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Pros: reasonably priced gutsy little vehicle
Cons: after a meal entry/exit could be uncomfortable/awkward
Advice: If you want to enjoy driving at a good price.. this could fitThe SC2 surprised me with the 'guts' it had when a quick acceleration was required. For a 4cyl it has a bit of get-up-and-go. I test drove the 5spd manual not an automatic. The shifting felt smooth and had a close enough ratio to make the action comfortable. On the downshift I did notice it would be difficult at times to get it to engage the lower gears without slowing down more than I expected would be necessary. Overall, a nice ride.
Pros: keyless entry and cruise control and power windows
Cons: low-power engine (experienced most when climbing at less-than freeway speeds)
Advice: Find one quick - 2002 was the last model year. Some dealers still have a couple on the lot, with discounts.I test-drove many different vehicles: Echo and Corolla, Sentra, Civic, Focus, Protege. The Saturn salesperson did not pressure me to buy, which was a welcome change. They did not pressure on extended warranties or service agreements either. For an economy car, the car rides well. It seems to ride better at higher speeds (interstate travel is very smooth). The trunk is extremely roomy for such a small car. In my opinion, the appearance is nice. From the outside it has the American-look and does not try to imitate the imports. This one has the SL1 option package, which includes cruise control. I have come to see a few things in the option package really should be standard, like the rear speakers. The front ones sound really tinny. Also, some of the accessories in my car were newer versions than what was described in the car's manual, so it took a while to learn to operate them because the manual information was not up to date. Like a lot of small American-made cars, the car does not have the fit of some of the foreign sedans. On this model the front seats do not have adjustable headrests -- the headrest is integrated into the seat. It is not uncomfortable, but if you're looking for the plush/cushy feeling, try a different car. The driver has good visibility from all angles. Note there are no rear seat headrests blocking the rear view. The lack of rear headrests might be a problem if you make long trips with passengers in the back seat. The ride is very stable. The only thing that could be improved is more power, especially at lower speeds. Mine is an automatic, and I think a manual transmission would be better for power/control. The A/C works great. The heat takes longer to warm up than I would expect. When defrosting, it works almost immediately and does a great job. This is definitely not a car for people who like to pass everyone else on the road. And if you drive a family around - consider a larger model. For commuting to work, and the occasional road trip, it is a great value if you find it at a good price. Especially for a one- or two-person household that wants the convenience of a 4-door sedan. Overall I am pleased with the car and out of all the vehicles I researched, I would make the same selection again.
Pros: The body style
Cons: How it runs
Advice: Ask if it is normal for the Sc1 to miss fire???I bought a 2002 Sc1 in April 2002. It ran excellent for the first 2000 miles. I have had it in the garage 6 times. One for a ignition cylinder lock had to be replaced. The other 5 times was for miss firing at idle. They replaced a fuel injector, fixed a fuel injector, and changed spark plugs and spark plug wires. It is still miss firing. Now they are telling me it is normal for the Saturn Sc1 series to miss. My saturn is miss firing 10 times in 5 min but it has to miss fire 50 times in 5 min or it is normal. Now I am stuck with a lemon. Saturn will not do anything about it. I will never buy a Saturn again!!!
Pros: GAS MILEAGE! 36MPG in the city with A/C on. 'Nuff said.
Cons: 4 cyl engine has slow pickup.
Advice: Compare it against the competition - for the price, you'll pick it.2001 SL. Great, dependable little car. I've had mine for exactly two years now and have 55,000 miles. Fuel efficiency is superb, haven't had one problem with it yet. It's not a performance engine, but it's not uncomfortable, and it handles really well.
Pros: The sunroof is a great addition to the overall package.
Cons: It's a little cramped for those over 5'10'
Advice: Look into all the options and add what you think you should have, it's cheaper then you think.It had looks and the power to get going if needed.
Pros: Decisiveness of the clutch.
Cons: Lack of ergonomics.
Advice: Despite the firt rate service, this vehicle is poorly desinged.This car is far too small, and lacks all ergonomics. Power features are poorly placed. Cup holders are placed so that they cant be used while attempting to shift. They also hinder your ability to use the climate controlls. These controlls only work but so well. AC is warm, heater takes 10 min. to work, temp blend is one or the other, constant adjustment is neeed. I do like the quality of the woven fabric, but interior textures are unattractive. The cheep plastics are easy to damage, and are just plain ugly. The gauges are well lit, attractive, and easy to see. They also seem oddly percise, hash marks are dead on. The exterior is also less than fetching. It's as if a Pontiac were bred with a Toyota Carolla. The car is mildly quick when unloaded, but with each passenger added, a decrease in performance is noted. The engine is pleasantly torque heavy, but has a very narrow power band, and dies out far before the redline. The vehicles clutch is it's only redeeming point, its very percise, and pleasant to use. It's hydrolic clutch linkage is very similar to a few german cars I can think of, but my prove difficult for unexpereienced motorists. The gear ratios are relativly well placed, but a low first gear forces quick shifting due to a low 5500 RPM redline. The vehicle handles decently, but would handle better if the tires werent so poor in quality. Typical fat sidewalls, soft rubber, lack of durablity associated with firestone. The occasion cute burnout will cause thousands of miles of tire life to bond to the pavement. Braking is decent, but many claim Saturns to lack brake life so we shall see. I would say this is a bad car, but you could certainly do better for the money. A civic or carolla would be better built and have more power. However this is a clear victor over the sheer ugly factor of a Focus, or the general lack of apeal the Chevy generates.
Pros: Have to be the sunroof!
Cons: I should have gotten leather :)
Advice: All you have to do is test drive it, then you'll know you want it.This is my first car, and I didn't want anything that would kill me in insurance costs. The SC2 is the perfect car for that, it's quick and sporty, not overly beastly, and it's considered a compact car. Good performance and low insurance, the perfect combo.