2003 Saturn LW300

Wow. I don’t know how many times I heard that as people came up to look at the shiny black and chrome Saturn wagon. The first ‘wow’ came from me as I hit the key fob to unlock the doors on this beauty.

This LW300 came with all the bells and whistles — $4,680 worth, to be exact. Joining the 16-inch chrome wheels wrapped by some sporty Firestone Firehawks, were chrome roof rails and a chrome rear lift gate handle.

The two-tone grey leather interior featured a DVD entertainment system with a 7-inch fold down screen and wireless headphones as well as a 6-disc CD/cassette advanced audio system.

I jokingly told all the admirers that the reason they liked the Saturn in black was because it hid all of the fit and finish flaws. Okay, I wasn’t joking, there are some, namely the uneven fit at the top of the doors and a grille the looks too big, not lining up with the headlamps.

Visual flaws aside, I was impressed with how solid this car felt. The fit and finish on the interior was much better than something you’d expect from Saturn, let alone GM.

And while I didn’t get to hammer it over some Car and Driver test track, I did put it through the paces with numerous trips to numerous stores stocking up on stuff for a graduation party and it performed flawlessly.
The LW300 is a testament to how far GM has come in manufacturing quality and they’re getting better. Now if they can only find a way to dampen the inside of those plastic door panels to cut down on road and engine noise.

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