The 2003 Saturn L-Series still has the dent and rust-resistant polymer body side panels attached to the skeleton steel space frame with a significant amount of interior and exterior changes. It uses this body style method since the company began. Overall, the car is less expensive than its competitors by far, however, the changes, which are supposed to give the car ""a more commanding and refined exterior appearance,"" come up short.
Body Styles: sedan, wagon
Engines: 2.2-liter four-cylinder, three-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Saturn L200 sedan, Saturn L300 sedan, Saturn LW200 wagon, Saturn LW300 wagon
The 2003 Saturn L-Series receives exterior and interior upgrades for 2003. Front and rear fascias are redesigned and the front-end restyling includes clear wraparound headlamps with chrome trip, and optional fog lamps, with chrome bezels integrated into the new fascia. A Saturn badge now adorns the larger grill and the hood is raised. The view from the rear sports new tail lamps and a revised fascia with additional chrome trim. The interior features brushed nickel-finished trim plates, silver faceplates in the instrument cluster, and European-style upholstery. Adjusting spring rates and optional 16-inch wheels and tires have been brought in to improve ride and handling.
The 2003 Saturn L-Series offers an array of eight exterior colors: black, bright silver, cream white, medium blue, medium red, pewter, silver blue, and silver green. The standard tires and wheels package includes 15-inche steel wheels, P195/65R15 tires, and all-season tires. Intermittent wipers and a rear defogger are the only roof and glass standard features. The width measures at 68.5 inches, height is 56.4 inches, length is 190.4 inches, and ground clearance is 5.7 inches. The Front track measures in at 59.8 inches, rear track are 59.4 inches, and the wheel base is 106.5 inches. Cargo capacity with all seats in place is 17.5 cubic feet.
The 2003 Saturn L-Series provides black, gray, and light tan as the three color options consumers have for the cloth-standard seats. Front seating is bucket style. Rear seating offers a split-folding rear seatback, a folding center armrest, and rear ventilation ducts. The car seats five passengers. Front head room measures at 39.3 inches, front hip room is 51.7 inches, front leg room is 42.3 inches, and front shoulder room is 55.7 inches. The driver’s seat is height adjustable. Power features include remote power door locks, power mirrors, and one-touch power windows. Drivers can enjoy standard conveniences, such as cruise control, front console with storage, front and rear cup holders, front door pockets, a remote trunk release, retained accessory power, front seatback storage, power steering, 12-volt front and 12-volt rear power outlets, and a tilt-adjustable steering wheel. More comfort features include interior air filtration, air-conditioning, a trunk light, front and rear floor mats, and dual illuminating vanity mirrors. Interior instrumentation consists of a standard clock, tachometer, and a low fuel level warning gauge. Passengers can enjoy music through six total speakers and an AM/FM in-dash single CD player stereo.
Performance & Handling
The 2003 Saturn L-Series comes with standard front drive. The suspension package consists of MacPherson strut front suspension, multi-link rear suspension, and four-wheel independent suspension.
The 2003 Saturn L-Series has tons of safety and security base features, which include four-wheel antilock brakes, front and rear head airbags, child seat anchors, remote anti-theft alarm system, front disc/rear drum brakes, rear door child safety locks, daytime running lights, engine immobilizer, dusk sensing headlamps, two front and two rear headrests, rear center three-point belt, traction control, electronic brake force distribution, emergency brake force distribution, emergency interior trunk release, front height adjustable headrests, and rear integrated headrests. Identifix reliability ratings are five out of five in the following categories: transmission and drivetrain, steering, and suspension, heating and air-conditioning, and starting and charging. Engine inspections revealed an occasional failure of the water pump on the 2.2-liter engine only. Parking brake cables occasionally failed, along with the body control module, which is an accessory. Overall, it received a four out of five from Identifix.
EPA Fuel Economy
Saturn L-Series: 21/29 mpg city/highway
- Competitive pricing
- V-6 engine
- Wagon availability
You Won't Like
- Build quality
- Cheap feeling interior
Thousands less than its competitors, and it looks and feels like it.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Honda Accord
- Toyota Camry