1999 Saturn S-Series SW1 Wagon Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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1999 Saturn S-series - Consumer Reviews

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1999 S-Series Consumer Reviews

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This car takes a licking and keeps on ticking!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By schanteuzer1
on

Vehicle

1999 Saturn S-Series Wagon SW1 4dr Wagon


Review

I did not realize 'til I had my "new" 1999 Saturn wagon just how badly this car had been abused. I drove the car home on fumes, it was so low on gas. I checked the oil a few weeks later. It was over 3 quarts low! Then I had a flashback to when I first went to look at the car and the first words out of the previous owner's mouth were "It hasn't been sitting." I drove it around for a bit, liked it and bought it. I seriously don't know why this car continued to run the way it was treated, but I did some regular maintenance things (like an oil change), I've had it for about 5 years now and I have not had to do any major repairs -it still runs great!


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My Milage Did Vary
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By pjm83
on

Vehicle

1999 Saturn S-Series Wagon SW1 4dr Wagon


Review

I purchased my Saturn used, with 52k miles, for $4k. Given the price of the car, I didn't demand much from it. I could forgive the uncomfortable seats, the anemic engine, the spartan interior; all I wanted was good gas milage and reliability. I was partially satisfied. A wiring problem killed the headlights at 85k. At 90k, the rear wiper stopped working. The car began burning oil in this time period as well - I was a lot less impressed with the fuel economy when I was routinely adding other fluids to the car. 100k, and the engine mounts loosened, adding more to an already-obnoxious rattling while driving. At 115k, the transmission went kaput. I had expected to drive the car further.


Favorite Features

Fuel economy was a high point. The car had an automatic transmission (there was no option to designate this when choosing a model for the review) -- which usually saps efficiency -- and still managed 30 mpg around the city. The wagon body style and folding rear seats provided a bottomless pit to stow cargo. Going camping in the mountains, I found the car had more space for passengers and their gear, than the engine was really able to move.


Suggested Improvements

I had purchased this car largely based on reviews raving about it's reliability -- some saying they'd gone over 150K without anything more than basic matinence. Getting only to 115k, before facing repairs costing more than the value of the car, was a major disappointment. I'd suggest Saturn look to improving the overall build quailty of the car. I experienced a lot of trouble with the amenity features failing: there was a lot of rattling and creaking; the rear wiper failed; pieces of plastic covering from the dashboard frequently came loose. The cupholders needed to be redesigned: they were pushed so close to the front console, a beverage would block the use of the HVAC controls.


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2nd SW2!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By myriadapps
on

Vehicle

1999 Saturn S-Series Wagon SW2 4dr Wagon


Review

This is my second Saturn SW2, the other was a 2000 that I drove until I decided I needed a new car, and then I regretted it almost every day. I flew down to Florida and bought this one off the Internet with only 32K, now has 76K and I couldn't be happier. Both this one and my previous one, which I bought at 10K and sold at 150K, never failed to start and only needed standard upkeep (tires, brakes, hoses, etc.). I never had to do a major repair on either one. I like the power and the drivability of the SW2. I am sad that after this one I won't be able to get a replacement, the newer Saturns just weren't as good and of course now you can't get them at all.


Favorite Features

Power, reliability, excellent paint and exterior


Suggested Improvements

Poor placement of cup holders (and not enough), headliners don't last


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Love my Saturn
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By PRECIOUS
on

Vehicle

1999 Saturn S-Series Wagon SW2 4dr Wagon


Review

Use for business travel and pleasure. This has been a very reliable auto, Bucket seats are a bit low for my taste but comfortable once you get into them. Large cargo area with back seats down flat. In 5 years 2 repairs in the $200 range.


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Good low cost transportation
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By EMTI95
on

Vehicle

1999 Saturn S-Series Wagon SW2 4dr Wagon


Review

I bought this car used with 89k miles, now has 135k. It has performed well. Looks sporty. Seats not designed for the long haul. I'm 6 feet tall and fit well into car, but only with steering wheel tilted up getting/out. Engine burns 2 qt's oil between changes, but no smoke(?). Differential blew apart at 110k, taking tranny with it. Had junkyard tranny installed. Still runs good. Lots of rattles and creaks, particularly in cold weather. Love the ABS, traction control, stereo, sporty feel. Except for tranny, opertaing costs low. Insurance low for teenage daughter. Great student car. She even likes the manual trans. Not many of her friends can drave a standard.


Favorite Features

ABS, airbags, traction control, cruise control, A/C, fog lights (use 'em in fog only!), roof rack, OK sound system, power windows (never a fan before), sporty styling, good MPG, easy to maintain


Suggested Improvements

Better front seats, awkward shifter location, poor rear seats, many odd noises (ABS goes click-ita-clack after starting engine when first starting to move), wind noise at highway speed (roof rack)


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Great Wagon
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By RobertW
on

Vehicle

1999 Saturn S-Series Wagon SW1 4dr Wagon


Review

I had the car custom built, the only options are traction and cruise, no AC, cost $14K. As an itinerant contractor, we've used it to move 12 times in 9 years, always loaded with 500+ lbs. It only failed once, due to a crank rotation sensor. I had to clean or replace fuel injectors a few times, and it burns a little oil. It still has the original brakes and clutch. Very good fit and finish, no rattles.


Favorite Features

Exterior styling, plastic body panels that still look new, acceleration, adequate power, fuel economy, cargo capacity.


Suggested Improvements

Cheap plastic interior, cheap rear seat, engine gets hot in stop-and-go traffic.


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Close to amazing in class
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By belle
on

Vehicle

1999 Saturn S-Series Wagon SW2 4dr Wagon


Review

This red pepper station wagon has some fine features. Fuel economy, peppy power, fun to drive as a 5 speed, hatchback, 4 doors, outside finish color stays bright, traction control makes it good in ice and snow. At 84000m have had to replace water pump, censor, motor mount, battery, spark wires, rear brakes, fix front door hinge. I can almost say it has been a great car, except it started using oil at 56K and Saturn made lame excuses. I was very dissapointed in Saturn's response. Otherwise I could have been an unabashed fan! I always maintained the engine, and now have to add 2 quarts between oil change. Amazingly, it still drives great, but I won't ever buy another Saturn.


Suggested Improvements

Doesn't make anymore, too bad. Saturn should have replaced my engine and kept on perfecting the wagon. Friends have had better luck with their Saturns.


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Best In Class for Cargo Space & Mileage
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Paul M.
on

Vehicle

1999 Saturn S-Series Wagon SW2 4dr Wagon


Review

My Saturn SW2 wagon has been the perfect car for me, it has the best combination of cargo space and gas mileage of any car I have researched. It may not be the fastest car on the road from 0 to 60, but it meets all of my needs. I have done nothing to the car other than change the oil (every 4000 miles or so), change the tires (only once), and had to change the battery once. The car runs like a dream and even did a cross country trip fully loaded with no problems.


Favorite Features

Without a doubt, perfect balance of cargo space and gas mileage (best in class by far).


Suggested Improvements

Start making it again! Saturn now only makes the larger L-series wagon.


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Most dependable cars ever made
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Michael
on

Vehicle

1999 Saturn S-Series Wagon SW2 4dr Wagon


Review

I just purchased this SW2. It only has 64000 miles, but I anticipate putting many more on it. I have a 1993 Saturn SL1 with almost 240000 miles (original engine and trans). The only things I've replaced are 2 tensioner pulleys, 2 alternators, 1 water pump just recently and front wheel bearings at 190000 miles. I expect to get the same reliability from this car as well considering the only difference mechanically is the twin cam engine (the SL1 is a single cam). You cannot find a better car that gets such good gas mileage at a better price (30- 36mpg regular driving and 44mpg best ever on a road trip on the SL1). If you find one, BUY IT! I only paid $5200 with a 3,000 mi./3 month warranty.


Favorite Features

Reliability, gas mileage, affordability


Suggested Improvements

The new Saturn's with the new 2.2 liter engines are not proven yet and they won't get as good gas mileage as the no longer available S-series cars. The only improvement needed is to bring the S-series back.


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Very happy after 172,000 miles
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By marklaken
on

Vehicle

1999 Saturn S-Series Wagon SW2 4dr Wagon


Review

This car has been completely trouble free up until last week. I would say my maintenance has been poor at best. I've run it on nearly empty oil, I only have changed the auto tranny fluid once. The brakes have been repaired twice. I've switched spark plugs 3 times now, and plug wires once. That is it for maintenance. It has 172,000 miles on it! (mostly highway driving I think it cost me $16,000 new. They have incredibly poor resale value, which is beyond me, but i will definitely try and land another used one to replace this one. I am currently trying to solve its first major problem, an injection issue. It is also easy to work on! A great work car, commuter car or first car. It also holds a bit more than most sedans, comes in handy when you buy a washing machine, dryer or big TV.


Favorite Features

Reliabilty, fuel economy, and not too nice to worry about banging up.


Suggested Improvements

The rear seat half folding down is a joke. There is this bar that is in the way (for side impact safety) All the seats are very uncomfortable after about 1 hour of driving, worse than any other car I've ever been in.


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