Saturn For 1999
By Carey Russ
Continuous improvement is one of Saturn's core values, and the 1999 lineup of sedans, wagons, and coupes reflects this with quieter, more efficient engines and small interior and exterior upgrades. More noticeable is the driver's-side rear access door standard on all 1999 Coupes built after early November. Also, a right-hand-drive wagon is now available for rural postal carriers.
Saturn Coupes, Sedans, and Wagons share "power modules", Saturn's term for engine-transmission combinations. There are two variations of the 1.9-liter engine. The single-overhead-cam version is used in the SC1 Coupe, SL and SL1 Sedans, and SW1 Wagon. The double-overhead-cam engine is found in the SC2 Coupe, SL2 Sedan, and SW2 Wagon. Both have extensive internal modifications to reduce noise and vibration and increase fuel efficiency.
Coupes and extended-cab pickups have more in common than one might assume. Both are designed primarily for two people, but have rear seats that do sometimes have to be used for carrying passengers or cargo. Access to that rear seat in a two-door coupe or pickup can be awkward. Both full-size and compact pickups have had three-door versions available for the past few years. Why not a three- door coupe? Leave it to the "different kind of car company" to come up with a different kind of car. Although the 1999 Saturn Coupes appear little different from 1998 models at a glance, a closer look reveals an extra, rear-hinged access door on the driver's side. Like the rear access doors in pickups, the front driver's door must be opened first. It should make both passenger and cargo access much easier.
Other changes to the SC1 and SC2 coupes for 1999 include a new green color choice, new wheels and interior fabrics for the SC2, and the same engine upgrades as in other Saturns.
Saturn Wagon buyers can now have a green car. Inside are the same seatbelt adjustment improvements as found in the sedans and the engine upgrades found in all Saturns for 1999.
The SWP wagon is being offered for rural postal use. Right- hand-drive Saturns have been sold in Japan; the SWP fills a small but important domestic niche.
The three Saturn Sedans have new color choices and easier seatbelt adjustment in addition to engine enhancements.