Northwest NEWS

March 12, 2001



The 2001 SC2 Coupe.

TEST DRIVE Saturn SC2 Coupe

The Saturn SC2 is a sporty, four passenger, three door coupe. My test model was a blue metallic with grey leather.
   The three-door design is the only one of its kind in coupes. The third door (half-door) is accessed from the driver's side once the driver's door is opened. It opens with a latch. It certainly makes it easier for passengers to get in and out of the back seat and to reach any items you carry in the back.
   Powered by a1.9 liter DOHC 16-value engine, the SC2 has 124 hp @ 5,600 rpm with 122 ft-lb of torque @ 4,800 rpm.
   My test model came with the standard five-speed transmission. A four-speed is optional. A self-adjusting clutch feature reduces a consistent clutch feel and manual transmission design does not require scheduled fluid maintenance. A dash feature will flash arrows for up or down gear changes if you wait too long to shift.
   The power disc front brakes and power drum brakes are standard. I drove with the ABS with traction control option which is only $695 additional and makes a huge difference in braking in bad weather.
   The SC2 is a sporty, attractive car. The "Saturn swoosh" is the way the manufacturer describes the slight wedge-shaped body and smooth surfaces.
   The wraparound taillights are designed up and across the back truck lid, giving the car an artistic flair.
   This is a surprisingly roomy car for a small coupe. I was able to pack quite a bit in from a shopping spree.
   New for 2001 is the front head curtain air bags option, a new exterior look and additional standard features such as CD, cruise control and power locks, windows and mirrors.
   Saturn is offering the new head curtain air bags in all their models as an option. Stored along the inside upper roof rail, electronic sensors activate air bags to drop in the case of a collision protecting passengers' heads and necks.
   Another safety feature is the trunk-resistant latch and an inside trunk escape handle that glows in the dark.
   The SC2 comes with 15 inch speed-rated touring radial tires. The 15 inch alloy wheels I had were optional.
   I would opt for the sunroof in this car to complete its sporty nature.