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Old 11-07-2005, 04:24 AM   #1
bobbyrae
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1993 SL2
Default How to identify the specific models: SL, SL1, SL2??

I have searched and couldn't find a thread on this, but I would guess there is one somewhere. I am asking since I am in the market for one of these cars and have gotten a bit confused as to how to differentiate a SL from a SL1 from a SL2.

I am also asking because it seems strange that they put no badges on the cars the way Honda will put DX, LX, EX so we know the trim levels. And sometimes owners and dealers really don't know what model they are selling! They will call it an SL when it is really an SL2, etc.

So far, I can see that the SL2 has the DOHC engine, painted bumpers, a big reflector across the trunk, and usually alloy wheels, while the SL1 has the SOHC engine, dark gray bumpers and wheel covers. But what about that base SL model? And are there any other differences?

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Old 11-07-2005, 07:12 AM   #2
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2004 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: How to identify the specific models: SL, SL1, SL2??

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyrae
....while the SL1 has the SOHC engine, dark gray bumpers and wheel covers. But what about that base SL model? And are there any other differences?

Thanks!!
You're correct on your SL2 vs SL1. For the SL, take an SL1 and remove the power steering, passenger side mirror and power windows and locks. It's possible that a base model SL only comes with a manual transmission.

--Tom

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Old 11-07-2005, 09:40 PM   #3
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1996 SL
2000 SL1
Default Re: How to identify the specific models: SL, SL1, SL2??

sl has optional power steering and optional air conditioning, auto trans not an option. black bumpers standard.
sl1 supposedly came with nicer interior, but my 96sl has cloth on doors and more comfortable seats than wife's 00 sl1.

mine came with pass. mirror, a/c (not working), manual trans, and am/fm/cass.

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Old 11-07-2005, 09:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: How to identify the specific models: SL, SL1, SL2??

get the vehicle identification number (VIN) and have a Saturn retailer look up the model information for you.

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Old 11-07-2005, 11:21 PM   #5
paulygon
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1995 SL2
Default Re: How to identify the specific models: SL, SL1, SL2??

my friend has a manual sl2, same year as mine, without alloy rims, power locks or fogs. before his i didnt know there was a lot difference in trim you could get at the sl2 level, i knew leather and roof was an option, but power locks?? it also didnt have a tape deck, just a tuner. i gave my tape deck to him and got an aftermarket mp3cd player. i would assume his speakers aren't the premium ones either...mine were, but the two in the back were blown so i took them all out.

i would never buy a s-series if it wasn't a "2". i know the sohc gets better mileage, but i just dont think i would be able to stand the interior or even the non-matching bumpers.

apparently there's also a "homecoming edition" of sorts? whats the dif between the loaded up sl2 like mine (leather, sun, fogs, power everything) and the homecoming edition?

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Old 11-08-2005, 12:30 AM   #6
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1994 SW2
Default Re: How to identify the specific models: SL, SL1, SL2??

The easiest way to distinguish between these models is to open the hood.

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Old 11-08-2005, 01:01 AM   #7
marcusa
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1997 SL1
Default Re: How to identify the specific models: SL, SL1, SL2??

Homecoming was limited and only came out in 1994 and 1999 to celebrate the Saturn homecoming. I'm not sure on the 94, but the 99 had a unique color. THere's also numerous pther refinements and touches like white-faced gauges. There's some photos of Spazie's Homecoming Edition Satty. Also, there was a 10th Anniversay Edition as well, there's some photos of Firemate's .

Hope that helps.

And one final thought, I don't think the sl had auto transmission as an option, and I believe the tires may be skinnier than the SL1's as well, though don't quote me on that. I think SL was the budget model, SL1 was supposed to be more comfortable and economical and SL2 was more sporty and faster. The SC2 I drove a while back had a stiffer ride than my SL1 but handled much nicer and loved to rev.

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Old 11-08-2005, 09:05 AM   #8
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Default Re: How to identify the specific models: SL, SL1, SL2??

later SL1's also had painted bumpers. the easiest way to tell if you're walking the lot is to look in the window. SL & SL1 had intergrated headrests; SL2 had separate headrests. 14" wheels on SL & SL1; 15" on SL2. SL1 could have pwr pkg as an option, or even a roof. hardly any options on an SL.
what you really want is a base SL. that way, it already is missing the pwr steering and AC, and has the wide ratio 5 speed. swap on a DOHC head, (you'll then have the low compression from the SOHC pistions) get a big fat turbo and intercooler the width of the car, and go start spankin' type R's.

I guess I got off topic there, huh?

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Old 11-08-2005, 09:57 AM   #9
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2005 ION-1 Sedan
Default Re: How to identify the specific models: SL, SL1, SL2??

Early [thru 95]SL had "soccer ball" type hubcaps,[SL1's hub caps were referred to by Saturn as "spiderweb"] came in a limited # of colors, had cloth AND vinyl seats and manual steering and trans were all that was available.
Finally saw one for myself and pulled over to check it out. It's very subtle.
Also: some SLs DID come with power steering when the factory ran out of manual units it simply installed the power ones.
SL1 gave you a longer options list, "better" interior fabrics a wider range of colors.
LOVE the charcoal bumpers BTW. Totally utilitarian, don't show nicks, scratches or scrapes like painted ones do.

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Old 11-08-2005, 12:31 PM   #10
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2008 AURA XE
Default Re: How to identify the specific models: SL, SL1, SL2??

Quote:
Originally Posted by eRic 02sc2
get the vehicle identification number (VIN) and have a Saturn retailer look up the model information for you.
Or save yourself a trip and look here:

http://www.differentracing.com/tech_...in_decode.html

The fifth digit tells exactly what trim level it is.

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Old 11-08-2005, 01:47 PM   #11
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Default Re: How to identify the specific models: SL, SL1, SL2??

The SL2 has an MP3 transmission that is built for the DOHC engine power band and the SL1 has an MP2 transmission that has the gear ratios set up for the SOHC power band. The DOHC redline is 6500 and the SOHC redline is 5500. The DOHC is rated at 124 HP and the SOHC is rated at 100 HP. Early SOHC (1st gen) were TBI and rated at 85 HP. The SL2 bumpers have holes for foglamps. ummm thats all I can think of...

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Old 11-10-2005, 04:35 PM   #12
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2007 AURA XR
1994 SL2
Default Re: How to identify the specific models: SL, SL1, SL2??

Quote:
Originally Posted by marcusa
Homecoming was limited and only came out in 1994 and 1999 to celebrate the Saturn homecoming. I'm not sure on the 94, but the 99 had a unique color. ...
The 94 HCE came in the unique color of Mother of Pearl. The side mirrors were also painted body color instead of black like all 93/94 SL2's (91/92 had body colored mirrors). The alloy wheels were the ones used on the SC2's, it had grey interior, the seats were grey cloth inserts with leather outers, rear headrests too. Mine had the rear deck spoiler, I am not sure if all HCE came with it or not.

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Old 11-10-2005, 07:52 PM   #13
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2008 AURA XE
Default Re: How to identify the specific models: SL, SL1, SL2??

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgates2b
The 94 HCE came in the unique color of Mother of Pearl. The side mirrors were also painted body color instead of black like all 93/94 SL2's (91/92 had body colored mirrors). The alloy wheels were the ones used on the SC2's, it had grey interior, the seats were grey cloth inserts with leather outers, rear headrests too. Mine had the rear deck spoiler, I am not sure if all HCE came with it or not.
The rear headrests are kinda cool. I installed them into my 1995 SL2. Most people dont know this, but all late model 93's, 94's and 95 sedans have the provisions for rear headrests. Just need to order two escutcheon's. Saturn part number 21039508. And get two headrests. I got mine off one of our parts car. Then cut out the holes in the rear carpet and you're all set.

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Old 11-10-2005, 09:22 PM   #14
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Default Re: How to identify the specific models: SL, SL1, SL2??

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyrae

I am also asking because it seems strange that they put no badges on the cars the way Honda will put DX, LX, EX so we know the trim levels.
Thanks!!
badges? we don't need no stinking badges!

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Old 11-10-2005, 10:06 PM   #15
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1995 SL2
Default Re: How to identify the specific models: SL, SL1, SL2??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Low Saturn
The rear headrests are kinda cool. I installed them into my 1995 SL2. Most people dont know this, but all late model 93's, 94's and 95 sedans have the provisions for rear headrests. Just need to order two escutcheon's. Saturn part number 21039508. And get two headrests. I got mine off one of our parts car. Then cut out the holes in the rear carpet and you're all set.
looks awesome, im going to get me some of those

anybody have some tan leather headrests (and the appropriate escutcheon) laying around that i could buy off?

...
Paul H
My car and I have started to look like each other

Last edited by paulygon; 11-10-2005 at 10:11 PM..

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Old 11-10-2005, 10:54 PM   #16
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Default Re: How to identify the specific models: SL, SL1, SL2??

sl/sl1 = skinny wheels

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Old 11-11-2005, 12:17 AM   #17
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Default Re: How to identify the specific models: SL, SL1, SL2??

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulygon
looks awesome, im going to get me some of those

anybody have some tan leather headrests (and the appropriate escutcheon) laying around that i could buy off?

They only make the escutcheon in charcoal. You'll have to paint it tan to mateh your interior.

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Old 11-11-2005, 06:35 AM   #18
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Default Re: How to identify the specific models: SL, SL1, SL2??

Quote:
Originally Posted by eRic 02sc2
badges? we don't need no stinking badges!
Yes, we do need badges. I can't tell what I'm driving.

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Old 11-11-2005, 09:26 AM   #19
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1995 SL2
Default Re: How to identify the specific models: SL, SL1, SL2??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Low Saturn
They only make the escutcheon in charcoal. You'll have to paint it tan to mateh your interior.
The ones in my car are tan. Huh. Painting them ain't a big deal though.
I better make sure we're talking about the same thing...the escutcheon is the plastic little piece with the holes in it that the headrest slides into--correct?

...
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Old 11-11-2005, 09:57 AM   #20
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Default Re: How to identify the specific models: SL, SL1, SL2??

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulygon
The ones in my car are tan. Huh. Painting them ain't a big deal though.
I better make sure we're talking about the same thing...the escutcheon is the plastic little piece with the holes in it that the headrest slides into--correct?

You got it.

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