Saturn L-Series Origins
Although Saturn had made cars since the 1990s, this was one of the first to be introduced with a V-6 engine as well as a four-cylinder engine as found in all of its previous midsize cars. When unveiled, there were five different models available of the car that was introduced as a faster, roomier, and more luxurious car by Saturn. The five initial models were the LS, LS1, and LS2 sedans; the LW1 and LW2 station wagon versions of the Saturn L-Series. The basic level was available as a sedan only.
The first Saturn L-Series cars were completed in May of 1999. The LS, LS1, and LW1 were all equipped with the four-cylinder engine, while the LS2 and LW2 versions came with the V-6 engine. The four-cylinder engine was a 2.2-liter Ecotec engine that had a power rating of 140 horsepower and produced 145 lb.-ft. of torque. The Ecotec was a new engine from GM, and the Saturn L-Series was one of the first cars to be equipped with it. The V-6 engine was a Saab engine, but that did not have the turbocharger installed. It was a 3.0-liter V-6 engine with a power rating of 182 horsepower and a torque rating of 190 lb.-ft.
As with other vehicles made by Saturn, the Saturn L-Series was built using dent and rust-resistant polymer panels. The front fenders, bumper fascias, and all the doors were made from using the polymer panels. The rest of the car was built using steel. All models were front-wheel drive, and could seat five passengers comfortably. In the rear of both the sedan and the station wagon, the seat had a 60/40 fold to provide for greater cargo storage. Anti-lock brakes were an option and were coupled with traction control when installed. About the Saturn L-Series
With the launch of the 2004 model year, the Saturn L-Series gained anti-lock brakes and traction control as standard features. The five-speed manual transmission was dropped, so that all cars were equipped with four-speed automatic transmission only. All sedans and station wagons were renamed L300.1, L300.2, or the L300.3. The L300.1 was equipped with the four-cylinder engine and had no options, while the L300.2 had the V-6 engine and range of options. The L300.3 was the premium trim level, and was fitted with the V-6 engine.
The final year for the Saturn L-Series was 2005, and only sedans were available as the station wagons were discontinued. Saturn L-Series Evolution
When the first generation of the Saturn L-Series was released, the base model was equipped with the four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission. The LS1 sedan and LW1 station wagon versions were also equipped with the four-cylinder engine and the manual transmission, but comfort features were added such as power mirrors, windows, and locks and keyless entry. The premium LS2 sedan and LW2 wagon were fitted with the V-6 engine and a four-speed automatic transmission. The automatic transmission was the only transmission fitted on the LS2 and LW2, while a four-speed automatic transmission was available as an option for the three lower trim levels. The premium trim levels also featured further comfort features. Air conditioning and an AM/FM radio was included as standard features for all trim levels.
With the introduction of the 2001 model year vehicles, the designations for the Saturn L-Series changed from LS, LS1, LS2, LW1, and LW2 to L100, L200, L300, LW200, and LW300. The Saturn L-Series sedan and station wagon with the 300 designation were fitted with the 3.0-liter V-6 engine. A larger fuel tank was installed in all of the vehicles, and seat belts were added for the center position in the rear. Side curtain airbags became an option available for all the different versions of the car.
Little changed for the release of the 2002 model year sedans and station wagons of the Saturn L-Series. Anti-lock brakes and traction control became standard features for all cars, as did the side curtain airbags. Six-spoke chrome alloy wheels were a new option, as well as automatic air conditioning and a rear DVD entertainment system.
For the 2003 model year, all trim levels underwent a refresh, except the base-level sedan, which was dropped from the lineup. The rear of the car was updated, and the front received a new grille as well as new headlights. Inside, the instrument panel was updated. Finally, 16-inch alloy wheels became standard for the LS300 and LW300, while it remained an option for the LS200 and LW200. The anti-lock braking system and traction control were made optional again. The L-Series was discontinued in favor of the larger Saturn Aura, which went out of production when the brand folded in 2009.