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Old 07-11-2008, 07:52 AM   #21
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1991 Saturn SL2 Road Test

Here's another couple of classic Saturn Road test and some other little Saturn snippets for you all to enjoy. And this one is actually posted on a Friday! (Charlie's front page stroy reminded me.)

What's new for GM in 1993
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lc3R_vVMMk0

What's new for GM in 1996
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1K9Qqk4-hc

1996 Saturn SW2 Review
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Lp29sTe3ms

1997 Saturn SC2 Preview
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATuQWZ0Ht08

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Old 07-12-2008, 12:00 AM   #22
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1991 Saturn SL2 Road Test

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Originally Posted by VTHokie00SL2 View Post
Almost makes me want to go out and buy a first gen SC!

I actually called about one yesterday. My Jeep is took expensive to drive these days.

Saturn would BE VERY WISE to return to its roots. I'm not saying ditch the current line up, but a modern S would be a runaway success.

Ion was awful. Relay was more like Rebadge. I like the outlook- too pricey too thirsty though, and the SKY.

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Old 07-12-2008, 12:39 AM   #23
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1991 Saturn SL2 Road Test

I like the Sky too...one of the few things Saturn got right recently, imo. (Though I don't know how much credit goes to Saturn for the design - isn't it identical to an Opel?)

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Old 07-13-2008, 01:12 AM   #24
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1991 Saturn SL2 Road Test

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I like the Sky too...one of the few things Saturn got right recently, imo. (Though I don't know how much credit goes to Saturn for the design - isn't it identical to an Opel?)
Absolutely none.

Its actually a Vauxhall. It was penned to be the Vauxhall VX Lightning, as a celebration of the Vauxhall's 100'th anniversary. Stunning car, TOP GEAR even had it in the studio.


Believe it or not, much of the design survived intact into the production car. The original had a more attractive, triangle shaped nose, and a single center mounted intake. Out back, more ductwork, and a single center mounted exhaust. The car was just too pretty not to build, so when Saturn's dealer network loved the idea of a Saturn Roadster, but not the dull as nails SKY that Saturn's 'happy' design studio churned out with its SEAT grille, and imac inspired LED's under translucent plastics, they gave the Lightning a quick makeover, and viola, Saturn SKY.

A version of the SKY redline is imported to Duetschland and sold as the OPEL GT. Interestingly, my first car was an OPEL GT, the original, not this one.

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Old 07-14-2008, 09:51 AM   #25
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1991 Saturn SL2 Road Test

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I actually called about one yesterday. My Jeep is took expensive to drive these days.

Saturn would BE VERY WISE to return to its roots. I'm not saying ditch the current line up, but a modern S would be a runaway success.

Ion was awful. Relay was more like Rebadge. I like the outlook- too pricey too thirsty though, and the SKY.
Sigh. The Ion was/is not awful.

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Old 07-14-2008, 12:44 PM   #26
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1991 Saturn SL2 Road Test

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Sigh. The Ion was/is not awful.
The Ion was a lot like the 1996 Taurus, even down to the corny circle theme. They took a normal car that enjoyed great sales success, and tried to stay trendy by making the car's replacement just plain weird.

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Old 07-14-2008, 01:08 PM   #27
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1991 Saturn SL2 Road Test

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The Ion was a lot like the 1996 Taurus, even down to the corny circle theme. They took a normal car that enjoyed great sales success, and tried to stay trendy by making the car's replacement just plain weird.
Sigh. This is such an old argument, I don't see the point. My car isn't weird. It's bigger than my SL2, it's more comfortable than my SL2, it's safer than my SL2, it's gets the same fuel economy as my SL2 without burning oil. I like my car. I think the Ion is quirky. It's a nice car to drive. My family loves it, I love it. I couldn't be happier. The Ion sold in numbers comparable to the S-series (when taken in to account that the S-series was one platform vs. the Ion competing with the L-series and Vue). I love my center-mounted instruments, I love my tougher and more durable interior, I love the ride and handling, I love not burning through a quart of oil after 2K miles, or less.

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Old 07-14-2008, 01:22 PM   #28
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1991 Saturn SL2 Road Test

I'm glad you like your car, but the fact that they made the car more "normal" looking, with more conventional styling elements, indicates that Saturn recognized its mistake. The unconventional design did not help sales. It's almost an exact repeat of the Ford Taurus mistake, and Ford eventually toned down the weirdness of its oval themed Taurus and made that more conventional as well.

My SL2 didn't start burning oil until well past 100k miles, btw! Even at 200k, I was only adding maybe a quart between oil changes...

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Old 07-14-2008, 02:12 PM   #29
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1991 Saturn SL2 Road Test

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I'm glad you like your car, but the fact that they made the car more "normal" looking, with more conventional styling elements, indicates that Saturn recognized its mistake. The unconventional design did not help sales. It's almost an exact repeat of the Ford Taurus mistake, and Ford eventually toned down the weirdness of its oval themed Taurus and made that more conventional as well.

My SL2 didn't start burning oil until well past 100k miles, btw! Even at 200k, I was only adding maybe a quart between oil changes...
There was no mistake to recognize, they re-styled the front bumper/grille (and that was all) to bring the Ion more in line with the then-current styling of the Vue and away from the discontinued L300. The unconventional design didn't really hurt sales, either. Selling upwards of 100K a year is not bad, considering there was a mid-size car and wagon AND a compact SUV to fight with sales for, unlike the S-series which had to compete with no other Saturns for sales. It wasn't a failure. The reason it didn't do as well as the Ion was the increased quality of the competition, not because the bumper didn't look right.

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Old 07-14-2008, 03:10 PM   #30
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1991 Saturn SL2 Road Test

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There was no mistake to recognize, they re-styled the front bumper/grille (and that was all) to bring the Ion more in line with the then-current styling of the Vue and away from the discontinued L300.
Nope, they changed the interior a bit as well. They replaced the original steering wheel with a more normal looking one, for instance.

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Old 07-14-2008, 04:34 PM   #31
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1991 Saturn SL2 Road Test

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Nope, they changed the interior a bit as well. They replaced the original steering wheel with a more normal looking one, for instance.
Yes, and some textures and the center stack, dropped certain features, improved the ride quality, updated the rear bushings, added new wheels and interior fabrics. What you see as 'recognizing their mistake', I see as continual product improvement. Funny how changing the entire exterior of the S-series sedans and wagons in 1996 is called the '2nd Gen' while changing some features and design elements on the Ion is 'recognising their mistakes to make the vehicle more normal'. Huh. Why is that? They continually changed the S-series, making it better and better until 2002; doing the same thing on the Ion is called 'recognising their mistakes'. Yeah, I keep repeating that, but it's only to point out the bias against the Ion which is detracting from the reality of the situation. They 'recognise their mistakes' at Porsche, Ferrari, BMW, Honda, Toyota...everyone does it.

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Old 07-14-2008, 04:35 PM   #32
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1991 Saturn SL2 Road Test

Anyway, back to the topic.

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Old 07-14-2008, 04:36 PM   #33
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1991 Saturn SL2 Road Test

You can deny it if you wish, but clearly the circle theme was a flop, and they improved the car by making it more conventional. If you want another more recent example besides the '96 Ford Taurus, it's like when Subaru revised the hideous nose on the Tribeca and gave it a much more normal design.

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Old 07-14-2008, 04:40 PM   #34
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1991 Saturn SL2 Road Test

Anyway, back to the topic. And no, this isn't a repost. The horse is dead, Jim.

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Old 07-14-2008, 10:59 PM   #35
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1991 Saturn SL2 Road Test

The ION was a flop. It was lambasted in review after review, savaged on the forumns, and met with large amounts of disdain from the current S series owners. The interior, not even considering the polarizing center gauges, was to me, the car's biggest failing.

As far as sales go, it didn't hold a candle to the S series, after 11 years of the same car, the ION only approached the S series worst years. Had they tried a little harder, the ION might have lasted longer than the barely 4 years it was in production.

No one likes to have his or her car carpetbombed. Unfortunately, the ION is something of a lightning rod. If you like it, all the better. I did appreciate the polymer, the spring hill construction and.... and.... and...uh, the RED LINE version. I always felt Saturn needed a high performance version of its bread and butter cars, and then when they finally did it, it was a car that in stock form I despised.

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Old 07-15-2008, 09:03 AM   #36
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Default Re: Flashback Friday: 1991 Saturn SL2 Road Test

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The ION was a flop. It was lambasted in review after review, savaged on the forumns, and met with large amounts of disdain from the current S series owners. The interior, not even considering the polarizing center gauges, was to me, the car's biggest failing.

As far as sales go, it didn't hold a candle to the S series, after 11 years of the same car, the ION only approached the S series worst years. Had they tried a little harder, the ION might have lasted longer than the barely 4 years it was in production.

No one likes to have his or her car carpetbombed. Unfortunately, the ION is something of a lightning rod. If you like it, all the better. I did appreciate the polymer, the spring hill construction and.... and.... and...uh, the RED LINE version. I always felt Saturn needed a high performance version of its bread and butter cars, and then when they finally did it, it was a car that in stock form I despised.
I went from an SL2 to an L200 to an Ion, don't tell me it was 'met with disdain from current S-series owners'. You also have to remember, and I've said this hundreds of times, that the S-series, until 2000, was all they had. Kinda hard not to sell a crap load of them, isn't it? Considering the fact that the Ion had to compete with the Vue and the L200 for sales, after Saturn expanded from compact-car-only, the sales numbers aren't that bad. And it wasn't cancelled due to poor sales, it was cancelled to bring the Astra over since it fit in better with the current image of Saturn, rightly or wrongly.

Now, please, back to the original topic.

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