1996 Saturn SW Reviews

1996 Saturn SW 2 1.9 from North America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.9 Manual
Performance marks 0 / 10
Reliability marks 0 / 10
Comfort marks 0 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 0 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
0.0 / 10
Distance when acquired6 miles
Most recent distance39767 miles
Previous carToyota Celica

Summary:

Piece of crap car

Faults:

Piece of crap car! I hate this car; it was the biggest mistake I ever made.

3 motors have been replaced due to oil mixing with antifreeze. The car burns a quart of oil every 150 miles.

Everything that could go wrong with a car has gone wrong. The money I have dumped into this peace of crap, I could have bought a new Lexus.

Pure junk!! I will never ever buy American made again!!

I am so glad this company went out of business. How they lasted 20 years is a amazing. G.M. = great mistake, garbage motors.

General Comments:

Don't ever buy one, period.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th July, 2011

7th Jul 2011, 22:52

Piece of crap, junk, don't buy one, junk junk junk.

OK, 3 motors need to be replaced. Not good. But, you spent several paragraphs using cliches about how bad the car is, and 1 sentence as to why it's bad.

This "review" is too vague, and I don't really call it a review. More like a rant.

1996 Saturn SW from North America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1995
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission Manual
Distance when acquired10 miles
Most recent distance208000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Cavalier

Summary:

It got us through three accidents and gave us many years with good gas mileage

Faults:

Comsumes vast amount of oil.

General Comments:

Lots of mileage with few major repairs.

Head gasket replaced at 170K miles.

New clutch at 180K miles.

Oil is consumed at a rate of 6qts. every 3 mos.

No visual oil leaks on the ground, however a little on the engine block.

Current sound from engine is a high pitch whine that started a year ago.

Time to buy a new car!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 4th May, 2009

1996 Saturn SW SW2 1.9 I-4 from North America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 1.9 I-4 Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired120000 miles
Most recent distance211000 miles
Previous carFord Crown Victoria

Summary:

Very reliable, and quite fun to drive along back country roads

Faults:

Started burning oil at 160,000 miles.

Radiator failed at 140,000 miles.

Slave cylinder failed at 185,000 miles.

The door sills were beginning to rust at purchase, and have deteriorated very badly since.

General Comments:

Other than the issues stated above, this car has been fantastically reliable.

The transmission is still original and very strong, and the engine is still willing to rev and drive under heavy strain.

The chassis is rather similar to a Volkswagen, and therefore quite well tuned and doesn't resist spirited driving.

I have used the car for several bicycle races, with three bikes on a rack mounted to the hatch, and a full load, with three people and a full cargo area. It handled the task sufficiently each time.

The issue of the oil burning is not a very significant burden, one must simply add a quart of oil with each 300 miles or so.

Rust on the door sills can be prevented with a simple layer of rust-stop.

All in all, the car has been extremely reliable, and it is still going strong.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th January, 2009

1996 Saturn SW SW2 1.9 DOHC 4 cylinder from North America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 1.9 DOHC 4 cylinder Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired52000 miles
Most recent distance121000 miles
Previous carBuick LeSabre

Summary:

A great economical and reliable car

Faults:

New battery at 75,000 miles.

Brake pads, shoes and rotors replaced at about 95,000 miles.

Replaced the alternator at 110,000 miles.

Replaced Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor at 115,000 miles.

The rubber seals around the door are shrinking and coming loose. Water will sometimes drip into the inside of the car because of this.

General Comments:

Has been extremely reliable for us, only leaving me stuck somewhere the one time the battery died.

The interior is small, but that's what you expect when you get a compact car like this. The wagon is nice because you can actually carry large objects/furniture in the car if you fold the back seat down.

The transmission is incredibly smooth, which is very refreshing for an automatic 4 cylinder. All of the other 4 cylinder cars we looked at felt like the engine would explode before the transmission shifted into the next gear.

I actually really enjoy that the car has plastic side panels. Someone ran into our bumper in a parking lot - scratched up the paint and broke the brake light. The body shop estimated $800 to fix (with ridiculous amounts of paint and clear-coat). We just took the money and ran, because we don't need to worry about rust. I replaced the rear light for $90.

Another thing to expect with the small car, the road noise is quite loud. I don't know if I'm just getting old, but the road noise seems to be getting louder as the miles get higher...?

Gets great gas mileage - We get around 28mpg city and have gotten 36mpg on the highway. Although the mileage is getting a little lower as the car's miles go up.

I do most of the maintenance on this car, and enjoy that Saturn seemed to design the car to allow home mechanics to work on it. For example - the transmission fluid is drained by removing one drain plug (bolt) and the filter is a screw off like an oil filter. On our truck, changing the transmission fluid/filter is a tricky and messy enough job I just took it to the shop.

After the car started running rough around 100,000 miles, I researched the issue on the Internet a little and found that replacement of the Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor is a common issue. After replacing it, the car runs very smoothly again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th May, 2008

Average review marks: 5.8 / 10, based on 12 reviews