Junkyard Find: 2001 Saturn L200

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 2001 saturn l200

Saturn needed some new models by the late 1990s, and so GM spent a billion or so bucks to make an Americanized, plastic-bodied Opel Vectra and called it the L-Series. The L, which went through a bewildering series of model-name changes during its 2000-2005 production run, never sold very well and more or less sank without a trace. That makes it historically interesting, in sort of a run-up-to-the-bankruptcy way, much like the 2001 Pontiac Aztek Junkyard Find we saw yesterday. Yes, we’re having 21st Century Junkyard Find Week!

The General had ample experience with attempts to sell rebadged Opels in the United States, from the Buick Opel to the Cadillac Catera, and only the Opel-cousin Chevrolet Chevette had sold worth a damn. Still, the Saturn L would be different!

A billion dollars, gone.

Somebody dropped the subframe and grabbed the Ecotec 2.2 out of this car.

Window won’t roll up? That’s what a Salvation Army sign and packaging tape are for!

You can jump up and down on the door skins, plus there’s that German engineering to consider.

The midsize world may never be the same.

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  • ATLOffroad ATLOffroad on Feb 13, 2015

    My dad bought a 2001 L200 when these first came out. In fact, this was his third Saturn. I enjoyed this car. The one thing I remember is how bright the headlights were. This helped when dodging deer in rual Georgia. The 4cyl had plenty of power and the upgraded 9 speaker stereo sounded really good. After 120,000 trouble free miles my brother-in-law plowed into a UPS truck. We still talk about that car. It was the same color as the one in this junkyard.

  • JimC2 JimC2 on Feb 13, 2015

    It's weird seeing one of these in the junkyard. I'm used to seeing them with at least one donut (temporary spare tire) and holding up traffic in the fast lane.

  • Lorenzo This series is epic, but I now fear you'll never get to the gigantic Falcon/Dart/Nova comparison.
  • Chris P Bacon Ford and GM have decided that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Odds are Chrysler/Cerberus/FCA/Stellantis is next to join in. If any of the companies like Electrify America had been even close to Tesla in reliability, we wouldn't be here.
  • Inside Looking Out China will decide which EV charging protocol will become world wide standard.
  • Chris P Bacon I see no reference to Sweden or South Carolina. I hate to assume, but is this thing built in China? I can't help but wonder if EVs would be more affordable to the masses if they weren't all stuffed full of horsepower most drivers will never use. How much could the price be reduced if it had, say, 200hp. Combined with the instant torque of an EV, that really is plenty of power for the daily commuter, which is what this vehicle really is.
  • Ajla It's weird how Polestar apparently has better BEVs than Volvo. And this is the same price as a Pilot and Plus optioned Polestar 2 AWD.