Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
2002 Saturn S-Series - SC2 (M5) Coupe
Pros: The Sunroof!!!
Cons: Nothing I was satisfied with it
Advice: Its a smooth ride, that handles extremely well!When I took an SC2 for a test drive I knew I was going to own one.
2002 Saturn S-Series - SL (M5) Sedan
Pros: moon roof.
Advice: don't delay, pick one up they are great cars.This car is amazing, it is very roomy, it has zip to it and it looks incredible.
2002 Saturn S-Series - SL2 (M5) Sedan
Pros: Unstoppable control on ice & water (but buy good tires).
Cons: Cheezy interior fabric - like those 1970s velour shirts...
Advice: Upgrade the interior to a sturdier cloth interior or use seat covers. The original interior damages too easily.We actually didn't even test drive it until after we decided to buy it! We didn't have as great an experience at the dealership as some have written about (it was OK) but that was the last reason we chose to buy the car. We bought this vehicle after it was returned by the original owner within the first 30 days of ownership (military restationed out of the country & couldn't take the vehicle with them). The tape deck malfunctioned after about 9 months and they replaced it for free while doing our normal warranty work - they didn't even ask! We've driven this thing through more than 3' of snow, 2' of standing water & slush, mud, rain, you name it, we've been through it. We commute 60+ miles each way 5 days/week and have more than 110,000 miles on the car now. We live in Southcentral Alaska and in the 6 years we've had our SL2, we managed to get it stuck ONCE when we high-centered it at the mailbox. We use good tires w/ studs in the winter, but no other vehicle we've owned compares (including the Honda Accord). The only major complaints we have are the cheesy interior, lack of comfort on long drives (we both have long legs & even the front is uncomfy after about 4 hours or so), the wimpy door seals whose glue couldn't stand up to our cold temperatures, and the expense involved in replacing body panels. We had 1 accident 2 weeks after we bought it and the flex panels were so cold (-10F) that they shattered upon impact at less than 20MPH. The other guy's pocketbook was pretty sore - $1800 worth of damage because he hit 3 panels & shattered chunks out of all of them. Ouch. We love our Saturn dealership as they are always willing to go the extra mile. Our alternator quit 5,000 miles after the extended warranty expired (by miles not by time) and because it was so close, they split the replacement cost with us. Overall, the best thing about this car is the amazing control for turning, stopping, and general maneuvering on ice. It has great power and a very low center of gravity. We've never found ourselves ditch-diving with it. DEFINITELY buy the Lifetime Oil Change wherein you get free oil changes (except cost of filter) every 90 days or 3000 miles for $189 up front. Of course, don't buy this if you plan to sell the vehicle or move before this service pays for itself, it's only good for one owner of the car at one dealership. We have our oil changed about once a month because we drive so much and they do our warranty service at the same time. I would like this car more if they offered a better quality & more ergonomic interior.
2002 Saturn VUE - 4 CYL (CVT) AWD
Pros: The cabin is very quiet and auto trans very smooth compared to previous Saturns.
Cons: Still lacks sufficient legroom for total comfort on long drives. Left foot rests on 'hump' about 4 inches off floorboard (At 6'5' I could use the extra room)
Advice: Tall buyers beware of legroom (although headroom is more than adequate). You can't get a better sales experience than you get at a Saturn dealership - first class buying experience all the way (the same as it was when I bought my 92).What a difference 10 years makes. Trading up from my 1992 SL2 to the 2002 was really a positive experience. Many of the things I disliked about the 92 (engine noise in cabin, vibration, automatic trans shifting hesitation) have been solved. It looks much sportier, is very smooth and fast, and a pleasure to drive. It has the same tight turning and handling that the 92 had. Although its 0-60 time is rated longer than the 92 was, the 02 seems to have better pickup (probably the result of no auto trans hesitation vice the 92).
2002 Saturn VUE - (M5) FWD
Pros: ease of entry and exit
Cons: lack of availability
Advice: I thought road noise was a bit loud for the automatic V6I drove the 5 speed 2WD 4 cylinder VUE. I loved it. It is very comfortable for getting in and out. It is very zippy. It is comfortable for large people.
2002 Saturn VUE - 4 CYL (CVT) AWD
Cons: Poor acceleration for a 6 cyclinder
Advice: Compare investment: When you ask the dealer does this have good resale value? He shrugs his shoulder and said does any Saturn have a good resale value?With the excellent service that all Saturn dealerships offers, the VUE is a new invention that should place the Saturn division way in front. Its ride was comfortable but not plushy comfortable. You can tell where the cost reduction for such an SUV is located. Lots of light weight plastic in areas like the cargo section. Especially around the grocery containment. Its accelerates slow for a six cylinder with a slight jerkiness in the transmission (180hp). Its body is the best for those moments with those mindless grocery carts running into it. Remember its on a car chassie, so not good for those who want to pack a lot of weight into it. It's a very good buy for $23,000 base. $25,000 totally dress. You just becareful of GM products! Don't last.
2002 Saturn L-Series - L300 (A4) Sedan
Pros: The ride and performence
Cons: I wish it had all wheel drive
Advice: Before you buy go test drive a Saturn L-300, I did and I am glad I did.If you are considering any other cars in this class, before you buy go to a Saturn dealer. I did and bought that day I was so impressed. The service and the entire process was so easy. I will buy another Saturn definately.