Saturn's subcompact wagon gets minor changes outside, several changes inside and a shorter cast of characters for 2000. The SW1 wagon has been dropped, leaving the SW2 as the only model. Their main difference was that the lower-priced SW1 had fewer features and a less-powerful engine.
The SW2 is a kissing cousin to the S Series sedans and coupes, which are joined this year by the midsize L Series sedan and wagon at Saturn dealerships.
Though all body panels from the waistline down are new this year, the SW2 retains its basic styling from 1999. Saturn uses dent- and rust-resistant polymer materials for the lower body panels on its cars, and the hood, liftgate and roof are made of steel.
At 178 inches long, the SW2 matches the Ford Focus wagon in length and is 6 inches longer than the Subaru Impreza wagon.
Seats for five are provided and a split rear seatback folds to expand the cargo area from 25 cubic feet to 58 (slightly more than the Ford Focus wagon).
Though the interior's overall design is unchanged, there are several differences for 2000. The instrument cluster has a new look, a new console has redesigned cupholders, and the audio and climate controls are similar to those in the new L Series. The door panels have new molded-in beverage holders. The horn is now on the steering-wheel hub instead of the spokes, and cruise control buttons move from the hub to the spokes.
Under the Hood
The SW2 has a dual-camshaft, 1.9-liter, four-cylinder engine with 124 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a four-speed automatic is optional. Anti-lock brakes with traction control also are optional.