2002 Saturn SL

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2002 Saturn SL

Key specs

Base trim shown


3 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

  • Base


  • 1


  • 2


Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2002 Saturn SL trim comparison will help you decide.

2002 Saturn SL review: Our expert's take

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.

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.

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.

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

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 3.9
  • Interior design 4.1
  • Performance 3.9
  • Value for the money 4.6
  • Exterior styling 4.1
  • Reliability 4.5

Most recent consumer reviews



Purchased NEW 2002. 5 speed manual...STILL on orig clutch at 168,000 miles. At 20 yrs plus, it is now my RAT ride... "Round About Town" ride. Do not push it much anymore...give the little guy a break. Everything is great...usual maintenance, tires, etc. I do keep oil in the trunk, as these babies love to drink...LOLOL. At 200,000 or Silver Anniv, I will have it "restored"...head liner damaged due to moon roof leak...some rust on rear door sills. Other than that, a joy to have. Radio & clock STILL work...LOL. I will be the caretaker of the RAT until I give to one of my grandsons...All enjoy your ride :-)>


Best car I've ever owned!

It's 2021 now, so it's like 19 years old and no serious problems at all. I totally love my 'Silver Bullet' as I've nicknamed it and wouldn't trade it for another car. I've had a Cadillac that I couldn't afford to fix and a hog of a convertible, but this Saturn is truly the best of them all. It's reliable, economical, comfortable and even passes well on the highway. Plenty of room for passengers and in the trunk. Two thumbs up. I give it a 5 out of 5.


I own 1 and I'm going to sell 1

I've owned this s2 now 3 years bout it for my mom who has passed I'm driving this car right now just like all cars they need maintenance . I'm a very experienced mechanic the L4 and transaxle easy to repair low cost and last for ever if you can live with squeaky plastic body noise ' i hat this it's a GM but it's a dam good car . ford guy

See all 45 consumer reviews


New car program benefits
36 months/36,000 miles
36 months/36,000 miles
36 months/36,000 miles
Roadside assistance
36 months/36,000 miles

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