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Old 01-24-2001, 09:14 PM   #1
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As a follow-up to Al's <!--http--><a href="http://64.77.2.166/cgi-bin/UltraBoard/UltraBoard.pl?Action=ShowPost&Board=001&Post=1827& Idle=365" target="_blank">post</a><!--url-->...

If you Saturn wasn't around, what kind of car would you have bought instead?

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Old 01-24-2001, 09:30 PM   #2
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Well, we bought our first Saturn in 1994--I was 10 at the time--we really wanted to get rid of our 1989 Ford Taurus money pit. The original consideration was a '94 Pontiac TranSport but that was shot down because it would be too much money. My dad decided that a small car would be better (figure that one out--from van to compact ). He was considering a Pontiac Grand Am and I think the Honda Civic. Then my dad heard good things about Saturn, we stopped in, looked around (my dad liked the sales approach, or lack of) and my folks decided on a 1994 Saturn SW2, A/C, cassette, auto. power everything, ABS/Trac, grey interior, and some other stuff I've forgotten. We still have it and it's running beautifully at 88,900 miles

Matt

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Old 01-24-2001, 09:33 PM   #3
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When I bought my SW2 in 1993 the only other car I looked at was the Geo Prism /Toyota Corolla. At the Chevy dealer the salesman couldn't tell the different Chevy models from one another and when I mentioned ABS he tried to steer me to a Caprice because he did not have a Prism with ABS. I tried a Prism for size and it was way too small. At the Toyota dealer down the street nobody came out to talk to me in about 15 minutes of reading stickers, and that was just as well: every single car on the lot whether a stripper econo car or maxed out Camry had an additional $400 of dealer mark-up crap like paint sealer protection and Scotchgard. Gee Thanks for telling me up front I don't want to ever deal with you guys!

That evening I drove 30 miles to the Saturn retailer and the salesman took me into the service area and introduced me to the service staff (after my horrible service experience with my previous car - a Dodge - I would never buy without visiting service to make sure there aren't a lot of unhappy people out there!). Complete night and day.

Since Saturn has decided to stop selling the SW2, if I had to replace my car tomorrow I would look for a used SW2 in good condition, or possibly buy a Focus or Subaru WRX Wagon.

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Old 01-24-2001, 09:37 PM   #4
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Well, if we didn't have our little accident last Easter, I would still be driving my '92 Cavalier. At this point it would probably have had about 120K on it. The only repair would have been a new exhaust.

But since we can't change the past, when we finally got our insurance stuff straightened out, we only considered 2 cars - the Saturn and a Honda Civic. After driving an SL2 there was no need to look at the Civic - we bought the plastic bodied wonder right on the spot. I don't know about the rest of you, but I loved the 2000 freshening up of the styling. I think it made the car look a lot cleaner on the outside. And on the inside it's more appealing to me.

That's my story - if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing.

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Old 01-24-2001, 09:41 PM   #5
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Hmm...I test drove a Mazda 626 that seemed pretty nice. In '97 it was the previous generation, which I actually like better than the current 626. Not quite in the same class as the Saturn, but I could have gotten a 626 with a few options for not much more than my SL2 which has every option minus foglamps, sunroof, and leather. I think the sticker on my SL2 was $17470.

I'm really not sure what I would have bought, though. I didn't like the Corolla, wasn't crazy about the Honda Civic or Mazda Protege, and forget about the other GM small cars or those from Ford or Chrysler. I probably would have ended up with a larger car...I think I would have looked at the Honda Accord. I might possibly have looked at the Chevy Lumina also. I'm really not sure though. I really liked the Ford Taurus until the '96 redesign, but I can't stand the post 1996 Taurus. (The 2000 facelift made it a little better...)

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Old 01-24-2001, 09:47 PM   #6
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What year did the current generation Grand Prix come out? The 4 door version of the older generation Grand Prix was probably my favorite Pontiac. I always liked those. Unlike most Pontiacs, it wasn't totally overdone in terms of styling. Also, the lights across the entire front end (between the headlights) were kind of cool...

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Old 01-24-2001, 10:30 PM   #7
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If there was no L series in 2000 I'd have gone for either a Honda or an Olds.
In lieu of the S series probably a Suburu AWD and a small Chevy for commuting.

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Old 01-24-2001, 11:08 PM   #8
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Others under consideration when we got the 1994 SL2 were the Nissan Sentra SE-R (think D Stock autocrosser), Neon ACR (think E Stock, 1994 only it turned out, autocrosser with big contingency money behind it) and Mazda Protege (also E Stock).

Well, the Neon ACRs were not sold with AC that first year. Sorry, we were in Texas so AC had to be there. The Mazda was nice, but the engine did not have as much low end torque as the Saturn. I really liked the SE-R, but defered as I would not have been the primary driver. Picked a SL2, 5 speed, no sunroof, and wound up with what at the time was a competitive E Stock autocrosser anyway.

Today, the S cars probably would not be on the list. This one has been good, but the competition in the market place has gotten that much better and to a certain extent the S cars have regressed from where they were. As for the L cars, where is that V6 manual transmission car with disc brakes all around?

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Old 01-24-2001, 11:38 PM   #9
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I would have most likely gone with an Accord both times. However, the Mazda 626 and Mercury Sable were also under consideration.

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Old 01-24-2001, 11:51 PM   #10
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Back in 96 when I got my first Saturn, if that wasn't around, I would've gotten the Ford Probe. Horrible name though. Cavilar (sp?), or Grand Am, Pontiac salesdork was a jerk, so no buy for me.

In 99 when I got my second Saturn...Mercury Cougar, again salesdork was very rude, no buy. Would love a Mustang, but I couldn't afford the one I wanted.

Now in 2001 if I still didn't have my Saturn...I'd get the Ford Explorer Sport Trac, Ford Escape, Mazda Tribute, still would like the Mustang too. VW Bug would be cool.

Whatever I buy, I know it's coming from either GM or Ford. Gotta love the discounts and the not getting disowned by family members for getting an import.

-Amy

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Old 01-25-2001, 01:11 AM   #11
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i got my 2001 sc2 back in october and its awsume! the day i decided on the saturn, i was on the way to the mitsubishi dealership to drive an eclipse i was readyt o buy, but the mitsubishi place was horrible, the lady there didnt really know anything about the car and i was very impressed, so i stopped by the saturn lot and a guy came out immediately and showed me the different types and all and let me drive it and i went right in and signed the papers and picked it up a few days later, boy im glad i picked the saturn over the eclipse

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Old 01-25-2001, 01:15 AM   #12
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I probably would have considered the Subaru Outback, Oldsmobile Intrigue or the Chevrolet Impala. A wagon is handy. Therefore the Outback would have been at the top of my list.

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Old 01-25-2001, 01:26 AM   #13
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I could be driving a '99 Chevy Cav. Or even a '96 Honda Civic but I went with my '96 SL2. So far, I'm glad I did. I'm just wondering what my next car will be! L300?
Kevin

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Old 01-25-2001, 07:39 AM   #14
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Bought my '92 SC in 1998. I was short on time when I got it and the only other car I looked at was a '91 240SX. I liked that car too, cool with RWD and 145 hp, but it was even less roomy than the SC, and had no sunroof or power locks and windows like the SC.

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Old 01-25-2001, 09:10 AM   #15
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We were looking at the Subaru Forester, which my wife liked. (the care being replaced at the time was hers, after all). However, the dealership and the sales rep were not only "typical" car sales types, they were screwed up as well. The first time we were to test drive a car, they could not start it. Then they opened the hood and low and behold--no battery! Someone had removed it from that car for some other purpose and told no one. (It had not been stolen- just used elsewhere in the lot) After we test drove the car, the salesman then wanted to have us
'buy today" on prices and a model they did not have but would find or order--We said no. We wanted to see the car and its features and prices etc. He kept talking and we kept walking- Went to Saturn because they had the new mid-size wagon and because our son had had good luck with his 94 SL2 (now 150,000 miles), his fiance had had good luck with her 97 SC2, and our niece had had good luck with her 97 Sc1. The car itself has been fun to drive and with ABS and traction control a necessity for wife to get to her work. Teething problems on a new model have been a bit aggravating. The early ones were minor. A few began when the car was a year old and were really getting us upset. Fortunately the Saturn of Lowell operation is a real Saturn operation in its approach, and we have been treated very well and the problems have been solved.
Sorry, I did not mean to get carried away with such a long post--but you asked....

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Old 01-25-2001, 10:33 AM   #16
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This past fall when we shopped for a replacement for our 97 SW1 we looked at the VW passat, Acura Integra sedan, Olds Alero. We wanted a sports sedan for my wifes challenging 93 mile commute yet could be a good family car on the weekends and for trips. I really liked the Integra sedan but it was very cramped inside, the passat was very nice and sporty but also very expensive and had a small trunk. We proably would have got the Alero sedan. Even though it has a ugly taillight design.

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Old 01-25-2001, 10:45 AM   #17
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I was looking at Honda Accords, though at the time they were not that much larger inside then the SL2 and the Civic was down right tiny inside and both were absolutely gutless in comparison to the SL2. The Camry was too expensive and bland and the Corolla seemed cramped. The Nissan Sentra was small and slow and I never really like the Ultima's styling. Saturn was the only US nameplate I was looking at. I wouldn't even consider anything from Chrysler and I had bad luck previously with Chevy's, and Ford Escorts never appealed to me. I never thought to go look at Volkswagen's.

My sales consultant could always tell when I had been out test driving cars because I would always comeback to Saturn to immediately drive the SL2 while things were still fresh in my mind. And don't get me started about the customer service at the Honda, Toyota and Nissan dealerships. They were typically car salesman, they were just missing the plaid pants and white leather dress shoes.

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Old 01-25-2001, 11:15 AM   #18
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We originally were looking at smaller cars due to fuel economy considerations and then ended up with an LS. Looked at Toyota Echo, and would have liked to look at a Prius, but they were not available at the time. Looked at VW Beetles and Golfs, wanted a TDI, but could find no TDI's available anywhere, and the beetle was too small. Looked at Focus, liked it, but I don't trust Ford enough, and the salesman was a weasel. Also looked at a PT cruiser. Neet vehical, but too pricey and dicey for what you get. Looked at the SL, but found it too small, came back later and tried the LS, liked it, and with the incentives, came out priced pretty well ($15k@2.9%).

If I could have done it again, I probably would have waited for the TDI Golf.

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Old 01-25-2001, 11:39 AM   #19
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My '97 Cavalier was crushed by a truck in October 99, so I needed a car fast. My wife and I were thinking of awagon to replace her aging Tercel in a few years anyway. We looked at the Subaru Impreza/Outback Sport (too pricey), the Focus wagon (no manual trans), the Hyundai Elantra (no ABS with 5spd) and the SW2. Settled on the SW2 because of 5speed, ABS/TC, the sales experience (no pressure) and superior crash ratings (with the memories of the truck still fresh in my mind). I don't know what we would have gotten had the SW been cancelled earlier, maybe a Focus ZX3, maybe the Hyundai. The Subaru was just a little out of our price range, and the salesman was a jerk.

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Old 01-25-2001, 12:01 PM   #20
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Our family is a Toyota family. At one point in time, the three of us all had red Toyota Celicas. Since then we've bought and sold a few more. 1.5 years ago my Celica's transmission died on me in a big city. It had upward of 185K miles on it, and it wasn't worth it to get it fixed. I was in college commuter at the time, and I transportation was a must, so I wasn't too picky; I had to have a car NOW. I test drove a used 97 SC2 and was hooked. I'm happy with my Saturn, and am going to drive it till it dies; hopefully that'll never happen. From what I read, I should get just as many miles out of it before it dies.

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