Saturn was truly a phenomenon in the marketplace, achieving a cultlike following with a traditional low-priced, front-drive 4-door sedan. Saturn's competition was tough, and included popular compact cars like the Dodge/Plymouth Neon, Toyota Corolla, Geo Prizm and Ford Escort.
When launched as a 1991 model, Saturn sedans came in three flavors, the plain vanilla SL, the mid-level SL1 and the upscale SL2.
Antilock brakes were an option across the board, but only the SL2 included 4-wheel disc brakes instead of rear drums. Both uplevel models also offered traction control, a feature that was required to also opt for ABS and automatic transmission.
The SL2 further distanced itself from its brethren sedans by offering body-colored fascias instead of black bumpers and larger, 15-in. wheels and tires in place of the standard 14-in. wheels.
All models, this year, received dual airbags that replaced the previous, pesky motorized shoulder belts. The driver's airbag was housed in a new 2-spoke steering wheel. A new instrument panel also debuted in all models.
Power for the SL and SL1 came from a 1.9-liter sohc Four that produced 15 more horsepower this year, going from throttle body fuel injection to multiport injection. The SL came only with a manual 5-speed, while the SL1 also offered an optional 4-speed automatic.
More power was the order of the day for the SL2, with a dohc version of the 1.9 engine that cranked out 124 horsepower and was used to be mated to either the 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.
|Model year(s)||Trim level||List price||Destination charge||Effective date|
|1991||SL||$7,995||February 10, 1991|
|1991||SL1||$8,595||February 10, 1991|
|1991||SL2||$10,295||February 10, 1991|
|1992||SL||$8,195||$300||October 13, 1991|
|1992||SL1||$8,895||$300||October 13, 1991|
|1992||SL2||$10,395||$300||October 13, 1991|
|1993||SL||$9,195||$315||August 13, 1992|
|1993||SL1||$9,995||$315||August 13, 1992|
|1993||SL2||$11,495||$315||August 13, 1992|
|1994||SL||$9,995||$330||July 13, 1993|
|1994||SL1||$10,795||$330||July 13, 1993|
|1994||SL2||$11,795||$330||July 13, 1993|
|1995||SL||$9,995||$360||July 25, 1994|
|1995||SL1||$10,995||$360||July 25, 1994|
|1995||SL2||$11,995||$360||July 25, 1994|
|1996||SL||$10,495||$390||July 17, 1995|
|1996||SL1||$11,395||$390||July 17, 1995|
|1996||SL2||$12,295||$390||July 17, 1995|
|1997||SL||$10,595||$400||July 29, 1996|
|1997||SL1||$12,435||$400||July 29, 1996|
|1997||SL2||$13,335||$400||July 29, 1996|