blowing cold air, cruise control working, etc. But the interior was coming apart. It's being junked, and not for much money since the car was mostly made of plastic/fiberglass.