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2002 Saturn S-Series

  • 2002 Saturn S-Series SC1 Hatchback

    SC1 Hatchback

    • MAX MPG
      36
    • SEATS
      4
    • HP/TORQUE
      100/114
    • ENGINE
      1.9L I4
    • MSRP
      $13,940
  • 2002 Saturn S-Series SC2 Hatchback

    SC2 Hatchback

    • MAX MPG
      36
    • SEATS
      4
    • HP/TORQUE
      124/122
    • ENGINE
      1.9L I4
    • MSRP
      $17,120
  • 2002 Saturn S-Series SL1 Sedan

    SL1 Sedan

    • MAX MPG
      37
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      100/114
    • ENGINE
      1.9L I4
    • MSRP
      $12,890
  • 2002 Saturn S-Series SL2 Sedan

    SL2 Sedan

    • MAX MPG
      36
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      124/122
    • ENGINE
      1.9L I4
    • MSRP
      $14,375
  • 2002 Saturn S-Series SL Sedan

    SL Sedan

    • MAX MPG
      40
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      100/114
    • ENGINE
      1.9L I4
    • MSRP
      $10,570
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  • Review

2002 Saturn S-Series Review

Looks a little tired in comparison with its competitors.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2002 Saturn S Series provides a subcompact car that has a well-deserved reputation for reliability and a fun drive. It made its debut in 1990, and although models underwent slight modifications in 1996, for 2002 the S Series has not been fully redesigned. At this stage, it really needs a major makeover.

Saturn has an excellent reputation for customer service, which keeps the S Series competitive. Combined with reliability, this could make it an attractive option for some. However, many other good subcompact cars crowd the market, many of which have undergone significant remodeling to make them more attractive to customers.

The Range

Body Styles: coupe, sedan
Engines: 1.9-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Saturn SL, Saturn SL1, Saturn SL2, Saturn SC1, Saturn SC2

What's New

Updates for the Saturn S Series in 2002 include new, aluminum, 15-inch wheels and a choice of four new exterior colors.

Exterior

The exterior of the 2002 Saturn S Series looks relatively appealing, but hasn't really been redesigned since its introduction. It sits on a 102.4-inch wheelbase and has an overall length of 178.1 inches. It measures 66.4 inches wide and 55 inches high. These measurements mean it stretches about three inches longer than the Honda Civic and Ford Focus. All Saturns use rust-resistant polymer materials on the lower body panels, while the roof, trunk, and hood get forged from steel. The lower-end models have 14-inch steel wheels, while the top-of-the-range model uses 15-inch wheels.

Interior

The interior of the 2002 Saturn S Series seats five occupants. It has front bucket seats and a rear bench seat with space for three passengers. The rear seat splits and can fold down to provide more trunk space. The trunk offers 12.1 cubic feet of capacity. Standard equipment across all models includes a stereo, an anti-theft system, and a tilt steering column. If you choose the SL2 sedan or its equivalent, it comes with air-conditioning. The interior of the 2002 Saturn S Series looks quite basic, and it comes up short in terms of quality. The seats do not feel particularly well padded, and get uncomfortable on longer journeys. Some people find the seating position too low to the floor for comfort.

Although the S Series sells as a coupe, the list of standard equipment seems somewhat limited for all base models. The packaging of the additional equipment gives little enticement for buyers to spend more money. In order to get a good range of equipment, buyers need to spend as much money on this car as they would on the Ford Focus or the Nissan Sentra, both of which arguably provide much better options.

Performance & Handling

The SL and SL1 contain a 1.9-liter, four-cylinder engine, which produces 100 horsepower. This remains the same for the coupe. The SL2 comes fitted with the same size engine, but the dual-overhead-camshaft engine can produce 124 hp. Engines pair with a standard five-speed manual gearbox, while a four-speed automatic transmission remains optional. Drum brakes come standard on all models. Disc brakes remain unavailable.

Although all models seem relatively nice to drive they don't exactly stand out from the competition, and the fact that the interior doesn’t feel finished and gets much noisier than other cars in this class, makes it difficult to recommend a 2002 Saturn S Series. Although the more powerful engine gives greater acceleration, all models suffer from a rather hard suspension and don't give a particularly comfortable ride. On the other hand, the Saturn does perform reasonably well on the highway and feels easy to maneuver.

Safety

Safety features include child safety locks on the rear doors, headlamps that come on automatically during the daytime, front headrests, interior trunk release, and a rear center lap belt. Optional safety features for the 2002 Saturn S Series include curtain airbags to protect the front and rear passengers, traction control, and anti-lock brakes.

EPA Fuel Economy

Saturn SL: 25/36 mpg city/highway
Saturn SL1: 25/36 mpg city/highway
Saturn SL2: 25/36 mpg city/highway
Saturn SC1: 25/36 mpg city/highway
Saturn SC2: 23/34 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Rust-resistant body panels
  • Relatively good fuel economy

You Won't Like

  • Poor-quality materials inside
  • Lack of standard features
  • Comfort level

Sum Up

Looks a little tired in comparison with its competitors.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Honda Accord
  • Ford Focus
  • Dodge Neon

2002 Saturn S-Series Consumer Rating

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