Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book
KBB.com 2002 Saturn L200 Overview
A Flagship Worthy of the Saturn Name
The L300 is Saturn's newest sedan. Originally introduced in 2000 as the LS, the L-Series sedans continue on for 2002 with only minor changes. Our test vehicle arrived fully loadedincluding leather seats and a DVD playerand still managed to stay below the $25K mark. Considering the DVD system added a cool $3K to the price, an L300 with all the bells and whistles minus the DVD comes in just a hair over $21,500. The L300's modest size and nimble performance attributes make it the perfect sedan to take on long drives over serpentine roads.
Though Saturn designed the L-Series to fill the mid-sized family sedan hole in their line up, the truth is that the L300 is only slightly larger than its smaller S-Series sibling. The L300 cabin is a bit wider and there is an additional 2 inches of rear seat legroom, but headroom figures remain identical for both cars. There is strong family resemblance between the S- and L-Series cars, especially inside. The familiar Saturn instrument cluster, which is punctuated by large, precise gauges and easy-to-read graphics, is aging well. The ventilation controls are located in the center dash pod, as is the audio system, and both are easy to understand and operate at just a glance. The front seats are typically European in design and on par with Saturn's mission to challenge the imports. You'll find them very comfortable and supportive, but lacking adequate lumbar support for the front passenger. You'll also like the positioning of the power driver's seat control, which does not require you to jam your hand all the way down between the seat and the door. The rear seatbacks could use some work as they force occupants to sit bolt uprighta problem for taller persons whose heads hit the roof-and their integrated headrests tend to rest awkwardly on your shoulder blades, never coming near your head. The optional DVD player is a cool idea, but a bit pricey. It's a simple system that employs a ceiling-mounted flip-down video screen and audio that can be played through the car's speakers or through a pair of wireless headsets. The DVD player replaces the front center armrest and needs to have a pad attached to the top so the driver has someplace to rest his arm. The trunk is a bit on the small side for a family sedan, but the split-folding rear seat can help accommodate large items.
A key selling point unique to Saturn is the dent-resistant polymer panels that cover the doors and front fenders. These panels can absorb small impacts and return to their original form, leaving no trace of an altercation. Though Saturn dealers enjoy demonstrating this process by launching a bowling ball into an unsuspecting door panel, we think a more accurate testing ground might be the shopping mall parking lot. Be it an errant shopping cart piloted by your hyper-active progeny or the obligatory careless car door, the L300 can take the hit and come out looking none the worse for the wear. Although the dent-resistant panels give the big Saturn a leg up on many competitors, the L300's trump card lay beneath its hood.
A 3.0-liter V6 engine borrowed from GM's European Opel division delivers abundant power and sounds terrific while doing so. The nicely weighted steering is perfectly matched to L300's taut chassis, willing independent rear suspension and road-gripping 16-inch tires (part of the optional sport package). The L300 is a predictable performer that loves to be driven; as a fun four-door sedan, it's one of the best. On the other hand, if you truly need room for the family and all their gear, you may want to take a look at the wagon version, the LW300.