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Old 01-05-2015, 11:17 AM   #1
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Default I'm thinking this killed the saturn brand

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/noframes/18591.shtml
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:27 PM   #2
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Default Re: I'm thinking this killed the saturn brand

fuel economy is different for everyone.
all depends on driving habbits and condition of the car.

I.e. mine gets average of 29-31 mpg no matter the amount of city driving.
At the moment, its less bec one of my O2 sensors is dead.

Economy estimates aren't exactly accurate for the ions.
its kind of an underappreciated car.
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Old 01-05-2015, 04:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: I'm thinking this killed the saturn brand

Yes, but way back in 2002 when I was looking for a brand new commuter car for myself, Saturn was not even on my radar screen. I test drove prius, corolla and civic, and ended up with 2003 corolla. If Ion had similar MPG, I would have at least considered that, but still unlikely due to the GM stigma.

Now my priorities are different. I need a cheap car that looks fairly modern and has less 200,000 miles. This is for my son who is going to learn how to drive it and learn how to fix it. MPG is a secondary issue.

Now, my daily driver is 2006 RAV4 AWD with V6 engine and that monster only burns 10% more gas than the 2003 Ion. This is how things are lopsided between GM and toyiota.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: I'm thinking this killed the saturn brand

Hardly the mileage. All the EPA did a couple years back was shave 10% off the previous #s and publish them. In 2005 the cars were rated at 24/32 with auto IIRC. The 03s were similar with the 5 speed auto. Manuals were better.

I have always gotten better mileage than the #s the EPA came up with before they did the reconfiguration. And the "new" #s are ludicrous. I've never even seen 21 mpg on my 2005 even in the city on short 3 mile trips to work. 23/24 is usually the #, depending on AC and 10% ethanol winter fuel blend required by the state for the winter months. And easily 34-36 on the highway. Up to 40 on rare occasions.

You'll find people on this site saying the same thing about their own mileage. EPA's #s are not even real world #s, but worse. Especially in this instance.

Additionally on the EPA website actual owners of the cars post their mileage #s as well.

I've recorded my gas usage since new with 21 miles on it and have never seen mileage #s as low as the ones the EPA published somewhere around 08 or 09.

What killed Saturn was a number of things. EPA #s wouldn't even chart as one of the factors in it's demise. You could very well say the L the ION and the Relay all played a more significant role in Saturn's demise than EPA #s [which, again, were not the #s the cars had when they were introduced].
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: I'm thinking this killed the saturn brand

EPA #s for 2003:
24/32 5 Auto
26/33 Manual

And people reported higher #s in actual use.

2005:
24/32 4 Auto
26/35 Manual

2003-2005 #s were far more accurate than the current ratings of 21/29.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: I'm thinking this killed the saturn brand

Mine was rated at 34/26/29 (within one) and had never gotten less than that. When I was looking the corolla didn't get much better mileage and had pathetic power. It was also significantly more expensive for a not that much nicer car. The debate for me was between the ion and focus (same price range). I didn't like the height adjustable seat in the focus (uncomfortable) and the stereo. Looking at both these cars 7 years later I'm glad I chose the ion. Even compared to the civic (vtec, yo), corolla, jetta, ect... I've had less problems with my car than people I've known with these other cars (actually, no problems). Not that these other cars are necessarily terrible, just this car had served me very well, and better than the competition has served others I've known.

What killed saturn is the ion wasn't given a fair chance. It wasn't given enough aero treatment, which would have increased mileage and refinement, and the dash and seats could have used more attention. Then gm followed it up with the worst vauxhall astra they could find and put the final nail in the coffin for saturn.
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: I'm thinking this killed the saturn brand

What killed Saturn? It wasn't because of fuel economy. Saturn died because it never made any corporate profits for GM. "Nothing personal, just B-U-S-I-N-E-S-S". Saturn was an experiment to examine a "different kind of car company" to compromise with union labor while developing a car that contributed to corporate fuel economy mandates ordered by the EPA. Saturn achieved fuel economy to balance against the fuel hogs of Corvettes, Cadillac, Buick, Pontiac, Chevy, etc.. Corporate average fuel economy. Since Saturn was always the stepchild of corporate inbreeding to pull the purse strings of GM, Saturn never contributed to the bottom line when suv's are the big profit makers. A losing business with no hopes of making money is simply what bean counters describe as a loser. Business is in business to make money, period. Any MBA worth his/her degree can see the "bottom line" and separate corporate politics from profits.

While some may not agree, Saturn may be likened to GM's version of the Volkswagen but never achieved the world wide sales or appeal of VW's Bug. The Bug appealed to a different generation world wide long before suv's. Every GM division developed their version of a fuel economy car except Corvette and Cadillac. Sibling rivalry for money in return for better profits tends to "separate the wheat from the chaff". Saturn unfortunately is chaff.
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Old 01-05-2015, 11:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: I'm thinking this killed the saturn brand

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Mine was rated at 34/26/29 (within one) and had never gotten less than that. When I was looking the corolla didn't get much better mileage and had pathetic power.
2003 corolla I had (AT) was EPA rated at 32 city and 38 hwy in 2003 numbers that they were since deflated to current 25/34: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find....n=sbs&id=18604

Real life numbers I got was 28 city and 32 hwy, no hypermilling whatsoever. Too early to see what the Ion does (I didn't get it registered yet), but I don't hope to get those numbers.

Now, corolla's engine was much smaller and noisier, but the car was lighter and more nimble, so power issue is really a wash. Saturn drives like a land yacht compared to small imports I'm used to. This is my first US-designed car, BTW.
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Old 01-06-2015, 12:43 AM   #9
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Default Re: I'm thinking this killed the saturn brand

I have a 2005 Ion 1 with 153,000 miles on it. On a recent turn to Los Angeles from San Diego I averaged 37mpg with the four speed auto. Around town I get about 25 to 28 mpg.
Yes Saturn was an experiment, and a way to placate the EPA. Then I've heard that the VP of Chevrolet complained that Saturn was taking away entry level buyers from his division. The division didn't stand a chance almost from the beginning. The mentality that eventually drove GM into bankruptcy was at work .
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Old 01-06-2015, 12:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: I'm thinking this killed the saturn brand

I can believe saturn was losing money for GM (except for the CAFE credit thing). Those plastic panels were probably more expensive than metal, or everyone else would be doing them.
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Old 01-06-2015, 06:49 AM   #11
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Default Re: I'm thinking this killed the saturn brand

Many cars have had plastic/composite panels over the years. Chrysler concord had front fenders, all kinds of gm cars, truch bed sides. The reason they aren't done more often is most people perceive it as a lower quality product, and people think it detracts from vehicle crashworthiness.
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Old 01-06-2015, 09:30 AM   #12
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Default Re: I'm thinking this killed the saturn brand

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Many cars have had plastic/composite panels over the years. Chrysler concord had front fenders, all kinds of gm cars, truch bed sides. The reason they aren't done more often is most people perceive it as a lower quality product, and people think it detracts from vehicle crashworthiness.
I didn't know that, thanks.
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Old 01-08-2015, 09:35 AM   #13
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Default Re: I'm thinking this killed the saturn brand

Let me explain my original thought. Saturn should have kept the 1.9L motor, but improve it by fixing the oil consumption and slapping VVT on it, and it would have a chance to compete with compact imports.

Instead they took the 2.2 "ecotec" from from Chevy, that is too big and heavy for a compact car. There is nothing "eco" about it either.

Then they also used suspension (and other low quality) parts from Chevy and obviously the quality and reliability went down to the lowest common denominator. Looks like I need to rebuild the whole suspension at 135,000 miles.
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:03 AM   #14
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Default Re: I'm thinking this killed the saturn brand

According to one source, the Ecotech engine wasn't around when Saturn debuted in 1991. Ecotech engines became a US base engine in 2000 model year cars. Unfortunately, you're beating a dead horse, Saturn.
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:15 PM   #15
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Default Re: I'm thinking this killed the saturn brand

The ecotec is a good engine, a much better more reliable engine than the saturn engine, and parts commonality is a good thing. I definitely agree about vvt, though, the vvt ecotecs are much more efficient and more powerful. The suspension is a good design, the components just weren't a high enough quality. There are higher quality aftermarket parts that limit the effect of the original design on reliability.
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Old 01-10-2015, 09:00 AM   #16
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Default Re: I'm thinking this killed the saturn brand

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Let me explain my original thought. Saturn should have kept the 1.9L motor, but improve it by fixing the oil consumption and slapping VVT on it, and it would have a chance to compete with compact imports.

Instead they took the 2.2 "ecotec" from from Chevy, that is too big and heavy for a compact car. There is nothing "eco" about it either.

Then they also used suspension (and other low quality) parts from Chevy and obviously the quality and reliability went down to the lowest common denominator. Looks like I need to rebuild the whole suspension at 135,000 miles.
The ION was the first car on the Delta platform, the suspension was only used by the ION and well before the Cobalt came debuted. The ECOTEC was GM's new corporate 4, eventually replacing the OHV 2.2 and the Quad-4 [ designed by Oldsmobile ].

The ECO was offered in the L and Alero. It was optional on the Cavalier and Sunfire and didn't become standard till 2003 IIRC. Low quality parts came from GM's cut rate bins, not Chevy's. And who doesn't have to replace parts after 135,000 miles and 11 years ?
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Old 01-10-2015, 10:18 AM   #17
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Default Re: I'm thinking this killed the saturn brand

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Low quality parts came from GM's cut rate bins, not Chevy's. And who doesn't have to replace parts after 135,000 miles and 11 years ?
Thanks for correction on the Chevy part. The few cars I kept to the 120,000-130,000 mile point (82 Datsun, 84 Renault, 90 Nissan, and 92 Mazda), NONE required any suspension work whosoever, even if they were not without problems. And those were mostly hard city miles and not easy hwy miles. The exception is 89 Yugo. The suspension parts were in bad shape by 50,000 miles when it got totaled. I would place my new (used) Saturn in second place after Yugo on the worst cars I had ever had list quality wise.

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Old 01-10-2015, 07:43 PM   #18
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Default Re: I'm thinking this killed the saturn brand

Most late model cars need work by the time they hit that age/mileage. My dad's intrepid makes my van that's the same age look really good, but in reality, for it's age, all but the engine work is par. Another thought is, even though they may not have clunked, if you would have replaced the bushings and shocks and springs (yes, these wear out, too, before failing), they would have driven like new cars.
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Old 01-11-2015, 07:49 AM   #19
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Default Re: I'm thinking this killed the saturn brand

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Thanks for correction on the Chevy part. The few cars I kept to the 120,000-130,000 mile point (82 Datsun, 84 Renault, 90 Nissan, and 92 Mazda), NONE required any suspension work whosoever, even if they were not without problems. And those were mostly hard city miles and not easy hwy miles. The exception is 89 Yugo. The suspension parts were in bad shape by 50,000 miles when it got totaled. I would place my new (used) Saturn in second place after Yugo on the worst cars I had ever had list quality wise.
Jacek: never owned a foreign car. I've just come to expect wear items like that once a car comes to 135,000. At least not surprised.

Had the sway bar bushing replaced before warranty went out on my 05 and no problems since. My comment was too general. And who knows how your ION has been treated in those 135,000 miles. I always expect work on any car after 100,000 miles. It wouldn't put me off, but that's just me.

Fix what's wrong and drive it till the wheels fall off. The 2.2 is a long lived engine [my new favorite, after the Mopar Slant Six] the ride,trunk room,fuel economy, as well as the ease of maintenance make the car a real value.

My 99 Cavalier only had warranty work done on the intermediate steering shaft that caused clunking. A common problem on GM cars, even W bodies from what I have read and going on well into the 00s.

Believe me, I am the first to point out the ION's shortcomings and have. But I still like the car and have never before had a battery last 8 years, nor the brakes having to be replaced during 60,000 miles. [Just had the rears done and 60% life on the fronts at 63,000 miles]. Car still looks like new.

Only problem is it seems to be getting lower with time. Or it could be two rear enders and age that's making it harder to enter and exit and it may have to be replaced unless I can figure something else out.

Just hope this problem doesn't disappoint you with your new ION.
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:07 AM   #20
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Default Re: I'm thinking this killed the saturn brand

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Only problem is it seems to be getting lower with time. Or it could be two rear enders and age that's making it harder to enter and exit and it may have to be replaced unless I can figure something else out.
LOL, I know what you are talking about. The seating position is ridiculously low. I noticed that myself, but this is for my son, so this is a minor annoyance for me.
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