The 2001 Saturn S Series is an affordable line of compact cars that consists of the SL Sedan, the SW Wagon, and the SC Coupe. With a reputation for being fun to drive and highly reliable, the S Series has been a popular choice among car enthusiasts for many years. In that time, Saturn dealerships have set themselves apart from their competition by touting a novel emphasis on customer service over sales commissions.
The 2001 S Series is available in a number of trim levels in addition to the sedan, wagon and coupe models. For example, the sedans are available in the base SL, the midrange SL1, or the more upmarket SL2. The wagons come in either the base model SW1 trim or the upmarket SW2. Lastly, the coupes are available in either base SC1 or sporty SC2 trim. Unfortunately, standard equipment lists for all base models are rather short and incomplete. Options for midrange models are slightly more exhaustive, but in order to get the features and amenities most drivers expect, you may have to splurge on one of the more expensive, high-end models. Consequently, critics argue that if you are venturing into that higher price range, it might be more sensible to consider a different luxury vehicle altogether.
Some notable features of the 2001 S Series include Saturn’s excellent network of customer-friendly dealerships, reputation for reliability, and money-back guarantees.
Body Styles: coupe, sedan, wagon
Engines: 100 horsepower 1.9-liter four-cylinder; 124 horsepower 1.9-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Saturn SL Sedan, Saturn SL1 Sedan, Saturn SL2 Sedan, Saturn SW1 Wagon, Saturn SW2 Wagon, Saturn SC1 Coupe, Saturn SL2 Coupe
No changes have been implemented in the Saturn S Series for the year 2001, except for the introduction of optional head curtain airbags.
Although it is somewhat dated in appearance now, the 2001 Saturn S Series roster contains an attractive array of models that includes a sedan, a wagon, and a coupe. The sporty SC2 coupe is a particularly stylish model that features 15-inch steel wheels outfitted with performance tires. All other models ride on 14-inch steel wheels.
Base models across the S Series line are very sparsely equipped with bucket seats, cloth upholstery, and a tilt-adjustable steering wheel. However, higher-trim levels include standard or optional features, such as cruise control, power door locks, air conditioning, and an AM/FM/CD player stereo. Disc brakes are not available for any model on the S Series roster, as rear drum brakes are standard across the S Series line.
The interior of the 2001 Saturn S series contains a one-piece instrument cover designed to eliminate problems with ill-fitting seams and mismatched plastic pieces. Despite this commendable effort, the fit and finish of the 2001 S Series could be improved, namely by upgrading the existing low-quality interior materials.
Performance & Handling
There are two different engines available for models belonging to the Saturn S Series: the standard 1.9-liter four-cylinder that’s rated at 100 horsepower, and the twin-cam version that’s rated at 124 horsepower. Transmission choices consist of either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic. There is also optional traction control available that further enhances the vehicle’s ability to hug the road on turns.
2001 Saturn S Series models equipped with the twin-cam, 124 horsepower engine are particularly peppy, especially when paired with the five-speed automatic transmission. If you’re looking for a bit of excitement behind the wheel, opt for the twin-cam engine paired with the five-speed manual – you won’t be disappointed.
Standard safety equipment for the 2001 Saturn S Series includes child seat anchors, ventilated front disc/rear drum brakes, rear door child safety locks, daytime running lights, rear center lap belts, electronic brake force distribution, and an emergency interior trunk release. In passenger and driver-side impact tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Saturn S Series received five out of five stars. However, it earned three stars in side-impact front tests and two stars in side-impact rear tests. It also garnered a four out of five star rating for rollover tests. Lastly, in frontal offset impact tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), it received a rating of ""acceptable.""
EPA Fuel Economy
Saturn S Series Sedan: 25/36 mpg city/highway
Saturn S Series Coupe: 25/36 mpg city/highway
Saturn S Series Wagon: 23/34 mpg city/highway
- Body panels are rust-resistant and dent-resistant
- Dealerships are customer-focused
- Available as a coupe, a sedan, or a wagon
You Won't Like
- Interior utilizes low-grade materials
- Seating position is uncomfortable
- Standard equipment list is limited
The 2001 Saturn S Series hasn’t had a major redesign in over a decade, and in this case, an upgrade is certainly due.
If You Like This Vehicle