Need Insight on Saturn Used Car

Joined
Jul 7, 2006
Messages
90
Location
Asheville, NC
I'm somewhat new here but am impressed at the insight a lot of the posters here have about various car makers products. I am one of those people with a strong bias towards imports as far as reliability and longevity goes (our current stable is a Nissan Titan and a Subaru Forestor). My dilema is that my niece is looking at a 2002 Saturn L200 with a 2.2 liter engine and an automatic transmission and I have no insight on them. I performed a search here and noted that that Saturn 2.2 seems to be a very good engine. I believe they are ecotec engines? My questions are as follows: Are all Saturn 2.2's ecotoc's and how if the longevity of there auto trans. I have a strong manual trans bias in this car segment whether it be a honda, subaru, nissan or toyota product. Thanks in advance for your insight and replies.
 
Joined
May 7, 2004
Messages
10,910
Location
Nokesville, VA
It is an Ecotec and I'm pretty sure it has the 4T40E transmission. My research indicates that the 4T40E is a reliable transmission--I have been unable to find any reports of failure, and this transmission has been in production for about 10 years. I know someone with a Malibu with the 4T40E, he had 120K miles on it when I last asked him about it and he had never even gotten the transmission serviced.
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2004
Messages
239
Location
Endwell, New York
All saturns with the 2.2L are ecotecs. It is a VERY good engine, I would rank it up with honda and toyota 4 cylinders. The motor and transmission are the last things to be worried about when buying that saturn.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2003
Messages
8,711
Location
Nothern USA
Who is going to be changing the oil? The Ecotec in my 02 Cavalier is the easiest thing I ever changed. I can reach the oil drain withh the car on the ground, and you change the cartridge filter from the top. Not like some of the extreme butt pains.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2003
Messages
36,778
Location
ME
Their electric gremlins are up there with Lucas. Drive it at night and see if the headlights flicker. Also check everything the body control module effects... use the remote locks, radio, all that stuff. They have horrible resale so get it cheap or go find another. Don't touch any with the CVT transmission. The ecotec is nice, the very early ones in 00 had timing chain issues.
 
Joined
Oct 21, 2003
Messages
960
Location
Maryland, USA
My neighber has a Saturn L200. One early morning I noticed her car's headlights were on in the parking lot. I knocked on her door to inform her, who told me she had been experiencing electrical problems with her car like headlights coming on by themselves. I ended up by disconnecting her battery, and later reconnected it for her, so, she could drive to a dealer for repair that morning.
 
Joined
May 7, 2004
Messages
10,910
Location
Nokesville, VA
In the Malibu Classic, the Ecotec won't break any land-speed records but it's powerful enough to merge onto the highway without ******* off everyone in the right lane.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
89
Location
Buffalo, NY
The 2.2 EcoTec is a very stout engine that can be built up to produce a lot of horsepower. I believe the HHR is built off the new Cavalier frame.
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
2,513
Location
Richmond, VA
Consider an Ion, Malibu Classic or a Chevy Cobalt. Have heard of electrical issues with the L-Series Saturn also. The S-Series Saturn is a good car.
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2003
Messages
11,284
Location
Spring HIll
2000-2002 models are known for electrical issues. 2003 is the year that seems to be 'better' than others. Head on over to Saturnfans.com's forums. Tons of info. Probably more than you care to read. [Smile] [Cheers!]
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
303
Location
Rochester, MN
Go to Saturnfans.com and you'll learn all you need to know. Great site with very knowledgeable owners... pay particular attention to anything posted by Wolfman. I have an '03(redesigned body style) L200 with the ecotech and am very happy with it. The engine and transmission are, I believe, reliable.
 
Joined
May 27, 2006
Messages
49
Location
Lansing, MI
Hey, how do you like the engine, power wise? I rented a Chevy HHR a month back. Hey, that thing is very powerful as a 4 banger, while on paper only 143hp and 150lbft. Don't know the weight of the HHR though. Pretty light?
 
Joined
Dec 2, 2003
Messages
3,094
Location
Metro Detroit
FWIW, the Saturn L-series is basically a rebadged Opel Vectra. It's being replaced this year with the Aura, based on the same Epsilon platform (shared with the Opel Vectra, Saab 9-3, Chevy Malibu and Pontiac G6), but an all-new design.
 
Joined
May 4, 2005
Messages
441
Location
LA
Many people complain about high idle problems, I have the SL2 which is fine and the SC2 which had an idle problem but after cleaning the engine it was fine. I have no idea if this will pertain to your situation.
 
Joined
Dec 2, 2003
Messages
3,094
Location
Metro Detroit
quote:
Originally posted by GearGuy: SaturnFans checks out the Aura HERE. Click on the hyperlinks to see their pictures.
Hmmm, I would have liked to see an Aura XR reviewed, but this guy apparently liked what he saw in the XE. I'm really curious to hear what the new 6 speed trans is like behind the 3.6L V6.
 
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