1997 Saturn S-Series User Reviews

User Reviews

Displaying 1 - 10 of 56 1997 Saturn S-Series reviews.

Dexturn writes:
1997 Saturn S-Series 2 Dr SC1 Coupe Review
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Family Car:
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2

Pros

Sporty looks, responsive climate control.

Cons

Overall operability, challenging traffic sightlines, uncomfortable seating, limited cargo.

Dexturn
35

High On Looks, Low On Value — Sporty but proving expensive. Corners like a boat, parallel parking is a nightmare. Multiple blind spots due to window placements, heavy doors, low-to-ground seating. Bought this in the summer and it performs well when the weather cooperates; when winter sets in it's white knuckle driving. Owned other Saturns before so, while flaws are many it remains manageable.

Primary Use: Family transportation

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Cristina writes:
1997 Saturn S-Series 4 Dr SL2 Sedan Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
1

Pros

Gets me from A to B. Barely.

Cons

That someone would be desperate enough to buy one of these.

35

My Little Saturd — Overall: Hate it, mostly for the fact that I had to buy this piece of crap from my dad for $500 on the same day he just had to buy a $30k SUV for my stepmom. However, I will admit, it runs and that's all I need right now. All the same, it would be nice to have something want, not just what I need. Performance/Fun Factor: This car is fun to drive if you have the same tolerance for acceleration as a small slug traveling up a window. I have about 3 inches in either direction from dead center on the steering wheel in which nothing happens. Nothing. I've never tested how long for 0-60, but I'm sure it's about the same amount of time it takes for Jeff Goldblum to finish a sentence. Build Quality: None. Appearance: Aside from the square (think Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction) headlights, the rest of the car is groovy. The backseat is comfy if you have no legs. The front seats are just a little too deep for my liking; I feel like an old woman struggling to see over the dash unless I put a pillow under my bum. The dash really is not that bad, in some places it looks a bit like Princess Leia's helmet when she's disguised to save Han Solo from Jabba. Cost of Ownership: I could have bought another used car, a much more lovely and non-American used car, for the money that has been spent on this machine. It's on it's second engine. The transmission kicked it not long after I got it. The entire cooling system had to be replaced. I get high-mileage oil changes. New tires, will have to replace the brakes soon (not because I like the car, I just don't want to die in it, how embarassing!), and have to buy air fresheners to cover up old dog smell. MPG is fair, can't really get an accurate number since the gas gauge has crapped out on me. I can get about 290 on a tank before the light comes on.

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Acadia_32273 writes:
1997 Saturn S-Series 4 Dr SL2 Sedan Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
1

Pros

You're desperate for a set of wheels.

Cons

It's a piece of crap.

25

Only Buy It If You Really, Really Need A Car. — The handling makes me nervous to drive in slick conditions. The gas mileage is annoyingly low for a saturn. This car is not fun to drive at all. It sucks to drive this thing. It looks okay, I guess, kinda.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

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sciteacher writes:
1997 Saturn S-Series 4 Dr SL Sedan Review
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
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Overall:
3

Pros

Good on fuel, sunroof

Cons

Hard to drive manual in the city.

sciteacher
45

Good To Get Around In. — it's a basic car to get around in. It has a tight turning circle which makes its manuerving ability very nice. Good on gas. Has a nice look to it even for its age. Manual is hard on the knees.

Primary Use: Family transportation

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Simon writes:
1997 Saturn S-Series 2 Dr SC1 Coupe Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

economic

Cons

lol

25

Lol — not too bad and economic for fuel no rust, really cool to drive this car is pretty awesome to drive on high way or in the city good handling, good performance, good braking when you have good tire ;) lol . really funny

Primary Use: Commuting to work

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Ron writes:
1997 Saturn S-Series 4 Dr SL2 Sedan Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

-Great gas mileage, even with age
-Simple engineering
-Keep after it and it can reach half a million miles
-No rust problems on the body
-Still has dealer support, you can always get parts if you need them

Cons

-Performance not that great
-Engines use oil as the miles pile up
-Interior is a little bland
-Early (pre '95) models have 'active restraint' seatbelts, the kind that slide forward when the ignition is turned off.  These often fail and get stuck in the off position, making the car unsafe
-OBD means you better have some type of code reader if you want to fix it yourself

245

No Rust, Great Mileage, Simple — For me, the Saturn SL2 has been the closest modern equivalent to my Beetle; with a 1.9 liter engine it's by no means a speed demon. But much like Toyota's, Honda's, and many other imports, these cars seem to run forever. I received this car from my mother two years ago when she bought a new car; at that time it had 107k on it and wasn't worth selling. Or at least we didn't think it was; i recently checked blue book value and it's actually pretty good. One thing you'll never have to worry about with these car's is body rot; this car was the 2nd to last or last year for Saturn's cars being unique, which meant that had the dent resistant panels. Kid you not, at age 12 i walked across a door in a dealership and the panel popped and bowed, but didn't dent. The whole body, with the exception of the roof, trunk, and hood are plastic. Obviously the internal structure is steel, but you'll never have to worry about body rust. Rust on the unibody you might, but as long as you keep after the car it will last a long time. At the time of this writing, this very Saturn has 135k on it and is still running strong. As stated above, with only a 1.9 liter 4 cylinder, this car isn't exactly a pocket rocket like modern cars, but then again who races a Saturn? And with an automatic tranny behind it, you wouldn't want to really stand on it; i've had to do it a few times and the tranny hasn't been very happy, hunting between gears as i was trying to accelerate. gas mileage is great; even 11 years on the car still pulls in 34 - 36 mpg in mixed driving. It used to get around 40+, but the miles are starting to add up and are taking their toll. One caution i will add is that Saturn engines like to use oil as the miles start to pile up; they don't burn it, it just disappears. The oil control rings on the pistons start to stick as the engine gets older, and oil begins to seep into the combustion chamber and be burned. Not enough to produce blue smoke, but enough that you start to use oil; you have to check these cars every week to see how the fluid is. It's not uncommon for Saturns to reach 200k miles and up, but at that stage they start using oil like gas; consumption over 1 quart for ever 1000 miles is not uncommon over 200k, and even at 130k the cars can use some. Mine hasn't (matter of fact it's using almost none; last oil change i went 3000 miles and used a half a quart of oil) Overall, a good first car for highschool or college kids, and can even last you into the years after college until you can afford something better

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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shi98013 writes:
1997 Saturn S-Series 4 Dr SL2 Sedan Review
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
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Power:
Reliability:
Looks/Style:
Overall:
5

Pros

MPG and handling.  227,000 miles and still going.

Cons

small, gutless, over time burns oil

shi98013
25

Reliable Commuter — I have enjoyed driving this car. It has been reliable. Once around 200,000 miles started to top off oil when refueling. only issues is sometimes hard to start, 1 power window periodically fails, 1 electrical short, and now tends to run hot. Other expected maintenance, replace alternator, starter, battery, tires...

Primary Use: Commuting to work

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J Hackett writes:
1997 Saturn S-Series 4 Dr SL2 Sedan Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Good on gas. Reliable. Small and light. Room enough in the trunk for two sets of golf clubs and a normal sized cooler. Good road-holding. Fun to drive.

Cons

My first gear is hard to manage, but it's only mine. Other I have driven don't have the problem. Burns oil like it's cheap. Interior plastic and radio ARE from the discount bin, but they've got character that I have grown to love. The alternator goes out once ever 120,000 miles or so. The AC isn't ice-box cold. If the front passenger and driver aren't 5'6", the back passengers need to be little people. None of this matters to me for two reasons: I'm always the driver; and I'm getting 30mpg when gas is $3.80

75

Reliability, Reliability, Reliability. — I just rolled over 170,000 miles and am still getting 30-32mpg. The roof, hood, and trunk are steel, everything else is plastic. I have hit two deer (and one hit me), and the only damage is a missing fog-light port cover (I don't have fog lights), and a broken marker light cover (the light still works!). the seats are "cloth," but somehow waterproof. If I leave my windows open and it rains, all I have to do is wipe the seat off with my hand and poof, dry seat. It's a quick little car once you get up to the power-band (in my old engine, about 3500rpm).

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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mpmied writes:
1997 Saturn S-Series 4 Dr SL2 Sedan Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Above average acceleration; excellent fuel economy; easy maintenance; great commuter car

Cons

Troublesome audio systems; get an after market unit!

mpmied
165

Love Those '97 S-series Saturns — This is the second '97 Saturn I own. My first was an SL1 that my son drives to college now. I missed that car and bought an SL2 as my commuter. I get above average acceleration and good fuel economy (26-city; 35-highway)for the engine and transmission combination (DOHC with 4-speed automatic). It has 90,000 miles and has used up about half a quart of oil to date. Classified as a compact car, it's just what I need. I'm a teacher and an amateur violinist. The trunk is big enough to fit four music stands and there's more room when you lower the rear seat backs, enough for a cello, a viola, and two violins, plus the four music stands. What do I love about this car? Cold air conditioner (needed in South Texas), easy to park, easy to service (I do my own), inexpensive up keep, inexpensive parts (when needed), and best of all: it was made in the good ol' USA. The SL2 has better seats and better handling with bigger, wider tires compared to the SL1. I don't have any complaints about the '97 S-Series Saturn and they make great in-city runabouts. I do take exception to their audio systems. The CD player is not the best out there.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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1st_Mitsubishi writes:
1997 Saturn S-Series 2 Dr SC2 Coupe Review
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
Looks/Style:
Overall:
3

Pros

Cool.

Cons

Not much power.

1st_Mitsubishi
125

Surprised By This Fun Little Car. — I never really looked at these cars before but after buying this one to flip, I'm pretty impressed with the style. It doesn't have much for power but it is still fun to drive. Nice and low to the ground. If it doesn't sell I won't be upset and will likely end up driving it. Better gas mileage than my truck.

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Displaying 1 - 10 of 56 1997 Saturn S-Series reviews.

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Reviews From Other Years

2002 Saturn S-Series Reviews

Although The Car Has Some Issues, It Has More Positives Than Negatives. By NRL

Why you chose your car? I purchased my car because at the time my son was 10 years old. This made it a great car for me because the third door to the rear bench seat does not open unless the driver’... Read More

A Car To Have Faith In By otakugirl

Car is sleek on the outside and comfortable inside, even if it is a bit cramped. Great for cruising in town and on highway, but lacks a fast take off. I was hoping for more room in the trunk as we ten... Read More

Read all 35 2002 Saturn S-Series reviews

2001 Saturn S-Series Reviews

Gas Saver With A 3rd Door! By akasnacker

Great car for the most part, good build quality but they used some cheaper parts to build it with. Its kinda rough on the transmission shifts sometimes but pretty smooth for an entry level car etc. Bo... Read More

Great Little Car By bamendt

goes through a lot of oil (not a leak), can kick when going from drive to reverse (have heard others with this issue with the same model, handling is not that great... overall i am very please with th... Read More

Read all 34 2001 Saturn S-Series reviews

2000 Saturn S-Series Reviews

Great Gas Mileage Car!!! By topsecretauto

This Car gets great gas mileage!!!! There's not a whole lot of room for tall people. But with that said, this really is a great car!! The gas mileage alone makes up for the lack of room in the back fo... Read More

Very Good Car Everyone Should Have One On The Track By patbrown

good on the track. needs a littel more speed. only running 5500 rpm's on the straight a way. great quailty car, doors are hard to destroy. lots of saturns on the track. good moters and easy to get par... Read More

Read all 27 2000 Saturn S-Series reviews

1999 Saturn S-Series Reviews

I Dont Like Any Car That Isnt Reliable By billybobisbillybob

its hard to write a 40 word survey about a unrelaiable car but I might be able to make it to forty words if I keep writing about this unreliable car that's been sitting in my drive for a month. wait h... Read More

Inexpensive Utilitarian Workhorse By TheHorror

I purchased my Saturn wagon in 2006, with 52k on the odometer. I was looking for a reliable and efficient daily driver, no frills necessary. Having no high expectations for performance, style or luxur... Read More

Read all 55 1999 Saturn S-Series reviews

1998 Saturn S-Series Reviews

Great Car! By microWaves

I like everything about the car in general, nothing wrong with it um just a few little things need to be replaced. honestly I would recommend this car for a first timer, great for college and people w... Read More

Good Family Car, Great Gas Mileage By MSJ

This is a great day-to-day car, for any sort of commuting or errand-running. Great for road trips, as it has good storage and fantastic mpg on the highway. The lack of power-steering is a bit cumber... Read More

Read all 34 1998 Saturn S-Series reviews

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