|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2009)|
|Assembly||United States: Wilmington, Delaware (Wilmington Assembly)|
|Body and chassis|
|Layout||Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive|
|Related||Opel Vectra B
|Wheelbase||106.5 in (2,705 mm)|
|Length||190.4 in (4,836 mm)|
The L-Series mid-size sedans and station wagons were introduced in 2000. They were based on the Opel Vectra B and manufactured at a GM plant in Wilmington, Delaware. The L-Series was available with straight-4 and V6 engines with either 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmissions.
Poor sales of the L-Series caused GM to cancel the line for 2005. The first L-series car was built in May 1999, and the last one rolled off the Wilmington line on June 17, 2004, after a short run of 2005 models. About 406,300 L-series cars were built in this period. The plant was then retooled to build the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky roadsters.
- 2000: The L-Series consisted of 5 models: The four-cylinder LS and LS1/LW1, and V6 LS2/LW2. The base LS sedan, which did not have a wagon counterpart, came equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission, manual windows and locks, air conditioning, and an AM/FM stereo. The LS1/LW1 added power windows, mirrors and locks with keyless entry, heated mirrors, and other comfort features. The LS2/LW2 featured additional standard amenities including fog lights, as well as the more powerful V6 engine and 4-speed automatic transmission; the latter being optional on the 4-cylinder models. Anti-lock brakes with traction control was an option on all models.
- 2001: The L-Series received new model designations: the LS became L100, LS1 became L200, LS2 became L300, LW1 became LW200, and LW2 became LW300. All models received a larger fuel tank (15.7 US gal (59 L; 13 imp gal)) and shoulder belts for the center rear seat position. Head curtain side airbags became available later in the model year.
- 2002: Anti-lock brakes with traction control were standard this year, along with curtain side airbags. A new six-spoke chrome alloy wheel became available, as well as automatic air conditioning and a rear DVD entertainment later in the model year.
- 2003: Sedans were facelifted, front and rear; wagons received the new front along with new taillights. Silver dash trim replaced wood trim, and there was new cloth upholstery and a new available alloy wheel design (borrowed from Saab). The L100 sedan was canceled, and anti-lock brakes with traction control were made optional again.
- 2004: Anti-lock brakes and traction control were standard again, the automatic air conditioning was discontinued (leaving all models with the manual air conditioning), and the manual transmission was dropped, leaving all models with a four-speed automatic. The "L200" and "LW200" names were discontinued. Both L-Series sedan and wagon models were officially renamed "L300," adopting a trim level structure like that of Saturn's Ion compact. The previous L200/LW200 were now the L300.1, powered by the 2.2L Ecotec and having no available options. The L300.2 was powered by the 3.0L V6 and had the same range of options as before. The L300.3 had the chrome alloy wheels and a standard power driver's seat, and was unique in offering the "Premium Choice Package." This offered the choice between OnStar, rear DVD entertainment, or (on sedans) a power sunroof at no extra charge.
- 2005: Wagons were discontinued this year and the lineup was trimmed to one model, the L300.2 sedan. The only option was a power moonroof, as all other options were dropped to reduce production complexity. The last L300 rolled off the Wilmington Assembly line on June 17, 2004.
The Saturn L-Series was troubled early in production by a number of quality issues, often related to engine failures, transmission failures and overall fit and finish issues. Consumers reported repeat problems with tire noise and vibration linked to poorly designed control arm bushings and nonadjustable rear alignments. A retrofit kit was released to address these concerns.
In 2005, a recall was issued pursuant to a defect petition by the North Carolina Consumers Council, a consumer nonprofit advocacy organization, alleging repeat brake and tail light failures. The resulting recall affected more than 300,000 vehicles in the United States and Canada. Later that same year, the North Carolina Consumers Council petitioned for an investigation into timing chain failures and subsequent engine failures across the model lineup for vehicles using the 2.2L engine. The resulting recall affected only a small number of vehicles built in a four-month period in late 2000 and early 2001. The organization reported that complaints of engine failure due to a defective timing chain design persist to this day and requests for recall expansions have largely been ignored. The organization has gone so far as to make its first recommendation against the purchase of a vehicle in its more than forty year history due in part to this timing chain defect.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
|Moderate overlap frontal offset||Acceptable|
|Small overlap frontal offset||Not Tested|
|Roof strength||Not Tested|
|Year||Frontal Driver||Frontal Passenger||Side Driver||Side Passenger||4x2 Rollover|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saturn L-Series.|
- Saturn Tail Light Recall is Result of NCCC Involvement, North Carolina Consumers Council website. Retrieved August 2012.
- NCCC Advises Consumers to Avoid 2.2L Saturn L-Series Vehicles, North Carolina Consumers Council website. Retrieved August 2012.
- "IIHS-HLDI: Saturn L-Series". Iihs.org. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
- "2000 Saturn LS 4-DR.". Safercar.gov. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
- "2001 Saturn LS 4-DR.". Safercar.gov. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
- "2002 Saturn L Series 4-DR.". Safercar.gov. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
- "2003 Saturn L Series 4-DR.". Safercar.gov. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
- "2004 Saturn L Series 4-DR. w/SAB". Safercar.gov. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
- "2005 Saturn L Series 4-DR. w/SAB". Safercar.gov. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
|Saturn automobile timeline, 1991–2010|
|Vehicle leased under General Motors brand|