1997 SL

Consumer Reviews

1997 Saturn SL

1997 Saturn SL

Review Score

4.3 out of 5 stars

4.3

22 Reviews
100% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
3.6 out of 5 stars Comfort
4.8 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
3.5 out of 5 stars Interior Design
4.6 out of 5 stars Reliability
3.7 out of 5 stars Performance
3.5 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 22 reviews

4 out of 5 stars

My First Car

by Justneedacar from New Castle, De on Fri Jul 03 2009

I bought a 97 SL1 with 87K miles about 4 years ago as my first car and it runs great. I've only needed a few repairs which where not costly. Runs better then my friends brand new Kia Optima. Only downside - the upholstry on the ceiling shredded and the covers fell off the seatbelt clicker. Otherwise Icouldn't ask for a better deal.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
2 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Great Car

by College Student from Dallas, Tx on Tue Dec 29 2009

I bought a salvaged 97 Saturn over a year ago with 117k miles. I have added 20K miles to it and it still runs. I drove this car in MN in the coldest of weather. I even drove this junk from MN to Dallas, TX and it is still running. I have had a few problems with the car though. The oil seems to be leaking and I have to press the accelerator sometimes to start the car. But again I have a salvaged car and I am grateful that this car is still running. Is is a very good point A to B car especially for a college student. Great value for the money.

3 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
3 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Good Car for the Price

by Satisfied Driver from Dallas, TX on Fri Jan 15 2010

I've had my Saturn SL2 for 8 years, purchased with 64,000 miles and now has 190,000 miles. I have had no major problems and very minimal repairs needed. It has never broken down on the road. I've driven it on several long distance trips. It's good on gas mileage and very dependable. My only complaint would be the road noise. It is not a quiet car inside. After 190,000 miles the power locks and windows no longer work right and the ceiling upholstery is falling apart. Otherwise, a good car.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Most reliable car for me so far.

by Max from LI, NY on Fri Mar 19 2010

I bought this car already with 100,000 miles. Now it has 170,000 and I don?t have any major repairs, but had the clutch replaced when I got it. My son has been learning to drive stick and it still last. The only the major problem with Saturn is the cooling system. The cooling fan runs late. I had the sensor replaced, but still no luck. My mechanic told me that it is a common problem with this year cars. Over all is really reliable car. Never left me on the road and never been towed.

3 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Pretty Darn Good

by Johnny Hurryup from Tafton Pa. on Mon Jan 30 2012

Bought this car for my daughter over 6 years ago, with 98,000 miles...It now has over 178,000 miles. Other than minor problems like battery, water pump. belt tensioner brakes and tires it's like a Timex watch....takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'

3 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
3 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Best Car Ever Built

by Danno from Denver, CO on Tue Mar 10 2009

My family has owned this car over 6 years. It has been handed off 3 times now, each time the giver says, "Just drive it til the wheels fall off then take the tax write-off." It now has over 200,000 miles on it and apart from tires, brakes and oil it has only had an alternator, starter and battery replaced and it is still running the same as it was the day it was purchased. The oil has often gone 10,000 miles without a change (not reccomended due to common ring problems) but there is hardly an issue with this car. This car has been wrecked twice, stolen once and driven as though it were stolen daily and it still runs. It drives like a go cart with amazing handling for the class that it is in, has great acceleration and a decent ride compared to pretty much anything in it's class in 1997. All of that said, if you can pick up a date in this car it's because they like you, not your car. Don't try and look cool in it, just know that you're smart for getting it.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Reliable car has served my basic needs

by Rachtau on Sun Mar 04 2018

This car owes me nothing! Has served me well of getting me from point A to point B and has proven itself to be reliable in lots of conditions.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
3 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Owned for 12 years

by AVS from on Thu Mar 12 2009

Owned this car since buying it new. Very reliable, easy to drive, low maintenance. Roomy for a compact car with good trunk space and handy foward folding back seats. Easy to read, basic instruments. Excellent gas mileage in the city and highway (avg mid 30's for highway driving). Smallish fuel tank with 300 mile range on average per tank of gas. Small rattles that change with the season, moderate road noise, otherwise great car. Sold my first Saturn to my sister who finally sold it with over 200k miles. Love the plastic panels that don't dent!

3 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Best Car I've Ever Owned

by DanCDN from Hamilton, ON Canada on Fri Feb 10 2017

This car is so great! Everything from the self adjusting steel timing chain, to the polymer side panels are features we can all appreciate. I prefer the 5 speed over the automatic due to better performance, better gas mileage and it's more fun to drive. I'm still wowed by how economical these cars are, especially for the how long ago they were produced. You NeVeR, eVeR have to be concerned about reliability, we have never had a break down and we have taken it on so many road trips. It's a real shame that they don't make these anymore, they'd have my loyalty for life.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car!!

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4 out of 5 stars

Most Efficient Car I have found for my money

by Bub from Jackson, MS. on Wed Feb 07 2007

I had always wanted a Toyota or Nissan car that would do good on gas but when I got to checking prices I couldn't see that I could save any money. That is when Saturn caught my eye. I ventured out and bought my "97 SL2 and have fallen in love with it. Thanks to Saturn for making a reliable, affordable, economical car.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
3 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

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Our Take on the 1997 Saturn SL

A huge part of our test-drive of the 1997 Saturn SL1 sedan occurred outside the car. Because the '97 sedans have few dramatic alterations (a major redesign happened last year), we decided it was the perfect time to check out Saturn's much-ballyhooed dealership experience, where shoppers don't have to dicker over the sticker price or feel threatened by aggressive sales people.

Posing as an ordinary shopper looking for a sedan with a base price under $12,000, Anita ventured into two Metro Detroit Saturn dealerships. She not only emerged alive, she was smiling. (P.S. The test-drive was OK, too.)

She: I hate to go car-shopping by myself and I must admit I had sweaty palms when I pulled up in... Read More