It`s only fitting that Saturn carries at least one wart-the new stationwagon.

It`s not that the wagon is ugly. Hardly. It`s as cute as any vehiclewhose main purpose is to carry a potty chair until the little ones learn self-serve.

It just seems out of place, though the Saturn folks insist ``It`s alogical extension of our lineup.``

The SL, SL1 and SL2 sedans have been phenomenal successes. Saturn dealers sold out of cars so fast in the 1992 model year that some reported concernedconsumers stopping in to ask whether they`d gone broke because no cars were onthe lots.

The SC coupe was equally persuasive in winning over buyers who mightotherwise have gone to an import. For 1993, the SC coupe gets a companion, alower-price coupe dubbed SC1; the existing one is renamed SC2. The SC1 isaimed at buyers who might otherwise consider imports, but prefer not to pay$12,000 when an SC1 can be had for $10,000.

Coupes and sedans-it`s a good combo that has been getting buyers with anaverage age of about 38 summers to consider a General Motors car who mightotherwise consider having stakes jammed under their fingernails.

The logical expansion of the line would have been a convertible to spirit even more bodies into showrooms. If not a drop top, then a minivan, becauseevidence shows more and more people are giving up cars for the room andcomfort of a van.

And if not a minivan, then a compact pickup that the young and young atheart are eager to park in their driveways.

None of the above. Saturn opted for station wagons, an SW1 and an SW2.

The SW1 designation means the wagon is powered by the 1.9-liter, 84-horsepower 4-cylinder engine in the SL1 sedan and SC1 coupe. The SW2moniker means it is powered by the 1.9-liter, 16-valve, 124-h.p. 4-cylinderengine in the SL2 sedan and SC2 coupe.

The 2 means a bit more pop when you kick the pedal on flat ground andless need to nudge the accelerator on a hill or steep incline.

We test-drove the SW2 here at Saturn`s assembly plant, where a series oftwisting, winding roads over hilly and flat terrain provide an ample means to check out the car`s wares.

The SW2 passes all the tests but one, the one in which you are forced toask the question, Why?

Thomas Elliott, Honda`s executive vice president, says sales of theAccord station wagon, the yuppie van, are running at or less than a meager2,000 a month. When Honda brings its new minivan on stream in 1995 or `96, theAccord wagon probably will join the 36-horsepower Honda 600 in the realm ofOnce Upon a Time.

The new Toyota Camry wagon hasn`t set the auto world on fire, either.

Perhaps Honda and Toyota weren`t paying attention, but consumers haveturned to minivans and utility vehicles instead of wagons.

The Accord and Camry have proven that wagon popularity has been on thewane-as if all the wagons dropped by GM, Ford and Chrysler in the last fewyears we ren`t enough evidence for Saturn to scrap the idea.

Doubt over the sensibility of the wagon aside (each one built means oneless sedan at a time when there are shortages of sedans), the first impressionof the machine is that it`s an SL2 sedan with a stowage compartment added on. Saturn calls it a ``sedan with a backpack.``

When nestled behind the wheel, you`d think you were driving the sedanuntil you look back and spot the wiper blade found only on the wagon`s rearwindow.

Then, too, the SW2 wagon is built on the same 102.4-inch wheelbase as the sedan and is the same 176.3 inches in length.

The 16-valve 4-cylinder delivers ample power. Our test vehicle wasequipped with optional four-speed automatic, and still no downshifting wasneeded to build up the energy to make it up and over the rolling Tennesseecountryside.

And the transmission operates fairly quietly with only some growling when you make for a quick getaway. At least the automatic is mu ch quieter when you push the console button to the ``performance`` rather than the ``normal``mode. The difference in performance shift points tones down the noise.

The mileage rating with optional automatic is 24 miles per gallon city/33 m.p.g. highway, which compares with 24/34 with the standard five-speed manual. When equipped with automatic and anti-lock brakes, the SW2 gets tractioncontrol, too. There was no icy or snowy or gravel-covered roadway to determinehow well the traction control keeps the wheels from spinning at startup.However, having traction control in reserve provides the same soothing feelingas knowing you have ABS at your command.

Other noteworthy features include standard rear-window wiper/washer anddefroster, a must in a wagon with standup window that easily collects dirt;split rear seatbacks that fold flat independently to increase cargo-carryingcapacity without having to perform a balancing act with your packages; driver-side air bag as standard (expect the passenger side in 1994); and alightweight and wide opening hatchlid and low liftover height to make loading or unloading the wagon less of a chore.

As with all Saturns, you get the added benefit of pliable plastic bodypanels (doors, fenders, hatch lid and roof, but not hood; in the sedans andcoupes hood and roof are metal) that won`t rust and won`t buckle or creasefrom minor run-ins with such things as other car doors or a misguided grocery cart.

But, the wagon has a few areas that need change. Rear seat knee room, for example, is too cramped.

And behind the rear seat is the cargo hold, which suffers because thewheel wells and suspension housing eat up too much space. You might want tocut the 4x8 sheet of plywood in half to slip it in the back of the SW2.

Saturn wagon prices start at $10,895 for the SW1 with manual, $11,645with automatic; $12,195 for the SW2 with manual, $12,945 with automatic.Standard equipment includes power brakes and steering, 15-inch all-seasontires, AM/FM stereo, automatic safety belts, tinted glass, digital clock,stainless steel exhaust, body-color bumpers, child security locks and driver- side air bag.

Our vehicle added ABS with traction control for $645 and option package A consisting of air conditioning, cruise control, power windows, power doorlocks, power right-hand outside mirror (foolishly optional in most Saturns;when offering a driver-side air bag, anti-lock brakes and traction control,why does Saturn insist on depriving the motorist of the safety and security ofone lousy mirror?) for $1,655; fog lamps for $100; and compact disc player for$330. Add a $300 freight charge.

Cargo shade and roof rack are available as dealer-installed options; ourtest car wasn`t so equipped.

A gold exterior color choice has replaced beige for 1993.

The SW2 wagon will carry a dog or cat, a couple of kids, groceries andluggage for conservative singles, reti rees, grandparents or the small family. Those companies needing a small, high-mileage hauler/delivery vehicle with thesafety of air bag, ABS and traction control might want to check out the wagon,too.

The SW2 provides about all you can ask for, unless, of course, you`vebeen asking for a small, high-mileage convertible, minivan or pickup with the that same safety hardware.