1997 Saturn SW 2 1.9 from North America
The 1997 Saturn SW2 is economical, dependable and great value for the money
Driver's side shoulder belt plastic retaining clip snapped.
This car is extremely dependable. Almost every weekend for the past 20 Winters I have driven 60 or 70 miles into the Rocky mountains to ski. In all that time I never got stuck, and even the few times the temperature hit minus forty the engine started (turned slowly for a few seconds but then started and ran smoothly). The battery lasted 14 years and was easy and cheap to replace. I've changed the tires once, about 5 years ago. The spark plugs and everything else is still original! I am impressed. Nowadays I only drive it once a week to go grocery shopping. Yesterday it was -29 in the garage, but when I pressed the clutch and turned the key, bam (!), instant start and away I went after 15 seconds warm up.
It's spent about 80-90% of its life on the highway (I've been fortunate to live within walking distance of work (which I recommend if you can possibly manage it, good for your health and your pocketbook)).
It does use a little more oil than I expected and that's a bit of a mystery. It must be burning it, even though there's not a hint of smoke out the rear. But it's very economical on fuel. Although it feels and handles like a sports car, if one resists the urge to drive it like one, and tucks in behind a big truck or a bus for longish stretches, it uses just over 5 litres per hundred kilometers (about 47 miles/USgal) at 120k/hour (which is 10k over the limit, standard behavior on the highways hereabouts) and slowing to the limit when not drafting. Pretty respectable for a 20 year old. And on top of that it still shines like new! (except for the marks left by other peoples' doors hitting it in parking lots, grrrr, and the inevitable little pits in the windshield).
I had heard good things about Saturn, but thinking this might be the only new car I might ever be able to afford, decided to order it without things that are known to break. So got it (by special order) with no automatic transmission, no air conditioning, no electric windows etc. I think it was a good move. I've spent vastly more on licensing and insurance than on repair, maintenance and fuel.
It must have been made on a Wednesday.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 17th February, 2018