Stats and other Jargon:
The Saturn S series of automobiles began in 1991 and was discontinued in 2002. The car is a four door sedan and the model comes with a 1.9 litre engine with either 100 horsepower or 124 horsepower. Both have the option of five-speed manual transmission or four-speed automatic transmission. Anti-lock brakes are optional. The car is relatively light, its on a 2400 lb chassis. Saturns are known for their polymer panels that keep the car from getting dented. SL cars have twin overhead cams which are driven by a chain instead of a belt. The engine has 16 valves and sparks controlled by a computer instead of a distributer.
After having tossed all the jargon at you, I'll give my own review of the car, since I own one. This car feels a lot heavier than it actually is. This might have to do with the fact that the car has very slow pickup and acceleration. It shimmys if you get it over 70mph, but stops once you hit 85 or 90 (cough). However, the car gets fantastic gas mileage. I own an automatic 1997 SL2, and the 1999 model supposedly gets 27 city and 38 highway. I've gotten close to 38 miles per gallon on the highway. These cars are known for their alternators going bad. I have 68k miles on mine and haven't had to replace it thus far. I've only owned the car for about 6 months and put about 6k miles on it. I'm not sure if it was replaced prior to me buying it, though. Also the cars are known for their fuel pumps having to be replaced, which I haven't had to deal with yet either. I have had to replace the steering system because the seals cracked, and that was about $800 dollars (most of which was labor). A plus to owning this car is that the parts are very generic so it doesn't cost a zillion dollars to get something replaced.
Overall the car is OK. I bought it with the speakers blown, and the cd player is skippy but that's just superficial really. The car appears to be dependable and I'd suggest it for a mostly broke college student like myself that doesn't plan on drag racing or picking up girls or anything. Buying the car used from a dealership was a good plan, I got a warrantee for the first 2 months. Even if you buy one from a private party, I think there is a good chance that the car will not be a lemon. The price isn't half bad, you can get a 1999 model for well under 10 thousand depending on what the mileage is. I plan on driving mine until it dies, its cute and its grown on me.