Larger interior, larger trunk, optional traction control, optional ABS, composite dent- and rust-resistant side body panels
Hey! Look! Saturn has redesigned its little sports coupe. It looks bigger, doesn't it? That's because engineers and bean counters figured out that moving the coupe onto the sedan's platform would cut waste and make the SC easier to build. Lots of space inside now, since headroom and legroom are increased over the old one. The front seats move further back for tall drivers and front passengers, and shorter people might be able to wear a hat inside, thanks to additional headroom.
This little buzzbox is supposed be quieter inside, now that Saturn troubleshooters have added sound deadening materials to make the motor and tire roar go away. They also redesigned the trunk lid so that water won't run into the trunk when the lid is opened. Only took, what, six model years to address this complaint?
How close is the Saturn plant to the Jack Daniel's distillery? We ask because the front end of this new coupe appears to have been styled by designers who'd been swigging one too many whisky shots while watching Godzilla reruns, except instead of looking to early 60s Chevy Corvairs for inspiration, the monster is all that remained in their imaginations the morning after. Needless to say, in our opinion this new coupe doesn't put forth as pretty a face as the first generation SC did. For the first time, SC1 and SC2 models share styling, which is rather attractive from the front wheels rearward.
Hop inside and check out the large, legible gauges. They've been carried over from last year, along with the rest of the dashboard. Too bad tuning the radio or cranking up the A/C still requires a magnifying glass. Also, the defroster button still feels like a Chiclet that's about to fall right into the top of the dash. Dual airbags come standard though, in the event an inattentive driver in another car misses the overly bright daytime running lights. This year, Saturn installed a low-fuel light for those who don't know "E" means "Empty."
Seats still aren't the most comfortable places to sit, but lumbar support is improved for 1997 so long as leather trim is ordered. SC2 models get new fabric, and door trim has been revised. The front passenger seat now has a memory feature that returns the seat to its setting after a rear passenger enters or exits. Mounted low, getting out of the low-slung SC's seats requires the use of those abs you've been toning lately.
What can buyers get on this car? An in-dash CD player can be stashed in the center console. Traction control and anti-lock brakes are available, which is unusual for the class. Saturn also gave the security system a starter immobilizer, audible alert features, and a panic mode. Then, of course, there is the aforementioned leather seat trim.
This new Saturn seems to be a nice car, and has proven reliable in the past. Dealers are friendly, and don't treat customers like second-class citizens. For those who find the new front styling attractive, the new SC certainly deserves consideration.
Coupes get a new look inside and out for 1997. No longer stubby in appearance, all coupes adopt the longer wheelbase used by the sedans and wagons, as well as their softer, rounder styling cues. The SC1 and SC2 are now virtually identical in appearance (the SC2's body-color door handles being one of the few differences); both have exposed headlamps and standard daytime running lights. In other news, all models pick up a low-fuel indicator light and can be equipped with a single in-dash CD player. And Saturn has again taken measures to reduce engine noise and vibration.
Read what other owners think about the Used 1997 Saturn S-Series.
I bought my '97 SW2 9 years ago with only 15K miles on it. I guess the original owner didn't like the car. Since then I have put on over 100,000 miles and the only major repair was replacing the AC compressor. Sure, the seats are only sightly more comfortable than sitting on a cardboard box, but this car has been one of the most reliable cars I've ever owned. Still looks good, too - thanks to the plastic body panels.
4.13 out of 5 stars
Reliable, Good-Looking, and Fun
SW2 4dr Wagon
My wife and I have really enjoyed owning our '97 Saturn SW2 wagon. Originally purchased for my wife, it has been a reliable and decent-looking family car. The 16V motor has been strong. It's tuned for more torque in the lower RPM range, so it's great for driving around town. We definitely enjoyed the wagon body style. It has hauled our family of 4 on extended vacations. I use it daily to haul either a mountain bike or surf board. It has held up really well for 11 years. Most people are shocked to hear that it actually that old.
3.75 out of 5 stars
not to bad for the value
SC2 2dr Coupe
This was the best vehicle ive had so far. Only minor repairs to it, and its 14 years old now and still driving it. has some seatbelt issues, but its fun to drive. It lacks some acceleration but what 1997 vehcile isnt ha.
4.63 out of 5 stars
Great car that pays for itself in gas
SL 4dr Sedan
I got this car over the summer since my Caprice needed a ton of work. I now get 2 times the fuel economy 29-35 avg mpg depending on how I drive. It hasnt had any issues at all other than an old battery I admittedly killed while watching Pirates of the Caribbean 2. It has plenty of power as a 5 speed, if it was an auto it would probably stink, and I notice a significant diference in performance when I have 2 average sized passengers. Weight seems to be a big deal to it. I think it might be common to have the wheels squeal when under load while turning onto a highway etc. The stock stereo had almost no bass so I added a small sub.
The Used 1997 Saturn S-Series is offered in the following submodels: S-Series Sedan, S-Series Coupe, S-Series Wagon. Available styles include SL 4dr Sedan, SC2 2dr Coupe, SW2 4dr Wagon, SW1 4dr Wagon, SL2 4dr Sedan, SC1 2dr Coupe, and SL1 4dr Sedan.
Pre-owned Saturn S-Series models are available with a 1.9 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 124 hp, depending on engine type.
The Used 1997 Saturn S-Series comes with front wheel drive.
Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.
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