February 1, 2002
2003 Saturn L-Series unveiled
Detroit, Michigan – General Motors unveiled the 2003 Saturn L-Series sedan and wagon models yesterday. The refreshed mid-size models have styling revisions, performance, safety, and quality improvements.
“The 2003 L-Series is worth a fresh look by customers seeking a midsize car with excellent road manners, extensive safety features, upmarket content and exceptional value,” said Jill Lajdziak, Saturn vice president for sales, service and marketing. “L-Series customers also benefit from the industry-leading retail experience that has generated so much enthusiasm in Saturn customers.”
For 2003, the L-Series consists of the L200 and L300 sedans, and the LW200 and LW300 wagons. The introduction of the 2000 L-Series marked Saturn’s initial step beyond being just a small-car company. Saturn further expanded its lineup with the addition of a compact sport-utility, the VUE, as a 2002 model.
While basic dimensions of the 2003 L-Series remain the same, the exterior design changes help give a more substantial overall appearance. A change in spring heights, combined with the design changes, gives the new L-Series a more balanced attitude, as opposed to the wedge-shape of the original model. The car was raised 9 mm in front, and lowered by 8 mm in the rear.
The redesigned front end is marked by the large headlamps, a new grille and raised hood. The wrap-around headlamps, along with an increased flare to the front fenders, help give the front end a wider appearance. Optional fog lamps with chrome bezels are integrated in the new front fascia.
The hood has been redesigned and raised to give a higher stance to the front end and to make room for a new, larger grille. In addition to fresh styling, the larger grille provides increased airflow to the engine compartment. The grille also sports a revised, three-dimensional-appearing Saturn badge, featuring a chrome frame and richer red colour compared to the previous red.
In addition to the distinctive taillamps, the back end of the L-Series features a new, more substantial-looking fascia. On the sedan, a more elegant chrome strip has replaced the horizontal red appliqué across the rear of the deck lid.
The former model’s black rocker panels and the lower sections of front and rear fascia are now body-coloured, giving the car a more solid, ground-hugging appearance.
Sixteen-inch wheels help give the 2003 L-Series a more sporty stance. On the L300 and LW300, a 16-inch five-spoke alloy wheel is standard and a 16-inch chrome clad wheel is optional. The 16-inch wheels are optional for L200 and LW200 buyers. The 16-inch chrome clad wheels debuted on special-edition 2002 L-Series sedans and wagons that were equipped with a DVD entertainment package.
Inside, the L-Series freshening has produced a more refined look and feel. Brushed aluminum inserts in the centre console, white faceplates in the instrument cluster and European-style seat upholstery help support the more upscale design theme.
The 2003 L-Series is one of the few cars in its segment with standard head-curtain air bags and antilock brakes. It is also the first in its segment to offer an integrated video entertainment system in both sedan and wagon, which includes a console-mounted DVD system that plays video or audio discs.
The L-Series scores segment-leading results in low-speed bumper damage tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and has made impressive gains in quality, as measured by third-party studies such as the J. D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Survey.
“The restyled exterior and refreshed interior bring a refined appearance to match the many up-level features available in the L-Series,” Lajdziak said. “More than ever, the Saturn L-Series is a smart choice.”