1996 Saturn SW Reviews - Page 4 of 4

1996 Saturn SW SW2 1.9 Dual Cam from North America

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 1.9 Dual Cam Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired123872 miles
Most recent distance127300 miles
Previous carChevrolet Corsica

Summary:

Inexpensive small car that's fun to drive and cheap to run!

Faults:

There is a knock coming from the front of the car, I am told that it is the motor mount. There is also minor paint chipping at the top near the seam of the door tops and the roof.

General Comments:

Overall, I am very pleased with the car. My Saturn is fully loaded, and everything works as it should. The power windows, for example, still go up and down at the same rate as it was new. The acceleration is impressive, despite the four-cylinder/automatic combination. Also, the handling is very impressive for an "economy wagon". I do a lot of highway driving, and when it comes to the off-ramps and switching lanes, it does so with little complaint and little body lean. It also rides very nicely.

Fuel economy is very good, I am getting roughly 33 miles per gallon, 75% of the driving being highway. I often go on road trips, and this car feels and runs reliably and provides comfort for me and my passengers. I highly recommend the Saturn SW and the rest of the Saturn S-series, as I know many people who drive these cars and love them.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th October, 2004

1996 Saturn SW SW2 1.9L DOHC 16-valve from North America

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership1996
Engine and transmission 1.9L DOHC 16-valve Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.4 / 10
Distance when acquired10 miles
Most recent distance100000 miles
Previous carVolkswagen Beetle

Summary:

Economy car that ends up costing a lot of money to keep running

Faults:

The "Service Engine Soon" light came on, even after having the car serviced.

Transmission went out spilling transmission fluid all over the street.

Burned oil excessively, ultimately causing engine to freeze.

General Comments:

I would like to warn every Saturn owner, or prospective buyer of a Saturn, to be aware of the problem the cars have with burning oil. I thought that maybe my car, a 1996 SW2, which I purchased new, was burning an exceptional amount of oil, compared to the average Saturn. But, after searching the Internet for an used/rebuilt Saturn engine, I found many horror stories about Saturn engines freezing due to a lack of oil.

You should also be aware of the problems with the "Service Engine Soon" light. Mine came on constantly, even when leaving the Saturn dealership after having my car serviced. The service folks could never determine the problem with it, and ultimately told me to ignore it.

I had an extended 75,000-mile warranty, which covered costly repairs over the last few years, such as the transmission falling out. But recently, at 100,000 miles, after adding a quart of oil, 8 days later my car died on me while driving. I had to have it towed to the local Saturn dealership and was informed by them that my car had no oil in it.

So, after 5 years of car payments, which ended in 2001, I now have a useless auto. The dealership said to install a new engine would cost $5400, and a rebuilt engine $4000. If you check blue book, it is not even worth that.

Yesterday I made a call to the Saturn headquarters in Tennessee to see if there was anything they could do for me, because I believe if my "Service Engine Soon" light had worked properly, I may have been alerted to the problem. But based on many other Saturn owners' horror stories, I doubt that Saturn will do anything to remedy this.

X-Saturn owner.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th April, 2003

27th Jan 2005, 07:48

I too have been driving a Saturn. In fact, I have two Saturns, an Ion and a '96 SW-2. However, unlike this person's problem, my SW has over 100,000 miles and still does not burn oil. My gas mileage isn't as good as it used to be, but I still get about 35 MPG on highway driving. I am quite pleased with my experience with Saturn as a car maker so I just thought I'd share a different perspective on this automobile.

1996 Saturn SW SW2 1.9 DOHC from North America

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.9 DOHC Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.6 / 10
Distance when acquired78000 miles
Most recent distance102000 miles
Previous carFord Taurus

Summary:

A pleasant surprise

Faults:

Battery at 85,000 miles.

Rear oxygen sensor at 78,000 miles.

A/C compressor at 98,000 miles.

Drivers seat at 98,000 miles.

General Comments:

Uses oil occasionally. It doesn't appear to be burning it or leaking, but once in a while, it just disappears.

Drivers seat was replaced with a used one from a car with 60,000 miles, it's still not as comfortable as the passenger seat.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd November, 2002

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