1997 Saturn SW SW2 1.9 gasoline from North America


Lucky Wednesday car or what?


Driver's seat wiring severed by slide mechanism, so that the door switch fails to activate the dome light.

Driver's side plastic shoulder belt guide snapped off.

General Comments:

Extraordinarily good highway mileage of 40.4mpg at 65mph average speed, giving a 425 mile range on a 10.5 US gallon tank.

Still has original battery, still starts instantly down to -30C.

Sports car handling and feel.

All dashboard components work like new.

Replaced windshield wipers once.

Got new tires last summer; the car feels like new again.

No sign of rust outside or inside (a little underneath).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th March, 2011

1997 Saturn SW SW2 1.9L DOHC from North America


Cheap, reliable transportation, that's also nice to look at


Bought car in semi-rough shape. Driveable but needed much work to be perfect.

Tires were bad, balding on the fronts from a bad alignment.

The A/C did not work.

Rear suspension was not right. If you hit a bump on the highway, the rear end would fishtail instead of bounce up and down.

Brakes needed replacement, pretty bad grinding by the time I junked the car.

Bad leak in the rear cargo area. The whole car smelled like wet dogs after a rain.

Window regulator was MISSING from drivers front door. Replaced with a part from the junkyard.

General Comments:

Despite its rough shape when I bought it, this was not a terrible car, and I could see it having some great potential.

The engine and transmission were exceptionally quick on the highway, and this little wagon would cruise at 80 nearly effortlessly. Transmission shifted very smooth and crisp, and the clutch was light and short, very easy to drive. I did not like the seating arrangement and the steering wheel was awkward, so I won't say it was "fun to drive" in my opinion.

Fuel economy was very good at about 34-36 mpg, considering that you have four doors and the utility of a wagon. My wife's Accord wagon only gets about 25mpg on a good day, and is not a peppy on the highway as the Saturn was.

The body styling was nice and sleek, although easily confused for my wife's '95 Accord wagon (almost identical body styles). The Saturn did feel somewhat cheap, since the interior is all plastic, as well as the body itself.

The car finally met its end after only a few weeks when I slid into a curb (due to the bad wheels) at about 25mph and bent the subframe for the front suspension. Shop quoted me at least $800 to fix it, and since I only paid $650 for the car, I decided to part it out and sell the shell to the scrappers. I was very disappointed that an accident that would have bent a tie rod on another car (and cost maybe $150 to fix) essentially totaled this car. You can expect to walk away from a crash in a Saturn unhurt, but don't expect to get the car back.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th December, 2010

1997 Saturn SW from North America


Great beginner car


The exterior of the car is poorly made with cheap plastic. A shopping cart bump chipped much of the rear bumper paint off.

Like many of the cheaper cars built in this era, the hubcaps are very much an eyesore. They too also chip easily.

The speakers are very poor quality. I would appreciate more than 4 speakers, 2 of which are on the rear door, which doesn't make too much sense, unless you have it open when you are camping for that reason. A pair of tweeters would be nice.

The frame of the car is very loose. I am not pushing the car to see its performance, but I can feel the windows vibrate and the doors shake. This comes with age of the vehicle at some point, earlier for the more affordable cars.

The engine cannot handle a car full of average sized people. It feels like there is no power. You must hit the higher RPM's, especially when getting onto the highway. Very hazardous.

General Comments:

Never had a problem with heater or the A/C like I did in my previous car, a '94 Chevy Cavalier. Very lightweight, considering the model.

Great gas mileage, even though it has a smaller than average gas tank, about 12 gallons.

I have taken minimal maintenance on this car. I have done the essentials, like change the oil.

Never broken down on me. I have had the original fan belt on it and I will most likely change it at 100,000 miles.

Very practical car. Great for the purpose intended, transportation. I am a little upset that there are only 4 seats, but the cargo room makes up for that.

Rear windshield wiper is always great to have.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th February, 2010