Welcome to the site. I recently bought a '99 Saturn SL2. I didn't get as good a deal. Mine has 94,500+ and I paid $2800 for it from a dealer in Paramus, NJ; originally listed on Ebay. It is currently undergoing a head modification at a friends house in Ickesburg, PA. The head is being ported, valves ground and back-cut, and a few other mods such as the Somender(sp?) Singh grooves and power lynzs in the intake runners and grooves on the backs of the intake valves. The grooves and power lynzs are intended to induce swirl in an effort to increase combustion efficiency.
As far as other suggestions, keeping the speed down, as stated above will help a lot. My SL really started to suffer FE loss when I got much above 60-65 mph. You could also replace the air intake temp sensor with a 110 ohm resistor. This has help significantly on my SL in the past. I don't know where it is, but there is a thread somewhere on that. SVOboy? Once again, welcome!
Horsepower is how hard you hit the wall, torque is how much of the wall you take with you.
Hi sl2man. Well anyways I can't belive anyone didn't mention getting a scangauge (instant mpg computer) yet, maybee I just missed it. My sl2's lifetime mpg is around 31. But my car is a crappy running 92 auto.
2008 EPA adjusted:
Distance traveled by bicycle in 2007= 1,830ish miles
Average commute speed=25mph (yes, that's in a car)
The Rain-X additive to the washer fluid is great! A fresh application whenever I hit the squirter lever. I've passed semis in a rainstorm while the cars around me have their wipers on high. However, I'm not about to remove the wipers. Good to have them if needed, such as the occasional spray of mud from the car ahead whose driver can't keep all wheels on the pavement.
Drive to work today I was behind a semi by 4 seconds. The driver must have been drunk, or thought I was tailgating. He was getting the right-side tires off the pavement onto the shoulder. As soon as the first pebble hit my windshield, I dropped back even further and let other cars in line ahead of to protect my car from the gravel spray. <end rant>