Northwest NEWS

October 14, 2002

Features

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TEST DRIVE - 2003 Saturn Wagon LW 300

There is nothing like a drive over Highway 2 to Wenatchee and back this time of year to see the fall colors in the mountains. It is beautiful.
   I drove the 2003 Saturn wagon LW300 for a smooth and easy trip. The Saturn used less than one half tank of gas for the whole trip.
   The 3.0L DOHC 24 valve V6 engine performed well. It has a cast iron block and cast aluminum head. The V6 horsepower has 182/136 @ 5600 rpm with 190/126 of torque @ 3600 rpm. I had no problem accelerating up the hills and passing when necessary.
   This front wheel drive wagon came with 4-speed automatic transmission with power assisted rack-and-pinion and 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS anti-lock braking system.
   Visibility was good. I could easily see the wide swatches of golds, greens, reds and oranges dotting the hillsides. The rear windshield wiper came in very handy with the light mist at the summit.
   With five passengers in this mid-size wagon, there is plenty of room in the cargo area for gear and a roof-top area for more.
   Standard features include air conditioning with filtration, AM/FM CD stereo with six speakers, power locks and windows, cruise control, tilt steering wheel, rear seat reading lamps, 60/40 fold-down rear seats and 16-inch alloy wheels.
   My test drive Saturn came with the DVD option package which eliminates the opportunity to get the optional sunroof.
   The seven-inch DVD screen lowers for back seat passengers to enjoy video or audio discs. Wireless headphones allow them to listen to CDs or watch a movie while the front-seat passengers can either listen to a DVD program or to the car's regular audio system.
   The console-mounted box has RCA jacks.
   Safety features include dual front airbags and head-curtain side airbags, side impact door beams and posts, 3-point safety belts for all five positions and day-time running lights.
   Saturn's side air bag technology has bags which drop like inflated curtains on both sides of the passenger compartment in certain side-impact collisions.
   The Saturn comes with a 3-year/36,000 mile limited warranty.