1st Generation (1991—1996) SL1 Problems

This generations ranks 16th out of 36 Saturn generations in reliability and is one of the safer bets out there. Owners have the most complaints about the engine (40%), transmission (30%), and the electrical (10%). We've listed some of the most recent complaints below, see them all on CarComplaints.com.

  1. Engine Won't Start 1 complaints at an average of 55,000 miles in the 1996 Saturn SL1.
  2. Burned Oil Excessively Until It Cracked a Piston 1 complaints at an average of 122,000 miles in the 1996 Saturn SL1.
  3. Won't Go Into Gear Intermittently 1 complaints at an average of 105,000 miles in the 1995 Saturn SL1.

What SL1 Year is Most Reliable?

Generations are a good baseline for prediciting reliability, but there will almost always be year-to-year differences. We've calculated a reliability score for each model year within this generation, but we've based that score on how the model year compares to all Saturn model years.

Watch out for the 1996 model year which has the highest PainRank™ score in this generation.

Year Complaints Recalls TSBs PainRank (?)
1996 8 0 0 2.03
1995 5 0 0 1.26
1994 3 0 0 0.59
1993 1 0 0 0.2
1992 2 0 0 0.06
1991 1 0 0 0.07

Keep Up with Everything SL1 Related

Get FREE email alerts from CarComplaints.com anytime something new pops up about the SL1. Simple as that. Learn about the news before others. Impress your friends. Be a hero.