1998 Saturn SW sw2 1.9 from North America


It's an adequate, not outstanding piece of transport


Transmission howling at 45,000.

Transmission slipping and shifting badly at 95,000.

Motor mounts worn out at 90,000.

Brakes have poor feel from purchase. Replaced leaking wheel cylinder at 60,000.

Cooling fan stopped working out 75,000 miles. Had to replace water pump at the same time.

Driveability problems at 100,000. Idle would climb to 2000 rpm for no reason. Cleaning the throttle body seems to have cured this

AC problems- needs recharging every summer.

Belt tensioner broke at 134,000.

General Comments:

This is a good sized little wagon. Handles and performs great for a small economy car. Good gas mileage, averaging around 28-30 mpg. This is car car that benefits from a 5-speed manual, rather than the 4 speed auto like mine.

This car is uncomfortable for everyone (except me) that has ever ridden in it. Interior noise is high. The interior has a cheap feel to it, typical GM.

Reliability is decent, but not at the level of the previous Japanese cars I've owned. Oil leaks have been a problem.

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

Review Date: 11th November, 2006

1998 Saturn SW SW2 from North America


A high-value, low maintenance vehicle.


Exhaust system had to be replaced at 20,000 miles (under warranty).

Had to get a torque mount adjustment ($150) at 70,000.

General Comments:

We have been more than satisfied with this little car. It has plenty of pick up with the Twin Cam engine. We've only had one major repair, and it was under warranty. Other than than that we've only done routine maintenance. Even the tires have lasted 80,000 miles. I'm going to get them changed soon, but the tire salesman said he's never seen original tires with this many miles on them. Plus I'm still getting 36 MPG highway.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th November, 2003

6th Jan 2005, 22:13

I can top the 80,000 mile tire life. I had a 1994 Saturn SL that went 108,000 on its first set of Firestones, and they still had an acceptable amount of tread. The second set went 70,000 and the third only lasted a few thousand more until the car was totaled. I miss my little gold Saturn.

11th Aug 2007, 23:05

We purchased one used with 38K on it; it now has 80K miles (August 2007). I am disappointed in the amount of repairs it has needed.

The passengers side rear window no longer works (some arm inside the door has come off).

The transmission (automatic) needed repair - $600.

The master cylinder had to be replaced ($75 without labor). One caliper dragged and had to be replaced.

By comparison I drive a 1995 Subaru Legacy wagon with 100,000 MORE miles and this never needs work except for an alternator ($105) during the same time period.

Tires are expensive - about twice what the ones for the Subaru cost due to being quite wide.

The low ground clearance combined with the automatic transmission make it disappointing in snow despite front wheel drive.

The plastic body work is great!!

Good gas mileage on the highway (30 mpg) for an automatic station wagon.

The car is most pleasant to drive for my wife and has a nice interior and perhaps the most well written owners manual I have ever seen!

1998 Saturn SW SW2 1.9L DOHC from North America


Versatile alternative to an import


One power window regulator failed.

The rear wiper has intermittent problem where it doesn't always come on.

The interior light doesn't always work properly.

Has developed an oil leak that is either the oil pan (best case) or rear main seal (worst case).

General Comments:

Our SW2 is a nice car that has the usual domestic car fit and finish problems. It shows its GM stripes.

For $16K, it came well equipped. It has been good value thus far.

Good handling. Good 5 speed. Good power from the 4-cylinder engine. Plastic body panels are wonderful in the city. Fear shopping carts no more.

Holds a bunch. Versatile.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th September, 2001

1998 Saturn SW SW2 1.9 from North America


Solid feeling car with not a lot of power


Radio antenna repeatedly comes loose. Quick fix to reach under the dash to re-connect, though.

After about 40000km, the car started to choke when engaging at low RPM's, but this condition has recently disappeared. The service techs indicated that this may have been due to loose connections with plugs or the distributor.

General Comments:

New baby means we'd prefer to have something that is a bit taller so that we can load car seats in & out more easily. Will probably trade in when the lease is up. Otherwise, we've generally been happy with the car.

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

Review Date: 4th January, 2001