This car is a lousy vehicle.
It is not the worst car I have ever owned (I had a 74 Pinto stationwagon!) but this one is a close second.
Bought car used at 90k miles after reading all the glowing reviews about the car and gave it to my wife.
Three months later the engine lost oil pressure and had to be replaced.
Now after 30k on a Saturn remanufactured motor, the head gasket is leaking.
The auto trans sometimes has a hard time finding reverse, the fit and finish of the car is horrible, everything seems cheap!
It is hard to get in and out of; I like to tell people it has all of the
bad traits of a sportscar with none of the fun of driving one.
No wonder Saturn went out of business ! !
The gas mileage is pretty good, 40+mpg on a highway trip.
Great auto except now at 75,000 miles engine stalls after 15 min of drive time and i need to shut motor down. Wait 15 -- 20 min restart and resume my short trips. What would cause the engine to stall and after a wait it start up and away I go? Some 30 years ago I know vapor lock was a problem on some cars. My problem appears to duplicate that problem.
I bought this Saturn SW2 used with 120,000 miles for $2K. It needed just a little maintenance (new spark plugs, air filter, replaced dislodged driver- side headlight assembly, some running rust (primed and painted that) and a wheel alignment). Got on the road and it runs like a dream. Despite a high idle (800 RPM) I can get 35 mpg on the highway. The exterior is excellent; my compliments to the only other owner that had this wagon. This is my fourth Saturn and I'm going to keep it as long as possible. GM made a mistake dropping this reliable brand.
Reliability, easy to maintain, decent cargo space, gas mileage, safety features. There are on-line shops that can help you maintain it since most GM dealerships don't carry Saturn parts anymore.
Seats; they could have been made better. Needed a more user-friendly interior. The high idle is evident in almost all Saturn four-bangers. That's it.
I have abused the hell out of this car and it is still going strong. I purchased the car in 2005 for $400 from a female friend who "forgot to put oil into it" and threw a rod through the block at 90k miles. $600 and 12 hours later ans I had the car on the road. I have used the car as my pickup truck for 4 years carrying as much as 2000 lbs in weight both in the car as well as on the roof. I have also towed a 2000 lb trailer with the car. I currently have 175k kiles on the car and it just wont die. This car has been the epitome of reliability. Also, I have gotten as much as 42 miles to a gallon out of a tank of gas, not bad for a pickup truck
The cargo space is good enough for 25 bags of concrete and the roof will hold 24 sheets of 1/2" 4x8 sheetrock. (Yes, I have done both)
Availability of a full size trailer hitch, so I don't have to retofit it with one from a Ford F-150 (Yup, did that as well)