2002 Saturn SL

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Key Specs
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Overview
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Key Specs

of the 2002 Saturn SL. Base trim shown.

  • Body Type:
    Coupe
  • Combined MPG:
    32-34 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    100-hp, 1.9-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • View more specs

2002 Saturn SL Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
Not much has changed in the subcompact Saturn sedans. Floormats are now standard in the SL2 sedan, which gets new wheel covers for 2002.

Last redesigned for the 1996 model year, Saturn’s sedans are built from the same front-drive design used for SC coupes and the SW2 wagon. Optional curtain-type airbags store in the ceiling above the side windows and inflate along the length of the passenger compartment; they protect the heads of front and rear passengers in a side-impact collision.

Sales of the S-Series fell by 14.7 percent — to 177,355 units — during 2000. Subcompact Saturns are expected to continue in this form for at least another season. All-new Saturns are expected in the next year or two and will likely be based on a global small-car platform and powered by a new generation of engines.

Exterior
Saturn sedans didn’t look much different from their original appearance even after their 1996 redesign. Overall length is 178.1 inches, which is about 3 inches longer than the Ford Focus and Honda Civic. Saturns ride a 102.4-inch wheelbase and measure 66.4 inches wide and 55 inches tall. All Saturns have dent- and rust-resistant polymer materials for the lower body panels. Steel is used for the hood, trunk and roof.

Interior
The SL seats five occupants in its front buckets and three-place rear bench. The split rear seatback folds to expand the trunk’s capacity beyond its regular 12.1 cubic feet. Standard equipment includes a tilt steering co...
Vehicle Overview
Not much has changed in the subcompact Saturn sedans. Floormats are now standard in the SL2 sedan, which gets new wheel covers for 2002.

Last redesigned for the 1996 model year, Saturn’s sedans are built from the same front-drive design used for SC coupes and the SW2 wagon. Optional curtain-type airbags store in the ceiling above the side windows and inflate along the length of the passenger compartment; they protect the heads of front and rear passengers in a side-impact collision.

Sales of the S-Series fell by 14.7 percent — to 177,355 units — during 2000. Subcompact Saturns are expected to continue in this form for at least another season. All-new Saturns are expected in the next year or two and will likely be based on a global small-car platform and powered by a new generation of engines.

Exterior
Saturn sedans didn’t look much different from their original appearance even after their 1996 redesign. Overall length is 178.1 inches, which is about 3 inches longer than the Ford Focus and Honda Civic. Saturns ride a 102.4-inch wheelbase and measure 66.4 inches wide and 55 inches tall. All Saturns have dent- and rust-resistant polymer materials for the lower body panels. Steel is used for the hood, trunk and roof.

Interior
The SL seats five occupants in its front buckets and three-place rear bench. The split rear seatback folds to expand the trunk’s capacity beyond its regular 12.1 cubic feet. Standard equipment includes a tilt steering column, stereo radio, rear-window defogger and theft-deterrent system. Air conditioning is included in the SL2 sedan.

Under the Hood
Engine and transmission choices are the same as those for the other body styles. SL and SL1 sedans carry a 100-horsepower, 1.9-liter single-overhead-camshaft four-cylinder, while the SL2 gets a dual-overhead-camshaft version of that engine, which produces 124 hp. Both engines may team with either a five-speed manual or an optional four-speed-automatic transmission.

Safety
All Saturns can be equipped with optional curtain-type airbags that protect the heads of front and rear occupants. Antilock brakes with traction control are also optional.

Driving Impressions
From the beginning, Saturns have been best known for the low-key, no-haggle buying experience at dealerships, rather than for the products themselves. Less refined and noisier than much of the competition, they’re simply not in the same league as such class leaders as the Ford Focus and Honda Civic.

Acceleration is brisk with the more powerful SL2 and adequate in the SL and SL1 models with the less-potent engine. All models have a rather stiff suspension, which translates to a lack of ride comfort. On the plus side, Saturns maneuver easily, handle well enough on the highway and can be enjoyable to drive. Plenty of owners swear by their Saturns; for others, buying one might be more pleasant than driving one every day.

 
Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2002 Buying Guide

Latest 2002 SL Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.0)
Performance
(3.8)
Interior Design
(4.0)
Comfort
(3.8)
Reliability
(4.5)
Value For The Money
(4.7)

What Drivers Are Saying

(4.0)

Love This Car!

by CYVA from Annandale, VA on May 12, 2018

A pleasure to drive! Easily fits an child car seat in the rear. Up to 5 adults able to travel comfortably at once. Averages 29.93 mpg and 288 miles/fill. We would be keeping this car ourselves but ... Read full review

(4.0)

Happy with my purchase.

by Kevin R from Hopwood Pa 15445 on January 2, 2018

Its an older car but was tuned up and minor repairs were done im happy with it. Oleg and Stanley were great. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2002 Saturn SL currently has 1 recall

Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2002 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