Never This Nice: 1999 Saturn SW2 Wagon – SOLD!

Jan 2022 | Classifinds, Wagon Wednesday

January 26, 2022 Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

There are some cars that don’t look like much of a collectible but are clearly worth saving given they have somehow survived in incredibly nice condition. This 1999 Saturn SW2 wagon is a perfect example of a cheap car you’d normally never give a second look to that should absolutely be preserved. It was originally listed on Craigslist in January 2022 in Goffstown, New Hampshire with just 41,000 original miles and an asking price of $3,800.  Comparing this price against the NADA Price Guide confirms this private seller has his nicely maintained wagon priced just above the “High Retail” of $3,650, which we think is allowable considering the low miles.

The era of Saturn’s impact on the automotive landscape seems to have peaked in the middle 90s. I can still remember when the dealerships sprang up and the plastic-bodied vehicles began rolling off of trucks – it seemed futuristic and optimistic at the same time. The brand itself just seemed to exude positive vibes, as if everyone was happy to work there and they really wanted you to have a better car buying experience than what was considered typical. The cars themselves weren’t necessarily world-beaters, but they were largely dependable and cheap to run, and fairly distinctive from a styling perspective. The SC2 coupe was a very respectable sport compact, while the SL and SW models did admirable duty as commuter car beaters that stood up to the rigors of daily abuse with relative ease.

The MotorWeek Retro Review of the Saturn SW2 wagon essentially applies also to the 1999 model featured here:

Like many affordable cars, their demise was quick and brutal. Obviously, GM folded the brand up, with the usual litany of reasons why they were taking yet another product away from customers that loved it. You still see them on occasion, usually in pretty hellish condition, but running. The dealerships themselves have largely been re-branded, but there are a few “ghosts” still lingering out there as vacant vessels of the low-end of the commercial property market. This incredibly clean SW2 wagon is likely one of the very few left that remains in outstanding condition with low miles, and the seller reports that everything works with no rust to be found, and he’s even installed a new exhaust system. For the money, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a wagon that will be cheaper to buy and run over the long haul, so move quickly if you’ve always wanted to experience a Saturn first-hand.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“AUTOMATIC transmission – 4-cylinder – very CHEAP ON GAS!

Engine, transmission and breaks – EXCELLENT

New exhaust system and muffler

NO any leaks, NO rust under the car

Tires are very good.

A/C, heating, radio – all working

NON-smoker car, extra CLEAN – inside and outside

Runs very good

Just registered and inspected

Odometer: 41k only!

Price: $3800.

Do you have a Saturn SW2 story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!

2 Comments
  1. john Shields

    I had a SW2 wgn—89 I think, but they didn’t change any mechanically I think, anyway, that SOB ran like a champ, cheap to operate, plastic body panels stayed new looking for the life of the car, put a 100 grand on it, got a new car, can’t even remember what it was right now, sold my SW2 to a guy in work with not too much money to spread around for maybe 3,4,500 bucks, forget what and he drove it for ever. Think Saturn folded because they were “outdated” in so many ways, didn’t have the bucks to re-tool and just faded away—shame because they were decent cars–economically speaking, they did a major boo-boo when they came out with a 3 door model—death knell for them.

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  2. Loue Whose

    In upstate NY, where our motto is “the second it gets cold – throw as much corrosive material on our already horrible roads and bridges as humanly possible’. Bonus: it ruins cars just as effectively ! So, as usual, I was looking for a winter car to ruin – and BAM – I found a Plastic Station Wagon. I was gobsmacked and began circling this anomaly, slack jawed, until the seller appeared. After determining I probably wasn’t dangerous, the sale was made. I now pilot a mud brown 1999 Saturn station wagon with 110,000 miles, purring like a kitten, daintily sipping gas, and never breaking (fingers crossed). If it can teach my other two how to behave, life will be almost unbearably good.

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