The engine is rated at 182 or so horsepower, but feels like it has 250 or more. The car gets to sixty in less than eight seconds. The transmission shifts smoothly and at appropriate times, even when a lead foot is used.
This car has a complicated suspension setup which is nearly identical to a Saab 9-5. It handles and drives very well.
Safety & braking
The car has good safety features and good brakes. My model does not have ABS, but it does have disc brakes on all four wheels and the braking action is even, strong, and easy to modulate accurately with the pedal.
Front seat support & comfort
There is plenty of room up front and the seats are comfortable.
The car has a good, smooth ride. It is also pretty quiet, though this depends quite a bit on the quality of the tires.
Materials & workmanship
There are some minor issues with materials and workmanship on the car. All mechanical parts are high quality, but some of the trim is problematic - silly things like the vanity mirrors in the visors which both fell apart.
Reliability & durability
Overall, my car has been reliable. The problem is that some of theparts can be expensive and/or hard to find. Thankfully, I have been able to do some of the repairs and maintenance myself which has saved a lot of money.
Warranty, maintenance cost
The car needs a lot of expensive maintenance at 100,000 mile intervals. If purchasing a car that is due for this maintenance, take that into account. If you are mechanically inclined, the car is not very hard to work on, and saturnfans.com is very useful.
Brand reputation & image
Unfortunately, GM threw Saturn under the bus. Thankfully, GM dealers will still service these cars and provide parts.
It is way too much fun to drive this car fast, and it will use a lot of fuel if you have a lead foot. Save the high revs for special occasions, and highway mileage can be close to 30 mpg.