Remember Saturn For The Good Times We Shared

Screenshot: MotorWeek on YouTube

“High quality, low prices, and sensible design.” That’s what the Saturn SW2 provides in spades, according to John Davis. And according to me. Isn’t that what so many of us seek from a new car?

How did the American automobile landscape get to the point where the lovely Saturn S-series no longer has an analogue? It’s incredible how this brand was completely unrecognizable by the time it was dismantled in 2010.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this throw back from MotorWeek, because it’s hard to imagine a time when Saturn was an industry-leading brand offering safety amenities like cruise control, ABS, and traction control when competitors did not. Most of us remember Saturn for the bloated and obsolete Opel importer that it was when it died.

This fully-loaded test car’s $15,000-ish price tag in 1993 dollars is equivalent to about $26,714 in today money. Which, admittedly, will buy you a very nice mid-sized sedan,—like an Accord for example. But where’s a good cheap long roof? I guess if you’re looking for a high quality, low priced, sensibly designed wagon, your best bet is to dig up a good used 1993 SW2.

My wife and I had a 1999 Saturn SL2, and it remains among the best cars we’ve ever owned. We were hard on the equipment, but when it was properly maintained it would just keep begging for more. And even when it did break, fixes were cheap. A spun rod bearing cost me $32 to fix myself, and we put another 60,000 miles on it after that. It’s likely the thing is still out there running somewhere. Maybe one day we’ll meet again.

Shame on GM for allowing this gem of automotive history to die while the withered shell of Buick continues to trudge onward toward a similar fate.

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About the author

Bradley Brownell

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.