2001 Saturn SL

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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2001 Saturn SL. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    34 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    100-hp, 1.9-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    5-speed manual w/OD
  • View more specs

2001 Saturn SL Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
Curtain-type airbags that deploy from above the side windows are a new option for all versions of the S-Series sedan. The curtain airbags store in the headliner above the side windows and inflate along the length of the passenger compartment to protect the heads of front and rear passengers.

The front-drive, subcompact S-Series sedan is built from the same design as the SC coupe and SW station wagon. These models were last redesigned for 1996 and are scheduled to continue in this form through the 2002 model year.

General Motors’ current plans call for the 2003 S-Series to be based on a new global small-car platform and be powered by a new generation of four-cylinder engines.



Exterior
The overall length on the S-Series sedans is 179 inches — about 4 inches longer than the Ford Focus and Honda Civic. All models have dent- and rust-resistant polymer materials for the lower-body panels — a Saturn trademark. The hood, trunk and roof are made of steel.



Interior
Seats for five are standard on all models, along with a split rear seatback that folds to expand the trunk’s capacity to 12 cubic feet.

A tilt steering column, stereo radio, rear window defogger and a theft-deterrent system are standard on all models. The SL2 also has standard air conditioning.



Under the Hood
SL and SL1 models come with a 100-horsepower 1.9-liter four-cylinder engine. The SL2 uses a dual-camshaft version of this engine with 124 hp. Four-speed automatic and five-speed manual trans...
Vehicle Overview
Curtain-type airbags that deploy from above the side windows are a new option for all versions of the S-Series sedan. The curtain airbags store in the headliner above the side windows and inflate along the length of the passenger compartment to protect the heads of front and rear passengers.

The front-drive, subcompact S-Series sedan is built from the same design as the SC coupe and SW station wagon. These models were last redesigned for 1996 and are scheduled to continue in this form through the 2002 model year.

General Motors’ current plans call for the 2003 S-Series to be based on a new global small-car platform and be powered by a new generation of four-cylinder engines.



Exterior
The overall length on the S-Series sedans is 179 inches — about 4 inches longer than the Ford Focus and Honda Civic. All models have dent- and rust-resistant polymer materials for the lower-body panels — a Saturn trademark. The hood, trunk and roof are made of steel.



Interior
Seats for five are standard on all models, along with a split rear seatback that folds to expand the trunk’s capacity to 12 cubic feet.

A tilt steering column, stereo radio, rear window defogger and a theft-deterrent system are standard on all models. The SL2 also has standard air conditioning.



Under the Hood
SL and SL1 models come with a 100-horsepower 1.9-liter four-cylinder engine. The SL2 uses a dual-camshaft version of this engine with 124 hp. Four-speed automatic and five-speed manual transmissions are available with both.

Antilock brakes with traction control are optional on all models.



Driving Impressions
Saturn’s S-Series sedans are not in the same league as class leaders such as Honda’s Civic and Ford’s Focus; they’re noticeably noisier and not as polished overall. Acceleration is snappy in the SL2 and adequate in the others, but the suspension is too stiff on all versions.

However, Saturn’s no-haggle, customer-friendly sales practice makes it a pleasure to buy one, and you can expect reliable, durable performance.

 
Reported by Rick Popely  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2001 Buying Guide

Latest 2001 SL Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.0)
Performance
(3.4)
Interior Design
(3.7)
Comfort
(3.5)
Reliability
(4.0)
Value For The Money
(4.0)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

never lets me down

by Neptaris from Marana, AZ on June 21, 2018

ive had this car for years now and its only need the brakes maintenanced many times but it keeps on giving and never lets you down Read full review

(5.0)

Most reliable car I have ever owned!

by Happy Camper from The Dallas, OR. on December 10, 2017

2001 Saturn SL2 is my first vehicle! I purchased it new 17 years ago and still running like a champ! It starts up easy. I t has been a very low maintenance by changing oil every 3,000 to 4,000 miles, ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2001 Saturn SL currently has 3 recalls

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2001 Saturn SL 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 SL 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